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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15153
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:18 pm    Post subject: I'm Afraid, I've No Idea!! Reply with quote

Is that the end of the world?? Maybe. That'll depend on you, and/or your Student Body. It shouldn't be the end of the world. Worse things could happen. As instructors, we're only human beings, and in that, no matter how much your Student Body might imagine us to be, we don't know everything. Not now, and certainly not tomorrow.

No matter how our Student Body might cut the cake, we don't know everything that's MA, even within our own style.

So, let's say a member of your Student Body asks you a question about whatever the subject might be, especially if it's MA related, no matter the venue, in class or outside of class, or anywhere, and instead of just saying..."I'm afraid, I've no idea!!", you make up something to appease the moment, and/or change the subject very quickly.

Students tend to revere their instructors for some unknown reason(s), I mean to them, because of what we possess, we're all of that and a bag of chips; we can do and know everything about the MA. God forbid, that their instructor has no idea to the asked question in any fog notion at all. It might alarm them. It might cause them to take a noted pause. It might affect them as to what they think about you. They might think who knows what.

Nonetheless, imagine what your Student Body would think about you if they catch you in a lie, no matter what the topic, and no matter the reason(s) you just lied to them. To a trusting student, there's no acceptable excuse, nor is there a way back from that.

If you don't know, then tell them just that...you've no idea...BUT...I'll find out the answer to your question, that way, we all can know; that's the path to knowledge.

I always tell my Student Body from their first day...I have no idea about a many things found in the MA. I can't be expected to know everything about everything in the MA, and I've been on the floor for over 5 decades. That way, when they do ask me a plethora of questions, and they will, and I tell them that I've no idea, they'll not be so floored, if at all.

Albeit. if you lie to your Student Body, then you've no integrity, and without any integrity, you've no credibility. If you'll lie about what you know, what else have you lied about, or are willing to lie about in the future.

My Student Body respects me not just because of my MA knowledge and experience, as limited as it might be, but because of my integrity, and my being humble enough to say that I've no idea...but...I'll find out for all of us.

When you say that you'll find out, you better do just that in a timely matter, and NEVER fake it until you make it with your Student Body. Honestly IS the best policy.

Your Student Body will not lose faith in your MA knowledge and experience if you're honest to them everyday from their first day. They came to YOU to learn the MA, so right there, they respect your MA abilities. In short order, your Student Body will trust you because of your solid integrity.

Scribble out any I've No Idea synonym you might, but never have any shame in your game. Your Game is to teach the MA to the best of your ability, and in doing that, there's no room whatsoever for any tomfoolery of any type; your integrity should be at the Nth degree, even though you might not have an idea to any given question.

Not knowing the answer to any question from your Student Body is nothing to be ashamed about, but to cast away your integrity for any given reason(s) is something to be greatly ashamed about; that would be day one of starting to close the doors of your MA schools forever.

In the MA, there's no such thing as a know-it-all. Those who act like they know-it-all in the MA, just don't know much, if anything, in the MA.

Are you that willing to lose your MA school over a simple question(s) from your Student Body, over a lie...to afraid to admit to your Student Body..."I've no idea"?!?!?

Imho!!



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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2250
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solid Post.

For me as an instructor, I've always prided (little bit of an ego tbh!) myself in my honesty with students.

One of the biggest rules I have always had not only with the students but also the people I teach alongside. Is that if we don't know the answer to something, we admit that to who ever asked the question.

BUT it is up to us to go and find it out for ourselves. So we can fill in a gap in a lack of our knowledge.

For me, I make that additional effort to bring it up in the next class I teach and share that information. Especially if the student or fellow instructor that I taught with is in that class.
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Bulltahr
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 707
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very true Bob, I have found in all settings, don't make something up , it will come back to haunt you, respect is very hard to regain once there is mistrust. "I don't know, but I'll find out", and then come back to the students with an answer shows them that you care enough about them to find out!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15153
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great posts, Nidan Melbourne and Bulltahr; very solid!!

Once I find out the answer to said question(s), I'll share it with my Student Body immediately, and oftentimes, more question(s) arise from the provided answer, oftentimes a class plan changes as we discuss that given answer in more detail.

Along those same lines, I'll let my Student Body know that I've no experience or not enough to effectively teach them whatever 'IT' might be. This allows me to remind my Student Body the great importance of cross-training. That reminder doesn't surprise my Student Body because from their day one, I tell them that not one MA contains anything and everything they might need.

If there's enough interest in any given topic that has been asked, and after we've all discussed it in much more detail, I'll invite a credible instructor to either my dojo, or we go to that instructors school, to teach us a class or two or a seminar.

Never do I ever try to teach something that I'm not credible in because that only gives birth to the blind-teaching-the-blind, which is the very same thing as lying.



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28552
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had things like this come up. I'm always honest with them, and will tell them what I know, or what I understand about something from my own research, or otherwise just tell them that I don't know. I will often present this as an opportunity for them to research the subject matter, and let me know what they found out. It gives them an opportunity to expand their horizons.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1830

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Itís a perfectly good answer and sometimes it is the only answer an instructor can give. However, good instructor will not simply let a question go unanswered. Honestly admitting to not having an explanation or answers doesnít mean the instructor is somehow incompetent.

Good instructors are the ones who go out and try to find the answers. They also should have the resources, knowledge and references available so that they might guide their students towards an answer. Someone somewhere always knows more. Instructors must use this to their advantage and that of everyone they teach.
After all, who says a 10th dan has all the answers? Whatís wrong with this instructor exchanging with peers, reading past masterís writings or researching?
Every other professional does it, so why should it be difficult or different for martial arts instructors?

Maybe instead of īI donít know ī a better answer should be īI donít know or Iím not sure about that, but let me get back to youí. Or : īI donít know, but Iíll ask so-and-so, he/she might have an ideaí. Nothing wrong with that.
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