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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14949
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Can You Spot A Long Term Student?? Reply with quote

To do this, as the CI, can be quite daunting, and of no great concern at the same time. Daunting because spotting a long term student is akin to predicting an earthquake before it happens. Of no great concern because as a CI, I don't care one way or another if a student becomes long term or not; that responsibility belongs to the practitioner to decide within themselves one way or another.

Long term students train for themselves and oftentimes, they train for themselves beyond their own surface of interests. I don't feel that either way is wrong, at all. We all train for our own different reasons, and while we do not require others to approve of our reasons, we do expect that our reasons are respected.

When they train for themselves, they just want to train no matter what; sick or not or whatever, they show up, and on time, to train seriously. Maybe they get excited over a new technique or Kata or whatever, but they always find the spark to train, and for a serious purpose. They don't consider how long it might take to learn the new technique or Kata or whatever, and that's because time means nothing to that student.

When they train for more than themselves, perhaps they have aspiration deeper than we CI can ever imagine. Like they want to go very deep into the history of their core art and/or the MA in general. Maybe they desire to teach the MA, and to carry one their core art in any positive way that they can think of, and to hopefully pass the knowledge and experience.

Seems that long term students also want to help train not only with other MAists, but to offer themselves available to their fellow dojo mates in whatever problem they might be having; sometimes more than one set of eyes can see what one set of eyes can't.

A long term student wants to go beyond the confinements and restrictions of their own core art; to cross-train as often and as much possible. To absorb that which is effective to them, beyond their core art, which does have the ability to trap one with limitations.

The long term student isn't persuade away from their MA journey; they train long term because no matter how long, they are going to always be a student of the MA.

I never expected, nor desire, to become that long term student, it just manifested itself in me over time. I never missed a day at the dojo, except during Little League and High School baseball seasons, and whenever I was on the floor I train seriously. In time, I helped anyone and everyone that I believed needed my help with a technique or Kata or Kumite....no matter what I felt that I could offer them some help.

I feel in love with my core style, and then I feel in love with the MA in general, and 55 years later, I'm still in love with my core style as well as the MA in general.

When I do spot a long term student of mine, I do not give them any special attention; all of my students get my all everyday every time. No special favors and no special expectations. Do I keep an eye on them?? Do I encourage them to teach?? NO!! All of my students are treated the same, and in that, perhaps, that's an ingredient in making a long term student.

Your thoughts, please.



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1808

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very difficult if not impossible to tell who might become a longtime or lifetime student. That is precisely the reason why an instructor must not make any difference in how each student is treated. Each one is different and their involvement and dedication to their own training cannot be judge from the first day. It will only be clear after the student has been training regularly for at least a couple of years.

Personal and professional life with its many obligations must also be considered because this will usually determine how much time one has to spend training and practising in or away from the school/training place.

Usually, though a good indication that one will probably be a longtime or even lifetime martial arts student is those who start in their youth and are still actively involved by the time they become adults. By this time, training or at least an interest in martial arts has become ingrained into their lifestyle and it is highly likely that they plan and organize their daily life around it. These are the ones who somehow always make time to train or do something related to their involvement in martial arts.

Like yourself, personally it is impossible to imagine what life would be like without karate because it is something that became a part of daily routine like having breakfast or taking a shower. Been involved with and training the same style continuously since middle school age.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28178
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a hard time judging if a student will be a lifer or not. One would think that the one's that come in and are talented and really excel and pick it up fast would be the one's that stay, but that is not the case I've found. They tend to either burn themselves out, of get bored with it, and end up being the type of person that doesn't really stick with anything.

I've seen some people who aren't the most talented or the most driven become long-time students. They tend to see the long road ahead and look forward to the drive, as opposed to trying to hurry along and accomplish all kinds of things.

In the end, it is very difficult (for me, at least) to determine the life of a prospective student. All I can do is offer them the best instruction I can, and be the best person I can to them, and hope they stick around for a while. If I have students that end up leaving, I try to encourage them to find something that intrigues them, and try to stick with it.

On a side note, Bob, your journey sounds very much like mine.
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Lupin1
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1632
Location: Texas USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found it has to do more with what life throws at people. Teenagers get jobs and join sports at school. Then they go away to college. People get jobs that don't allow them to make class or they have kids that they have to care for or they move away.

Someone may have the desire to keep training, but life gets in the way. For me as for many people martial arts is a hobby and it has to take second place to things like work and family and school.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28178
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lupin1 wrote:
I've found it has to do more with what life throws at people. Teenagers get jobs and join sports at school. Then they go away to college. People get jobs that don't allow them to make class or they have kids that they have to care for or they move away.

Someone may have the desire to keep training, but life gets in the way. For me as for many people martial arts is a hobby and it has to take second place to things like work and family and school.
No doubt there. I've struggled and struggled with consistent training these past ten years or so, and it isn't going to get any easier as I go along. I think a lot of people get like this, and feel like if they can't train regularly, then they just won't do it. I hate to see this, and as an instructor that struggles with consistency as well, I would hope other instructors would find it in their hearts to be willing to work with individuals that run into this.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14949
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Lupin1 wrote:
I've found it has to do more with what life throws at people. Teenagers get jobs and join sports at school. Then they go away to college. People get jobs that don't allow them to make class or they have kids that they have to care for or they move away.

Someone may have the desire to keep training, but life gets in the way. For me as for many people martial arts is a hobby and it has to take second place to things like work and family and school.
No doubt there. I've struggled and struggled with consistent training these past ten years or so, and it isn't going to get any easier as I go along. I think a lot of people get like this, and feel like if they can't train regularly, then they just won't do it. I hate to see this, and as an instructor that struggles with consistency as well, I would hope other instructors would find it in their hearts to be willing to work with individuals that run into this.

In that regard, if one's still stepping on the floor after many years, no matter how irregular, than that student is still considered long term. There are full time and part time students, nonetheless, they're still considered long term.



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aurik
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 103
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My CI has a very realistic outlook on this aspect. He fully expects to lose a large number of students within the first 6 months to a year. Uechi-ryu isn't for everyone, and he doesn't tend to lose a lot of sleep if students drop out at the white or yellow belt ranks (10th kyu - 7th kyu).

By the time students make it to green belt (6th kyu), he figures they'll probably stay around awhile unless life gets in the way. It does kind of bother him a bit when he loses students beyond their first year or so, because by that point he's started really putting effort into them.

His approach works pretty well, because he has a number of long-time students. His adult classes are generally half full of black belts -- and some of these students have been with him for 10+ years (starting when they were 7-8 years old). He also recently had the pleasure of promoting one of his students to 3rd degree.

Something he tells kids and parents when they start approaching the brown belt ranks is the meaning of "shodan" is "beginner". Meaning you've mastered the basics and now you're ready to learn the good stuff. It seems to work. It probably also helps that he has a lot of students who have stayed with him after earning their shodan ranks.
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