Rank respect

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by ShadowWarrior, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. ShadowWarrior

    ShadowWarrior Valued Member

    Hi there,
    About 2 years back our instructor a 2nd dan, left our town and moved north. My father who was a red belt at that time was left in charge as he was the oldest member there. I was also put in charge to instruct as i was the most senior member at black stripe.
    I have recently gained my black belt and my father has given me his role as he now has to focus on getting his black belt and other things. He still instructs but i do most of the things.
    Because i am only 15 i dont get much respect from anyone, except the little kids. But the adults and older students don't respect me at all, the only way i have been able to gain a bit of respect is by giving them hell and making them work hard.
    Firstly,, why do they not respect me, obviously my age but is there another reason.
    How can i fix this? I think what i am doing at the moment isnt working very well.
    I am a good student and instructor i have had lots of praise from a few masters and the two 6th dans in NZ, also all the other black belts throughout NZ in our organisation.
    I would like your opinions and your help, to help me become a better instructor and make our club run alot better and respect their seniors!

    Thanks in advance
    Ryan O'Hara

  2. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    you left out the most important part: how do you treat your students? do you yell at them? are you nice to them? do you explain things to them? do you demonstrate techniques? ...
  3. ShadowWarrior

    ShadowWarrior Valued Member

    Im good to my students. i treat them how i would like to be treated. i explain things clearly to them and i demonstrate things to them correctly. I definatly do not yell at them, i know that that does not get you anywhere(school sucks:p)
  4. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    well, yelling sometimes does help, but yelling with the aim to motivate, but considering your age, i don't think it's a good idea.

    how about trying this: you father teaches and explains stuff and lets you demonstrate everything or he demonstrates things with you?

    how about trying to motivate the students in a little bit different way to redirect their attention to somewhere else? for example, try to notice what they really like, is it sparring, flying techniques, fighting combos etc do that and they will enjoy the class and you'll get a plus for organising the class that way.
  5. TheMadhoose

    TheMadhoose Carpe Jugulum

    Your in the position of bering a new backbelt and unfortunately it can be hard for some people to get used to giving you the the kind of respect an instructor receives, and also being only 15 your in the clasification of the kid with the new blacbelt.
    unfortunate but it happens the only comment i can make is you must earn their respect and that my friend isnt easy. Where i earned my 1st dan it was drilled into students that myself and the 2 others 1 of which were only 12 were to be given the same respect as the instructor. maybe not correct but after time and by treating people with respect youl get it in return
  6. Juego Todo

    Juego Todo Stay thirsty, my friends.

    Please excuse my long-winded contrib...

    I don't like the fact that the adults don't seem to show much respect towards you. :woo:

    I do like, however, the fact that you have recognized a problem and that, rather than try to ignore it, you're trying to find a solution. :)

    I also like neryo_tkd's analytical thinking via the investigative questions (do you work for CSI? hehe). ;)

    Back to the topic...it's a tough call. neryo_tkd's suggestion about your father explaining subject matters whilst you demonstrate the techniques seems like a very viable option. Your father gains their attention and they, in turn, look to you for guidance in the proper execution of techniques. Something of a team-effort between you two.

    My only concern regarding that option relates to how often your father would actually be there in class. I mean, if he handed his role over to you, that would almost indicate that his actual time in class has been reduced somewhat. I stand corrected should you indicate otherwise. If he is there, though, I think that would be the ideal thing to do at this point. :)

    If it helps to give you some perspective of someone else's experience, I'll relate to you a bit of my situation when I was around your age.

    Many moons ago, I had received my il-dan in ITF just before my 14th birthday. I was considered by others to be mature for my age, but I was still immature no doubt. I never, ever goofed-off in class, but my voice was cracking & I had my fair share of zits. Heck, I was still a kid trying to be a man. :eek:

    Due to my rank change, I was moved from the junior class to the adult class. In the junior class, it started to feel like I was a high school sophomore attending junior high classes. In the adult class, it felt like I was a high school freshman attending university lectures. A man-boy of sorts, caught in the middle.

    I'd been fortunate to not have experienced the disrespect that you feel coming from your adult students. That's not because I was any better than you or anyone else...not at all. I think it has more to do with the situation that I just happened to be in.

    Although I'd been an assistant instructor to both the junior & adult classes, I was not THE head instructor at my dojang, whereas you are. That, in itself, relieved me of the pressures that you feel now.

    With that, none of the adults gave me any negative attitude because I wasn't taking over the club and I wasn't the only one teaching these people who were, some of them, twice my age or more. There were no egos to challenge. If anything, I think that they appreciated my presence because I was a source of supplementary info to Sabumnim, which was probably just icing on the cake for them, so to speak. I was competing regularly, so I could advise them on some things. They could go to me first for my opinion or advice, then they could go to Sabumnim for either reinforcement or for more advanced material. Had I been in your shoes, I could've only picked-straws to figure out an outcome. :confused:

    Remember how an old saying goes? Something like "Respect cannot be learned, purchased or acquired- it can only be earned." :cool:

    Unfortunately, the black belt alone doesn't automatically secure the respect that you wishfully seek & deserve. Possible reasons for this may be:

    -it could be that there are black belt holders who do not demonstrate the Tenets of TKD in the way they conduct themselves around their seniors, peers, students & others, which may leave people feeling skeptical about the integrity & symbolism of the black belt;

    -some people have big egos & closed minds which leave them unable to learn anything from you since they've already decided not to learn from a "kid", as sad as it may sound to us;

    -referring to egos again, perhaps there is one thing that they may be able to do technically better than you (none of us are perfect by any means) and, thus, feel that they are really better than you when, in fact, the opposite is true;

    -and so on.

