Your students or not?

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ralphmcpherson

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I find it fascinating this aspect about martial arts that students are property and instructors have priority rights between one another. I am not sure where instructors priority rights comes from, why it happens or it exists. It makes me uncomfortable and seems unnecessary. An illusionary sense of power over others I don't understand. Shouldn't the students make that call of which instructor they prefer?
I think its instructors reaping the rewards of having instructed students well. I know that when Im watching a student spar at grading and the student is really good you will hear the seniors say "wow, whose student is that?". In my opinion it keeps the instructors honest, because a lot of people rate an instructor by the quality of their students. If an instructor is lazy and puts little effort into their students it will show, just as good instructors tend to have skilled students.
 

msmitht

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As a student of gracie barra I consider myself a student of carlos gracie jr. When I teach bjj I have jr's in my class. When I take classes it is with my professor(s). It is all very informal yet structured. You know who is senior and respect them. When a student does well it is the team that gets the win, not an individual instructor.
I do run a tkd school and what I said before is true, I just wanted to give a different view on the subject.
 

Bruno@MT

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I find it fascinating this aspect about martial arts that students are property and instructors have priority rights between one another. I am not sure where instructors priority rights comes from, why it happens or it exists. It makes me uncomfortable and seems unnecessary. An illusionary sense of power over others I don't understand. Shouldn't the students make that call of which instructor they prefer?

They should. And they do. But if you want to say 'XYZ' is my sensei (or whatever the appropriate name is in Korean), then that should be the person you train with.

The student - teacher relationship implies that the student acknowledges the superiority of the teacher in that art (otherwise he wouldn't be teaching the student) and thus also acknowledges that the student should obey the teacher in matters of training, grading, etc. It is not a matter of 'ownership' as you put it, but of authority in training matters.

It's like taking the bus to get somewhere. The bus driver makes the calls about where to stop or which route to follow. Your choices are limited to staying on the bus or getting off. And as long as you are on the bus, you are the bus driver's passenger.
 

miguksaram

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We are looking at the positive side of things here. What if the student was very unruly or showed poor sportsmanship or, just sucked no matter how hard you try to teach him? This reflects badly on the school but in particular to the owner of the school. No one ever says "Yeah he is GM John Doe's student, but it is really Jeremy who is his teacher." The owner of the school may get a lot of the glory but he gets all of the criticism for bad things as well.

When you teach a class in a school that is not yours, do you teach whatever you want, how you want? Or do you teach the owner's curriculum how he wants it taught?
 

terryl965

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We are looking at the positive side of things here. What if the student was very unruly or showed poor sportsmanship or, just sucked no matter how hard you try to teach him? This reflects badly on the school but in particular to the owner of the school. No one ever says "Yeah he is GM John Doe's student, but it is really Jeremy who is his teacher." The owner of the school may get a lot of the glory but he gets all of the criticism for bad things as well.

When you teach a class in a school that is not yours, do you teach whatever you want, how you want? Or do you teach the owner's curriculum how he wants it taught?

I can only speak for me, my BB's only teach my curriculum, as far as thos ethat do not flurrish they are my students as well. No matter if they aree great, good or bad they all belong to me and I am proud of each and everyone of them. They each bring something to the table and all of them show what TKD is about the journey, the passion and the total package.
 

andyjeffries

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When you teach a class in a school that is not yours, do you teach whatever you want, how you want? Or do you teach the owner's curriculum how he wants it taught?

In previous discussions this point hasn't come and I think it's a very good one. If you have control over what you teach then they are definitely your students. If "the buck stops here" and no-one can overrule you, then they're yours.

Of course, this doesn't cover franchised dojangs but we don't really have any over here in the UK (or do we, anyone??).

A good point that came up previously was "would the student describe you as his teacher" or would he just refer to you as "one of the black belts", "some guy that helps me", etc. That's another key factor. If you are the top dog and decide what they learn and what they don't, then I don't think there'd be any hesitation in them referring to you as their teacher.
 

