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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:29 am 
im trying to be respectfull of others opinions but i think some here are begining to argue over the subject matter rather then the delivery.

defence , real life fighting, kata queens, experience or not.. that is a good topic but it is a reflection of the material not the presentation.

a good teacher teaches, its up to the student on what he does with it and where his interests lead him on his path, and what venue he wants to persue. i would say 90% of karate students have no TRUE interest in getting in fights. they want a group activity, something to loose some weight and make them feel confident and karate looks neat and fun...
so maybe YOU want reality but lets not forget other people are entiteld to their oun paths.


Yeah you are absolutely right...and maybe I am drifting off topic :oops:
but Martial arts are a big subject..and quite honestly some of the McDojos that folks rail on about so much are offering everything that folks expect from a good teacher and most of what you said above. However IMHO to be a good teacher of any subject you need an intimate knowledge of the subject.in martial arts you don't necessarily need to be the best fighter, but you need to know about fighting, you need some experience of fighting ..and it is a big subject. For me if you take the "fighting" out then I have no interest.I'll just go the Gym :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:30 pm 
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i was not trying to squash anyones view, only making a point that a good teacher does not have to know jack about fighting if his art is not a direct fighting art, and he makes no claim to be teaching about fighting.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:39 am 
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hoshin wrote:
a good teacher does not have to know jack about fighting if his art is not a direct fighting art, and he makes no claim to be teaching about fighting.


Hey all, hope everyone has been well...

Saw this one and thought I'd chirp in....

So what's the art in question that isn't a 'direct' fighting art?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:19 am 
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Jim!!! :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:33 am 
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Hi Mike... Hope all is well...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:27 pm 
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hey Jim
i dont want to get into any argument about styles here so i wont answer your question directly.
but my full statement was that the teacher makes no claim about self defense. my aikido teacher is a good example. he taught shi shin toitsu aikido founded by Koichi Tohei.
now many will teach Aiki as a form of fighting but my teacher didnt. he would constantly remind us that the training is for "life" and KI develpoment ,if you want self defense go buy a gun.

many practice Tai Chi for its health benifits. some do it as a fighting art but again as example my aunt teaches Tai chi in a holistic health center she owns and has no expectations about self defense.

many Tai kwon do schools focus only on the olympics. there focus is on trophys not street fighting.

different strokes for different folks.
these forums are filled with warrior minded people who think alot about their art and self defense. not everyone is so like minded.
after all i love to practice my sword arts but have no intention of carrying around a katana and i am sure the Iaido guys feel the same.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:13 am 
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Hey Jim, good to see you back…hope you have been well.

This is a good discussion.

Jim asks
Quote:
So what's the art in question that isn't a 'direct' fighting art?


The question is a good one.

Lets look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_arts

The bottom line is that if you are going to call an art ‘Martial’ then it is a fighting art…and developed with fighting as and end use.

Now we can define ‘fighting’ in many ways…semantics again…
Quote:
Martial arts are systems of codified practices and traditions of training for combat. While they may be studied for various reasons, martial arts share a single objective: to physically defeat other persons and to defend oneself or others from physical threat.


It seems clear to me from that description that ‘self defense’ is inherent in ‘Martial’ ….
Quote:
The term martial arts refers to the art of warfare (from Mars, the god of war). It comes from a 15th-century European term for fighting arts now known as historical European martial arts. A practitioner of martial arts is referred to as a martial artist.


Are martial arts useful for reasons other than fighting or self defense?
Quote:
In addition, some martial arts are linked to beliefs such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism or Shinto while others follow a particular code of honor. Many arts are also practised competitively, most commonly as combat sports, but may also take the form of dance.


So we have an answer here. These arts are made up of a number of components.

Some practitioners chose to follow the path of some of the components as opposed to others, for their own reasons.

But
Quote:
While each style has unique facets that make it different from other martial arts, a common characteristic is the systemization of fighting techniques. Methods of training vary and may include sparring (simulated combat) or formal sets or routines of techniques known as forms or kata. Forms are especially common in the Asian and Asian-derived martial arts.[1]


So it is clear to me that_ ‘They’ are all ‘combative’ arts as Jim points out.
Combative defines ‘disposed to fight’ ….no getting around it.

Steve also makes good points when he states
Quote:
my aikido teacher is a good example. he taught shi shin toitsu aikido founded by Koichi Tohei.

now many will teach Aiki as a form of fighting but my teacher didnt. he would constantly remind us that the training is for "life" and KI develpoment ,if you want self defense go buy a gun.

many practice Tai Chi for its health benifits. some do it as a fighting art but again as example my aunt teaches Tai chi in a holistic health center she owns and has no expectations about self defense.

many Tai kwon do schools focus only on the olympics. there focus is on trophys not street fighting.


Some practitioners will drop the ‘fighting’ component, yes…but if we ask them ‘can you defend yourself with what you practice, assuming you had to’
What will their answer be?

And if we ask them to explain and define ‘self defense’ …what answer would they give?

And if we ask them where they learned their definitions of self defense, the meaning of street defense, what would their answer be?

