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Thread: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

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    Default Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    Another old post from martialTalk that I started there and imported here.

    Is there room in the Kenpo Community for both the part-time instructor who loves to teach and make just enough to buy a beer after class and the guy who has the commercial school that has to have a database to keep track of all their students. Is this what is hurting us. Or is it this diversity that will help us grow stronger. Is it because of the little guy or the big guy.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    I vote for the person who is doing what they love to do. I tend to think that person might also care about those the art is passed on to. Big guy Little guy makes no difference in my book. There are advantages to both. As a student I like someone who cares to take the time to make sure I get the teaching. That will usually be the teacher who cares no matter what the school size. Then the talent and teaching ability of the instructors come into play.
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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    I still teach out of my house. I teach Aikido, Iaido and Ju Jitsu from my home dojo. I have about 5 students and that is just about right for me. I do not charge any of them. There are two reasons for this. First, when I was in college there were times when I had no cash. It came to a point of food or training. I told my instructor that I would not be able to come for a month as I did not have the money to pay for my tutition. He told me that training was the most important thing. That learning and passing on knowlege is more important to him. He let me slide at no charge for that month and a few times after that. He never asked for anything in return other then I train hard. Secondly, I feel I though it is my calling to pass on the knowledge I've accumilated. That money is not my motivator. I teach in the hopes that someday I find a student just like mysef when I was a kid and give them the martial arts and help them find that martial arts training can make a difference for the better in thier life. Most of all I do it becasue I love it!
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    Ideally I would prefer to teach for the love of the art and only to the serious student. But, let me ask a question. How many of us started our journey with an instructor in the basement dojo and how many joined a 'for porfit' school? I believe that the 'for profit' school enables the instructor to deliver the message to a lot more people, some of whom will become great martial artists and a real asset to kenpo.

    We all look in admiration to SGM Parker, Trejo, Palanzo, Tatum, Planas, etc (if I've forgotten someone no offence intended) - but lets face it,,,all these guys, Parker included ALL ran/run commercial schools. This doesn't change the love they have for the art or the great contributions they have made, both in terms of theor instruction and the instructors they have produced.

    So, if I could make my living by spreading the good word of kenpo would I? Damn right I would. Chances are I will run a small 'not for profit' enterprise and let my stockbrokerage pay my bills

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    Has it occured to any of you that you are teaching here?

    I, for one, try most of the ideas I come across here. Some are pretty good, others I'm not so sure, and some are rejected. But I learn from them all.

    I've went to class in garages and yards, and in schools. Most of my formal training has been private instruction. In all cases, it is the instructor that made the difference. His knowlege and ability, and his ability to teach what he knows, are what makes a good learning experience. Not the size of his school or the fancy equipment.

    There are bennifits to both the small school in a garage, where you may get more individual attention from someone who just loves the art, and the large school with more people to work with and more equipment to train on. Both have their place. But it is the instructor that makes both good or bad. Bottom line, we do what we want with whoever is available. There's allways room.

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    I agree with you Dan about us teaching and learning here. I use this forum a lot as a sounding board for questions and ideas. I would feel a little lost without it. (Not to mention all the friends I've made here.)

    As for the big vs. little -- I too see advantages and disadvantages to both.

    I've been to several schools that were in YMCAs and I was charged very little, if at all. I've only been to one school where I was charged a 'commercial' amount of money.

    The main advantage to a commercial school is that you can come in whenever you want, as opposed to the others where class is only once or twice a week as a specifiic time.

    At our new club, we are charging enough so we cover our expenses, can save enough for us both to go to camp and, hopefully, have enough money every month that I can give up DJing if I want and so Tara doesn't have to get a part-time job. So, our goals are very attainable.

    We are not, however, in it for the money. lol.

    I guess it's all about the love of the art, as has previously been said.

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    I'd have to agree that Dan summed it up pretty nicely.

    As long as there are those that genuinely love the art it will perpetuate. The larger schools have a larger presence and probably more influence, but the part-time instructors that do so out of their garage or a fitness room at the local gym or "Y" are just as valuable to our continued growth. Sometimes those grow into the larger schools. We all gotta start somewhere!
    "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: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    If I could do it and make a living I would do it in a commerical setting. You are correct you would meet more and have a greater impact.

    As for learning here and all being teachers, I agree.
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    You can run a successful commercial school, without too much compromise or watering down of the art. What it takes in part is solid sales skills that will help you present the reasons why training with you is better than a belt-academy's offerings. You also don't have to sacrifice fun to do it either.

