Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What A Martial Arts Instructor is NOT

* A Spiritual Master
Thanks to pop culture and old kung fu movies alike, the popular opinion is that an instructor is, for the sake of shortening this, is like a cross between Yoda, Mr. Miyagi, and a wise old chess player. Granted any instructor should probably know as much material as his students, to expect him/her to be otherworldly is just asking too much. If it’s spiritual guidance you are looking for, a pastor/priest/rabbi is your best bet.

* A Babysitter
It still amazes me how many parents use martial arts classes as a mere “drop your kids off” service. One school of thought says that parents should stay and observe their kids in class, mainly for safety reasons. The flip side to this is that parents should not stay because they can, unknowingly or purposely, distract their kids during class. While I have no problem with either decision, my point is the parents that are merely getting the kids off their hands for a couple of hours. As a parent myself, I can understand the urge to do so, but realize that there are other places to do so.

* The “Maury Povich-Boot Camp Style” Drill Instructor
Many parents enroll their kids to martial arts for discipline, and usually the kid is an “out of control” (or close to it) kid. While the martial arts in my opinion do more for self-discipline and self-control than controlling an out-of-control kid, I have also observed that kids tend to act the same no matter what environment their in. For example, kids that talk back to their schoolteachers tend to talk back to their parents or any other adult as well. I’m not saying that the arts can’t help these kids, but enrolling kids simply for that reason (especially when discipline should start at home) is just asking for it.

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