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Himokiri Karate
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 379

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:30 pm    Post subject: Has THIS ever happened in the Karate community? Reply with quote

Although I train in Korean Karate, I mostly have done boxing and have had many trainers and to many other gyms. Anyways in the past year, I was with a trainer who preached loyalty community and compassion.

But recently he stopped giving personal training + only tending to his "favorite" athletes while others are kind of just stuck in the gym just hitting the bag or they can spar or do their own thing. Of course in my eyes, that is a horrible thing. The talented gets more treatment and the less talented gets to be a cannon fodder.


Because of that, I left the gym and I left with a very sour taste in my mouth. All this preaching about being a "Real boxing gym" and not a studio or a business and yet they ran it like one, they were even in to the whole woke thing with the whole "no straight males allowed at 7 am" type policy.


Anyways I will stop because this is beginning to be a rant. But my question is, have you been to a dojo or have you witnessed a sensei behave in such a blatantly contradictory manner? Keep in mind that this guy I am talking about is a super nice guy in terms of interaction. Never yells, never screams, always is calm and relaxed. But his actions are to me happen to be very malevolent and pretty cruel. As someone who trained in various forms of karate before settling down to Korean Karate, I can say that I have NEVER witnessed such a thing before. So I am kind of curios if this is behavior has been replicated in the karate community?
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 484
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing with a boxing gym, or any gym which lives and dies based on competitive output, is that you have to maintain a good level of competitive output. It is better for the gym if its representatives are out there winning. It is better for the gym if its resident professionals are fighting regularly, and thus paying their dues. It is a natural progression, unfortunately, with Covid-SARS-2 restrictions being lightened for gyms to once again focus on their fighting talent. Because fights are happening again. Personal training, and keeping as many people as possible, on the floor was essential during the worst months of Covid-SARS-2 just to stay open. It is inevitable for businesses to change their ethos and practices as the situation evolves.

I will be blunt as someone that has coached kick-boxers. During open-floor times I did put more effort into making sure the people who are planning to fight, and who have talent to make it work out for them, are trained thoroughly in contrast to those coming in for a work-out. One, they are more likely to get hurt in the near future than my casuals if I don't drill and work them properly. Two, they are trying to turn it into a day-job: not just an exercise routine. They are putting more in and need more from me.

What I used to say to people who wanted that attention but were not planning to fight: Book a private session, or come to a beginner/technical session which I run as a class and advise everyone equally because that is the intent. Do not try to hog my attention at an open floor when I have people coming up to a fight and you are just here to work out. They might get hurt if they don't get trained properly: you won't.

That is not to say that is what I think the perspective of your coach was. And to be frank if he was just focusing on the ones that he believed were talented, and more likely to win, while ignoring less talented ones but all of you were due to fight. That is being incompetent at best and callous at worse. Doesn't matter what someone's relative talent is: if they plan to fight, you need to train them properly so that you limit their risk of injury. However, if he was focusing on the gym's fighters over the people just working out: I really cannot blame him, and I would be hesitant to criticise him for it. The only criticism I can offer is if he didn't offer different sessions for amateurs, the Pro-Am/Semi-Pro, and Professional members. If you just have everyone of all levels and intents coming to the floor, and paying the same rates, and you focus on a select group to the expense of others then you are ripping those you give less attention off. Now, Open-Floor is a different ball game if you are just opening the gym for people who pay subscription to come in and use the space. That was usually the time I would arrange for our club fighters to come in and get one on one time with me, or set up spars, so rarely was I there to coach anyone but them.

With the above said. I have never taken that approach in karate or encountered it in karate. Because I train and teach for the sake of training and teaching. I do not have any students that compete and so everyone gets as much of my equal attention as I can give as we are all just trying to get better together. Now, if I was to have students that wanted to compete, I would run a separate set of sessions for them to work on competition skills so it would not interfere with the regular classes.

Admittedly, the times I have visited Okinawa I have definitely seen teachers give up on some students during a session. Mostly because said student was not listening, and making the same mistake over and over. I can't blame the teacher for deciding to then focus their effort on the people actually listening.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15768
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So I am kind of curios if this is behavior has been replicated in the karate community?

I sincerely believe that this runs rampant in every MA, or in anything where human beings are being taught anything by other human beings. Patience is a very vital element for being a teacher, and for those teachers that lack patience, the most promising students are given far better attention than those students that struggle.

Without patience, there is no effective and quality of learning whatsoever. The bad thing is that this type of teacher sticks out like a sore thumb, and if that type of teacher isn't made accountable for their actions, then not just the selected few, but the entire Student Body suffers.

Struggling students are of the same value as a talented and gifted student and should be treated equally across the board. Perhaps it goes beyond the lack of patience, if so, then said impatient teacher is just not a good teacher at all.

Lacking teaching skills can be hidden behind the gifted and talented students, whereas flaws of the teacher can be readily seen. It's sad to witness and it's even worse to just stand by and do nothing at all.

Teachers forget that all if their students are the perfect representation of themselves. Proof is on the floor!!



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Himokiri Karate
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 379

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wado Heretic wrote:
The thing with a boxing gym, or any gym which lives and dies based on competitive output, is that you have to maintain a good level of competitive output. It is better for the gym if its representatives are out there winning. It is better for the gym if its resident professionals are fighting regularly, and thus paying their dues. It is a natural progression, unfortunately, with Covid-SARS-2 restrictions being lightened for gyms to once again focus on their fighting talent. Because fights are happening again. Personal training, and keeping as many people as possible, on the floor was essential during the worst months of Covid-SARS-2 just to stay open. It is inevitable for businesses to change their ethos and practices as the situation evolves.

I will be blunt as someone that has coached kick-boxers. During open-floor times I did put more effort into making sure the people who are planning to fight, and who have talent to make it work out for them, are trained thoroughly in contrast to those coming in for a work-out. One, they are more likely to get hurt in the near future than my casuals if I don't drill and work them properly. Two, they are trying to turn it into a day-job: not just an exercise routine. They are putting more in and need more from me.

