Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by shoryuken63, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. shoryuken63

    shoryuken63 New Member

    How can you tell if an instructor is any good? Many people ask 'which style is the best' and many people respond 'it depends on how well the instructor teaches his students'. I was jus wondering what are some things to look for when comparing instructors (esp. if your looking around between diff styles)?
  2. Nomadwanders

    Nomadwanders Valued Member

    Here are a few suggestions when checking out an instructor.

    Find out how long he's been training and teaching. Longer is not necessarily better, but it does mean they have staying power. If they've been training for two years, they are not likely familiar enough with their own art to be teaching others (IMO).

    Make sure they are properly accredited, preferably also with first aid and CPR training.

    Observe and participate in a couple of classes - how does he treat the students, and how do the students treat him? Are they respectful? Is bad behaviour (if you happen to see any) tolerated, or dealt with in an effective manner?

    Is he teaching to all levels of the class, or only to the upper or lower belts? Everyone should feel challenged in some way by the class, but he should be taking care not to overchallenge new students... the moves will probably feel awkward, but should also feel like you could get there with some practice.

    Use your intuition as well... what kind of feeling do you get from him when talking to him before/after class?
  3. deaddoll

    deaddoll New Member

    Well as for which is best, one should ask FOR WHAT ?
    its what you want out of something, and if you like it,chat with the others go a few weeks,remember the Sensei wont always be chatty at the start of class,if they got alot to do, nor will they treat you as there best friend because you are not ...but a friendly manner is good,look around are there alot of different grades are they happy,shop around until you are happy,but remember what was said before use your intuition..ignore it at your own peril :p
  4. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Great answer!

    It's also worth looking at the school's upper belts or senior students. If they leave something to be desired, it may mean that while he's a good practitioner, he's not such a good teacher.

  5. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    When you're watching or participating ask your self if there's any substance in what is being taught. This will give you an idea of the teachers motivations. Would he/she rather look the part or be the part? Which is more important to you?
  6. Waldo_Pepper

    Waldo_Pepper Aikidokey

    Does he know his students' names? Although this seems a trivial matter, if he knows the names of his regular students, it implies that he takes an interest in an individual's progress, which is always good 'cos it means he's willing to help you peronally.
  7. Sankaku-jime

    Sankaku-jime Banned Banned

    a good instructor will usually have a different Gi to his Students,i if a white Gi is the norm the a good instructor will have a black Gi.

    Also he / she is likely to have a something like

    "Master Intructor" written on the back of there Gi either that or pretty embroided silken black belt.

    he / she is also likely to have a grandiose title, like Grandmaster or Soke or 16th Dan lineage inheritor of so and so Ryu.
  8. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    Can the smart assery in the beginners section - they don't know. I don't mind smart assery, but please don't mislead beginners.
  9. cavallin

    cavallin kickin' kitten

    it's very interesting reading this thread, as im about to open a club under my instructor. i am female and 21 yrs old. i really thrive in teaching environments and find i can get good results.

    the trouble is, i know a few people who might turn up to my class from other TAGB clubs, which ...are not the best examples!! that's a little worrying! can you suggest anything that might convince you that it's not my fault?

    i hope people will not be put off by my appearance (i look quite young) but all the same, i feel confident enough to hopefully prove myself.
  10. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    It's true there will be some students who for what ever reason just don't get it. But that's part of the challenge of teaching. If I were to come along to your class and you presented your self well, seemed confident in what your were teaching and took an interest in helping students improve then I'd be convinced you'd be worth my time and money.

    As a young teacher just starting out I think it's important that while you must teach with authority, you don't come across as the "grand old lady of martial arts" who's been there, seen it, done it and now sells the t-shirts. An approach I use when teaching is to push for improvement rather than perfection. You must be strict without being too critical. Something which seems as simple to you as putting one foot infront of the other can be a huge learning curve for beginners.

    Patience is a virtue every teacher should have. :Angel:
  11. seyah

    seyah Valued Member

    This is info from our association site


    The 5 Basic Documents

    We keep hearing stories about this and that Black Belt Club springing up around the Country run by unknown “Instructors” charging massive fees and are constantly asked what we can do to stamp them out.

    Well quite simply the only thing we can do is to educate the people in our areas to ask to see the basic 5 documents that any Martial Arts Instructor should be able to produce if asked.

    They are:

    1. Evidence of Black Belt Grade issued by a known and more importantly traceable source within the United Kingdom. Evidence from outside of the U.K. cannot always be relied upon as some can actually be purchased!

    2. Evidence of training as an Instructor, again from a known and traceable source. This training should include Child Protection and Health & Safety.

    3. Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Disclosure. Police Checks are NOT acceptable.

    4. A current First Aid certificate issued by a HSE approved Training Provider. If the Training Provider is not a known one then it should be checked out before accepting the cert’.

    5. Proffesional Indemnity. This should be the original document NOT one on a Martial Arts Group letterhead.

    Some of our members already do this and has resulted in a few of these “Instructors” closing down.
    I am able to produce all of these forms :)

    I dont think i'm a good instructor but all my students do and thats all that matters to me.

    A good instructor is one who can change with the times puts his students first and not profit an instructor who knows his limits and aint afraid to take on information and new ideas from students and one who can demonstrate a good knowledge of his MA and portray it to students of all grades.

    Theres loads more but i'll stop there.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2006
  12. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    All of the above stuff is relevant. CRB, insurance and provenance especially.

    But to address Cavalin's point specifically:

    A teacher isn't just judged by how well they can bring on a student with natural ability and tons of motivation. Any numpty with half a brain can do that. I have students who will be streets ahead of me if they stick with it because they have much better natural aptitude. The challange with them is to keep them interested.

    A better way to guage a teacher is how well they deal with students who find it difficult. The ones without the natural aptitude. Patience, understanding and the willingness to actually work at teaching rather than just do it makes the difference. If the student doesn't understand it's not their fault, it's the teacher's: find a way to reach them.

    I had an instructor who gave me not one word of encouragement in 3 years. I trained in spite of his methods. I now have instructors who still say, "That was terrible!", but they also let me know when I do things better; "Last time was 6 out of 10, this was 8 out of 10."

    Guess which approach results in the quickest improvement?

  13. psbn matt

    psbn matt great sage = of heaven

    a good idea of body mechanics and the ability to break down each move into easily understandable sections as well as what has been said above will mark out a good instructor. also i to agree that a CRB check is a good thing (all kuk sool instructors must have one) but remember that all this proves is that they haven't been caught yet :D :D
  14. Depends what martial art you do doesn't it?

    My dad's not a great boxer. But in his younger days he ran and weightlifted religiously. So I owe a lot of my fitness routine, inspiration and indeed equipment to him.

    But my Martial Arts instructor I value because of what seems like an endless amount of knowledged picked up from a lifetime of studying and fighting. He never ceases to amaze me, and there's never a question he can't answer.
  15. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    You think the UK is any different from the rest of the world in this respect :confused:
  16. Dr.Syn

    Dr.Syn Valued Member

    Give me a flippin freak....

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