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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2462


PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:14 pm    Post subject: Raising or Lowering your teaching standards? Reply with quote

As an Instructor are you raising your standards with your students or lowering them if so why?
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27635
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Alan,

I think some additional context might be helpful here. Are you raising them or lowering them why? Because of COVID and not being able to train in person like you used to? Or within some other context?

Thanks,

Patrick
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2462


PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick wrote:
Hey Alan,

I think some additional context might be helpful here. Are you raising them or lowering them why? Because of COVID and not being able to train in person like you used to? Or within some other context?

Thanks,

Patrick
Thanks for asking Patrick, hope all is well on your side.

Covid-19 personally has affected my Martial Art journey on a profound level lowering teaching standards in some aspects and has given me a chance and challenge to raise them in other areas.

Sure the Initial lockdowns was a short term challenge however turning in to a long term issue with social distancing, reality resistance training for me has become a problem to maintain as next to near none existence.

Where teaching in the local exercise park, even with light sparring has come under fire by passers by as seemingly looking dangerous on a contagious level to each other and to others.

Where I am living and training out doors, their is the stay well away from each other mentality at all costs and on the other side of this coin, is from the school of thought, that being that, the real way to fight or beat this pandemic is to be fit and strong including being athletic by exercising and eating healthy.

As for this year, have been tested negative in all respects of not having or never had this virus; ironically having not been ill for the whole year, as with wearing a mask outside has helped with dealing with tree allergies, which has been a blessing in disguise; excuse the pun!

With lowering standards, those I have had light sparring with it has been far less physical than the pre Covid days, not feeling as natural as it once was.

Therefore my standards have lowered twofold as for self defence where people are avoiding close contact for self preservation just breathing on someone is enough for them to panic and the downturn in training close to reality is very much frowned upone as being considered irresponsible.

Obviously tension is high among the general population where the situation of this Covid isn't looking to be fixed overnight and getting back to normal as we know it could be just a thing of the past.

So in my situation lowering standards is in the way of lacking resistance in sparring and a lot less chances to spar.

Having more time to explore and to add to my curriculum as to refine it, has been a way to raise my standards towards teaching others, where learning new skills for me is very satisfying and rewarding.

Whereas physically raising my standards has been mostly focusing on and improving my own cardio and endurance, as when or if training sessions resume, I will be able to continue teaching martial arts confidently, knowing that I havent lost my athleticism due to circumstances we all find ourselves in.

As I am only lowering standards that I have no real control over as for those areas that are truly beneficial and possible, raising standards is very important to help stay motivated on a day to day basis for both physical and mental wellbeing.

Hope everyone reading this little rant of mine can find your own ways to out think this situation we all find ourselves in and come out the over end in better shape than when it all started.
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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: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lowered costs? Yes. Lowered standards? No.

Money is just that, of which lowering costs is the right thing to during these very difficult times due to the current pandemic. Money over students has never made much sense to me. Sure, every business is in business to meet their overhead, as well as a profit. However, I can lower costs for all concerned to meet their expectations. I've lowered costs before this pandemic, and I never looked back because it was the right thing to do back then, and it's the right thing to do nowadays.

I'll never lower my standards for any reason because without integrity, there's no reason to teach the MA, and no reason to have a business whatsoever. It's not about quantity over quality; that's an oxymoron. Lowering costs do not share the same stale breath with lowering standards; standards remain high, no matter what.

I'd stop teaching the MA if I had to lower my standards. I can't say the same for lowering costs. I'd still teach because my standards would remain high, even if I had to lower my costs.



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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: Sat Nov 14, 2020 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lower standards? No. Changes in protocols and procedures? Perhaps.

At our school, we are engaging in sparring, one-steps, and self-defense work as normal, and have been doing this for some time. Our numbers have taken a hit due to Covid, though, and I pray the school can recover from it.

Fortunately, thus far, my boys' wrestling seasons are going forward with practices and competitions.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1830

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lowering standards or, rather rearranging the material into smaller parts is nothing new. The first time this probably happened historically was around the early 1900 when “tou-di” or “Chinese boxing and its ryukyuan adaptation” became known as karate. This shift in standards and curriculum is a direct result of a once secret or semi-secret self defense technique taught largely one on one or one at a time to teaching to groups and training in groups with more and more students.

As telling experiment, it might be interesting to ask this question to the chief instructor or founder of one’s organization, especially if this person is culturally native to the art being taught. Personally, all those who ever taught me admitted at some point that if they kept the exact same teaching methods they were taught with and taught exactly as their own instructor taught them, they might have only about 3 or 4 and no less than five truly dedicated students who

Everyone else would run away or claim excessive hardness. They sure would be getting enough students to earn a living from teaching martial arts, though. That’s probably one of the reasons my instructors all had a day job or several and karate was something left for weekends and after work.
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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: Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We haven't lowered our standards due to covid, as people have continued to train in the modified format via zoom throughout the year.

Providing individualised feedback has been near impossible due to it though.

So we had set our expectations of classes to be lower, as we expect students to have moved backwards throughout the year. but not to the extent that some haven't actually improved.

We have also been teaching in person for the last couple of weeks, as our restrictions have been progressively been easing over the last month. As of yesterday we have had 28 Days of 0 new infections and 0 active cases in my state.

Our students also are aware that they can't expect to be tested in grade or for a belt promotion for the foreseeable future, until the standards have been met. and they all understand, and are working hard to meet our standards for even remotely being able to test in-grade.

the hardest and most problematic has been the no-contact rule. as it rules out so much of what we do in Martial Arts.
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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 Nov 27, 2020 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps, in these trying times, it would be a good time for those who haven't read it yet read Loren Christensen's book, The Way Alone. A really good read, especially for one who finds themselves training alone a lot. He also has some other good books, two of them titled Solo Training and Solo Training 2.
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