    The question is, is can you attract enough serious students to cover your overhead and earn a living? Depends on your overhead.
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    Question Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    What? People make money $$$ teaching kenpo?

    I'm s'posed ta collect dues from these really swell bunch o guys & gals that show up and kick me in the groin several times a week, make me whip them into shape and pester me for knowledge that no one can ever take away from them? Really?

    Wow. I need to rethink my whole strategy here.
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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard View Post
    You can run a successful commercial school, without too much compromise or watering down of the art. What it takes in part is solid sales skills that will help you present the reasons why training with you is better than a belt-academy's offerings. You also don't have to sacrifice fun to do it either.

    The question is, is can you attract enough serious students to cover your overhead and earn a living? Depends on your overhead.
    I agree with Bob...in theory anyway....(it's just making it happen that seems to be the issue.) lol

    Good thing I happen to enjoy teaching and don't require much in the way of maintenance.
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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    I have to agree with the postings here. It all comes down to the skill, quality, and devotion of the instructor to pass on his knowledge to the willing student. We have several schools in the area and one of them is huge but, you never doubt a student's ability coming out of that school. If the don't have the skill, they won't have the rank. You earn it there (bruises and all). On the other hand we have a smaller TKD school in the area that I really have to try hard no to laugh at.
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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    We need to find a happy balance. Can we actually get quality instruction at reasonable rates? Is this asking too much? I love to train but with people wanting us attend events every weekend and they all seem to be expensive how are we supposed to choose which ones. When I have done seminars I always keep the price as low as I possibly can and I like to make sure the host school makes a fair share of the money for the event as well. I also make sure I hit events that are hosted by schools that support what I am doing. I am tired of the guys who want me to attend their events but don't come to support my stuff.

    So how do we find a balance?
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    So how do we find a balance?
    Other than "Why are we here?" that's pretty much the question that drives us isn't it?
    "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: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    I was in both situations, in a large class with little to no teacher/student time, learning as a group.
    I'm in a small class now, Instructing as well as getting instructed. I prefer the smaller class.
    I have a tight circle of students/friends and my instructor is a good friend as well as my private coach.
    The only problem that we have is there isnt enough students to offer circle drills with all sizes of students. We only have small children and a handful of adults, when I was in the larger class, this wasnt a problem. The problem was there was no student/teacher relationship.So basically I learned from students that really didnt understand or could teach.Circle drill was superior tho.

    The only real happy medium would be student exchange programs, tourneys or assembling study group with fellow martial artists arm chair and else wise!

    Mr Broad first suggested to our group about study groups over a coffee shop visit after he held a improv seminar. I liked the idea.
    Thanks Rob.
    the next step is finding the right would be/current students to assemble.
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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    We dont make alot of money, but we love what we do!

    Thats the real secret

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    Quote Originally Posted by SifuDangeRuss View Post
    What? People make money $$$ teaching kenpo?

    Wow. I need to rethink my whole strategy here.
    Don't do it Russ - it's ($) for other people only - kinda like the door on candid camera!
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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    One of the things I like about Mr. Speakman's association is that he encourages all the schools to get together to train whenever possible.

    I've been going down to Santa Rosa to train and Tara and I had a great time there. I look forward to checking out some of the other Speakman schools and having them all come to visit us too.

    Actually, anyone who is going to be in the Sacramento, CA area is welcome to come to our class at any time. Wide open invitation. Even Billy. Maybe even Russ!

    --Amy
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    Talking Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post

    I've been going down to Santa Rosa to train and Tara and I had a great time there. I look forward to checking out some of the other Speakman schools and having them all come to visit us too.

    Actually, anyone who is going to be in the Sacramento, CA area is welcome to come to our class at any time. Wide open invitation. Even Billy. Maybe even Russ!

    --Amy
    Careful Amy...one of my best friends lives in Santa Rosa. I was down there a few months ago. If ya even remotely encourage the likes of me, I might end up on your doorstep.

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    Default Re: Teaching For Fun Or Profit.

    So here's a question for the owners of the commercial schools....how do you deal with the student who comes to class, tries hard, does all the 'right things' but just doesn't get it? You know, they have zero coordination, balance and maybe limited intelligence but are committed to learning. They can do the techniques in the air, sort of, but you know they wouldn't be able to really do it if need be. I have run across someone like this in the past and just teaching them was frustrating (glad I don't own the studio on these issues).

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