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LastKing
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 07 May 2015
Posts: 74


PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:42 am    Post subject: Running club in UK with 1st Kyu. How legit is it? Reply with quote

I took over our small, rural karate club in the UK a while back after our Chief instructor moved abroad. He was happy with me taking over the club, and in fact was the one who suggested I do it. I also run a sports fighting club off the back of it, which is more technique and fitness based. In the karate club at present there is no sparring, and in the sport's fighting club, what sparring there is, is very light contact, and all the members wear helmets. All is going well with the clubs. Well, it was until recently.
After contacting our governing body for the first time regarding insurance for a new venue, I've been told by them that I am not allowed to teach, being that I am on !st Kyu rather than 1st Dan, thus, invalidating the club's insurance. After raising my concerns with my instructor, he has told me that it is okay, though, and that in our organisation a 1st kyu can run a club as an associate instructor.
I work in a primary school, have a teaching qualification/extended CRB check first aid certificate, and, luckily, separate personal liability insurance from a boxfit class I run separately which I have checked covers me for instructing karate at my rank. This cover does not extend to the members of the club, however.
What I want to know is, is there anyone else out there running a club on a 1st kyu, and what is the general feeling on how legit this set up is? I've very risk averse and am not happy at being left in the lurch, so to speak, by my instuctor as everything I've read from various karate governing bodies indicates that a minimum requirement from to teach is 1st dan. I understand this is not a legal requirement, and I also understand that the UK law limits liability to a certain extent regarding members of martial arts clubs, as is, it is an activity which is voluntarily entered into and a certain amount of risk is therefore accepted. I don't want to leave myself, or my students vulnerable, though, and am very much prepared to close the club if I feel it's too high.
I am looking to grade to 1st dan independently, but this has been complicated by a knee injury which for the foreseeable future, makes that impossible.
What do you guys think. Any input is welcome.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14609
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have personally and professionally known 1st Kyu's that have opened up a dojo, in which they've been very successful. After all, what a Governing Body wants is far and away from what is practical in this regards. The Sun and the Moon do not settle because the Governing Body says so, and furthermore, any Governing Body should mind their own business because they've no purview in a dojo's business whatsoever.

Right now, the buck stops with you, especially if you're the designated CI, even though you're only a 1st Kyu. By the time any of your students reach 3rd Kyu, I'm sure you'll have earned your Shodan by then.

If the laws of the land say you can't, then abide to UK Laws. However, if not, then run your school as YOU see fit, no matter what any Governing Body might feel. If your Governing Body pulls their charter and/or the like, then so be it; you'd be better without them sticking their nose where it's not wanted.

My only concern is if you've students that are 2nd Kyu and higher because as a 1st Kyu, integrity speaks that you as a 1st Kyu, you can promote no higher than 3rd Kyu. To do so higher, you'd need an appropriate Dan rank...integrity wise. That's why most schools have a Sandan as the CI because a Sandan can promote to Shodan. How does this concern me?? Only because you might start losing students because of your limited ability to promote above 3rd Kyu.

As far as insurance, well, sounds like it's time to search for an affordable insurance company of your own, and drop any insurance from the Governing Body, which a Governing Body shouldn't be insuring any school but the Hombu.

Hang in there, do what you feel is best for your Student Body as well as yourself. Just know this, you've every right to open and run a dojo as a 1st Kyu...and if no one likes it, well, so what!?!

Good luck!!



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1749

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Potential students will most likely expect the CI to hold a dan grade and wear a black belt. Even if the exact significance of the system is unknown or not fully understood; the fact is that the majority will believe that a black belt/dan grade equals experience/expertise and the ability/credentials to teach.

An instructor with a kyu grade/colour belt could make potential students turn away before there is a chance for the CI to demonstrate that they are indeed a capable instructor.
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6186
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it is a case of showing that you are reasonably knowledgable to teach and that depends on your governing bodies' definition of what qualifies someone to be a teacher. If it is a minimum of blackbelt then you may have to go elsewhere for insurance.

I have seen below blackbelt teaching but this is under the guidance of a high grade who more often than not observes the classes.

For what its worth, insurance from the UK Taekwondo body says that a non-blackbelt can teach though they must not be doing this for the majority of the class time.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14609
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The examples of mine above about the 1st Kyu's having stared a dojo, and them each being successful were dependent upon them still training and taking lessons from their Dan ranked Sensei, who just happen to be Sandan and higher CI's, as well as those CI's visiting those dojo's on a regular basis. That eased the apprehension across the board with their Student Body; with a CI visiting and still guiding the 1st Kyu's rests quite well with those Student Body.



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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1749

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Organisation rules and guidelines aside, the most important thing on a personal level is to continue and maintain one’s own training. Running a school and instructing people should not conflict with or prevent the CI from improving skills and furthering knowledge of what said instructor teaches.
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LastKing
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Joined: 07 May 2015
Posts: 74


PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, guys. I am training still, knee injury aside, in a different style, though - gojo ryu, which is more for my own interest in diversity of karate. It's a small group, and though they offered to let me keep my 1st kyu, I elected to start again from white, as it's so different in style from mine that it seemed appropriate. I've also trained at some other local clubs which are closer in style to us, but I have extremely limited free time, having a family and a wife who works away a lot, so they've been more on a drop in basis when and if.
To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my group. I took it on because there are lots of kids from the school where I work involved, and they've put a lot of work in. I'm confident in my ability, and feel I could successfully grade to black in our organisation. It galls me a little (well, more than a little), that I'm putting in a hell of a lot of work, but am constantly hamstrung by the outward perception of prospective newcomers that I am not really qualified to run the club. Commitment to the students aside, I probably would have closed the club due to the fact that my knee injury makes it almost impossible to get to black in the near future, and perhaps in the long term as well (awaiting MRI/doctor wonders about arthritis as well as meniscus tear). Rank actually means little to me personally. I know my ability and whether I have a black belt holding my gi closed or a brown isn't a major interest, but it's my vulnerability, and the vulnerability of the students, with regards insurance, and also the perceived validity of the grades the students are given by me, and for which they are paying, which makes it all such a ball ache.
I have to say, I'm not really getting any support either from our organisation. On the one hand I feel cut adrift and on the other, stuck between the politics of the organisation and the governing body.

But anyway, I'm just going over the same ground.
Thanks again


Last edited by LastKing on Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14609
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Organisation rules and guidelines aside, the most important thing on a personal level is to continue and maintain one’s own training. Running a school and instructing people should not conflict with or prevent the CI from improving skills and furthering knowledge of what said instructor teaches.

I agree!!

If there's to me no continued training, than the 1st Kyu should not open a dojo because that will be an injustice for the Student Body.


Imho!!



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1749

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the advantages of belonging to a governing body is that it is easier for a lower grade to find the nearest higher/more advanced instructor under whom to continue one’s personal training while teaching. An independent lower grade wanting to teach, depending on location, might find it more difficult. However with a will and some effort, it is not impossible to find a reasonable way to do it.
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wagnerk
Purple Belt
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Joined: 02 Oct 2006
Posts: 570
Location: UK
Styles: TSD, Karate & Kickboxing

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you not taken alook at other "No Politics - No Association Interference" associations and or Governing Bodies?

There are a few in the UK that will allow (associate) instructors from 3rd Kyu/Gup as well as insure them and their clubs...

Some will even give you the opportunity to grade (provided you meet their criteria, time in grade, as well as reach their standards)...
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