Well, this is my first ramble and in fact it is my 4th attempt at putting onto paper what is going through my mind as regards the Martial Arts in general and Pressure Points in particular.
I have changed my subject matter 4 times!
As Instructors / Coaches / Teachers or whatever you want to call us ( be polite now ) we have a ‘Duty Of Care’ towards those we are teaching, our students. Now, it does not matter at what level or medium we are teaching from. We could be teaching a class to our most regular, long term, loyal, highly trained, expert in their own right colleagues right through to a guest 2 minute spot for a friend for nothing to a couple of people who have never trained before.
We still have that same ‘Duty Of Care’. We still have to ensure that we teach with the Health and Safety of our students in mind at all times. That is PARAMOUNT. No amount of ego, technique demo, try to look good at a seminar etc is worth the health and safety of our students.
As some of you may know I witnessed a Seminar that was, plain and simple, downright awful. Not only as regards what was taught, but also the manner it which it was taught. The complete lack of care and responsibility of those ’teaching’ was incredible. I am loathe to use the word teaching in this respect but I think you know what I mean!
These people’s only defense for their shoddy treatment of the seminar attendees, their lack of knowledge, their inability to educate, their complete disregard of the safety of those attendees was; “We did it for free”!
Can you believe it? For FREE! Now it is not the fact they did it for free (the attendees were all charged 20 Euro each to attend by the way, so they did not get it for FREE) that amazes me.. although I must admit, this lot doing anything for free is odd!
It amazes me that they think in their tiny little minds that by not charging the host that they are somehow absolved of all their responsibilities as a Teacher. That it is somehow now ok to abuse the attendees, to have a grown man (4th dan somehow) hitting kids on the jaw to not teach correctly and all the other awful things that were going on. It is now ok because they were not paid.
Well, my tiny little abusing seminar instructors, I have some news for you; You STILL HAVE a ‘Duty Of Care’ towards the attendees no matter what! You should still have their health and safety in mind no matter what the fee.
I find it incredible, that a highly ranked Instructor (8th Dan at the last count), it could change to 9th though, as it was several weeks ago that he was an 8th considers that his only basis for teaching correctly must be how much he is paid? What an idiot. I hope that you are reading this Mr Seminar Instructor, as you are a complete fool and you need to address your problems sooner rather than later.
Now, as this rant and ramble carried on and indeed carries on, several more things came to light. I had tons of emails of support for my Video Rants, even from within that same organization that I was complaining about! However, what was apparent from many of those emails of support was a startling fact, that many of you out there, have witnessed this same lack of regard for the student many times before.
I hasten to add, not just by the idiots I saw, but by Instructors all over the place! This was quite a shock I must say. I never thought that this was as widespread as it seems to be.
So, this Video rant has, effectively, opened a whole new can of worms; that of safe teaching skills, in fact just teaching skills really, as safety should be considered the norm anyway.
I read on the news the other day that the USA Car makers were looking for 18 Billion in loans. The news wrote that the USA Government would only consider the loans if “There was a real chance that the loans would be repaid” Pardon me for stating the absolute obvious, but is that not a pre-requisite of any loan? I could not believe what I was reading.
The parallels between the car makers loans and these idiotic dangerous teachers are plain to see. In other words: Teaching correctly, should encompass ALL aspects of Teaching correctly, e.g Health and Safety, lesson plans, knowledge of ones subject, clear explanations of how and why things work, clear examples, learn slowly etc…. the list goes on and on.
Just like taking on a loan, means you are going to pay it back!
This ‘Duty Of care’ extends to DVD’s as well. This is why I personally go to great lengths to explain what could happen with any given technique. By pointing out the dangers and the potential for damage, you are informing the end user, the student etc of the dangers and pitfalls of each particular technique.
By explaining that you learn slow and gentle, you train with much less compliance and you pressure test now and again with no compliance, you ensure as much as you can from a distance, that the learning and training environment is as safe as it can be. As long as the safety protocols are always in place during training of course!
Do you have a particular horror story to tell? Are you concerned at the way you are being taught? If so get in touch with us right now. Contact details are at the end of the Magazine.