And if we ask them, who happen to own a dojo, what would they tell a prospective student who wants to join their school to learn self defense…say a battered woman who needs to learn to protect herself, what would they tell them?

Good discussion.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:58 pm 
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This is a great discussion, and I can't wait to read more thoughts.

Just to summarize so we can try not to lose sight of the OP on what makes a great teacher.

I think we can take it as a given that we are, in this case, talking about a martial arts teacher. Being such, they should, at a minimum, have a knowledge of the martial art they are teaching. 8O

So, having knowledge and experience of fighting, combat, and self defense are also all very good things. Opinions appear to vary on whether it's necessary to have all three and whether knowledge is enough or if experience is a must have.

We've also talked some about the delivery of that knowledge. There've been some great comments on enthusiasm, breaking down concepts/techniques, motivation, feedback, and scaffolding (an education term that refers to provide the basis for intuitive leaps by the learner **edit-specifically references modelling, basing on prior knowledge, and motivation**). Sue did a GREAT job of breaking down some of the levels involved.

So, we've addressed some of the criteria of what makes a great teacher (and there is still more to discuss and consider!). One part of the OP we haven't really addressed, at least not directly:
Quote:
If you are a teacher, what are some pitfalls that teachers should be aware of in themselves and in their students?


Carry on with this most excellent discourse! :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:31 pm 
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well i am goiing to attempt to tie Shannas post and Vans post together..

Van, by strict definition yes all martial arts come from a combat oriented history but that does not mean that they retain their effectiveness in todays society.
i think we often use martial arts as a catch all phrase so this could be a case of samantics. like a "band aid" ....a band aid is not what you put on your cut , it is the name of a company. Band Aid brand bandages.

Shanna,
what pit falls should teachers avoid? well one is to know what your art is , what are you teaching? for self defense or for holistic reasons?
teachers often lose their sense of reality once they put on a black belt. sometimes the dollar rules and as Van points out they may not answer his posed questions honestly. maybe for the buck maybe because of self delusion.

as a teacher if you are going to claim to teach self defense ablity you have a responsibility to carry that out honestly and know your stuff.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:39 am 
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Thanks Steve...right on target. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:06 am 
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I agree with Steve, I've read books by Funakoshi, Kano etc... and never have I read the primary purpose of this art is to go beat up a street gang or even beat up a guy over a parking lot. They always stress the health benefits and personal improvement qualities.
Of course being fortunate around my seniors Mattson Sensei and Canna sensei one can't hope to help they will be as healthy and active as they are someday.
But to lose completely the Martial qualities of the art not only may be horrible in an encounter, but may take a fire out of the training which is what makes the art so healthful to train physically.

And I don't see training in Iaido as being really very martial, more mental, but with physical benefits. However I do have a bokken in my backseat and I suppose it could be used if necessary.

F.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:46 am 
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hoshin wrote:
By strict definition yes all martial arts come from a combat oriented history but that does not mean that they retain their effectiveness in todays society.


Okay... Clearly many arts as taught in many a school don't retain much martial effectiveness...

What does this have to do with good teachers of martial arts?

Are we to differentiate between those who teach martial--martial arts and something else?

Hmmm wasn't that what Do vs. Jutsu was all about going way back?

Does it matter? Not a lick in my opinion... IMO it's a dodge..

hoshin wrote:
I think we often use martial arts as a catch all phrase so this could be a case of samantics. like a "band aid" ....a band aid is not what you put on your cut , it is the name of a company. Band Aid brand bandages.


So when 99.99999% of folks seek out a *martial art* they are really seeking out what?

Are we to believe they are seeking out something else other than a martial art? Absolutely absurd, they are seeking out a martial art...


hoshin wrote:
what pit falls should teachers avoid? well one is to know what your art is , what are you teaching? for self defense or for holistic reasons?


Who advertises these arts as holistic? I mean really... :lol:

Who has a sign outside their school that says "Karate/kung-fu/muay thai, etc, for holistic training" ? Hmmm, statistically maybe no one?

As GEM wrote in his book and something we all know is the truth: Just about all (99.999999%) of folks seeking instruction in these arts are doing so for Self Defense reasons PERIOD...

That said, instructors need to be teaching that which is effective in Self Defense. If they are not then they are doing a disservice to all whom they 'teach'..

No, Aikido was never really about fighting per se, but it sure as hell was about Self Defense.. And without the martial, in martial art training there can be no self defense skills learned......

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:50 am 
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You are a student of violence, look at it professionally or academically. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:56 am 
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As a martial artists we try to train for every scenario possible and hope that when the time comes that we will be able to pull it off but sometimes it does not always work that way.

Being a martial artist is always a learning experience just like life.

You live, you learn. You take this experience and use it as a teaching method so maybe you can help some one else who might be but in situation of need.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:07 am 
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Over the years a teacher will see cases of students who despite their skills will lose a fight or even take a serious beating, because of the variables of violence in the world.

These students will have lost all their confidence and will feel ashamed to return to karate, let alone test for higher rank.

The skills of any given teacher should include the ability to motivate these hapless students to keep going, keep training, and keep fighting the good fight.

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