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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12126
Location: Houston, TX and/or Van Nuys, CA
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that most here still think that the fault lies within the student, and NOT with the CI!! Why is that?? Yes, this subject is about students who just don't get "it", and this is a true concern, but the CI's are just as fallible as the students...even if we're only speaking about 1 student. Student(s) are the representative of the CI and of the style.

If you can find a student that just doesn't get it...still...then I'd start looking at the CI across the board. And if the student is at fault, then the CI must do what that CI was called upon to do...TEACH...never giving up on any student. Imagine if YOUR CI gave up on you...causes one to cringe...doesn't it?!?!



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 26552
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've taught thousands, and they've all caught on, and one doesn't, I don't know that its the CI. But, what a good instructor does is learn as much as he/she can about not only what to teach, but how to teach it in different ways.

Sometimes, with a particularly tricky student, it may behoove the instructor to talk the parents and close friends of the student to find out what they are interested in, what their other hobbies might be, and things like this. This could lead one to finding out the student learns well through watching videos or some such aspect. From there, the CI can adjust his approach to better help the student.
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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 272

Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
It seems that most here still think that the fault lies within the student, and NOT with the CI!! Why is that?? Yes, this subject is about students who just don't get "it", and this is a true concern, but the CI's are just as fallible as the students...even if we're only speaking about 1 student. Student(s) are the representative of the CI and of the style.

If you can find a student that just doesn't get it...still...then I'd start looking at the CI across the board. And if the student is at fault, then the CI must do what that CI was called upon to do...TEACH...never giving up on any student. Imagine if YOUR CI gave up on you...causes one to cringe...doesn't it?!?!




I don't know if I agree with your statement. Not all are cut out for MA's.

We all learn at different rates and have abilities or the lack there of. Some have a natural ability and natural body mechanics and others are quick learners. The exception is the student with two left feet or one that no matter how many times you show them or explain to them just can not physically do what is required.

I agree with you that it ultimately comes down to the instructor as we are the ones responsible with our students progress but what do you do with that one student that just doesn't get it and is getting surpassed by all of his pears? I have held private lessons with two such students over the years and put in the extra effort and no matter how I showed them or how I explained it, they just did not get it.

Some students learn visually, some audibly and some by both. If you have exhausted all learning methods is the instructor still to blame or is it time to have a heart to heart with the student or their parents about trying another activity?

For me and the two cases I had, I spoke with them. The one already knew what I was saying and had become increasingly frustrated but was happy that he could finally look for something else. The other is still with me and is still lagging behind those that started with him by 6 grades. I have not shown him the door because despite his inability to pick up the material like the rest of my students he works harder than 80% of them and continues to try. The moment he stops trying is when I will speak with him again.

I personally do not take this upon myself because I know I did and continue to do all that I can to help them and exhausted every teaching method in the book.

There are just some students that are not made for the arts. Just like I am not made for ball room dancing. Just ask my wife, she'll be happy to tell you.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12126
Location: Houston, TX and/or Van Nuys, CA
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's fine!!

Sometimes CI's have some serious personal issues that affect the Student Body, or the few, or the one, it does happen...I've seen it with my own eyes.

I agree, not everyone is cut out for the MA, and then, and still, the decision to leave the MA is up to the student, imho, and not me. I'll never give up on my students; that's not within me!!

"The needs of the few, or the one, out weigh the needs of the many" ~Spock of Star Trek



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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 272

Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
That's fine!!

Sometimes CI's have some serious personal issues that affect the Student Body, or the few, or the one, it does happen...I've seen it with my own eyes.

I agree, not everyone is cut out for the MA, and then, and still, the decision to leave the MA is up to the student, imho, and not me. I'll never give up on my students; that's not within me!!

"The needs of the few, or the one, out weigh the needs of the many" ~Spock of Star Trek




I guess I came off wrong or was taken wrong. I did not force any of my students to quit nor would I suggest it. I simply talked to both students about how they think they were progressing and listened to their responses. Both students knew the problems they were having. I simply posed the question of whether this was working out for them and if this is truly what they wanted to do. One came to the conclusion that it was not working for him and the other as I said is still with me to this day and is one of my oldest students. Definitely senior to 95% of my students in terms of years but definitely not in terms of grade. He has been with me for over twenty years and only graded to Shodan three years ago and barely passed by the skin of his teeth. He is not coordinated so most things come very hard to him and he does not pick them up in a normal rate of progression. Having said that he does not have the word quit in his vocabulary and I can honestly say I respect him greatly for this trait. The other thing I can say about him is that nothing seems to get him down. Students half his age pass him up each year and you never see him get down about it. He is the very definition of a Karateka. He doesn't concern himself with belts or what others are doing, just on his personal perfection.

Having said this I also can not hold up the rest of my students to meet the needs of one. This would not be fair to them.

I definitely did not give up on them. And even if I would have the student that is still with me would not have let me give up.