    If memory serves me correctly, Chuck Norris (TSD, ITF-TKD, JMA, BJJ, etc.) competed to get some publicity for his dojang. Via his tournament career, he was able to market himself so that people would learn from him. That, in itself, was a way of somehow gaining some respect by proving it in the competition ring. People knew that he was able to put-up-or-shut-up, so to speak. People were learning from somebody who had proven himself.

    Maybe competition might be a way of earning respect, teaching through example and not just through preaching, as they may interpret it. If you wish to go that route, perhaps you can try attending your students' tournaments and sign-up to compete yourself, too. Regardless of the outcome, they might view you a bit differently, perhaps for the better. ;)

    Too many teachers say to do this and to do that, but they don't really show the effectiveness of their teachings. It doesn't have to be through competition, but I guess that some students want to know that their Sabumnim is quite capable of demonstrating techniques in action and not just in the air or via some war-stories. Competition isn't the end-all and be-all of TKD or MA in general. It's just one part of the whole glorious mix.

    As far as the age thing is concerned, for a moment in fairness, let's try to think about how we would feel in their shoes. Without meaning any disrespect at all towards you whatsoever, just try to think about how it would feel if you were an adult, with all of your life experiences through many years, and then suddenly you'd be told what to do by someone who's still in school & still living at home! :eek:

    Admittedly, that would be a little strange. Being an adult now (I'd like to think of myself as more of a big-kid!), it might feel weird at first, but I'd like to think that I would try it out first to keep an open mind. I might learn something.

    However, if the lack of maturity was getting in the way and, if I could actually receive better instruction elsewhere, I would respectfully bow-out and join a dojang that best fits my expectations. It'd be my personal choice and, after all, I'd want TKD value for my hard-earned wages (if the classes weren't free). That's just my personal thought, by the way, not necessarily shared by other adults. :Angel:

    Then, again, wisdom does not always come with age for all people, so some of the younger generation may have things to teach us older folks! Many times, though, maturity comes with age; living long enough to figure out what works and what doesn't; how people tick; how to capture people's attention; etc. There might be some young folk to whom such things apply. Maybe you have those qualities; maybe not :confused:

    On the flip side of things, not all teachers & not all black belts are actually competent in the fields of technical execution and communication. I don't know how you are in that regard, as I can only go by what you've written. The fact that you have a 1st degree is not enough in itself. Not every black belt holder has the same set of skills as the next. Perhaps you need to improve your teaching or technical skills? I don't know. Only you know and/or your students may know the real answer to that. :confused:

    Who knows? There might actually be other legitimate reasons as to why they don't respect you. We just have to look at both sides of the story to be fair. I'm still thinking that it might come down to the age factor and all of the feelings and attitudes surrounding it. Once again, I don't know. A Hollywood movie addressing a similar issue was released this year called "Synergy", starring Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace & Scarlett Johansson.

    Being 15, although you are admirably trying hard to be as mature as possible in this situation, due to your age, you are officially still immature in the sense that there are still many life lessons to be learned. It probably shows to your adult students, no matter how hard they might try to get past it. It'd be no fault of yours & no fault of their own, really. It's human nature, I guess.

    When some sense of authority is relinquished to a younger person in other facets of life, there will always be a sense of animosity felt among some older people. It's a part of life, unfortunately. You might be better able to see that when you become an adult, too. It's not anything to get sad or depressed about. It's just one of those things. There are many different people out there with many different attitudes and maturity levels.

    All I can say to you is that you should strive to do your best in your training, in your teaching & in everything you do. You have your whole life ahead of you. We should all be learning, regardless of our stages in life. Don't give up your passion for TKD and don't be put-off by this speed bump. You can't please everyone all of the time. :bang:

    Be yourself, don't change to suit someone else's mood. Change for the betterment of yourself. Handle yourself accordingly in whatever situation you'll find yourself and try to do what you feel is truly the right thing. With some advice from your father and other caring adults, you should be able to figure out what to do. :)

    All the best to you & gamsa hamnida...and I wish that I was 15 again! :)
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2005
  7. XMAGuy

    XMAGuy New Member

    Wholly crap that was a long post. All I can say is to prove it to them that they you deserve your respect. If they get out of order, show them who's boss. I'm not saying to be the evil instructor from hell, but keep it in their head that you are the senior rank and they are to do as you say.
  8. Spookey

    Spookey Valued Member

    Learing and Earning...

    Dear Young Sir,

    Teaching is a new venure for you...you are merely learning. The learning portion is a two way street. The students must learn about you and your ability, teaching methods, and over all personality.