What I used to say to people who wanted that attention but were not planning to fight: Book a private session, or come to a beginner/technical session which I run as a class and advise everyone equally because that is the intent. Do not try to hog my attention at an open floor when I have people coming up to a fight and you are just here to work out. They might get hurt if they don't get trained properly: you won't.

That is not to say that is what I think the perspective of your coach was. And to be frank if he was just focusing on the ones that he believed were talented, and more likely to win, while ignoring less talented ones but all of you were due to fight. That is being incompetent at best and callous at worse. Doesn't matter what someone's relative talent is: if they plan to fight, you need to train them properly so that you limit their risk of injury. However, if he was focusing on the gym's fighters over the people just working out: I really cannot blame him, and I would be hesitant to criticise him for it. The only criticism I can offer is if he didn't offer different sessions for amateurs, the Pro-Am/Semi-Pro, and Professional members. If you just have everyone of all levels and intents coming to the floor, and paying the same rates, and you focus on a select group to the expense of others then you are ripping those you give less attention off. Now, Open-Floor is a different ball game if you are just opening the gym for people who pay subscription to come in and use the space. That was usually the time I would arrange for our club fighters to come in and get one on one time with me, or set up spars, so rarely was I there to coach anyone but them.

With the above said. I have never taken that approach in karate or encountered it in karate. Because I train and teach for the sake of training and teaching. I do not have any students that compete and so everyone gets as much of my equal attention as I can give as we are all just trying to get better together. Now, if I was to have students that wanted to compete, I would run a separate set of sessions for them to work on competition skills so it would not interfere with the regular classes.

Admittedly, the times I have visited Okinawa I have definitely seen teachers give up on some students during a session. Mostly because said student was not listening, and making the same mistake over and over. I can't blame the teacher for deciding to then focus their effort on the people actually listening.





I understand that. He needs to do what its best for him. My gripe is that he preaches loyalty and community. If he said nothing, if he never claimed standards of excellence, then I would not bat an eye. I would treat it as another boxing gym that runs on the concept of "the weak dies and the strong survives" mentality. This is all fine and dandy. My problem is this person preaching virtue but being just like everybody else at the end of the day. If teacher wants loyalty, he must show case loyalty and not focus on his perceived top athletes.

But fair point on addressing the nature of boxing. But truth be told, 98 percent of people that join a boxing gym do so for fitness and cardio. Most people do not want to fight. This person I am talking about is trying to over extend and in doing so, he is over promising and under delivering.



sensei8 wrote:
Quote:
So I am kind of curios if this is behavior has been replicated in the karate community?

I sincerely believe that this runs rampant in every MA, or in anything where human beings are being taught anything by other human beings. Patience is a very vital element for being a teacher, and for those teachers that lack patience, the most promising students are given far better attention than those students that struggle.

Without patience, there is no effective and quality of learning whatsoever. The bad thing is that this type of teacher sticks out like a sore thumb, and if that type of teacher isn't made accountable for their actions, then not just the selected few, but the entire Student Body suffers.

Struggling students are of the same value as a talented and gifted student and should be treated equally across the board. Perhaps it goes beyond the lack of patience, if so, then said impatient teacher is just not a good teacher at all.

Lacking teaching skills can be hidden behind the gifted and talented students, whereas flaws of the teacher can be readily seen. It's sad to witness and it's even worse to just stand by and do nothing at all.

Teachers forget that all if their students are the perfect representation of themselves. Proof is on the floor!!




Exactly!

A paying customer is a paying customer. But most importantly, the less talented is even more vulnerable because they also have to spar the talented fighter who is receiving preferential treatment. The less talented fighter must find a new gym because I feel like they are very vulnerable and in danger of getting hurt because of the asymmetry of instruction that they are receiving.
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RW
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 424


PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himokiri Karate wrote:
Although I train in Korean Karate, I mostly have done boxing and have had many trainers and to many other gyms. Anyways in the past year, I was with a trainer who preached loyalty community and compassion.

But recently he stopped giving personal training + only tending to his "favorite" athletes while others are kind of just stuck in the gym just hitting the bag or they can spar or do their own thing. Of course in my eyes, that is a horrible thing. The talented gets more treatment and the less talented gets to be a cannon fodder.


Because of that, I left the gym and I left with a very sour taste in my mouth. All this preaching about being a "Real boxing gym" and not a studio or a business and yet they ran it like one, they were even in to the whole woke thing with the whole "no straight males allowed at 7 am" type policy.


Anyways I will stop because this is beginning to be a rant. But my question is, have you been to a dojo or have you witnessed a sensei behave in such a blatantly contradictory manner? Keep in mind that this guy I am talking about is a super nice guy in terms of interaction. Never yells, never screams, always is calm and relaxed. But his actions are to me happen to be very malevolent and pretty cruel. As someone who trained in various forms of karate before settling down to Korean Karate, I can say that I have NEVER witnessed such a thing before. So I am kind of curios if this is behavior has been replicated in the karate community?


I have witnesses something pretty bad myself.

I used to practice traditional karate, then quit and many years later I joined a "kempo karate" (so basically, Americanized Karate) school because it was close to my home and I craved getting back into the martial arts.

It was certainly different from your average shotokan or goju ryu or shito ryu class, but it was still fun and had some applicability to it, so I decided to stick with it. For the first 3 years it was ok.

After my 3rd year there, things began deteriorating horribly.

1) First the separation between adults class and kids class began blurring.

Sure, having a 19 or 18 year old in class was fine. But then there were a couple 16 year olds in class. Next thing you know there is a 14 year old in class, under the justification that "he is a brown belt so he is too advanced for the kids class". Then there was a 10 year old. This should have been enough to make me leave, but I didn't see the red flag and stayed.

2) Then they implemented a very dishonest business model

These american karate schools have an odd system. You get the regular class ("group class") and then you get one "private lesson" per week included in your monthly fee. "This is awesome!" I thought to myself, I get to have private instruction too! My mind raced with the possibilities, this is going to be a Daniel San and Mr. Miyagi sort of thing!!!

Truth is, the "private class" model is actually a detriment to instruction. They get to charge you more because of these private lessons, which would not be an issue if you actually got them as an "extra". But the private lessons became the perfect excuse to have subpar "group classes".

