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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 337
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:54 pm    Post subject: Integrity -How important is it as an instructor? Reply with quote

Hypothetical situation;
If you found out that a student of yours had lied about their past, positions, titles and rank to others outside of your school what would you do?
Make matters worse, make them an instructor that others in the organization look up. Now imagine that you had taken this person under your wing and fostered them for years, petitioned for their promotions and put yourself on the line because you believed in them.
I have always been taught that there are certain tenants "laws if you will" that an instructor must abide by and emulate, one would be integrity.
Is this important in your art? Do you hold instructors to a higher standard? Do you hold yourself to this same standard?
What would you do if you found out someone close to you was portraying themselves to be more than what they are to others outside of your organization?
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Spartacus Maximus
Member of the Month
Member of the Month

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1239

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trust and integrity are of the utmost importance of one truly values what one has been taught and if one really cares about the time, dedication and effort it took for someone to pass on skills.

If an instructor spend 10, 15 or 20 years teaching someone and then the student does something dishonourable or fails to acknowledge the instructor's dedication, it is a very disrespectful and unethical thing to do.
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Lupin1
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1440
Location: NH USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk to him. Figure out why he's doing that. Have a conversation about integrity (without being preachy) and let him know you're hurt by his actions.

If he's invested into you and the dojo, he'll probably be repentant and it'll stop. Then he can start earning your trust back.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12235
Location: Houston, TX and/or Van Nuys, CA
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great topic, MatsuShinshii; thanks for starting it.

Integrity is of a paramount concern!! Without integrity, nothing of any value can't, and shouldn't, survive on its own merits. Two things I won't tolerate...

Thieves and liars!! Have no use for them!! Don't want those types of individuals around my family and me!! No excuse, no matter how magnanimous it might be, will ever suffice for violating the sanctity of integrity!!


Quote:
Is this important in your art?

Here are a few examples...

Our Soke, in the earliest days of our Hombu, had expelled several of his instructors, who ran their own dojo's under the umbrella of the SKKA; the governing body that he founded, for violating his trust, in which, the sanctity of integrity was violated. These liars, for one, were conducting testing cycles without the explicit permission of the Hombu, of which, that permission would've never been granted in the first place, and they were holding their testing cycles on a weekly basis. And for two, and this is the worse violation across many areas, they were printing out copies of Shindokan/SKKA certificates as well as Inkans; ones not worse than the other!!

Our Hombu suspended, as well as striped one rank from one of my most senior student. He repeatedly lied to the Hombu for years about a criminal conviction that he had. All instructors, no matter their rank, are asked on their application as well as on their yearly renewals, about any criminal convictions. So, my student, on one of his instructor renewal forms, checked the box that he had a criminal conviction. This came to the attention of our Soke; he wasn't pleased at all. Not about the crime and/or the conviction, but more for not coming forth with the truth at the onslaught of it all. What was his crime? Possession of a nunchaku, which is a misdemeanor in California, was his criminal conviction. While the crime was alarming for Soke, it was that he lied. That lying was, to our Soke, and for any of his instructors, quite unforgivable. If one will lie about anything, even the most smallest of one, than how can trust be earned with things that are much more severe and/or sensitive of nature?!?!

Quote:
Do you hold instructors to a higher standard?

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I am my Soke and Dai-Soke's student. Therefore, how they held others, especially those most trusted with so much, I do hold all instructors, not just mine, at a higher standard. A standard that's birthed in and from the very meaning of integrity. I've no ambiguity whatsoever concerning integrity in all things!!

Quote:
Do you hold yourself to this same standard?

Without reservations, and without any ambiguity, even more so!! How can I bear the torch of integrity, and expect those directly in my supervision, no matter their status, if my standards concerning integrity and the like aren't much more higher. If I'm to be that positive role model, than I must hold myself to an even higher standard!!

Quote:
What would you do if you found out someone close to you was portraying themselves to be more than what they are to others outside of your organization?

They'd possibly face expulsion!! There's no gray areas; only black and white exists in the sanctity of integrity!! A serious resolve is the only punishment, so as to prevent any other violations of this nature, or those which might be more severe!!




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Alan Armstrong
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 780


PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Integrity and role model go hand in hand. Cannot have one without the other.

If a person's integrity is seriously wrong with not much hope in showing any redemption, then you continue to participate with that person, you will be lowering your own integrity.

Martial arts and integrity go hand on hand. Cannot have one without the other without causing problems to those that don't deserve it.

Martial artists without integrity will try to take advantage and corrupt those that do.

