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Thread: MT: The Instructor/Coach Paradox

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    Default MT: The Instructor/Coach Paradox

    The Instructor/Coach Paradox
    By Kenpojujitsu3 - Mon, 09 Oct 2006 15:36:42 GMT

    ====================

    Reading some of the recent threads got me thinking. Though what we do is not really a sport (depending on who you ask) it is a physical endeavor. In other areas of physical endeavor the coaches are charged with training, teaching and mentoring those who are "under" them. The coaches are not expected to have anywhere near the physical capabilities of their team members but are expected to be able to improve and maintain the team members' abilities. Martial Arts is the one physical activity where I see a different trend. In Martial Arts it is often expected that the teachers not only have the ability to mold the students but also have the ability to maintain the same level (or better) of physical ability of the students. If the teacher cannot he/she is generally looked down upon unless he/she is the founder of the system. I thought about this as I read some of threads on this board and others. I also thought about this as I scoured my library of footage for Kenpo clips to share with everyone on youtube.

    Consider this if you will..

    1) As I looked at all my footage of Mr. Parker I saw a noticeable decline in the physical sharpness of his moves in later footage. However he is given a "free pass" for the decline by most because he is the system's founder. I also noticed (at least from the footage I have) that as the years went on he moved less and talked more while instructing....like what coaches do.

    2) As I looked at old footage of Mr. Joe Palanzo I saw a HUGE difference from what is seen today after his having both of his knees and hips operated on and/or replaced as well as his shoulders operated on. In short his moves are not as refined as prior to the many surgeries.

    3) As I looked at recent footage of my first Kenpo instructor Mr. James Frederick I noticed a lot of poor stances and transistions. I then thought about the surgeries he's had on both of his knees and looked at older footage of him such as the time period when he took 3rd Place in Forms at the IKC's (I'm told the division was some 30+ deep but I wasn't there to confirm). His stances were much better. I looked even further back at footage of him as child and saw the progression over time and then the decline in later years.

    4) As I looked at old footage of my current Kenpo/ Ju Jitsu instructor I noticed that physically he is not even half of what he used to be. He talks to me alot but moves with me very little. Perhaps a product of his advanced age and current illness.

    I guess I just wonder why we tend to hold the instructors to such a high standard of physical prowess in Martial Arts if we don't do this for any other physical activity. Wrestling Coaches, Gymmastics Instructors, Football coaches or whatever are not held to the same standard. What makes our "contact sport" any different? Is the expectation valid? or a little unrealistic? Is our activity less physically demanding/punishing and therefore a higher level of physical prowess can be expected even at latter ages or after major injuries?


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    Default Re: MT: The Instructor/Coach Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by MT Post Bot View Post
    The Instructor/Coach Paradox
    By Kenpojujitsu3 - Mon, 09 Oct 2006 15:36:42 GMT

    ====================

    Reading some of the recent threads got me thinking. Though what we do is not really a sport (depending on who you ask) it is a physical endeavor. In other areas of physical endeavor the coaches are charged with training, teaching and mentoring those who are "under" them. The coaches are not expected to have anywhere near the physical capabilities of their team members but are expected to be able to improve and maintain the team members' abilities. Martial Arts is the one physical activity where I see a different trend. In Martial Arts it is often expected that the teachers not only have the ability to mold the students but also have the ability to maintain the same level (or better) of physical ability of the students.
    It can certainly seem that way.

    Martial arts are primarily a young persons activity, though not so much as the hard competition martila arts. The young often don't have the understanding that comes with maturity, that everyone can't fight like a champion, but some may have a good grasp on principles and what it takes to be a champion- or a good fighter. And some of those are better teachers than the champions.

    There is, of course, the reaction to the charlatins and self proclaimed masters that pushes opinion to an opposite extreme. And there is the MMA craze that says if you can't do it in the ring or oval, you can't do it anywhere. (It's the steroids talking, really!)

    Martial arts also have their share of self important practitioners who like to bring others down, or compare other practitioners unfavorably to build themselves up.

    There are probably a lot of reasons this attitude gets a lot of air time. But I think most of us can see the differnce. It's just that we don't talk that much about things we see as just common sense.

    Dan C

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    twendkata71's Avatar
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    Default Re: MT: The Instructor/Coach Paradox

    One thing you should take into consideration about SGM Parker's later demonstations is the fact that he also had Parkinsons disease (from what I read)that was adding to the age factor. He performed very well considering.
    And of course after people have several knee and or hip surgeries they would not be able to perform as well.

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    Default Re: MT: The Instructor/Coach Paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by twendkata71 View Post
    One thing you should take into consideration about SGM Parker's later demonstations is the fact that he also had Parkinsons disease (from what I read)that was adding to the age factor. He performed very well considering.

    I was impressed after reading a number of Parker's books. The changes occuring in my own body after being trained for a short time increased my view of him. Knowing that in later years he did it with a neurological condition - I stand in awe. If in my training I get to be as poor a kenopoist as he with parkinsons I will have had a very satisfying MA career.
    Hands on Healer

    "If you can not be King be a healer."

    "The hands of the King are the hands of a healer"

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    Default Re: MT: The Instructor/Coach Paradox

    Excellent thoughts here. I agree that as you age you will be different in your techniques.

    Does Larry Bird play like he did in his prime? No. Does he still have something to offer and carry the flame of his sport? 100% yes!!!
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    sifuroy is offline In Memory of our Departed Friend
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    Default Re: MT: The Instructor/Coach Paradox

    This one I can reply to. You think that increasing age has made a lot of the older masters inept? Why do you think we call them Masters?? Some of them can do more with a finger than the average man can do with his whole body.
    Our old Master (75) is not very mobile, sometimes walks with a cane, and recently had Knee surgery and had to use a walker for a while. When we walked in the door he showed us multiple ways to defend yourself with a walker. Standing leaning on a cane he can still hold off multiple attackers. If you get close enough one of his steely fingers hitting a nerve center will have you writhing on the floor in pain. Just because the don't quite do Kata as sharp anymore don't mean that they are senile and have lost all their skills.
    They have only became better with age like a fine wine. This was a very recent experience.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    sifuroy

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