StudentCarl

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We are looking at the positive side of things here. What if the student was very unruly or showed poor sportsmanship or, just sucked no matter how hard you try to teach him? This reflects badly on the school but in particular to the owner of the school. No one ever says "Yeah he is GM John Doe's student, but it is really Jeremy who is his teacher." The owner of the school may get a lot of the glory but he gets all of the criticism for bad things as well.

When you teach a class in a school that is not yours, do you teach whatever you want, how you want? Or do you teach the owner's curriculum how he wants it taught?

The price of being in charge is that the buck stops with you--that's life and the unique experience of being the master/owner. We all have contact with students whose effort and/or self-control is lacking--that's why they need to be students. The master of the school is rightly the one who decides who should represent his name. However, the loyal subordinate takes responsibility for his part as well as committing himself to the good of the school. It takes more than just the master to make a good school. What really makes a good school is when the master does not have to carry the load on his shoulders alone--his subordinates feel the kind of ownership and responsibility that they understand the master's intent and act independently to fulfill it. If you are a guest, you teach what you have agreed with the master that you will teach. It may or may not be the owner's curriculum.
 

miguksaram

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I can only speak for me, my BB's only teach my curriculum, as far as thos ethat do not flurrish they are my students as well. No matter if they aree great, good or bad they all belong to me and I am proud of each and everyone of them. They each bring something to the table and all of them show what TKD is about the journey, the passion and the total package.

Agreed. At Sharkey's Karate I teach Sensei Sharkey's curriculum. After teaching martial arts going on 25+ years I still seek his advice on how he likes to teach things. Yes, I throw in my "flavor" into the mix but ultimately it his lessons and his teachings that I passing on to the under belts. This is why I say that they should always refer to him as the instructor whenever filling out tournament registrations. (Just as a side note, Sensei Sharkey doesn't care who they put down as instructor. He is not one to be anal over these formalities and laughs at me for being hard nosed about it).
 

miguksaram

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A good point that came up previously was "would the student describe you as his teacher" or would he just refer to you as "one of the black belts", "some guy that helps me", etc. That's another key factor. If you are the top dog and decide what they learn and what they don't, then I don't think there'd be any hesitation in them referring to you as their teacher.

It is interesting but at events or gatherings, students refer to the black belts as Sensei Jeremy or Sensei Micah or Sensei (first name here). However when it comes to Sensei Sharkey they all just refer to him as Sensei. None of them have ever referred to us a "one of the black belts".
 

StudentCarl

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It is interesting but at events or gatherings, students refer to the black belts as Sensei Jeremy or Sensei Micah or Sensei (first name here). However when it comes to Sensei Sharkey they all just refer to him as Sensei. None of them have ever referred to us a "one of the black belts".

This comment and the one above where you will only accept students listing him as master tell me what you and the students think of your master.
 

miguksaram

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This comment and the one above where you will only accept students listing him as master tell me what you and the students think of your master.
Yes, all the students and parents like him. He is a very blunt person and you will always know where he stands on issues and will never sugar coat anything to the students. I admire that about him.

Actually no one at the school EVER refers to him as Master. ha.ha.ha He hates that. We actually tease him calling him Master Sensei Hanshi Sharkey...which he returns punches us in the arm.ha.ha.ha..

He is just a humble guy who enjoys teaching.
 

chrispillertkd

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Interesting topic

The topic of whether or not you have "your own students" at a school that doesn't belong to you has never really made much sense to me. When I taught at my own school, I had my own students. Before that I taught at my instructors' school, but I taught their students. They were my fellow students but there were plenty of times that I taught class or taught groups of students within a certain class session. In fact, teaching - or at least assisting - is a requirement for being promoted to senior ranks at my instructors' school. I still teach when I visit my instructors' school if they ask me to do so. But I wouldn never consider myself to be the instructor of my teachers' students.

I've also been taught by students of my instructors who outrank me at times. But I certainly don't consider them my instructors.