As much of ma training is transferred bad attitudes lacking integrity can also be unnoticeably be transferred.

There are ma instructors that don't have integrity and the students will ultimately suffer.

Lack of integrity might not be as easy to spot because of the being cruel to be kind stance some instructors adopt. Personally I believe being cruel to be kind is not an excuse to be cruel.

The 'Karate Kid' movies try to get the (lack of integrity of students and teachers) message across to potential ma students and teachers.
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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 337
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate the comments and information.

So to bring another hypothetical into the arena, would you call him out directly or report the conduct to your organizations board?

This is actually not a hypothetical situation but an actual situation.
I am a bit torn. For one I know this man very well, although he claims to only know me in passing years back and instead claims to be a direct student of Shinshii when publicly speaking to others outside of the organization.
He started directly under me and until recently was still under my tutelage. I have gone to bat for him too many times to count and always thought him to be an honest and just individual. His transgression's towards me can be over looked and forgiven. However the fact that he has portrayed himself to be a higher rank and to have been granted certain teaching licenses and titles are very hard to overlook. What I am having trouble overlooking is the fact that this has been advertised over the net to who knows how many martial artists and different organizations, essentially casting a dishonest cloud over our organization.
The biggest issue is that he is slotted to take a position on our instructors board, something he has been striving for for at least a decade and for which I no longer feel that he deserves based on his actions. He is also up for rank promotion, a rank which he claims to be at present and for a Renshi teaching license that he claims to already possess.
I hate to say this but I am really on the fence for something I wouldn't think twice about dealing with if it were someone else.
On one hand he is my most senior student, a huge mark on me for misjudging his character, and someone I have personally vouched for on all too many occasions. On the other hand I can not look past his actions and in good conscience allow him to be voted into a position without informing my fellow board members.
Would you call him out on-line (I am no longer in touch with this student, long story) and give him the chance to do the right think and report himself or would you go straight to the board and report his indiscretions?
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 1962
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity -How important is it as an instructor? Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Hypothetical situation;
If you found out that a student of yours had lied about their past, positions, titles and rank to others outside of your school what would you do?
Make matters worse, make them an instructor that others in the organization look up. Now imagine that you had taken this person under your wing and fostered them for years, petitioned for their promotions and put yourself on the line because you believed in them.
I have always been taught that there are certain tenants "laws if you will" that an instructor must abide by and emulate, one would be integrity.
Is this important in your art? Do you hold instructors to a higher standard? Do you hold yourself to this same standard?
What would you do if you found out someone close to you was portraying themselves to be more than what they are to others outside of your organization?



Quote:
If you found out that a student of yours had lied about their past, positions, titles and rank to others outside of your school what would you do?


IMHO if I found out a student of mine lied about their rank, title or position I feel like I would remove their rank and have them recommence from white belt.

If their lies were severe enough, i'd probably expel them from the club.


Quote:
Make matters worse, make them an instructor that others in the organization look up. Now imagine that you had taken this person under your wing and fostered them for years, petitioned for their promotions and put yourself on the line because you believed in them.


That is honestly difficult in my eyes, as you would put your reputation on the line every single time. Because if they got caught out, the higher ups would look at you and reconsider every person you've nominated for promotion or to teach.


Quote:
I have always been taught that there are certain tenants "laws if you will" that an instructor must abide by and emulate, one would be integrity.
Is this important in your art? Do you hold instructors to a higher standard? Do you hold yourself to this same standard?


Personally I do hold Integrity as one of the most important virtues to have as an Instructor and as a Student. I have already had one instructor come to me seeking employment as an instructor (Outside of my club), but refused to supply a Reference from their old school and refused to provide their grading certificates; even though they claimed to have been a 4th Dan Black Belt.

If I found out that an Instructor lacked integrity, I wouldn't ask them to teach again.
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ninjanurse
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 6153
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: TKD;Shotokan;JuJitsu;Tai Ji

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Instructors should be held to the standards that you teach. I have personally dealt with such a situation-a lapse in integrity of one of my instructors-and I asked him to leave while he got his life together. Sadlyhis actions caught up with him but thankfully he was not associated with me or my dojo anymore so I escaped any collateral damage.

If you dont want to address him personally take it to the board for them to deal with as they see fit.


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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12235
Location: Houston, TX and/or Van Nuys, CA
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had something like you're OP speaks towards, I, as the Kaicho of the SKKA would've investigated it myself to see if what I'm being told bears any truth. If, after my investigation, and this would've included speaking with all concerned parties, I've determined that the facts speak for themselves, I would've expelled him without reservations and/or ambiguity.

