I'm in between dojangs looking for a place where higher dans could help me become a great martial artist. My old school went from a great place where you could learn properly to a mcdojo when ownership changed hands. They changed everything, including their curriculum (from a mix of wtf and hapkido to hyperforms and demos techniques) but I stuck it out since all the old masters and instructors were staying. One by one they left, as did other students and suddenly I'm the best practitioner there.
I'm very aware I have a very long way to go, but I felt that I hit a major ceiling at this dojang. I found a different place that touted its legacy, run by a grandmaster and his son who both have amazing accomplishments in both the US scene and internationally. Really excited by this I signed up for a free class, and while taking it, I could see I was being tested. This is natural, but I wanted to impress and just gave it my all. After the class both were very impressed and said that they would be very happy to teach me and help me reach the next level. The grandmaster kept saying I was very strong and I was overtaken with pride. However, the problem is this:
I’ve been to a few different places, this last one being the best one so far, and I feel head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of technique and skill. Another reason I left my old dojang was because the quality of student dropped so much that I lost all motivation – how could so and so be the same dan I am or higher when they can barely execute a sidekick. Well, I got the same feeling at this place. Is this normal? Are people who take this seriously doomed to be surrounded by those who “put in the time”? I want to train with a grandmaster (8th kkw, 7th hap) but I could be hamstrung by the students.
Maybe its time to seek out private lessons if you've hit an elite level plateau. Perhaps you could trade assisting the instruction of lower-level classes for some one-on-one. That way you'd be helping out other students too. And you'd seem less like an arrogant prick.
I think before you should criticize your fellow students, you should pay more attention to your own technique and training. Why are you so easily demotivated by being the best student in your school? You should be asking yourself how can I make my training harder, instead of complaining about only being able to train with noobs. Have you considered sparring with people in another striking art, like Karate or Muay Tai?
Originally Posted by DCURU
This is a false dichotomy. Are you familiar with this guy's martial arts? Do you know him?
Originally Posted by RoninRyu1980
Some people are comfortable being a big fish in a small pond, but others are not.
Why are you so easily demotivated by being the best student in your school?
How hard you can make your training is directly related to who your partners are, at least when training with aliveness. A lot of body toughening drills, too. In arnis, there's a big difference between training with a beginner and training with an advanced person, on mental and physical levels. I'm sure its like that in other arts too.
You should be asking yourself how can I make my training harder, instead of complaining about only being able to train with noobs.
I think this is a good idea.
Have you considered sparring with people in another striking art, like Karate or Muay Tai?
I think it is natural for a lot of people to find new training partners when they feel like the ones they have are falling behind them. There isn't anything wrong with that, and there can still be a lot you can gain in your original school.
Most of the people I've trained with, who I thought especially highly of, were trained in more than one school, usually at the same time, usually for extended periods. The only ones who weren't had more than one independent teacher in the same building.
I would suggest changing your Art, or your goal. Maybe training to fight is your next level? I changed from my TKD club to a Kyokushin club because I felt I was stagnating where I was.
Maybe you just need a break from Martial Arts for a while. I haven't done any M.A training for 3 months as I too lost motivation. I've been playing Football (Soccer) and am now starting to get the urge to train in M.A's again.
Stepping back could give you a better perspective.
This is the route that I took when I got to the leet l3v3l LOL. Seriously, this is the route of most dedicated students, and really the only way to break the plateau.
Originally Posted by lordbd
1. Hopefully, you will gain insight from one-on-one with your teacher.
2. You will definitely learn from teaching.
3. Generally, the goal of learning is to practice or to teach anyway.
4. The arrogant prick thingy.
In my original school, I found that there were groups of people who were... well let's just say more dedicated to their educations. I am sure that will be the case with almost any place you go, so even if you are more skilled then that group at a particular school you may find that you enjoy working with them simply due to their effort. Also, you are unlikely to discern who that group is from just one or two classes, after all they don't know you from Adam. In my experience you will discover this group through training with them over time (in particular sparring with them). I am not going to try to tell you what you need to do, but just my experience. If it's helpful great, if not that's fine too.
Last edited by brihno360; 8/10/2012 8:08pm at .
Reason: cruddy grammar :)
I dunno, man. If your teachers are telling that you are any good at all, then I don't think your teachers are very good. I have been teaching my students since 2006, and I have yet to say anything nice to them (or promote any past 4th kyu). My teacher has been teaching me since 1984 and has yet to say anything significantly nice to me. My attitude: I'm not paying to hear good things about my technique. I'm paying to find out what's wrong. If your teacher is telling you that you're the best in your class, that's an abdication of teaching responsibility in my opinion. Find someone who tells you that you suck and why. If you want to get better, you need criticism. Not someone who enables you. As a 5th dan in one (Korean) system, a 2nd dan in another (Chinese), and a 1st dan in a third (Japanese), I encourage you to find instructors who tell you that you don't know what you're doing. The people who tell me that I suck have been the ones who have helped me to progress.
Shut the **** up.
Originally Posted by benderama
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