I can safely say that none of the students in my instructors' school considers anyone but them to be their instructors. The reason for this is because they are there at the school for every class, all the time, and they teach eleven classes a week. What's more, they are on the floor teaching every class. Heck, I've seen my Master Instructor on many occasions take new white belts their first night and show them how to make a fist, how to punch, how to tie their belt, etc. The only time they miss is when they go out of town to attend a seminar or training for their own instruction, have a major health problem (such as recovering from a recent surgery for one of them), or a family vacation (which is like once every three years).

I can't imagine training at a school where the head instructor isn't there enough to instill a feeling in every student that he is their instructor. If I was ever in that situation I would have to reconsider training at that school, to be honest.

TCA use a title system where people are referred to by familial titles. When I was training in Praying Mantis I was my sifu's student even if my si-hing happened to teach me something. I never would have referred to him as "sifu." Same thing with my sifu's father. He was my si-gung, even though he taught me on several occasions. I suppose it's akin to using sa-hyung to refer to someone who is your senior (or sa-je for someone who is your junior), as opposed to your sabum. Sunbae and Hubae can, of course, be used but IIRC sa-hyung and sa-je are specifically for people in your same lineage under the same sabum.

Pax,

Chris
 

chrispillertkd

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It is interesting but at events or gatherings, students refer to the black belts as Sensei Jeremy or Sensei Micah or Sensei (first name here). However when it comes to Sensei Sharkey they all just refer to him as Sensei. None of them have ever referred to us a "one of the black belts".

That is interesting.

Do the students know the meaning of the word "sensei"?

Pax,

Chris
 

terryl965

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I have never understood how something can be ours if you are not the head instructor of said school. Potocol is way off base now a days that it is not funny. All the years I trained at my instructor school I never once refered to any students as mine, it was always the schools.
 

StudentCarl

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I have never understood how something can be ours if you are not the head instructor of said school. Potocol is way off base now a days that it is not funny. All the years I trained at my instructor school I never once refered to any students as mine, it was always the schools.

Terry, I don't think it's protocol. I think it's inexact use of language. None of the students I help are my students, but I feel a responsibility to them as a senior student and dad-aged athlete (most of them are young kids). When they succeed and I contributed to it in a measurable way, I feel pride. Put it back in a family model: it's like my little brother or my little sister, as opposed to my child. I don't think this is a tug-of-war where students are either yours or mine. If you're the master, of course they're yours. But if I'm an assistant, shouldn't I be making a difference? I have never claimed a student as mine, but when a kid who I've worked with extensively finally gets his form together and passes his test, you bet I feel a little mine-ness. I also feel proud to be part of a school team (led by my master) who helps people grow. If I don't have some hunger for that, why on earth would I ever go on to own a school? (Oh yeah...the giant income)
 
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So far this is what I am perceiving from many.
  1. If you teach at a school you are not an instructor nor a teacher but just a Jr. or helper. Even though your title is Instructor and that is what you are called, and you get paid as a staff member to teach classes and instruct students.
  2. You don't have any student's until you are the Master or owner of your own school. No matter if you teach every class and even have a 4th Dan ranking of Master. As long as the school is owned by a Master of equal or greater rank.
  3. Students always only have one Master (the one they first started with) even if they go to another school even a longer time and learn more from that other school. So my current Master is not my true Master and I am not his student.
This is interesting indeed. So Every Master Instructor will have quite a few students that are being taught by him that are not his or her students. Becaus I am sure that there are many people (can't say student, because I don't even know what that means anymore) in every dojang/dojo that started with someone other than their current Master.

The whole concept Seems kind of egotisticle to me. If I walk into any school as a white belt and see 5 black belts that teach I 5 teachers of mine that I need to learn from. Yes I know who the Master is and he is the head teacher but the others to me are also my teachers.

It seems kind of deemening arrogant to tell me to teach something on a daily basis and then turn around and tell me no you did not teach them anything you just help out as were being a good student.

Teach is directly transfering knwoledge to someone that did not have that knowledge.

