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Cor Navin commented on John R. Malmo's page School Directory
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Jul 1, 2021

I'm beginning to think that some students of martial arts not only learn the principles of the club, they also become what the master is.  Often times, the ego of the master can be passed on to their selected students who adore their masters so much.  In one of my trips in Thailand, I noticed that Muay fighters are encouraged to offer prayers and food to the temple because they need to take away the ego that often destroys the practitioners, especially after a victory.  It's a good club tradition.

I have trained with many masters and each of them has their own character.  Some masters begin their training by checking their egos first, while others will speak like a god as if they are a cult.  This kind of approach may work to boost the student's ability to feel superior, but then it can also destroy the students character especially when he begins to believe that all other masters and all other clubs are no good compared to theirs.  That's when the building of ego begins.  Like master, like student.

I speak on behalf of my experience.  Once upon a time I became an egoistic sonov without realizing that I am becoming like my egoistic master.  I am simply glad that yesterday was finished.

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Hello Mumbakki. I know exactly what you are talking about. When I was young (13 or 14) I started training with an instructor who was just as you describe. We called him Mr. Soandso, Sir, or Master. No questions asked. He was rude, arrogant, and aggressive. (Think Sensei John Kreese in Karate Kid 1) He went around challenging other instructors and making a lot of enemies. He taught us to think that our system and our school was superior to all other systems and schools. And in time I too became rude arrogant, and aggressive. I looked down on all other schools and anyone who studied at them. Once I stopped studying with him I contacted other instructors in the area to find out about classes with them. I quickly found out that no one was interested in having a student who had studied with him. For years I was reduced to training with friends and videos because to the local instructors I was “tainted”. To this day (some 20 something years later) it gives a bad impression to admit that I studied with him. I have since grown up, and realized that when I was with him I was acting like a jerk. I am not proud that I acted like that. But at the same time I know I did because I was taught to. He was a bad teacher. It’s as simple as that. He has since moved to a different state, but we still hear stories about him all the way back here. He is still offending instructors in the area he lives now. I have put that part of my life behind me. Today I am known as a polite guy. I am glad to have found FMA and fellow martial artists who are friendly and open minded. And I love this site!

Happy training!    

So masters are a big influence. I can understand this if the kid has no father figure maybe, I'm not sure.  Or any elder guardian who can discipline him.  Do you have elder brothers?  If the family is  intact and the kid still grew up to be an A-hole, then it must be the master's fault. What do you think?

I like this thread. I too have had the same experience being trained by mentors who believed that their knowledge and skill are the best. I have had mentors who would tell me to stop cross training in other styles because his system is complete. Or nobody trains the way he will train you. Some of them telling us that Humility and loyalty is important. But in their words and action you see otherwise. Now that I am more mature as a martial artist and person, I feel I have nothing to prove to anyone and that I train because it is a passion.

Very good, well said...

"You can teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are."- Unknown Author

This is what I do not understand... when a kid enrolls in a martial arts club for the first time, the master will assure that their kid will be in good hands, that they come to the right place, and that they impose discipline, and humility (like what Alex said).  While the parents are confident about their kid being able to learn self defense and such, the kid is growing horns instead.

Then one day the parents will be called to the kid's school and learn that their kid is a bully.  Does anyone have this experience with their children?

Hello Mumbakki,

 I've never had the experience of a young student becoming a bully.  I used to teach children's classes several years ago and the only problem was their attention span depending on their age.  The younger the student, the shorter the attention span.  A young student's discipline comes from their parents, a teacher can only reinforce that discipline.  I've had to tell parents on a few occasions that their child wasn't mature enough at the time and they should bring him or her back when they are more mature.  Martial arts teachers are not babysitters and shouldn't digress to that level.  It's important for the young students to be able to follow directions because they can get hurt or cause someone else to get hurt not to mention it's a distraction for he other children. 

Of course this is from my own experience and my own opinion, others may have a different opinion and bless them if they do.



I completely agree. I see so many local dojos with after school pickup programs for very young children. I went to visit one of them for their adult's class and showed up a lil early. The "after school program" was just winding down. It wasn't a martial arts class. It was a day care. There were a few kids asleep on the mat. A few kids were off in a corner punching and kicking the wave-master. The instructor was up there trying to teach, but the kids that weren’t listening to him were distracting the ones that were. These kids were not ready to do martial arts yet. So as you said Zach, he was just babysitting. I think if a child isn't mature enough to do it they should be turned away until they are.


Zach you have a very good point there, martial arts teachers should not take the role of a baby sitter.  Warrior Blood already gave a few reasons why. I have no experience teaching kids. Not that I have no patience, often times when children are around me, I end up playing with them.  A clear sign that I can't handle kids.  For those of you who can, congratulations.  You can make children comprehend which I think is harder to do than conducting an adult's class.

Is there a law in your country that says what age a child must learn the fighting arts? I am asking because there is one case in the city of Saint Petersburg that a 7 year old kid learned hwarang do.  He "hwarang do" a classmate that ended up in the local court, charges pressed against the parents for molding their kid to become dangerous to other children.  Included in the case is the instructor, for allowing a young child to be "fatal".  Here's the funny part... The MA teacher's waiver was not recognized by the local court.  What the fox!

Please feel free to share.  I guess we need to know what our position will be if this happens to us.

Laws can differ from state to state. In Texas you cannot waive any rights by law, waivers for martial arts are useless to the instructor so we must be careful not only how we teach but to whom we teach. In New York a teacher was put on trial because his student who worked in a bar as a doorman killed a man with his knife, the teacher was sought out by the state to be charged for teaching such things. please do not forget New York has made it illegal to buy and sell large sodas, over 16 oz. That state is run by ignorant people. Taekwondo is ok for kids, I wish they wouldnt make them black belts at age 6, 9,12 or even at 16 years old. They are to young to my thinking to learn Knife techniques, sticks yes maybe.

So it's the master's fault?  Yes? :)

I beleive in many cases it is the "Master's fault"....

  We influence our students behavior & thought process by how we teach and we behave in public as how we inter-react with other instructors, students & schools.

If we are skillfull and able to teach those skills to our students than they will be skillful also. If we bad mouth other styles than they will probably do the same. If we act badly when things don't go our way.... well you get it don't you..the apple does not fall far from the tree.

with that being  said we are not baby sitters or mom & dad... certain values/things should be learned at home.... we as instructors do have a responcibilty to reinforce good moral values as well as teach all students good FMA and the consequences of their actions.

So yes i beleive it's probably the Master's Fault...i do not take my responcibllty lightly!...

of course this is just my opinion!


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