You see, at this school, all of your rank material, be it kata, ippon kumite drills, etc, they are all taught during your private lesson. You're learning all of your rank material during those once-a-week lessons. That frees the "group class" for aiming at the lowest common denominator: Calisthenics, practicing punches from the horse stance and the ocassional kick shield drill. That's it. No kata learning, no ippon kumite drill learning, no rank learning at all. This way they can group all kids in one class, regardless of rank, and all adults in another class, regardless of rank. Lazy, isn't it?

But this is not what made the model dishonest. What made it dishonest after my 3rd year? See point # 3, "the teaching corps"!

3) The teaching corps.

The group class model was bad enough. But not bad enough to get me to quit. At least I did have the full attention of my sensei for one class a week, right? Enter the teaching corps.

What are the teaching corps? Free labor! The school began offering these "special elite instructor courses" (I changed the name slightly just to make it less obvious what school I am talking about) to all students. All you have to do to be eligible to take these courses is... to pay a hefty fee. ca-ching! $$$

Pay for 4 "elite courses", teach kids' private lessons (for free) and you will earn yourself a fancy "assistant instructor" belt. This belt looks almost exactly like a junior black belt, but with the colors inverted. You will be referred to as "sempai" or "assistant instructor".

This is where the dishonesty kicks in: You can be a yellow belt for all they care. If you go to 4 of these courses and keep the kids busy with playing "ninja ball" or other games like that, you get to be some sort of instructor. What are these kids learning?!?!

Then if you teach enough kids' classes and pay for more of the same "elite courses" (not even different ones, the same ones all over again), you will get a red belt and get to be called "associate instructor". Now you can teach rank material to kids and adults alike. You're basically a sensei, only without the name and without the pay.

This is where the dishonesty really gets overwhelming. Imagine having junior ranks (we're not talking about brown or even blue or green belts here) get called instructor and teach kids and adults their rank material, during the much-hyped private lessons, with as per # 2 above, are the only chance you get for getting taught your kata and other material like that.

4) The dojo politics

Who in their right mind would pay hefty sums of money in order to work for free for a dojo, without getting to learn anything (no, you won't get taught anything extra or get any sort of spiritual, mental, technical or physical benefit in exchange for spending several hours a week playing ninja ball with the kids or teaching a grown up an erroneous version of pinan nidan that you just learned yourself last week) and presenting yourself as an "associate instructor" with a fancy red belt that looks like the belt a a 10th dan okinawan karate master would wear?

The students that ended joining this horrible program were for some reason the bottom of the barrel of the class. the lowest skilled students that also happened to be power hungry and prone to gossip. In other words, the people who had no business teaching anything.

Their newfound "teaching corps" status led them to form a clique. This clique resented any students that they didn't like personally or that were more skilled, in a Mean Girls kind of way. Soon these "teaching corps" people began suggesting the sensei that some students should get kicked out because they "brought down the vibe" of the classes or "were mean people" (these people actually managed to brand as "mean" some of the kindest people I have met). The sensei didn't go as far as to ban these students who were targeted by the teaching corps, but the whole atmosphere was poisoned.

5) The teaching corps and politics had an effect on the student body and rank material


Who has the time and energy to deal with a bunch of childish, gossipy overgrown children who feel that they're bruce lee? The good students began leaving the dojo on their own accord. Many joined BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai and Boxing schools, many quit martial arts forever.

On my last year there, the student body was overpopulated with children, incredibly unskilled and out of shape adults and "the teaching corps", who now look like they're actually skilled because they were successful in running out most people who were better than them.

This had an effect on the teaching. We stopped sparring forever ("if you want to spar, come to our specialized sparring class that's held every Sunday, that's it"), the instructor demanded that we stopped wearing our belts during sparring (he never gave a good reason, but in reality it was to save two particularly bad "associate instructors" from embarrassment when they get schooled by white belts) and kick shield practice became more rare because some teaching corp members didn't like to feel the impact of kicks on their body through the kick shields (!!!).

By this time I was very conflicted and thought about leaving this horrible place for good. I made several posts here and a topic about it, and asked my fellow martial artists here for advice.

In the end I didn't need to make such a decision, COVID happened, then I took some video lessons, and when I was ready to come back to the dojo my sensei told me he would no longer be teaching me. My grown man Shodan self would have to be taught by a 19 year old "associate instructor" who was actually a brown belt (not even a 2nd degree brown belt) or a middle aged former child daycare employee who also became an "associate instructor" recently and who was a brown belt too. At that moment I chose to quit. Later on I learned this sensei was actually still teaching some private lessons, so he lied to me too. Good riddance.
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Himokiri Karate
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Green Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 379

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RW wrote:
Himokiri Karate wrote:
Although I train in Korean Karate, I mostly have done boxing and have had many trainers and to many other gyms. Anyways in the past year, I was with a trainer who preached loyalty community and compassion.

But recently he stopped giving personal training + only tending to his "favorite" athletes while others are kind of just stuck in the gym just hitting the bag or they can spar or do their own thing. Of course in my eyes, that is a horrible thing. The talented gets more treatment and the less talented gets to be a cannon fodder.


Because of that, I left the gym and I left with a very sour taste in my mouth. All this preaching about being a "Real boxing gym" and not a studio or a business and yet they ran it like one, they were even in to the whole woke thing with the whole "no straight males allowed at 7 am" type policy.


Anyways I will stop because this is beginning to be a rant. But my question is, have you been to a dojo or have you witnessed a sensei behave in such a blatantly contradictory manner? Keep in mind that this guy I am talking about is a super nice guy in terms of interaction. Never yells, never screams, always is calm and relaxed. But his actions are to me happen to be very malevolent and pretty cruel. As someone who trained in various forms of karate before settling down to Korean Karate, I can say that I have NEVER witnessed such a thing before. So I am kind of curios if this is behavior has been replicated in the karate community?


I have witnesses something pretty bad myself.

I used to practice traditional karate, then quit and many years later I joined a "kempo karate" (so basically, Americanized Karate) school because it was close to my home and I craved getting back into the martial arts.

It was certainly different from your average shotokan or goju ryu or shito ryu class, but it was still fun and had some applicability to it, so I decided to stick with it. For the first 3 years it was ok.

