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Thread: Responcibility of the teacher

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    Default Responcibility of the teacher

    As an instructor or even owner of a school. How much responsibility do you have or feel toward the ethical use of the art by your students.

    Lets face it, what we are learning and teaching is a potentially destructive art.


    I know the cookie cutter answer is Yes, we are responsible, and our students are taught that it is only defense. etc etc...

    But how do you know? How do you enforce? How do you react when/if you find out that it is not used properly.. by adults and or by their children?

    In the perfect world we teach not only skill but morality and ethics.

    This is not a perfect world. How much of your class emphasizes proper use?

    I have been to a number of schools after moving every couple of years.. and to be honest.. I have only had 2 that really honestly spent time on proper mindset and use. The others had creeds and opening pledges.. but never really discussed what it means to apply what is said.

    your thoughts?

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    Default Re: Responsibility of the teacher

    My schools haven't gone over it either and neither do I. I guess because I've always assumed what it was to be used for, so I just assume the same of my students.

    I teach adults though, so I think they have a better idea. If I thought any of the students were the type to start fights, I would probably address it.

    Kids -- that's a different issue.

    Ultimately, people are responsible for their own actions. It can't be any other way.

    It seems that only those with bully-like tendencies are going to be using their kenpo for evil and that falls to the parents to nip that tendency in the bud.

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    As part of testing our schools require students to be able to define principles and the meanings behind pledges, etc. Also, I can't think of a class that goes by where techniques are practiced without either myself, or the head instructor stating that "if you have to do this, this could be the possible result", ie: death, maiming, etc.... (adult classes BTW)

    I find it hard to believe this topic would not come up. You're right, it's a destructive, or better yet a "war-art." Martial is the root word and refers to the military. When instructing a student in proper technique you must go beyond the proper body mechanics of the strikes per se. You must also instruct on proper targets, and that includes advising of possible consequences when those targets are struck.

    At the moment I can't remember which volume, but in one of the "Insights" books, SGM Parker listed targets and consequences of hitting those targets.

    IMHO- =)
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    Often I have found that manny of the classes where they do discuss the effects of specific strikes are explained in an gleefull rather than reverant mannor. that always rubbed me the wrong way.

    And I admit.. I have cought myself getting really excited about learing/teaching the detailed effects of pressure points and I have to consciously bring myself down to respecting the power behind the application and trying to convey the sevarity of what we learn and teach.

    I also taught healing applications to the same pressure points used to disable when possible.

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    A lot of folks don't realize how devastating this stuff is. My instructor and I recently had a conversation about it. We discussed the fact that someone that was extremely proficient at the yellow belt techniques would indeed be very dangerous and quite capable of disabling an attacker. Yellow Belt.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    Yes, I noticed tht about Kenpo.. Other forms I have learned spent allot of time with defence, good foundation, blocks, falling.. and then real application of strikes.

    I was shocked with even the white belt techniques... first technique ends with a sword hand to the throat... ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!?!

    Undeniably effective but really got me thinking about who is learning this and how is it being learned.

    this also leads me to think about the schools out there that are more interested in the monthly tuition checks rather than quality of technique.. if they are more interested in income rather than quality how much can they possibly be intereted in teaching proper application?

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    As an instructor, I constantly emphasize the danger of executing any of the techniques in EPAK unless forced to defend oneself. I also discuss the importance of humility and self-control.

    At the same time, I also tell them that if we have honestly tried our best to avoid a fight, we should never become a statistic for something that was not our fault. Therefore, hurt before you maim, maim before you kill.

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    The tenents of most MA is to build character but how can you garauntee that is happening? You can't. You can only do your small part to teach your students correctly. And, if they run across one of these other ya-hoo's that like to hurt people, make sure they are trained well enough to give them a lesson in humility.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    The tenents of most MA is to build character but how can you garauntee that is happening? You can't. You can only do your small part to teach your students correctly. And, if they run across one of these other ya-hoo's that like to hurt people, make sure they are trained well enough to give them a lesson in humility.
    But thats my point.. I am not sure that it is the tennent of most MA... Yes, they say it is, Yes, thats what it is traditionaly and in the ideal...

    But how many honestly teach it, how many simply assume that it is an understood, and how many simply do not care?

    How often do you see honorable combat in a tourney?

    I went to one year or so ago.. was sparing and I have been taught that if you get hit... call it. If you clash and you know they tagged your ribs first you tap your own ribs and say "good" because the judges can't always see it. Well this happend a few times and I wound up getting 3rd and 2 of the points were awared him becuase I admited that he got me first.

    Afterwards the judges told me that I was the first person they had met that ever did that.. which honeslty supprised me.

    I don't know.. maybe I am just an idealist. I also got several comments from judges and people who appriciated my sportsmanship... who knows.. hopefully it rubbed off some.

    I woudl love to see a tourney where the judges are only needed to call when the combatents can't tell who hit first.

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    Take pride in the fact that they recognized and appreciated your honorable behavior. That is a bigger prize than a crappy medal or trophy.

    You can't control other people of what they do either, so stop worrying about it or your head may explode! Worry about you and yours. Maybe you can teach others to be more honorable people. Even if you only influence just one individual to be a better person that is something.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    Ohh trust me.. the trophy is in the basement collecting dust. Sparing is, even competition sparing, just for fun. If anything at a tourney it's the forms that I really apply myself to.

    as for takinging care of me and my own rather than others... that goes back to my orriginal point of is it not at least partialy our responcibility as instructors or owners to teach/shape/inspire students with more than just technique?

    Since I no longer teach I just try to do my best as a peer but do not feel it is my place at this school do more than that.

    thoughts?

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    Default Re: Responcibility of the teacher

    It's incredibly important. We start with this philosophy in the introductory lessons and it is reinforced before a contract in signed. Every time I teach something and see that widening of the eyes that you get when you explain exactly what you are doing, I use it as an opportunity to reinforce this principle. With kids, it's even more overt. We're constantly reminding them that "it's only for bad guys".

    Students who use what they know pretty much tell their instructor that they've done so. As an instructor, I'm required to. It's then discussed between the student, the teacher and a couple of the higher ranking black belts with the content of the discussion depending on the circumstances.

    If you don't know about it, then you really can't address it. At that point, it's important that their's good documentation to minimize the school's liability, philosophy aside.

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