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    Instructor Qualifications?

    It seems to me that anyone can open up a school "claiming" to teach BJJ, and/or other martial arts. Is there no governing body that regulates these instructors and their qualifications?? I know (now) that it's best to go back and check up on lineage, but I found that out after wasting 6 months with a local tough guy who "claimed" to be highly trained himself and seemed to have a good student base. Perhaps I'm just slow........("creeeeeek......I hear the door of insults slowly opening") :BangHead:

    #2
    Were you paying for those lessons? How did you find out that he wasn't legit?

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      #3
      If you are a beginner to the martial arts you will not know what to see or do.
      How are beginners supposed to know?
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        #4
        I was paying for the lessons, and thought it weird that the instructor seemed to discourage us training at other schools - which is why I started to do it. It was only by checking out these other schools and talking to some different instructors and students that I began to realize my instructor had simply watched alot of BJJ, enough so that I guess he felt qualified to teach it and even advertise BJJ classes.

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          #5
          This isn't unusual ...

          Originally posted by Stinky Sullivan
          I was paying for the lessons, and thought it weird that the instructor seemed to discourage us training at other schools - which is why I started to do it. It was only by checking out these other schools and talking to some different instructors and students that I began to realize my instructor had simply watched alot of BJJ, enough so that I guess he felt qualified to teach it and even advertise BJJ classes.
          Even "qualified" instructors don't like their students training at other schools. Basically, they don't like to be compared with what others are doing. They also like to say that "you don't need anything else".

          It's along the same vein as instructors who insist that a person with prior experience in the same (or very similar) art start from the beginning as a white belt. They want to keep students there as long as possible through games instead of competence.

          I mean, just imagine if Old Navy made you sign a contract to keep coming back to buy fleece sweatshirts every month just to get one now.

          Comment


            #6
            Not to hijack the thread, but I have to address the issue of making people start over when they join a new school. I don't know how wide this practice is, but it can have its place.

            I was an assitant instructor at my old TKD school. We'd occasionally get people who had trained in various types of TKD before and had moved to the area and wanted to start at our school. If they were under black belt, we usually had them start from white belt unless they had learned a curriculum that was close to ours and they were reasonably proficient. We didn't make them test again, but as they learned our curriculum, we would hand them the belts up to where they were before. For some, this happened very quickly; for others, it took time. If they wanted to advance, then they'd have to test using our requirements. The reason for this was that any person of a specific rank should be able to demonstrate techniques up to and including what was required of them.

            This was the stated reason. An unstated reason was that alot of the people sucked, pure and simple. Keeping their hands around their waist while sparring, not punching with power. Hell, I met black belts who didn't even know what a hook punch WAS, let alone how to do one. Since promotion to black belt and beyond at my school required a decent amount of full contact sparring, some of these people weren't going to do well enough if just let in at whatever rank they held before. And while some people might say that it's better to have them spar and get there ass handed to them, it was generally better to just have them start as a white belt again and show them how much they didn't know in a way that didn't embaress them.

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              #7
              Well surprisingly, at most of the schools where I'm at the instructors seem to have a great deal of respect for eachother, and an open door policy for students from other *legit* BJJ schools. Everyone learns from the other and there are always new people to roll with - kinda keeps you from getting in a rut with the same training partner day after day. As long as you hold a membership at one of these schools you are welcome to step on another mat - this seems to work well, I really don't see students jumping ship to join another school, or being recruited by another instructor. As for the white belt thing...blindgod, your right. Start a new discipline, or a new style of the same discipline - go back to white. If you know what your doing it won't take you long to advance back - and if you dont like it, find a school that teaches your existing discipline AND same style.

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                #8
                The start over at white belt "problem" is solved really easily by doing away with the whole stupid belt thing.

                I moved around a lot and as a result started over many times. After while it got pretty silly. The most reasonable solution I ever saw was from a Kenpo school which had separeate classes for advanced students and different guidlines according to belt level. After the first weel there they just decided to give me an "honorary purple belt" purple being the lowest rank that could attend the advanced class and sparring sessions. I still was learning the forms and techniques of their school from the bottom up and would get tested for formal lower level belts but they gave me a purple to put on so I wouldn't have to fart around with the white belts learning how to reverse punch for the first time.

                If the school is legit and teaching anything inteligently at all then the belt you wear really will be irrelevent and so will the idea of "starting over". I mean, if you have a Judo black belt and start BJJ as a white, you structure of the class is such that you should be getting the same benifit from the training as if they gave you an honorary blue or brown or whatever. Get on the floor and try to pass the other guys guard or submit him or whatever the hell the drill is. It's not like they won't let you roll with the higher ranked guys and make yuo play with the true noobs.

                Same thing for MT which has no belt system. I came in with all my previous experience and spent maybe a week learning all their basics and getting the general gist of their style and then was told I could get in the ring and duke it out as soon as I had bought a mouthguard. In the beggning we just made the rules more restrictive for new arrivals but the contact level was the same and there was no talk of "begginer" or "advanced", just talk of "pretty good" and "needs some work".
                Fighting evil and upholding justice in blue silk pajamas baby!
                http://youtube.com/watch?v=UGaYD_wcaIg

                http://youtube.com/watch?v=6Uepo9ahg-M

                Bah!!! Puny Humans.