After my 3rd year there, things began deteriorating horribly.

1) First the separation between adults class and kids class began blurring.

Sure, having a 19 or 18 year old in class was fine. But then there were a couple 16 year olds in class. Next thing you know there is a 14 year old in class, under the justification that "he is a brown belt so he is too advanced for the kids class". Then there was a 10 year old. This should have been enough to make me leave, but I didn't see the red flag and stayed.

2) Then they implemented a very dishonest business model

These american karate schools have an odd system. You get the regular class ("group class") and then you get one "private lesson" per week included in your monthly fee. "This is awesome!" I thought to myself, I get to have private instruction too! My mind raced with the possibilities, this is going to be a Daniel San and Mr. Miyagi sort of thing!!!

Truth is, the "private class" model is actually a detriment to instruction. They get to charge you more because of these private lessons, which would not be an issue if you actually got them as an "extra". But the private lessons became the perfect excuse to have subpar "group classes".

You see, at this school, all of your rank material, be it kata, ippon kumite drills, etc, they are all taught during your private lesson. You're learning all of your rank material during those once-a-week lessons. That frees the "group class" for aiming at the lowest common denominator: Calisthenics, practicing punches from the horse stance and the ocassional kick shield drill. That's it. No kata learning, no ippon kumite drill learning, no rank learning at all. This way they can group all kids in one class, regardless of rank, and all adults in another class, regardless of rank. Lazy, isn't it?

But this is not what made the model dishonest. What made it dishonest after my 3rd year? See point # 3, "the teaching corps"!

3) The teaching corps.

The group class model was bad enough. But not bad enough to get me to quit. At least I did have the full attention of my sensei for one class a week, right? Enter the teaching corps.

What are the teaching corps? Free labor! The school began offering these "special elite instructor courses" (I changed the name slightly just to make it less obvious what school I am talking about) to all students. All you have to do to be eligible to take these courses is... to pay a hefty fee. ca-ching! $$$

Pay for 4 "elite courses", teach kids' private lessons (for free) and you will earn yourself a fancy "assistant instructor" belt. This belt looks almost exactly like a junior black belt, but with the colors inverted. You will be referred to as "sempai" or "assistant instructor".

This is where the dishonesty kicks in: You can be a yellow belt for all they care. If you go to 4 of these courses and keep the kids busy with playing "ninja ball" or other games like that, you get to be some sort of instructor. What are these kids learning?!?!

Then if you teach enough kids' classes and pay for more of the same "elite courses" (not even different ones, the same ones all over again), you will get a red belt and get to be called "associate instructor". Now you can teach rank material to kids and adults alike. You're basically a sensei, only without the name and without the pay.

This is where the dishonesty really gets overwhelming. Imagine having junior ranks (we're not talking about brown or even blue or green belts here) get called instructor and teach kids and adults their rank material, during the much-hyped private lessons, with as per # 2 above, are the only chance you get for getting taught your kata and other material like that.

4) The dojo politics

Who in their right mind would pay hefty sums of money in order to work for free for a dojo, without getting to learn anything (no, you won't get taught anything extra or get any sort of spiritual, mental, technical or physical benefit in exchange for spending several hours a week playing ninja ball with the kids or teaching a grown up an erroneous version of pinan nidan that you just learned yourself last week) and presenting yourself as an "associate instructor" with a fancy red belt that looks like the belt a a 10th dan okinawan karate master would wear?

The students that ended joining this horrible program were for some reason the bottom of the barrel of the class. the lowest skilled students that also happened to be power hungry and prone to gossip. In other words, the people who had no business teaching anything.

Their newfound "teaching corps" status led them to form a clique. This clique resented any students that they didn't like personally or that were more skilled, in a Mean Girls kind of way. Soon these "teaching corps" people began suggesting the sensei that some students should get kicked out because they "brought down the vibe" of the classes or "were mean people" (these people actually managed to brand as "mean" some of the kindest people I have met). The sensei didn't go as far as to ban these students who were targeted by the teaching corps, but the whole atmosphere was poisoned.

5) The teaching corps and politics had an effect on the student body and rank material


Who has the time and energy to deal with a bunch of childish, gossipy overgrown children who feel that they're bruce lee? The good students began leaving the dojo on their own accord. Many joined BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai and Boxing schools, many quit martial arts forever.

On my last year there, the student body was overpopulated with children, incredibly unskilled and out of shape adults and "the teaching corps", who now look like they're actually skilled because they were successful in running out most people who were better than them.

This had an effect on the teaching. We stopped sparring forever ("if you want to spar, come to our specialized sparring class that's held every Sunday, that's it"), the instructor demanded that we stopped wearing our belts during sparring (he never gave a good reason, but in reality it was to save two particularly bad "associate instructors" from embarrassment when they get schooled by white belts) and kick shield practice became more rare because some teaching corp members didn't like to feel the impact of kicks on their body through the kick shields (!!!).

By this time I was very conflicted and thought about leaving this horrible place for good. I made several posts here and a topic about it, and asked my fellow martial artists here for advice.

In the end I didn't need to make such a decision, COVID happened, then I took some video lessons, and when I was ready to come back to the dojo my sensei told me he would no longer be teaching me. My grown man Shodan self would have to be taught by a 19 year old "associate instructor" who was actually a brown belt (not even a 2nd degree brown belt) or a middle aged former child daycare employee who also became an "associate instructor" recently and who was a brown belt too. At that moment I chose to quit. Later on I learned this sensei was actually still teaching some private lessons, so he lied to me too. Good riddance.


Good lord, I guess its human nature and not the art itself but the culture that surrounds it. I hear you on the cliquey aspect. This is why I am beyond grateful at the Korean Karate Dojo/Dojang. Its a very lowkey place and the private lessons are incredible. The teacher goes beyond the clock and sometimes an hour session turns in to two hour and its free of charge. They tell me that I inspire them and I have tried to pay them extra because I feel bad but they never take my money. Yet they charge 20 percent less.