    Taekwon-Do is a skill that is learned through practice. Teaching is not one bit different!

    Another thing to lend creadance to is this...

    As a student you looked up to your instructor as your senior. He was / is senior to you not only in rank, but in mentality and in life. Taekwon-Do and martial arts in general are viewed equally if not more so for the mental and psycological aspects as opposed to the physical. It is hard to teach these things to people who are senior to you for one main reason. They do not see the life skills you have aquired. Furthermore, you will not know how to best apply them and convey them as relates to "adult" life. For these reasons it is imperative that you acknowledge that you are playing a revolving role. You are the senior in Taekwon-Do yet the junior in life.

    Always be sincere in your actions, be honest in your dealings, and maintain integrity always.

    Finally, I will leave you with the best peice of knowledge I have ever been given:


    Last edited: Oct 6, 2005
  9. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    that's also an important issue.

    if your father is less and less present in class, is the class (or are we talking about different groups?) left to you alone? i mean, who'll be in charge of the curriculum? you can't just deal with one class at a time. the classes have to be connected. also, if your club takes part in competitions, the training of the competitors' has to be timed, so that they're ready for the competition. and there are so many other things to think about, but let's take one step at a time. i'm an instructor, so i know first hand that it takes a lot of organisation skills, planning etc
  10. Juego Todo

    Juego Todo Stay thirsty, my friends.

    On a sidenote, sorry for the long post. I was at the office and I soooooo did not want to go home right away (no comment ;) ). Hence, the epic novel! :eek:
  11. Another Muay Thai Guy

    Another Muay Thai Guy Valued member

    Just a quick question to clarify, what do you mean by them not showing you respect? Is it like the atmosphere of the class is bad, the students only grudgingly (or even don't) do what you ask of them? Do they back-chat etc? Personally, I'd give it a little time, you said you only recently got put in charge, so it is going to take the students a little time to adjust to your methods, and you to develop and refine your teaching skills, although it is obviously is going to be slightly harder for you, as you are experiencing, because of your age. :)
  12. Jamesy

    Jamesy Valued Member

    Is this your shortest post? :D
  13. Juego Todo

    Juego Todo Stay thirsty, my friends.

    No...this is :eek:
  14. tekkengod

    tekkengod the MAP MP

    Respect will never be automatic. except i suppose for the military.

    Respect should be earned not expected and is based on your performance as an athlete and as a coach/instructor. Rank has nothing to do with it. i don't care what you think you are, weather its a white belt or a super mega tiger death master, if you can't set the example in sparing, teaching ability and sportsmanship, than you don't deserve much respect
  15. Andy Cap

    Andy Cap Valued Member

    Exactly what I was going to ask.

    Also, respect begets respect. If you speak to them and treat them with respect, they cannot help but respect you back. They may not think you are the best TKD pplayer in the world, but they will respect you for the respect and regard you have shown them.
  16. Jarkovitch

    Jarkovitch New Member

    My best bit of advice is to try and remian humble.

    I have spent a good deal of time watching my 17 years old friend teach classes to pepople who are both greater in age and rank to her. One thing I have noticed is that she remains humble and respectful to thoes who "out rank" her. She is try to be sure that every one has a chance ot aslk questions and offer advise at some point in each of her classes.

    Just something to think on. But maybe if thoes who see you a too young to gain respect feel they have an chance to "educate the class by add the occational 2 cents worth they will have less to grumble at. It is also shows them that you respect the fact they they have may more years of living on you.

    Good luck how every you choose to handle this - will say that I am not but a year older than you and I could never handle what you see to be doing with admerible clam and maturity
  17. oni_sensei

    oni_sensei Valued Member

    Perhaps not respect for their skills, but they still deserve the common respect and courtesy you'd give to any other person. They may not be all that crash hot in martial arts, but does that give you the right to treat them badly?

    There are different kinds of respect, some should be earned, and some are just expressions of civility.
  18. tekkengod

    tekkengod the MAP MP

    No, of course it dosen't. but i assume thats what where talking about here. respect for skills and knowladge.
  19. oni_sensei

    oni_sensei Valued Member

    fair enough then.
  20. cavallin

    cavallin kickin' kitten

    i suggest that you ask your dad to have a word in class.
    for example, let him "announce" that he is handing it over to his much trusted son, to concentrate on his BB grading. get him to mention that the reason why he has asked you is that because he trusts you to do a good job and he expects people to respect you, as a mark of respect towards him.
    then it is your part to earn their respect. if you have a good manner, you know your stuff, then as soon as someone does something they wouldnt do to your dad, i would walk up to them and say "you dont do this to him, so please dont do it to me. i have a right to teach you and feel respected and it's your responsability to give me that right"

    at the end of the day, if you have the skills the age shouldnt matter, and i would actually mention that!
    i've started working in a school and because i am much younger than all the other teachers, the kids treat me as one of them, which is bad, because it means i have no authority over them. so iv stamped my foot down, and shown how it should be.
    if you can share this with your dad and get him to back you up, i thnk things should work out.
    hope it helps.
    edit; i know they arent children, but maybe you could say that it is their responsability as adults to show you the respect you deserve, and to be adults by accepting your age!

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