I look at it as the guy that stinks at basketball but is a phenom in wrestling. Or my personal challenges with some of the dances my wife wanted me to learn. I picked up an some but others I really never took a liking to and just didn't do well at it. Believe me, the teacher and my wife made this all too clear. But in the broad scheme of things it just wasn't for me and that is ok because I am good at other things that do fit me.

At least that is my philosophy.
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Alan Armstrong
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 713


PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a Chinese Kung Fu perspective; each student is like a blank piece of paper; just waiting to be imprinted upon.

Also each student is also like a water lily, where most just stay on the water level and not many rise above the water line, while others never ever manage to rise above the water line and live totally submerged never experiencing sunlight.

A short story about a Kung Fu student.

A young Chinese boy named Tai Gwe wanted to learn Kung Fu; however he lived in a very small obscure village.

His parents (with great difficulty) eventually made the boy's wishes come true, by signing him up with a Shaolin Kung Fu school.

The Shaolin monastery was very far from the village, so Tai would need to live and stay there for some time, as commuting on a daily basis would be impossible.

Tai was assigned to a Shaolin monk Kung Fu master; a legal contract was signed that he would obey without question.

Tai's master assigned him to go to the river with a pole with two buckets attached to either end and fill them with water, then return to the monastery and fill a large cauldron.

Once the cauldron was full; Tai's task was to slap the water until it was empty.

Once the cauldron was empty he would go back down to the river to fetch more water to fill and slap the water.

After the first week of fetching and slapping water, Tai was wondering when he would be joining in with the other students that were practicing forms and using weapons.

Weeks past for Tai doing the same thing day after day week after week, filling the cauldron and slapping the water out of it.

Tai watched and observed the other students, wondering when it would be his turn to learn and practice Kung fu.

Tai remembered how everyone was so proud of hm to be accepted at the monastery and how his parents helped make his dream come true.

The weeks turned in to months, after three months of doing the same thing day after day, Tai started to become depressed.

Tai's Kung Fu master gave him the weekend off to go home to visit his parents.

Happy to go home and equally depressed at not learning any Kung fu.

When Tai returned to the village, everyone there were very happy to see him, they quickly arranged a picknick in his honor.

During the picnic everyone was very interested in seeing what he had learned. Tai was answering their questions with "I didn't really learn much"

People in the village were very impressed with Tai's answer, in thinking how modest he has become.

Tai on the other hand was very embarrassed with the questions "Come on Tai show us some Kung Fu"

Tai was becoming increasingly uncomfortable and embarrassed with the situation; being bombarded with requests to show something, anything!!!

Tai with hours of constant requests to do some kung fu could not control his embarrassment and anger any longer.

Tai stood up from his chair and slammed his hand down on to the solid slab pick nick table and screamed out as loud as he could

"I didn't learn anything!!!"

The solid slab pick nick table, now broken in two with Tai standing over it.

The villagers gasped at what Tai had done.

Then one person said "So it's true about what Shaolin monks can do"
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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 272

Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the story Alan. Reminds me of starting out when you did not ask questions you just obeyed. Sooner or later you begin to realize that what you might not understand is actually working.

I love old stories that are handed down. They have a message that writings today just do not convey in the same way. Thanks for sharing.
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Alan Armstrong
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 713


PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tai returned back to his Shaolin master, having full support from his home village, he was feeling optimistic once again.

Tai's master sent him on a new task down by the river, to catch fish and fill the Calderon with them.

Tai' liked the idea of catching fish and asked his master what bate he should use, his master said "No bate"

So Tai thought that he would use a net, the master said "No net"

Tai thought that he could catch fish with a pointed stick to spear them with, the master said "no stick"

The master told Tai to catch the fish with his hands.

So off Tai went to catch fish with his hands down by the river.

All day Tai tried to catch fish with his hands, he came back to the master empty handed; Tai didn't see any fish at all that day.

Tai told the master what had happened. The master remaked that the fish have outwitted the hunter, the master said "Use Kung Fu"

Tai asked "How?"

The master answered "Find a quite shallow area next to the river bank and set a trap with thick bamboo rods, place the rods in to the water that form a V shape, just leave enough space for the fish to fit through the V and they will funnel themselves in to your shallow area very easily; then use your hands to catch them; and bring them back here alive"

The very next day, Tai went to the river and caught many fish and eventually filled the cauldron, he was exhausted, the master said "Very good work Tai, before you go to sleep tonight, bring all of the fish back to the river and release them"

Tai did what his master asked, he fell asleep by the river, tired hungry and exhausted.

In the morning Tai was awoken by screaming Eagles plucking out fish from the river, they moved with incredible speed and accuracy, something Tai had never seen before.

The Eagles were fast and focused, a lesson Tai would never forget.

Tai returned back to the monastery to see his master. The master asked Tai "What have you learned since we last met?"

Tai replied "Have learned that Eagles don't need to set traps to catch fish, so neither will I"

The master told Tai to get cleaned up and have breakfast, then return back to him for another assignment.

Tai obeyed his master and returned immediately.