After experiencing the boxing place I was in to as well as reading your experience, I have greater levels of gratitude for the style, teacher and school that I am currently part of. I truly am grateful for having a legendary Korean Karate master on my side. What I learned from honorable dojos and dojangs is that, karate or martial arts shouldn't just be about making money but also making an impact!


I understand making money is very important but I would not want to sacrifice quality for commerce. That and I want to promote and reward students who are dedicated and not just talented. This creates a healthier culture within the dojo/dojang. Sorry you had to go through that.
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tatsujin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 12 Oct 2021
Posts: 162

Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the end of the day, it really does come down to money...

I have never run a "professional" or "commercial" school. Why? Because I wanted to teach who I wanted, when I want and how I wanted. If I have to make a living from teaching, then I can't do that. Some of you will argue that you can...but I disagree totally because I have seen it happen so many times. You may have early success, but you are not going to have long term financial success. With that said...

Before you left the gym, did you happen to ask this person why they were doing this? I have skimmed through this a few times and didn't see that. Also, I am curious...were you one of the people ignored or not ignored? Asking what is going on (in a polite and respectful manner) can quite often result in you finding out answers that you were not expecting.

I am NOT saying that the following is the case here, but I will share a story that MIGHT relate...

Several years ago, a friend of mine ran a very small dojo. He had a full time job and the revenue from the dojo basically paid to keep the doors open. Anyway, he had a project come up at his "real job" and asked me to help with some of the instruction. I agreed to do it. He had me teaching a class of 7 people that were all going to be testing for their purple belt (yonkyu - 四級). In this system, that is just before brown belt...so much was beginning to be expected of them at this level. Anyway, I ended up doing the testing for them (agreed upon by all involved). I wrapped up the testing and told them all the results of the grading would be available in the next class...which was about 3 days away. That day/class came. I had everyone bow in and we then did our warm up session. At that point, I announced that no one had passed the grading. I left it at that. I went right into the training for the night (which no one happened to notice was related to their next belt level). Now, they all passed. They were all going to get their rank. BUT! I wanted to see what would happen. Would anyone not give me their best in this class after getting that news? Would the "mental" effect of not passing the grading cause a melt down? Would anyone ask me about it? Etc, etc, etc...Long story short, the only woman in the class (a young lady of about 22 or so) took the appropriate opportunity during the class to come to me off to the side of the class and ask me what she could do to ensure she would pass the next grading. No complaining. No demand for equity. She didn't even ask what prevented her from passing. She just wanted to know what she could do moving forward to ensure that she passed on the next try. BINGO! Needless to say, once the class finished and everyone was sitting in seiza waiting to bow out of class, an interesting discussion was had and all 7 learned a great life lesson.
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RW
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 424


PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himokiri Karate wrote:
RW wrote:
Himokiri Karate wrote:
Although I train in Korean Karate, I mostly have done boxing and have had many trainers and to many other gyms. Anyways in the past year, I was with a trainer who preached loyalty community and compassion.

But recently he stopped giving personal training + only tending to his "favorite" athletes while others are kind of just stuck in the gym just hitting the bag or they can spar or do their own thing. Of course in my eyes, that is a horrible thing. The talented gets more treatment and the less talented gets to be a cannon fodder.


Because of that, I left the gym and I left with a very sour taste in my mouth. All this preaching about being a "Real boxing gym" and not a studio or a business and yet they ran it like one, they were even in to the whole woke thing with the whole "no straight males allowed at 7 am" type policy.


Anyways I will stop because this is beginning to be a rant. But my question is, have you been to a dojo or have you witnessed a sensei behave in such a blatantly contradictory manner? Keep in mind that this guy I am talking about is a super nice guy in terms of interaction. Never yells, never screams, always is calm and relaxed. But his actions are to me happen to be very malevolent and pretty cruel. As someone who trained in various forms of karate before settling down to Korean Karate, I can say that I have NEVER witnessed such a thing before. So I am kind of curios if this is behavior has been replicated in the karate community?


I have witnesses something pretty bad myself.

I used to practice traditional karate, then quit and many years later I joined a "kempo karate" (so basically, Americanized Karate) school because it was close to my home and I craved getting back into the martial arts.

It was certainly different from your average shotokan or goju ryu or shito ryu class, but it was still fun and had some applicability to it, so I decided to stick with it. For the first 3 years it was ok.

After my 3rd year there, things began deteriorating horribly.

1) First the separation between adults class and kids class began blurring.

Sure, having a 19 or 18 year old in class was fine. But then there were a couple 16 year olds in class. Next thing you know there is a 14 year old in class, under the justification that "he is a brown belt so he is too advanced for the kids class". Then there was a 10 year old. This should have been enough to make me leave, but I didn't see the red flag and stayed.

2) Then they implemented a very dishonest business model

These american karate schools have an odd system. You get the regular class ("group class") and then you get one "private lesson" per week included in your monthly fee. "This is awesome!" I thought to myself, I get to have private instruction too! My mind raced with the possibilities, this is going to be a Daniel San and Mr. Miyagi sort of thing!!!

Truth is, the "private class" model is actually a detriment to instruction. They get to charge you more because of these private lessons, which would not be an issue if you actually got them as an "extra". But the private lessons became the perfect excuse to have subpar "group classes".

You see, at this school, all of your rank material, be it kata, ippon kumite drills, etc, they are all taught during your private lesson. You're learning all of your rank material during those once-a-week lessons. That frees the "group class" for aiming at the lowest common denominator: Calisthenics, practicing punches from the horse stance and the ocassional kick shield drill. That's it. No kata learning, no ippon kumite drill learning, no rank learning at all. This way they can group all kids in one class, regardless of rank, and all adults in another class, regardless of rank. Lazy, isn't it?

But this is not what made the model dishonest. What made it dishonest after my 3rd year? See point # 3, "the teaching corps"!

3) The teaching corps.

The group class model was bad enough. But not bad enough to get me to quit. At least I did have the full attention of my sensei for one class a week, right? Enter the teaching corps.

What are the teaching corps? Free labor! The school began offering these "special elite instructor courses" (I changed the name slightly just to make it less obvious what school I am talking about) to all students. All you have to do to be eligible to take these courses is... to pay a hefty fee. ca-ching! $$$

Pay for 4 "elite courses", teach kids' private lessons (for free) and you will earn yourself a fancy "assistant instructor" belt. This belt looks almost exactly like a junior black belt, but with the colors inverted. You will be referred to as "sempai" or "assistant instructor".