Helping out would be holding a bag or targets for someone to practice what someone else taught them.

The two are not the same. When I am asked to teach someone something I am told just that.

{Master to Instructor} Instructor (fill in name), help me teach the new student their first form. Once you are done let me know if he is ready for my classes.

{Instructor} Yes Sir!

{Instructor to New Student}OK do you know your form?

{New Student} No.

{Instructor} Well do it and I'll help you.

{New Student} But I don't know it.

{Instructor} Well I'm here to help you so do your form please.

{New Student} But I don't even know what it looks like?

{Instructor} Why?

{New Student} Because you did not teach it to me.

{Instructor} Oh I can't do that.

{New Student} Why?

{Instructor} Because I don't teach.

{New Student} So how can you help me.

{Instructor} Well once you do your form I can let you know what you did wrong.

{New Student} So you know the form?

{Instructor} Yes

{New Student} Then just show it to me.

{Instructor} I can't

{New Student} Why?

{Instructor} Because I don't teach.

{New Student} Then how can you help me?

{Instructor} Good question.

{New Student} Well then show me.

{Instructor} Only if you close your eyes.

{New Student} Then I wont see what the moves are.

{Instructor} Correct.

{New Student} But I need to see them so I can learn it.

{Instructor} You will learn it.

{New Student} When?

{Instructor} When the Master teaches it to you.

{New Student} But I don't go to his classes yet.

{Instructor} But you will.

{New Student} When?

{Instructor} When you learn this form.

{New Student} But you wont teach me.

{Instructor} Because I can't.

{New Student} Why?

{Instructor} Because I am not a teacher.

{New Student} But you are the instructor.

{Instructor} No I am the helper or Jr., they just call me the instructor.

{New Student} OK I quit, I'll just go somewhere where they have instructors that teach.

{Master to Instructor} Where's the new student?

{Instructor} He quit.

{Master} Why?

{Instructor} Couldn't learn.

{Master} What's wrong with todays people. No one wants to learn Martial Arts anymore. I remember when I was an instructor I had so many students to teach.


That just made me laugh. Maybe I'll send this in to Saturday Night Live as a skit suggestion. Ha ha ha.... :rofl:

Don't get me wrong. I do understand that the head guy is the head guy but he has people under him that help him just like the Pres of a company is the main guy. But the people under him have workers just as those workers under may have workers under them.

Just becasue an instructor calls someone his student does not mean that the student is not also a student of the school and the Master. Yes someone my be a Jr. to the Master and Sr. to others but if that Sr. is responcible for teaching that Jr. then for the Sr. to say he is a student that I teach is no different than saying he is one of my students. Yes he is ultimately the Master student as would be said Sr. No one is trying to disrespect the Master with the statement it is simply something said to communicate that you teach said student on a regular basis.
 
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chrispillertkd

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If you teach at a school you are not an instructor nor a teacher but just a Jr. or helper. Even though your title is Instructor and that is what you are called, and you get paid as a staff member to teach classes and instruct students.
Get paid to teach? Interesting. Helping out in class is just part of being a senior student at our school.

You don't have any student's until you are the Master or owner of your own school. No matter if you teach every class and even have a 4th Dan ranking of Master. As long as the school is owned by a Master of equal or greater rank.

If you teach every class and the school instructor doesn't it's time to move on because you might not be those students' instructor but neither is he. It would be different if you were teaching at a school of your own that was under your instructor but the way you've described things here makes me get a very bad image of the work ethic of the school owner (and from what I recall of you saying about your own instructor that certainly doesn't seem to be the case in your situation).

Students always only have one Master (the one they first started with) even if they go to another school even a longer time and learn more from that other school. So my current Master is not my true Master and I am not his student.

I've never heard this, nor do I recall seeing it in this thread. I know several people in Taekwon-Do who have changed their instructors over the years (due to moving, personality conflicts, etc.) and they consider the person they are training under at the time to be their instructor. They will certainly recognize former instructors, but the person they train under currently that is their instructor.

