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Changes in a school

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    Changes in a school

    We all now that politics plays a big part in martial arts. It affects everything from promotions, aknowledging other practioneers/schools in the same art, ect.

    One major political change in a school is the head instructor moving onto a new teacher from the very minor/everyday reasons such as his instructor retiring, moving, and passing away. Or to the extreme such has your instructor viewing his instructor has hidden agendas, starts to go "McDojo", finds out they are changing the style to control what techniques are taught, even your instructor being replaced by the organization or just passing the school to somebody else, ect.

    What experiences have you had in such a "regime" change. Did it push you away from the school or draw you closer, or was it a smooth transition.

    "But some apes they gotta go, so we kill the ones we don't know" - 'Ape shall never kill Ape' by The Vandals
    Apu: "Oh! You have just been Apu'd!"

    The only regime change I was ever party too was a flip from ITA to WTTU, the international arm of the ATA when I was still doing TKD.

    Since they both sucked, it was just a matter of which Korean asshole was trying to suck money out of me.

    Not that I'm bitter.

    "I'm willing to bet I could fuck up an emu real good, if I got the drop on the bastard."
    -- KC Elbows, my new hero.
    Monkey Ninjas! Attack!


      I've told this the story before, but my instructor had to break off from his parent school because of financial reasons. He was teaching/managing 3 different park and rec programs which held over fifty 50% of the students of the school and only making $9 a hour. And he only got paid for teaching time, he was not compensated for anything he did for the programs benefit outside of class so he only got paid for about 20 hours a week. On top of that he had to buy his own equipment. His employeer was getting rich off of his labor and my instructor's family was starving. He had to do what he had to do.

      When my instructor did this, he was very frank and up front about what he was doing and why. He went out of his way NOT to say anything negative about his former employeer and instructor, just focusing on his family needs at the time. The owner responded by writing as letter stating that only he and programs sanctioned by himself, were considered legitamate according to the international martial arts association we were a part of. His meaning was crystal clear and he spelled it out as such. He implied, forcefully I might add, that my instructor was not qualified/allow to teach without his consent and could not confer upon anyone a "real" ranking. Staying with him would be like flushing all our hard work down the toilet.

      Of course this was complete bullshit, but a large percentage of the students panicked and signed up with the guy with more stripes on his belt, at a highly inflated price I might add. When all the dust settled, my instructor ended up teaching the same art as before, in the exact same way, at the same price, at the same location. If you stayed with him, things were very smooth.

      Now the his business has further grown and flourished, my instructor has taken great measure to ensure that a similar occurance does not happen to him.

      First of all, it is obivious that he is NOT getting rich being a martial arts instructor. He lives decent life for his family, but his house, car, or other possessions aren't any nicer than mine. This is because he put all most all of the money from the school back into it, either in instructor salaries, new equipment, or dojo upkeep.

      Second, no single person is given more responsibility than what my instructor can reasonably pay for. For example, most instructors only work 2 maybe 3 nights a week, for a few hours each time. At the most, they are responisble for running one park and rec program, not 3 like he was. The park and rec instructors are rotated on a regular basis and this is done very smoothly with no complaints.

      Lastly, he is very particular about who becomes an instructor at his school. Not everyone can be a great martial artist, not every great martial artist can teach effectviely, and not every great martial artist that can teach has the managerial skills to run a park and rec program by themselves. There are serparate rankings, our schools equivalent to a teaching license, for instructors and students that appear to have the pontential are approached long before balck belt and are groomed as assisntant instructors and mentors to younger less esperienced students. Still the process isn't perfect.

      One of the hardest thing my instrucotr every had to do was remove someone from his teaching staff. The guy wa a great martial artist, very smart, and enthusiastic. He just didn't have the teaching or managing skills necessary to do the job. Depsite being given chance after chance, he was always messing up business wise and parents started to complain that they felt the classes went run very well. During the next rotation, he was told we wasn't going to rotate with the rest and he was no longer going to be employed as an instructor and why. We was told everyone at the dojo was still his friend and encouraged him to continue training in the art here at the school, but this was a business decision. Everything would be handled professionally, nothing negative would be said about him publicly to his former students or anyone else.

      Well, as you can guess, the guy didn't take it so well. He called all the parents on his, now former roster, and asked them to fight to kept him as their instructor. On the new instructor's first day, he showed up at the location and sat in the front row. My instructor had to have another talk with him and tell the guy the bottom line was that those kids weren't his students, they were the schools students. If he continued what he was doing, legal action might have to be taken.

      In the end the guy kind of dissapeared. He agreed that what he was doing was out of line an apologized to everyone involved. He doesn't train at the dojo anymore, and that is a shame, but I guess in wasn't unexpected.

      <marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>



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