This is where the dishonesty kicks in: You can be a yellow belt for all they care. If you go to 4 of these courses and keep the kids busy with playing "ninja ball" or other games like that, you get to be some sort of instructor. What are these kids learning?!?!

Then if you teach enough kids' classes and pay for more of the same "elite courses" (not even different ones, the same ones all over again), you will get a red belt and get to be called "associate instructor". Now you can teach rank material to kids and adults alike. You're basically a sensei, only without the name and without the pay.

This is where the dishonesty really gets overwhelming. Imagine having junior ranks (we're not talking about brown or even blue or green belts here) get called instructor and teach kids and adults their rank material, during the much-hyped private lessons, with as per # 2 above, are the only chance you get for getting taught your kata and other material like that.

4) The dojo politics

Who in their right mind would pay hefty sums of money in order to work for free for a dojo, without getting to learn anything (no, you won't get taught anything extra or get any sort of spiritual, mental, technical or physical benefit in exchange for spending several hours a week playing ninja ball with the kids or teaching a grown up an erroneous version of pinan nidan that you just learned yourself last week) and presenting yourself as an "associate instructor" with a fancy red belt that looks like the belt a a 10th dan okinawan karate master would wear?

The students that ended joining this horrible program were for some reason the bottom of the barrel of the class. the lowest skilled students that also happened to be power hungry and prone to gossip. In other words, the people who had no business teaching anything.

Their newfound "teaching corps" status led them to form a clique. This clique resented any students that they didn't like personally or that were more skilled, in a Mean Girls kind of way. Soon these "teaching corps" people began suggesting the sensei that some students should get kicked out because they "brought down the vibe" of the classes or "were mean people" (these people actually managed to brand as "mean" some of the kindest people I have met). The sensei didn't go as far as to ban these students who were targeted by the teaching corps, but the whole atmosphere was poisoned.

5) The teaching corps and politics had an effect on the student body and rank material


Who has the time and energy to deal with a bunch of childish, gossipy overgrown children who feel that they're bruce lee? The good students began leaving the dojo on their own accord. Many joined BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai and Boxing schools, many quit martial arts forever.

On my last year there, the student body was overpopulated with children, incredibly unskilled and out of shape adults and "the teaching corps", who now look like they're actually skilled because they were successful in running out most people who were better than them.

This had an effect on the teaching. We stopped sparring forever ("if you want to spar, come to our specialized sparring class that's held every Sunday, that's it"), the instructor demanded that we stopped wearing our belts during sparring (he never gave a good reason, but in reality it was to save two particularly bad "associate instructors" from embarrassment when they get schooled by white belts) and kick shield practice became more rare because some teaching corp members didn't like to feel the impact of kicks on their body through the kick shields (!!!).

By this time I was very conflicted and thought about leaving this horrible place for good. I made several posts here and a topic about it, and asked my fellow martial artists here for advice.

In the end I didn't need to make such a decision, COVID happened, then I took some video lessons, and when I was ready to come back to the dojo my sensei told me he would no longer be teaching me. My grown man Shodan self would have to be taught by a 19 year old "associate instructor" who was actually a brown belt (not even a 2nd degree brown belt) or a middle aged former child daycare employee who also became an "associate instructor" recently and who was a brown belt too. At that moment I chose to quit. Later on I learned this sensei was actually still teaching some private lessons, so he lied to me too. Good riddance.


Good lord, I guess its human nature and not the art itself but the culture that surrounds it. I hear you on the cliquey aspect. This is why I am beyond grateful at the Korean Karate Dojo/Dojang. Its a very lowkey place and the private lessons are incredible. The teacher goes beyond the clock and sometimes an hour session turns in to two hour and its free of charge. They tell me that I inspire them and I have tried to pay them extra because I feel bad but they never take my money. Yet they charge 20 percent less.

After experiencing the boxing place I was in to as well as reading your experience, I have greater levels of gratitude for the style, teacher and school that I am currently part of. I truly am grateful for having a legendary Korean Karate master on my side. What I learned from honorable dojos and dojangs is that, karate or martial arts shouldn't just be about making money but also making an impact!


I understand making money is very important but I would not want to sacrifice quality for commerce. That and I want to promote and reward students who are dedicated and not just talented. This creates a healthier culture within the dojo/dojang. Sorry you had to go through that.


I am really happy you made this topic, writing all that was quite cathartic for me

I am very curious about your style. Is it tang soo do? I have seen tang soo do, taekwondo and moo duk kwan as referred to as korean karate.

I have always had a scholarly side to my interest in martial arts, and I fondly recall a book I read in my childhood called "Korean Karate: The Art of Tae Kwon Do" by Duk Sung Son too.
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Himokiri Karate
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Green Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 379

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tatsujin wrote:
At the end of the day, it really does come down to money...

I have never run a "professional" or "commercial" school. Why? Because I wanted to teach who I wanted, when I want and how I wanted. If I have to make a living from teaching, then I can't do that. Some of you will argue that you can...but I disagree totally because I have seen it happen so many times. You may have early success, but you are not going to have long term financial success. With that said...

Before you left the gym, did you happen to ask this person why they were doing this? I have skimmed through this a few times and didn't see that. Also, I am curious...were you one of the people ignored or not ignored? Asking what is going on (in a polite and respectful manner) can quite often result in you finding out answers that you were not expecting.

I am NOT saying that the following is the case here, but I will share a story that MIGHT relate...

