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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1250

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:53 am    Post subject: Instructor credibility Reply with quote

Different people have different ideas about what makes someone a good instructor. What trait or quality makes someone credible as a martial arts instructor besides having a school or dojo?

Is it age? Rank? Fighting , combat or competion record? Reputation or recognition? What are prospective students more likely to consider?
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 5655
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question Spartacus!

I suppose it depends on what we mean by "good"?

To me a good instructor is someone who knows their stuff and can communicate it in a way that their students understand and can reproduce.

I always like to look at their students to measure quality. If the students are good, then the teacher is good.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 1981
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me a Good Instructor is where one is able to teach in a way that covers different learning styles of his or her students. Along with having the respect of their students, and able to respect their students.

Age and Rank for me does not equal being a good teacher. Because there are some instructors that i know that aren't very good instructors and they are of all different ages and ranks.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1250

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can be difficult to think from a prospective student's point of view especially if it has been a long time since one was in that position. The benchmark for reference in the original question was something very general.

The one thing about a potential instructor that would get people to say to themselves " this is someone who knows what they're doing, and who can be trusted to teach martial arts"
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 1368
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really think think it's a combination of factors. The way the instructor carries him/herself is very critical. An instructor who's arrogant, sarcastic, and/or very matter of fact isn't the type I look for. A quiet dignity is preferable to me. Arrogance is usually a facade to hide insecurity IMO. If you tell me you're the best teacher there is, teaching the best style there is, etc., I know you're not. Saying "this is what we do and how we do it" shows confidence.

The teacher doesn't have to be technically gifted by any means. He/she needs to watch the students and be able to pick apart the flaws, and correct them in a way the students can understand and actually do. How many hall of fame players became hall of fame coaches? None that I know of.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12352
Location: Houston, TX and/or Van Nuys, CA
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having the ability to have themselves understood by not only the chosen few, but by all students, all of the time!! That, to me, is essential for one to control the floor, if one can't control the floor, there's no since in unlocking the front door in the first place.

I'll, for grins and giggles, call this, controlling the floor, first base; one has to get on first base before one can even attempt to reach the remaining three bases successfully.

Second base is listening skills, and without listen skills, how is one too be that instructor of conveyance?? Questions are abound with any student of the MA, this is understood, albeit, congenial answers must be readily available at the drop of a hat, and in that, not just any answer; students are quizzical by nature, and adult students are even more so...any bluff will deride any credibility faster than a speeding bullet.

Third base is tangible understandings, and without tangible understandings, how's one going to satisfy the necessary infrastructure of operating a successful school of the MA?!? I've not ever visited a school of the MA where 'it' can tend for itself, and in that, both the instructor and the building are quite dependent upon one another.

Home plate can be the most important, yet most difficult to achieve...communication skills!! To say what you mean, and mean what you say, and to be taken serious, not just some of the time, but at all times, while being honest with oneself first, then with others.

Credibility is a fragile thing, so much so that if all of ones bases aren't covered, then ones credibility is thrown out with the bath water; so easy to lose, but so difficult to maintain.

Want to lose credibility faster than one can ever imagine, then lie to anyone!! Age, rank, and whatever else one might hold valuable, are quite insouciance, because if one lacks both the fortitude as well as integrity, and it's found out to be so, than that instructor doesn't deserve to cast a shadow over credibility; now or ever!!



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1250

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe one of the things many will agree with is an instructors personality. This is almost immediately apparent within minutes of meeting or a conversation. As mentioned by Sensei8, honesty is very important to as credibility factor.

Someone who is completely honest and matter-of-fact about what they can and cannot do or teach is more likely to be trusted than one who brags, flaunts or exaggerates their background.
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reddragonkaratecrewe
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 6
Location: Crewe, UK
Styles: shotokan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just come from a club that in my (and most students) had a poor instructor. Instructor has over 40+ years karate (although I think first dan may have been in a different style, not shotokan). Anyway, out of my last 90 minute session with him I estimate we trained for 20, the rest was standing there listening to him bad mouth other clubs, instructors and about his you tube watching.

Myself and 3 dan's didnt agree on his overriding of grading results (we were independent so we graded students), when we voiced our concern we were told, "if you dont like it leave"... so we did. Myself, 2 other Dan's and a 4th Kyu, we decided to set up our own club and within 2 weeks a lot of the other students from the old club asked if they could join us as they too were tired of his poor teaching, personal attacks (telling an adult he's fat in front of the whole class and thats why he cant kick), pulling a female student with degrading hip issues to the front to demonstrate a kick that she is unable to do, and knowing she couldnt and forced her into tears in front of the class.

2 months on and his class is almost none existent and yet we have not approached any student, they approached us, left a while ago or was going to leave. He is now bad mouthing us on social media etc, which we're not rising to, but he hasnt got the guts to ask why his class all left, it was because of him and his teaching.

Since we left parents have looked at his personal facebook page and are shocked at his racist posts etc.

I and my fellow students want to learn and enjoy karate, and thats what we can now do, no more hating lessons and being made to feel tiny when we couldnt make a lesson.

I'm sure there are other clubs our there who feel the same, and my advice is , do it, we feel liberated.
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mazzybear
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 541
Location: Scotland.
Styles: Wado Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, a good instructor is someone who has the ability to break something down in a number of different ways according to any particular student's needs. Someone who has the patience to walk you through something they've walked you through a number of times, until you have a better understanding of what they're trying to tell you. Someone who sees when you are struggling with the whole MA journey and pulls you aside to tell you "you can do this, take your time and you'll get there". Someone who carries all his students dreams of progression on their shoulders and does their upmost to make those dreams a reality. Someone who can laugh at themselves and encourages everyone to do the same. And above all someone who has the respect of the students without demanding it through an over inflated ego.




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Luther unleashed
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 603
Location: Phoenix
Styles: A few!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it depends on what the person is looking for but obviously they should have some type of credentials and background but good is in the eye of the beholder.

Good at what? Good at teaching? Good at performing the technics themselves? I think a little bit of everything but if you are looking for Hollidge and an instructor can effectively give you that knowledge and I think that makes them pretty good.

I always cringe a little bit when people say " I judge the instructor by how the students look". I have run programs at several locations outside of my main location at the rec center and now I am only at the rec center. Something that myself and my family have noticed for a long time, practically since we open the doors is that my students at that location tend to have a more difficult time looking crisp. I never ever teach any differently no matter where I'm at, when I was doing the afterschool program I was the exact same teacher or when I ran my dojo I was the exact same teacher, I have never been able to affectively say why my students at that one location have always fall and watch below any other location I have taught but it makes me cringe when somebody says they will judge me based on how my students look. I have never been able to affectively say why my students at that one location have always fall and watch below any other location I have taught but it makes me cringe when somebody says they will judge me based on how my students look

To me even a black belt only means you are very proficient in the basics and ready to move on to more in-depth training yet the curriculum itself does not demand that everybody look like Bruce lee, and if martial arts is going to be able to reach everybody in all walks of life than the standard must simply be for them to execute techniques and have the knowledge weather pretty or not, because certainly we are not only awarding rank to the gifted or the talented are we?

By the way I took a vacation mentally to do some soul-searching and refresh my mind, my first post in a while glad to be back.
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