The master looked at Tai's hands, they were soft and not very strong.

Tai was given an axe and was asked to chop down ten trees with it. After chopping the trees down remove all the branches. After all the branches are removed chop the trees into equal sizes of his own hight.

Approximately one month later, Tai returned to his master and said to him "Master I have done as you have asked, what is my next task?"

The master replied "Remove all the bark from the trees that you have chopped down"

Tai asked "How?"

The master replied with a smile "The same way you catch fish, with you bear hands of course!"

Tai bowed to his master and was overjoyed with his new assignment, as the trees he chopped down were not very big at all.

What Tai was really doing with his time instead of chopping down big trees, he was secretly watching and copying what the other Kung Fu students were doing and having plenty of time enjoying catching fish and barbecue them, and swimming down by the river, at the same time observing nature; especially the Eagles.
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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 272

Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like I'm a teenager again watching Kung Fu theater on Saturday mornings.

Does the story continue or is that the last lesson?

I hate to admit it but I'm a sucker for parables and old Chinese tales. I used to buy Zen, Confucian, Buddhist and Shaolin stories because I loved the way it told a story but upon further reflection also taught a lesson.

I love this stuff. We should have a section just for these tales.
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Alan Armstrong
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 713


PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tai returned to his master and ask for his next assignment.

The master asked Tai to dig five holes and place a tree in each hole to form the shape of a plum blossom.

Each tree post forming the shape of a hexagon. The posts were sunk in to the ground at half of there length, shoulder length apart.

The master also wanted Tai to dig another five holes shoulder width apart in the shape of a plum blossom this time however with each post higher than the next, so as to create a step up on five levels.

Tai aked his master what these posts were intended for, his master replied "For your stance training"

Tai built the two stance training devices near the river, so as to look at the Eagle as they feed upon the fish.

Tai asked his master for another assignment.
Tai's master told him to meditate while on the posts about the three claws, those creatures that have feathers, those that have fur and those that have scales.

Tai asked his master "To which creatures are you referring to?" The master replied "The Eagle, the Tiger and the Dragon"

Tai returned to his stance training posts contemplating on his new assignment.

Ok he thought, I need to think about the Eagles claws and the Tigers claws and the Dragons claws...

Many hours turned into days that turned into weeks that in no time at all turned into a month.

Tai was getting very bored with his new assignment. Yes Eagles live nearby but not Tigers and Dragons, Tai thought to himself.

Well perhaps if I watch the neighborhood cats and observe the lizards, he thought, perhaps they could give me some clues; because the master would be very disappointed with me, if to return without knowing or learning anything and wouldn't want that to happen.

Very optimistic, Tai set off to observe the cats.

Tai closely observed their claws Ohh! Cats claws are retractable and not usually visible. Cats climb trees with the help of their claws also very handy to catch small animals with also cats use their claws when playing.

Luckily enough for Tai a lizard was passing by; Ohh! Lizards claws are fixed so must be the same for the claws of Dragons, not retractable like a Cat and not piercing as Eagle claws.

Tai observed the Lizard using it's claws to dig a hole into the ground for buried worms and insects, then realized why it's claws were fixed to help in digging, whereas the Eagle's claws were better equipped for catching fish and carrying branches to build nests; while cats liked to play with their food also to hunt and fight.

There must be more to this assignment Tai thought, I had better investigate further.

Tai returned to his plum blossom stance training platforms and contemplated more on the differences of the three types of claws.

Later that evening Tai built a small fire cooked some fish over it and gentle fell asleep.

Round and around in his head, he thought about Eagles, Tigers and Dragon claws, till he fell into a deep sleep.

Tai started to imagine in his dream of what it would be like to live an entire life like and Eagle, then as a Tiger, then as a Dragon.

Tai returned to his master the very next day.

The master asked Tai "Have you grasped the meaning of claws by feathers, claws by fur and claws by scales?"

Tai answered "All creatures have survival tools and each creature behaves according to it's nature"

The master asked Tai "Is it your nature to fear these creatures?"

Tai replied "No fear; only inspiration to learn from those that have feathers, fur or scales"

The master asked Tai "How can you use what you have just recently learned from these three different types of claws?"

Tai replied "I now have more options with the use of my hands"

The master asks Tai "What vitues does the Eagle, Tiger and Dragon posses regarding Yin/Yang? Return to me after contemplating this question"

Tai asked "What is Yin/Yang"

The master replied "Yin/Yang can be many things such as the string on a guitar"

Tai bowed to his master and walked away, shaking his head, thinking to him self "Ask a straight question, one would expect at straight answer; suppose not!"

Walking back towards the river, a musician was tuning his guitar, Tai introduced himself and asked the question "Could you please explain to me why a guitar string is a Yin/Yang thing?"

The musician shouted at Tai
"Leave me alone, asking me stupid questions about Yin/Yang, look at what you have made me do, I've broken my guitar string by over tightening it; now my guitar is useless, till I get a replacement, you are going to pay for this!!!"
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