Several years ago, a friend of mine ran a very small dojo. He had a full time job and the revenue from the dojo basically paid to keep the doors open. Anyway, he had a project come up at his "real job" and asked me to help with some of the instruction. I agreed to do it. He had me teaching a class of 7 people that were all going to be testing for their purple belt (yonkyu - 四級). In this system, that is just before brown belt...so much was beginning to be expected of them at this level. Anyway, I ended up doing the testing for them (agreed upon by all involved). I wrapped up the testing and told them all the results of the grading would be available in the next class...which was about 3 days away. That day/class came. I had everyone bow in and we then did our warm up session. At that point, I announced that no one had passed the grading. I left it at that. I went right into the training for the night (which no one happened to notice was related to their next belt level). Now, they all passed. They were all going to get their rank. BUT! I wanted to see what would happen. Would anyone not give me their best in this class after getting that news? Would the "mental" effect of not passing the grading cause a melt down? Would anyone ask me about it? Etc, etc, etc...Long story short, the only woman in the class (a young lady of about 22 or so) took the appropriate opportunity during the class to come to me off to the side of the class and ask me what she could do to ensure she would pass the next grading. No complaining. No demand for equity. She didn't even ask what prevented her from passing. She just wanted to know what she could do moving forward to ensure that she passed on the next try. BINGO! Needless to say, once the class finished and everyone was sitting in seiza waiting to bow out of class, an interesting discussion was had and all 7 learned a great life lesson.



In the last few days that I showed up, the owner did not even bother to say hi. I assumed he was busy with his fighters. I sent an email but no response even though he always responds. Did not bother to wonder since he is a boxing trainer and also recently, his gym which is commercial is catering to the whole woke culture and he has a timeslot that is "no straight males allowed"

When I saw that, I was pretty much stopped caring or wondering. I was just an ATM and when he found a more lucrative clientele, it was time for him to take out the trash/me.


RW wrote:
Himokiri Karate wrote:
RW wrote:
Himokiri Karate wrote:
Although I train in Korean Karate, I mostly have done boxing and have had many trainers and to many other gyms. Anyways in the past year, I was with a trainer who preached loyalty community and compassion.

But recently he stopped giving personal training + only tending to his "favorite" athletes while others are kind of just stuck in the gym just hitting the bag or they can spar or do their own thing. Of course in my eyes, that is a horrible thing. The talented gets more treatment and the less talented gets to be a cannon fodder.


Because of that, I left the gym and I left with a very sour taste in my mouth. All this preaching about being a "Real boxing gym" and not a studio or a business and yet they ran it like one, they were even in to the whole woke thing with the whole "no straight males allowed at 7 am" type policy.


Anyways I will stop because this is beginning to be a rant. But my question is, have you been to a dojo or have you witnessed a sensei behave in such a blatantly contradictory manner? Keep in mind that this guy I am talking about is a super nice guy in terms of interaction. Never yells, never screams, always is calm and relaxed. But his actions are to me happen to be very malevolent and pretty cruel. As someone who trained in various forms of karate before settling down to Korean Karate, I can say that I have NEVER witnessed such a thing before. So I am kind of curios if this is behavior has been replicated in the karate community?


I have witnesses something pretty bad myself.

I used to practice traditional karate, then quit and many years later I joined a "kempo karate" (so basically, Americanized Karate) school because it was close to my home and I craved getting back into the martial arts.

It was certainly different from your average shotokan or goju ryu or shito ryu class, but it was still fun and had some applicability to it, so I decided to stick with it. For the first 3 years it was ok.

After my 3rd year there, things began deteriorating horribly.

1) First the separation between adults class and kids class began blurring.

Sure, having a 19 or 18 year old in class was fine. But then there were a couple 16 year olds in class. Next thing you know there is a 14 year old in class, under the justification that "he is a brown belt so he is too advanced for the kids class". Then there was a 10 year old. This should have been enough to make me leave, but I didn't see the red flag and stayed.

2) Then they implemented a very dishonest business model

These american karate schools have an odd system. You get the regular class ("group class") and then you get one "private lesson" per week included in your monthly fee. "This is awesome!" I thought to myself, I get to have private instruction too! My mind raced with the possibilities, this is going to be a Daniel San and Mr. Miyagi sort of thing!!!

Truth is, the "private class" model is actually a detriment to instruction. They get to charge you more because of these private lessons, which would not be an issue if you actually got them as an "extra". But the private lessons became the perfect excuse to have subpar "group classes".

You see, at this school, all of your rank material, be it kata, ippon kumite drills, etc, they are all taught during your private lesson. You're learning all of your rank material during those once-a-week lessons. That frees the "group class" for aiming at the lowest common denominator: Calisthenics, practicing punches from the horse stance and the ocassional kick shield drill. That's it. No kata learning, no ippon kumite drill learning, no rank learning at all. This way they can group all kids in one class, regardless of rank, and all adults in another class, regardless of rank. Lazy, isn't it?

But this is not what made the model dishonest. What made it dishonest after my 3rd year? See point # 3, "the teaching corps"!

3) The teaching corps.

The group class model was bad enough. But not bad enough to get me to quit. At least I did have the full attention of my sensei for one class a week, right? Enter the teaching corps.

What are the teaching corps? Free labor! The school began offering these "special elite instructor courses" (I changed the name slightly just to make it less obvious what school I am talking about) to all students. All you have to do to be eligible to take these courses is... to pay a hefty fee. ca-ching! $$$

Pay for 4 "elite courses", teach kids' private lessons (for free) and you will earn yourself a fancy "assistant instructor" belt. This belt looks almost exactly like a junior black belt, but with the colors inverted. You will be referred to as "sempai" or "assistant instructor".

This is where the dishonesty kicks in: You can be a yellow belt for all they care. If you go to 4 of these courses and keep the kids busy with playing "ninja ball" or other games like that, you get to be some sort of instructor. What are these kids learning?!?!

Then if you teach enough kids' classes and pay for more of the same "elite courses" (not even different ones, the same ones all over again), you will get a red belt and get to be called "associate instructor". Now you can teach rank material to kids and adults alike. You're basically a sensei, only without the name and without the pay.

This is where the dishonesty really gets overwhelming. Imagine having junior ranks (we're not talking about brown or even blue or green belts here) get called instructor and teach kids and adults their rank material, during the much-hyped private lessons, with as per # 2 above, are the only chance you get for getting taught your kata and other material like that.

4) The dojo politics

Who in their right mind would pay hefty sums of money in order to work for free for a dojo, without getting to learn anything (no, you won't get taught anything extra or get any sort of spiritual, mental, technical or physical benefit in exchange for spending several hours a week playing ninja ball with the kids or teaching a grown up an erroneous version of pinan nidan that you just learned yourself last week) and presenting yourself as an "associate instructor" with a fancy red belt that looks like the belt a a 10th dan okinawan karate master would wear?

