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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1585

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:04 pm    Post subject: Hard lessons learned Reply with quote

For the sake of sharing and picking the brains of anyone who has had the experience of teaching seminars or running a martial arts school it would be interesting to discuss this question:

What was your worst mistake as an instructor as far as teaching or running a school is concerned(administration etc) ? How did you fix it and what did you learn from it? Were you able to see the mistake right away or did it take time to realize it?
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 26627
Location: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love this thread idea, Spartacus! Thanks for starting it.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27312
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Running a school some years ago, I didn't focus enough on the day-to-day operations of running the school, and thinking that it would take care of itself as long as I kept students in. I needed to prepare more and focus more on keeping up the business side of things, and being more confident in myself in doing those things. Live and learn.
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TJ-Jitsu
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 301
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good topic, I can relate.

Possibly my first mistake during my years of teaching is that students primary goal is to learn the best technique available.

For example, I'd have a collection of techinques to show. Im confident no one can teach you a better way to do it, or has done it frankly. I can demonstrate it, articulate it, and use logic to support it on top of actually doing it.

Many dont care. Even the guys competing at the world level. Its wierd in that you sometimes have to let people figure things out on their own and let them make their own mistake. Many of these guys wanted a few techniques, but most especially wanted to train and they wanted to train hard. As such I've cut back significantly on many details just to keep things short and sweet and get them moving.

A second is that people are doing martial arts for the fighting aspect of it. This is also not true. Most people do whatever martial art because its a fun hobby that they enjoy-period. An example of making this mistake is saying "hey, lets bring in BJJ to this muay thai school- these guys would LOVE to learn how to fight on the ground, right?" Doesn't work like that. Very little interest in doing either. Frankly if people wanted to learn another style that complimented what they did, they'd be doing it already or would have approached you about bringing it in to the gym.

So you have to take time to read people. Suppose you teach a seminar or whatnot and your focus is on giving the greatest details for one or two basic positions, you'll win few favorites and alienate many people. If you show a bunch of flashy stuff, the same thing will happen- merely in the reverse. You need to balance not just everyones needs, but everyones WANTS as well. Less you forget, this is a business. It doesn't matter what they need if they're not willing to pay you for it...
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1192
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worst mistake - Giving too much power to a senior student.

Circumstance - Student thought that he was in charge of the students he was teaching. Took steps to undermine my teachings. Treated his student with no respect.

Fix - removed him from that class and took it back over myself.

What I learned - to identify a students character and actions before giving them my trust.

Back ground - I was getting over loaded at work and five night a week were starting to take it's toll so I had one of my Nidan students take over a class on Tuesdays and Thursday nights so I could catch up and relieve a bit of my stress.

My mistake was not thoroughly evaluating him teaching prior to putting him in that position.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 13594
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worst mistake - Trusting our past San-Dai Soke

Circumstance - San-Dai Soke closed the SKKA/Hombu WITHOUT NOTICE, AND WITHOUT CAUSE, and LIED ABOUT INTENT!!

Fix - Reopened the SKKA/Hombu under new proxy; By-Laws rewritten with some very strong legalities to ensure that the SKKA/Hombu was protected, and this in turn, protected the entire Student Body!! San-Dai Soke was expelled and the Soke types were completely abolished permanently for cause!!

What I learned - To never blindly trust anyone. If someone says it's day time, I'm going to go outside to see for myself first!!

Back ground - When Dai-Soke passed away, his son, Iwoa, was voted unanimously to become San-Dai Soke, at his fathers request while on his death bed. At first, business was as usual, but very shortly thereafter, the tide turned for the worse as San-Dai Soke lied that his father requested that the SKKA/Hombu be closed down and it be moved immediately back to Nanjo, Okinawa.

My mistake was not seeing the writing on the wall in time; blind trust, on my part. After all, I was Kaicho; the blame is mine and mine alone!! Our Legal Team is one heck of a legal team; nothing gets by them!!



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