It seems kind of deemening arrogant to tell me to teach something on a daily basis and then turn around and tell me no you did not teach them anything you just help out as were being a good student.

I agree with you to a certain extent. But there is a difference, in my mind, between teaching someone something and being their teacher. It's something like having a professor in college who has a TA run a recitation. But even this analogy limps because the TA isn't a student of the professor at times whereas the black belt who is teaching should definitely be getting in line on a daily basis and training under the head instructor.

If someone is ever in a situation where they are teaching a regular class for the school owner and the owner never shows to class or only does so very rarely it's time to find a new school. The head instructor should be at, if not every class, the vast majority of them.

Don't get me wrong. I do understand that the head guy is the head guy but he has people under him that help him just like the Pres of a company is the main guy. But the people under him have workers just as those workers under may have workers under them.

Just becasue an instructor calls someone his student does not mean that the student is not also a student of the school and the Master. Yes someone my be a Jr. to the Master and Sr. to others but if that Sr. is responcible for teaching that Jr. then for the Sr. to say he is a student that I teach is no different than saying he is one of my students. Yes he is ultimately the Master student as would be said Sr. No one is trying to disrespect the Master with the statement it is simply something said to communicate that you teach said student on a regular basis.

The more I hear things like this the more I wonder if there are head instructors who aren't showing up to the classes that are being run in their school and, if so, why not? Really, it just seems odd to me.

Pax,

Chris
 

terryl965

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Terry, I don't think it's protocol. I think it's inexact use of language. None of the students I help are my students, but I feel a responsibility to them as a senior student and dad-aged athlete (most of them are young kids). When they succeed and I contributed to it in a measurable way, I feel pride. Put it back in a family model: it's like my little brother or my little sister, as opposed to my child. I don't think this is a tug-of-war where students are either yours or mine. If you're the master, of course they're yours. But if I'm an assistant, shouldn't I be making a difference? I have never claimed a student as mine, but when a kid who I've worked with extensively finally gets his form together and passes his test, you bet I feel a little mine-ness. I also feel proud to be part of a school team (led by my master) who helps people grow. If I don't have some hunger for that, why on earth would I ever go on to own a school? (Oh yeah...the giant income)


Pride Joy and a feeling of helping someone grow into there own is normal. I had an instructor who believed every student he ever worked with was his. He was the man and tried to tell everybody how if not for him they would have failed, needless to say he is no longer with me. I believe the school is a family as a whole but like any family there is only one top dog per family.:asian:
 
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Get paid to teach? Interesting. Helping out in class is just part of being a senior student at our school.



If you teach every class and the school instructor doesn't it's time to move on because you might not be those students' instructor but neither is he. It would be different if you were teaching at a school of your own that was under your instructor but the way you've described things here makes me get a very bad image of the work ethic of the school owner (and from what I recall of you saying about your own instructor that certainly doesn't seem to be the case in your situation).



I've never heard this, nor do I recall seeing it in this thread. I know several people in Taekwon-Do who have changed their instructors over the years (due to moving, personality conflicts, etc.) and they consider the person they are training under at the time to be their instructor. They will certainly recognize former instructors, but the person they train under currently that is their instructor.



I agree with you to a certain extent. But there is a difference, in my mind, between teaching someone something and being their teacher. It's something like having a professor in college who has a TA run a recitation. But even this analogy limps because the TA isn't a student of the professor at times whereas the black belt who is teaching should definitely be getting in line on a daily basis and training under the head instructor.

If someone is ever in a situation where they are teaching a regular class for the school owner and the owner never shows to class or only does so very rarely it's time to find a new school. The head instructor should be at, if not every class, the vast majority of them.



The more I hear things like this the more I wonder if there are head instructors who aren't showing up to the classes that are being run in their school and, if so, why not? Really, it just seems odd to me.

Pax,

Chris
My statement are perceptions with no reflection off myself or my school. Just perceptions based on situations that I do know exist.
 
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