I would disagree, in the "internal" side of the house it is all to common to NOT spar, but in 20 years you will be a fighting God. Many many times the instructors dont know how. Crazy? Yep.
Originally Posted by antman
(BTW this is in no reflection of the OP, school, or teaching)
I have had similar experiences, though not exactly the same. I was in a McDojang before and got to 2 Dan and almost became an instructor. When I first joined I trained hard, using my sweat and blood to improve. I improved and improved and improved... And then I got my blackbelt. After that my teacher almost completely ignored me. He had nothing left to teach me - at least nothing that he was willing to teach me. Then I "went on" to useless weapon forms. God, what a waste of time. I quit.
If you feel that your teacher ever reaches that point, quit before the situation heats up. Better to leave on more or less good terms.
But it doesn't sound like that is happening. You can never ensure the quality of what other people teach or learn. The only thing that you can do is make sure that what you train and teach is quality. Maybe it's better that your Shifu is going back to China. At least he will be more comfortable there. If you want to learn more, go visit him there. Good luck.
And I agree with the others. If "Masters" start popping up, beat them down.
- Maarten Sebastiaan Franks Spijker
At present my KF brother and I both feel, that even though our skill and understanding of the material far exceeds the other students, that we are not skilled enough to open our own school at this time. Of course we compare our skills to our Shifu, and since his skills are near perfect we feel that we are not in any position to consider running a school once he leaves. That could change with time.
Originally Posted by Mei Hua
Our shifu does not plan to permanently return to China for another 3 years, this is his tentative plan and of course it could suddenly change. Hopefully by that time at least one of us will feel comfortable enough in our understanding of the system to run classes in his place and with his permission. My KF brother and I have discussed this problem and are hopeful that our shifu will name one of us as head instructor in his place (not shifu), or worst case scenario endorse no one as his successor, then at least none of his students can try to claim the title once he's gone.
My brother has been the more adamant of the two of us when it comes to openly challenging anyone who claims the title of Baji Master once our shifu leaves. Although the old master can be frustrating to deal with and down right hurtful at times in the way he treats us personally, my KF brother and I care greatly about his reputation as a CMA master and are worried about seeing it dragged through the mud by false "masters" once he leaves.
Fortunately for now it is a problem that we may not have to deal with for a few years yet.
Thanks for the advice everyone.
It is definitely not a case of the teacher having nothing left to teach. If anything it's the complete opposite. He sometimes tries to give me way more information than I can remember, I generally resolve this problem by asking him to stop at about half of what he is trying to teach me and my KF brother. The result is that we may spend more time on a set of techniques but are able to execute them much better. The other students just fly through the routines with little care as to if they understand them or not. They are interested in quantity not quality, my KF brother and I are more interested in quality.
Originally Posted by MaartenSFS
Hm... Try to learn as much as you can from him before he leaves. You can learn everything your Master teaches you now and refine it with your "brother" after he leaves. If there are still gaps in the future you can always go visit him to fill them. ;)
Originally Posted by Ronin.74
At first, when I began to study Sanda over here I didn't understand the local dialect very well and I was struggling to keep up. Also, my conditioning wasn't at 100%. But out of class I trained almost every day and worked on what we did in class. The stretches, the drills, the techniques, everything. Because I worked so hard, after a month and a half I even began to surpass my "brothers". Then I came back and asked Shifu if I was doing it right and he made some small adjustments, but it was well worth it. Try that and I think it will help. Also, training near mirrors helps if you know what what you are doing should look and feel like.
- Maarten Sebastiaan Franks Spijker
Preaching to the choir :smile:
Have you and your friend tried explaining your position to the other students?
If they are doing something specifically wrong with their training, im sure theyd welcome the feedback.
The other students are basically rushing through the techniques and trying to advance through the forms as quickly as possible, mainly so they can say that they know as much as the senior student and I if not more, it's basically ego driven.
When this first started our shifu wouldn't teach them at the pace they wanted and we explained to these students the reasoning behind it, i.e. our shifu wants to make sure that they fully understand the material and perform it properly before moving on. The newer students basically ignored our explanation of how things were being done and continued to pressure shifu daily to teach them more techniques even if they didn't understand or even fully remember the techniques they just learned. Finally I think shifu got so sick of them pestering him everyday, not to mention worried that they may quit, that he just finally gave in and taught them the way they wanted.
Naturally the end result so far has been that they now know almost as much as I or the senior student but do not understand how the techniques are applied and most of the time perform them with poor form or just plain incorrect.
It comes down to ego, they want to be considered some of the shifu's advanced students but do not want to put in the necessary time and effort to be considered advanced.
I guess its somewhat normal, as a young guy, I can relate. Im somewhat used to trying to find the quickest shortest path from point A to point B. Its not that we want to consider ourselves better. Its somewhat the idea of being time efficient.
Ive overheard old engineering teachers say about the same thing as you say about their students: "what is up with these kids? They have an ego problem thinking they can learn all the stuff without putting the proper time for study".
But it kinda misses the point, as a student, we just kinda play the system to get what is perceived the end goal. In my engineering classes, getting the credits is a goal. In my old kungfu classes, getting to the end of the form was my goal. In bjj, getting to that next belt is a goal.
Theyre short sighted goals, really. Your goal is probably very different than theirs, so you play the system differently. If you shared your goals in training other than the forced parental type of advice of "do this, dont do that.", they might consider changing.
I say this because, back then, a few of my seniors would say 'youre rushing through learning the form, take your time' and then leave. Its completely perplexing, because I didnt understand where they were coming from. In your students case, i might assume they might go with 'ill learn the technique after i learn the form' , instead of 'learn the technique while learning the form'. I imagine it boils down to the same thing for them. It did for me.
My bjj instructor asked me once "what do you look for out of bjj?" at each of us. It was completely perplexing at the time, because i never really thought about it.
Going to kungfu, it was 'heres the form, learn it'. So like a good full time student, the immediate goal is to learn the form. And for the duration of my time, that goal didnt really change until i got bored of it (because it was deeply narrow minded and you cant really sustain a long hard effort on such a weak goal). Youre then asked to slow it down, which makes no sense according to the goal that youve been given, so you ignore it.
I understand your point and would be willing to accept it as an explanation if it wasn't for the fact that these students are not young, they are easily as old as me if not older. When I was young and first starting in MA I was exactly like you described above. Somewhere about 7-8 years back I just decided that focusing on execution of proper technique and successfully using technique against resisting opponents was more important than belt progression and finishing forms quickly.
For me it's not a big deal, I pretty much ignore the students who are rushing through things. But the senior student gets upset about it, apparently the newer students have made it a point to regularly remind him that very soon they will know as much as he does about KF, I have been present on one occassion when one of them did this and it wasn't so much what he said, but how he said it. He came off sounding condescending and superior. This is what I think really frustrates my KF brother, students like this are exhibiting the same kind of behavior found in many MA frauds that Bullshido has come across over the years. Hence my concern that once our shifu returns to China we will see several new self proclaimed "Masters" pop up around town.