Questions to ponder for October........

Questions to ponder for October........

Postby Dave Young » Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:44 pm

October Questions;

1. At what point while training a student do you realize they should not be here, and how do you screen them to make this evaluation...or is it along as they pay you..you will teach them?

2. When is a student identified or deemed un-trainable and or is lacking the basic skills needed for the training you are providing....

3. When failing to reach a student...Is it the student's fault or problem or is it the teacher's abilities/skills not where they should be?...How do you address it?

4. You just receive a subpoena for a court hearing where one of your students has just named you as the source and reasoning for their reaction in a fight to where he just seriously injured this person permanently or even killed them..(Please note we are not talking about whether they are justified or not justified in their action)...What support mechanisms are in place to help you defend this...and if you have nothing...WHY?

We will call OCTOBER Liability month, nothing scares an owner or martial artist more then the costly court litigations that can reach from thousands too millions of dollars and possibly the lost your own livelihood, legal process that may take anywhere from 1-infinite number of days (some even last years), criminal and civil law suits, depositions, hearing, trails, insurance invesitgations and reviews etc.....

And I have heard this hundreds of times before, which I am sure you all have.."Hey I would rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6....this statement or attitude is always from people who have not been involved with this process...my reply to them has always been this...WHY NOT handle both criminal/civil legal sides....because you can!

Please take the time to answer one or all...We have the entire month. Thanks again.

Stay Strong, Stay Safe, and more importantly Stay A LIVE!

Dave
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Re: Questions to ponder for October........

Postby RA Miller » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:51 am

Dave Young wrote:October Questions;

1. At what point while training a student do you realize they should not be here, and how do you screen them to make this evaluation...or is it along as they pay you..you will teach them?


For my officer students (possibly unfortunately) fitness for duty is not my call. I can and have made recommendations on fitness and assignments but the final say is a very bureaucratic process that rarely ends with a definitive decision.

With civilians I don't do open classes, so there are no walk-ins or paying students to deal with. If you rarely accept students and each is a special case, you rarely have to dump one.

Dave Young wrote:2. When is a student identified or deemed un-trainable and or is lacking the basic skills needed for the training you are providing....


Not sure I agree with the concept of "untrainable"... and yet there are people who think in certain ways that make it hard to grasp basic skills. Concrete thinkers, for instance, can go to pieces over learning that two different responses to the same situation can be 'right' or that there are no perfect solutions. Some are in denial about fear. Some can't make themselves hurt a human being. Yet they can all learn something. They may never be fit to take point for my team, but they can improve.
BTW- whether you believe in it or not, a good spiel about "chi" and visualizing lights and forces is an excellent way to get visually-oriented students to grasp body mechanics.

Dave Young wrote:3. When failing to reach a student...Is it the student's fault or problem or is it the teacher's abilities/skills not where they should be?...How do you address it?


It's usually the instructor's fault, since it is the instructors responsibility to get things out of his own head and into the students. First I make sure that they understand the basic concepts that underly what they are stuck on. If those are okay, I review teaching and learning modalities: there are some things that I know and teach as "feels" that are very hard for primarily visual students to grasp right away. Some people learn from words, some are distracted by them, etc. If still stuck, I grab a notebook off the shelf with some notes that Mac left for me- one covers "Adult learning styles" and the other is a list of problems and trouble-shooting for instructors.

Dave Young wrote:4. You just receive a subpoena for a court hearing where one of your students has just named you as the source and reasoning for their reaction in a fight to where he just seriously injured this person permanently or even killed them..(Please note we are not talking about whether they are justified or not justified in their action)...What support mechanisms are in place to help you defend this...and if you have nothing...WHY?


I call Glen right away. This is the area where I am most exposed. The stuff I teach at work is fine- everything has been approved up the chain of command and any liability falls to the agency... however my private students, even though they are friends and I don't teach for money, are a potential source of liability and I should have more safeguards, specifically releases and liability insurance in place and I do not.

Excellent questions, Dave and very important for professionals.

Rory
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Re: Questions to ponder for October........

Postby Jake Steinmann » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:56 am

Dave Young wrote:October Questions;

1. At what point while training a student do you realize they should not be here, and how do you screen them to make this evaluation...or is it along as they pay you..you will teach them?


Given that I'm only an assistant instructor, and not dependent on the gym for my income (unlike the gym owner/head instructor), I won't actually ask a student to leave unless I feel that they are posing a danger to other students. Even then, I'd probably just ask them to sit out the class, and talk to them and the gym owner afterwards.

Dave Young wrote:2. When is a student identified or deemed un-trainable and or is lacking the basic skills needed for the training you are providing....


From a physical standpoint, I don't believe any student is untrainable. Some students may take longer than others, but unless they have a serious physical impairment, I'm willing to put in the time to help them get it.

Because we are a Muay Thai/MMA school, we tend to attract a lot of younger students, some of whom prove to be uncoachable because they're more interested in proving that they're tough guys than they are in actually listening to the coaches. Those students usually either leave of their own accord, or eventually realize that they aren't improving, and start listening to the trainers.

Dave Young wrote:3. When failing to reach a student...Is it the student's fault or problem or is it the teacher's abilities/skills not where they should be?...How do you address it?


It could be either.

As a trainer, I'm constantly trying to find new ways to explain things to students, and revising the old ones. If a student doesn't appear to be understanding a drill, concept, technique, or whatever, I will try finding another way to explain it. If I'm really not getting through to the student, I'll sometimes enlist another trainer for suggestions or thoughts.

However, as I alluded to earlier, there are occasional students who don't get it because they aren't really interested in learning. They just want to come down and "fight", without accepting any coaching or learning much in the way of technique. I'm still working on how to deal with those students. I've tried taking them aside and talking to them, and have on occasion tried the sterner lecture. I've even tried the "just let them get their butt kicked until they figure it out" method. None of them satisfy me, but I'm working on it.

Dave Young wrote:4. You just receive a subpoena for a court hearing where one of your students has just named you as the source and reasoning for their reaction in a fight to where he just seriously injured this person permanently or even killed them..(Please note we are not talking about whether they are justified or not justified in their action)...What support mechanisms are in place to help you defend this...and if you have nothing...WHY?


Well, I have my own coach, who runs the gym and would probably be the first person I would go to. Beyond that, I don't know what support mechanisms exist for me. I should, but my role as assistant instructor at the camp is something I slowly fell into, and it wasn't as carefully planned out as it might have been.

Something I'll look into; if I learn something new, I'll post about it (my coach may have mechanisims in place I'm unaware of).

Good questions.
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Postby RACastanet » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:01 pm

even though they are friends and I don't teach for money, are a potential source of liability and I should have more safeguards, specifically releases and liability insurance in place and I do not.


This is my situation. I do have everyone sign a waiver which may give me some protection should things go awry. Also, my insurance company knows I teach martial arts as a hobby, and not for profit. They are ok with that as long as I keep my classes to just a couple a week. When I do something for the Marines they are under orders so if accidents happen there is no liability.

For firearms training I rarely hold range days for my friends anymore. I do work part time for a company that has a $2million liability coverage when I am instructing for them. So, I do most of my firearms instructing for customers contracted to that company.

Rich
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