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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Omar
                  The start over at white belt "problem" is solved really easily by doing away with the whole stupid belt thing.

                  I moved around a lot and as a result started over many times. After while it got pretty silly. The most reasonable solution I ever saw was from a Kenpo school which had separeate classes for advanced students and different guidlines according to belt level. After the first weel there they just decided to give me an "honorary purple belt" purple being the lowest rank that could attend the advanced class and sparring sessions. I still was learning the forms and techniques of their school from the bottom up and would get tested for formal lower level belts but they gave me a purple to put on so I wouldn't have to fart around with the white belts learning how to reverse punch for the first time.

                  If the school is legit and teaching anything inteligently at all then the belt you wear really will be irrelevent and so will the idea of "starting over". I mean, if you have a Judo black belt and start BJJ as a white, you structure of the class is such that you should be getting the same benifit from the training as if they gave you an honorary blue or brown or whatever. Get on the floor and try to pass the other guys guard or submit him or whatever the hell the drill is. It's not like they won't let you roll with the higher ranked guys and make yuo play with the true noobs.

                  Same thing for MT which has no belt system. I came in with all my previous experience and spent maybe a week learning all their basics and getting the general gist of their style and then was told I could get in the ring and duke it out as soon as I had bought a mouthguard. In the beggning we just made the rules more restrictive for new arrivals but the contact level was the same and there was no talk of "begginer" or "advanced", just talk of "pretty good" and "needs some work".
                  I don't know how many CMA schools have a belt system, but the school I've been training at does not. I really enjoy this and the Sifu does not even think of you above beginner level until you've been training continuosly for at least 3 years. People who come from different schools must learn the forms from ours, unless they already know similar forms. Also, what is good is you must be there for a few months before you can spar because he wants to make sure you aren't going to go crazy and seriously hurt someone in the ring.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by taikwido
                    Even "qualified" instructors don't like their students training at other schools. Basically, they don't like to be compared with what others are doing. They also like to say that "you don't need anything else".

                    It's along the same vein as instructors who insist that a person with prior experience in the same (or very similar) art start from the beginning as a white belt. They want to keep students there as long as possible through games instead of competence.

                    I mean, just imagine if Old Navy made you sign a contract to keep coming back to buy fleece sweatshirts every month just to get one now.

                    Sometimes, it's not meant to rip people off. If you are trying to teach a system that is structured, there is a curriculum that is meant to be followed. That means that there are some things you teach at certain belts, and some things you don't. Other styles often train with emphasis on different parts of the curriculum at different levels.

                    Putting people back to white when they come in ensures that they know the things they are supposed to know at any given level (so you don't get BB's who don't know how to throw a hook to use a previous example). There is nothing saying that the new white belt won't progress quickly. In fact, he will probably learn the curriculum faster than someone with no experience.

                    It's also a lesson in humility (NOT humiliation). A lot of guys come through our doors with previous experience and big ego. They won't stick around if we tell them they start at white. No loss for us. The ones who DO stick around, start at white and work their way back up. Generally, they make excellent students and they are a lot of fun to work with.

                    We had a guy who was a brown belt in another style. He came in wearing his white belt (smart move). He trained with it for about four months. During that time, my sensei pointed out a lot of elements of his technique that were from his old style that were hindering his ability to do some of the things we do (body shifting, etc. - he was really rigid). It had to be hard to put up with that, but he was humble and perservered.

                    He is now the same rank I am (just made blue). He tells me it meant a hell of a lot more to him doing it this way. He is also a better fighter (by a lot) than when he first joined us.

                    And no, he didn't have to pay for multiple 'belt fees', etc. We are a non profit club, so no one is getting rich. Sorry for the rant. I'll shut up now. :happy3:
                    Originally posted by pauli
                    i was once told that "do" means wrecking people's shit for your own philosophical betterment.

                    Originally posted by melvin_peebles
                    I could be mistaking dumbness for delusion. I'll have to go dig out my DSM IV. It's great to have stumbled upon this site. The rich fauna and flora of mental dysfunction that exists in the martial arts is amazing. It's like the Galapagos.

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                      #11
                      If you're going to train in something competitive like BJJ or MT, your instructor should have some quick qualifications: A tournament record, and, preferably, some medals to go with it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        No need to apologize for good thoughts.


                        As a karate bb, I wear it in dif schools when working out as a guest (Any school that discourages visiting and working out elsewhere can suck my dick). I mean it's grey now and so am I. Going in as a student about half the schools/dojos have wanted me to put on white. It's ok but I'd rather wear black. When wearing white (or lower colored belts) after a while there is always "he's a black belt in another style," talk and once an instructor told me after a couple months to go put on my bb because "All of his students could tell I was a black belt and I might as well wear it." And some schools while making everyone start at white, get the advanced people sparring with the bbs no matter what belt they wear; recognizing skill.

                        If I was doing jj I'd wear white because I couldn't keep up with the bbs (or lower ranks for that matter) and wouldn't want to get hurt by assumptions of skill. In standup that's not an issue.
                        "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez

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