If, after my investigation proves that what I've been told isn't the truth, then those that have brought this to my attention would've been expelled forthwith and without any reservations and/or ambiguity.

The sanctity of integrity must be upheld at all times without any reservations and/or ambiguity. If not, then the integrity of that governing body is drastically flawed, and that governing body can't be trusted at all!!

Each instructor, each CI, each student, each employee, each parent/guardian, each person that comes in contact with the SKKA, and the governing body itself, must be held to the highest standard, especially when it comes to integrity!! Violating that sanctity means dealing out an unmerciful resolve!!

Sounds unforgiving of me? Sounds unreasonable of me? I wouldn't care what it sounds like because, as Kaicho of the SKKA, I've not the time or inclination to be concerned with opinions, especially when it's about the sanctity of integrity, and more importantly, my primary responsibilities are for our entire Student Body, first and foremost, and for the SKKA!! Tough decisions have to be made from time to time, and a lot of the time, not everyone will agree with what I've decided, no matter whom they are, but if I can't, or I'm not willing to make those tough decisions, then the SKKA will find someone who will, as well as being consistent with those tough decisions. Oftentimes, it can be quite lonely at the top, and for good reasons. I accept that which is required of me!!

Whomever violates the sanctity of integrity doesn't care about anyone else, but only themselves!!


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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 337
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a few days to mull over this and decide what to do and how to address this.
I did handle this personally and decided to confront him about this and ask for an explanation and reason.
I first asked our chairman for his contact info and spoke with him personally and notified him of what I had personally found and read with my own eyes.
I then gave him a choice; to confront the board with this information and accept what ever they deemed as a fitting ruling or I would personally deal with the matter. I explained that I had already spoken with our chairman of the board and informed him of what I had found and that someone (I did not give him the name at that time) would either call him to confess these indiscretions or he would be receiving a another call from me. I told him he had two days in which to call and after that two days was up I would be following up to confirm that he had indeed called the chairman.
I also explained to him that this would go a lot easier if he were to contact the board personally and admit and atone for is transgressions rather than this coming from me.
I asked him several times why he would portray himself out to be something he is not and explained that he has risen through the ranks faster than I did and he should be proud of his accomplishments. I tried very hard to be his mentor but his attitude caused me to give him the ultimatum of two days. I regret that now and thought I could have handled this better.
I spoke with the chairman and he had not heard from this man. I explained what had transpired and sent him the posts from this forum and two others.
I was told to re-contact him and inform him that he would not be allowed to test for Rokudan, would not be receiving his Renshi teaching certification and would not be joining the ranks of the board until this matter came before the board of instructors for review. Further more he would have to meet with the board on this appointed date to answer for these indiscretions at which time they would decide whether he would remain within the organization or be asked to leave.
For me this was not an easy thing to do. Confronting him with what I felt violated our tenants was easy. Knowing that this man, my oldest and most trusted student, had dishonored both himself and our art was not something I ever anticipated dealing with. I also did not relish the fact that I would be the person to dash his dreams of actually attaining the rank, license and position he had worked so hard for.
Unfortunately some of you know this individual as he has posted here in the past. And it seems that many respected him and his knowledge which makes this an even crappier situation. If I had not went looking for him and to look to see what wisdom and advice he had given this would not have been an issue. Having said that the record needed to be straightened out and the unfortunate misinformation needed to be debunked since this reflects on not just him but on our entire organization.
I gave this man every opportunity to deal with this on his own terms but he decided to ignore it rather than deal with it head on. My second phone call did not go well and I could tell that he felt like the board would not rule favorably. He told me that instead of calling the board he called another organization and asked to join their group. Further more he said that he would be calling the board to tell them of his decision to leave. He said he would either join another organization or start his own.
I wish him luck and he did not wish the same for me.
I know that this is not something to take lightly but I wonder if I may of approached this in a different fashion if the outcome might have been different. Of course I know this was a choice he made but I wonder if by confronting him personally, instead of having the board confront him, if I caused him to feel like he had (to use the Japanese expression) lost face being that he was my student.
Either way he is no longer accepting my or anyone else's calls and I have lost a long time student, the organization has lost yet another high ranked instructor (A very good instructor as far as knowledge and passing on the art goes) and the possible loss of his students to another organization.
Not my brightest hour.
Thanks for the advice although I may not have used it quite as well as it was intended. It certainly did not come out the way I had envisioned it. I thought that as with all things in life and the arts this would be a lesson for him and an example of what it means to be in a leadership position and why it is important to have integrity and honor. I blew that lesson out into left field.
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