The students that ended joining this horrible program were for some reason the bottom of the barrel of the class. the lowest skilled students that also happened to be power hungry and prone to gossip. In other words, the people who had no business teaching anything.

Their newfound "teaching corps" status led them to form a clique. This clique resented any students that they didn't like personally or that were more skilled, in a Mean Girls kind of way. Soon these "teaching corps" people began suggesting the sensei that some students should get kicked out because they "brought down the vibe" of the classes or "were mean people" (these people actually managed to brand as "mean" some of the kindest people I have met). The sensei didn't go as far as to ban these students who were targeted by the teaching corps, but the whole atmosphere was poisoned.

5) The teaching corps and politics had an effect on the student body and rank material


Who has the time and energy to deal with a bunch of childish, gossipy overgrown children who feel that they're bruce lee? The good students began leaving the dojo on their own accord. Many joined BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai and Boxing schools, many quit martial arts forever.

On my last year there, the student body was overpopulated with children, incredibly unskilled and out of shape adults and "the teaching corps", who now look like they're actually skilled because they were successful in running out most people who were better than them.

This had an effect on the teaching. We stopped sparring forever ("if you want to spar, come to our specialized sparring class that's held every Sunday, that's it"), the instructor demanded that we stopped wearing our belts during sparring (he never gave a good reason, but in reality it was to save two particularly bad "associate instructors" from embarrassment when they get schooled by white belts) and kick shield practice became more rare because some teaching corp members didn't like to feel the impact of kicks on their body through the kick shields (!!!).

By this time I was very conflicted and thought about leaving this horrible place for good. I made several posts here and a topic about it, and asked my fellow martial artists here for advice.

In the end I didn't need to make such a decision, COVID happened, then I took some video lessons, and when I was ready to come back to the dojo my sensei told me he would no longer be teaching me. My grown man Shodan self would have to be taught by a 19 year old "associate instructor" who was actually a brown belt (not even a 2nd degree brown belt) or a middle aged former child daycare employee who also became an "associate instructor" recently and who was a brown belt too. At that moment I chose to quit. Later on I learned this sensei was actually still teaching some private lessons, so he lied to me too. Good riddance.


Good lord, I guess its human nature and not the art itself but the culture that surrounds it. I hear you on the cliquey aspect. This is why I am beyond grateful at the Korean Karate Dojo/Dojang. Its a very lowkey place and the private lessons are incredible. The teacher goes beyond the clock and sometimes an hour session turns in to two hour and its free of charge. They tell me that I inspire them and I have tried to pay them extra because I feel bad but they never take my money. Yet they charge 20 percent less.

After experiencing the boxing place I was in to as well as reading your experience, I have greater levels of gratitude for the style, teacher and school that I am currently part of. I truly am grateful for having a legendary Korean Karate master on my side. What I learned from honorable dojos and dojangs is that, karate or martial arts shouldn't just be about making money but also making an impact!


I understand making money is very important but I would not want to sacrifice quality for commerce. That and I want to promote and reward students who are dedicated and not just talented. This creates a healthier culture within the dojo/dojang. Sorry you had to go through that.


I am really happy you made this topic, writing all that was quite cathartic for me

I am very curious about your style. Is it tang soo do? I have seen tang soo do, taekwondo and moo duk kwan as referred to as korean karate.

I have always had a scholarly side to my interest in martial arts, and I fondly recall a book I read in my childhood called "Korean Karate: The Art of Tae Kwon Do" by Duk Sung Son too.


Glad to hear it and to answer your question, the person is a boxing coach but when I became orphaned, I got in to Korean Karate at a dojang that teaches various Korean martial arts. Since I am a private student with karate and boxing, they created a training program in which they are teaching me their specific move sets that are Tang Soo Do/Taekwondo techniques. Hence for simplicity sake, I call it Korean Karate. Been with them since March or so I believe and I just got my green belt and I am loving my training.

No complaints at all with the Korean Karate. The training is brutally difficult because its a private class, the master is a general in the South Korean military and I requested an authentic Korean training regimen and they obliged. The price of private lesson is extremely affordable and high quality.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tatsujin wrote:

Several years ago, a friend of mine ran a very small dojo. He had a full time job and the revenue from the dojo basically paid to keep the doors open. Anyway, he had a project come up at his "real job" and asked me to help with some of the instruction. I agreed to do it. He had me teaching a class of 7 people that were all going to be testing for their purple belt (yonkyu - 四級). In this system, that is just before brown belt...so much was beginning to be expected of them at this level. Anyway, I ended up doing the testing for them (agreed upon by all involved). I wrapped up the testing and told them all the results of the grading would be available in the next class...which was about 3 days away. That day/class came. I had everyone bow in and we then did our warm up session. At that point, I announced that no one had passed the grading. I left it at that. I went right into the training for the night (which no one happened to notice was related to their next belt level). Now, they all passed. They were all going to get their rank. BUT! I wanted to see what would happen. Would anyone not give me their best in this class after getting that news? Would the "mental" effect of not passing the grading cause a melt down? Would anyone ask me about it? Etc, etc, etc...Long story short, the only woman in the class (a young lady of about 22 or so) took the appropriate opportunity during the class to come to me off to the side of the class and ask me what she could do to ensure she would pass the next grading. No complaining. No demand for equity. She didn't even ask what prevented her from passing. She just wanted to know what she could do moving forward to ensure that she passed on the next try. BINGO! Needless to say, once the class finished and everyone was sitting in seiza waiting to bow out of class, an interesting discussion was had and all 7 learned a great life lesson.


This is an...interesting approach. I'm honestly not sure how I'd handle it. It would depend on my performance at the testing and how confident I was in my performance. I think the approach the student that addressed you was an admirable one. It's also a touch of dishonesty, which might make one think that this instructor gets his kicks by watching the students squirm. Lots of different ways something like this could go. I'm glad that something positive came out of it in the end.

RW, that sounds like a nightmare scenario you were tied to. What a terrible experience!
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