Friday, November 18, 2011

How to treat a martial arts intructor?

I have my first lesson with a new martial arts instructor this week and he is really serious about discipline and respect.

How should I treat him, what should I call him and all that stuff to make a good impression?|||Ok first off which art is he Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Muay Thai?

Depending on which one it is slightly different.

I will tell you how they do it in Japanese and in Kenpo those two I know well.

In Japanese you always call your teacher Sensei, UNLESS they are high rank, such like me I am 5th Degree Black Belt making me a Shihan now. When I reach 6th Dan I will be a Renshi and than 7-9th Hanshi and 10th Grandmaster but I will never see that for there can only be one in our system at any one time so I MAY see 7 or 8, but 9 i seriously doubt and I think it will take me another 20+ years to reach that level also!! Age has a lot to do with high rank like that not just fighting skill.

SO first find out his rank, if they are under 5th degree call them Sensei, well technically you are ALWAYS safe calling them Sensei, if they wish to be called Shihan or Renshi or Hanshi or O%26#039;Sensei then they will tell you.

when you meet them put your feet together and arms at your side and bow at the hips but keep your back straight and stiff while keeping your head up slightly but your eyes facing down and the lower you bow the more respect you are showing them (NOTE DONT BOW TO THE FLOOR LOL!!!) Just give a good low bow. Then stand at attention with your feet together and arms at your side and always respond yes Sensei or no Sensei again unless he gives you a different title to use.

it is very militaristic in some ways as you can see when it concerns rank. If you are a White belt than you are known as a Kohai which means student in Japanese and usually a Sempai will work with you while your Sensei will assist intervenesly or maybe all the time depending the size and type of teacher he is.

If he tells you to relax do so buy taking a step with your foot to the left about shoulder width apart and put your arms in front of your holding your right arm with your left hand in front of you.

That is a proper traditional relaxation stance dont lean against the wall or anything UNLESS YOU SEE higher ranks and lower ranks doing it too, but if he is traditional as I am then he will not have that.

NEVER wear your shoes onto the DOJO floor and ALWAYS bow in and out of the DOJO floor as well.

NEVER let your OBI (belt) hit the floor and learn by one of the other students usually the next rank up a yellow belt or another white belt but has been there longer how to put it on properly. The end lengths should match when you are done.

NOW OUT of class this can differ from teacher to teacher. ME PERSONALLY I do not mind it when students bow and call me Shihan or Sensei but I do not demand or expect it of them just in the class room, but like a proffessor at school it becomes habitual and I understand that.

Remember it is RESPECT you are showing them, they are not GODS so though he is traditional make sure that the ego is not there because god complexes are hard to learn from and you will just end up hating the art. I doubt he is though just a gut feeling call it.

Sounds like you found a good person if what you say is true. do those few things and that will make a huge impact.

The only difference with Kenpo is with the bow, you grasp your left hand over your right fist and bow with the arms and fists as well. In the Chinese way they also have the hand that way but they have a couple of foot work steps to it and hand moves as well in thier courtesy bow. Watch any Kung fu movie you will see.

So other than the differences in bowing, learn their proper title and show discipline and respect but don%26#039;t be a robot either, ask questions and learn!! Keep your cup empty so he can fill it with his knowledge, be open minded to all he tells you and if you honestly do not understand do not pretent to tell him and they will show you another way to learn it then.

I hope that helps your start and journey, I wish I had a Shihan or a Sensei to guide me before i entered a new place, we did not have PC%26#039;s like this in my early days lol.|||You know, my experience with Kung Fu is that the class isn%26#039;t as militaristic in structure as other martial arts classes are (being in the military, I should know).

Just address the instructor as Sifu, salute when entering and leaving the kwoon (guan), and thank your sifu at the end of the class.

The salute is made with a left fist in the right open palm. Just watch other people and ask how to make the salute properly. If we are talking a soutern Cantonese style, then doe jay is a close approximation to how you say thank you. If your learning a northern style from a northerner who speaks Madarin, then shay shay is how you would say thank you in Madarin (that%26#039;s not how it%26#039;s spelled though, only pronounced).

It%26#039;s more important just to try your best and keep working. The Chinese instructors I knew had a pretty good sense of humor as well, I suppose coming from China during the cultural revolution could put things in a better perspective, but yeah, there is definitely a lighter atmosphere in my Kung Fu class.

Also, if your running late or can%26#039;t make it it%26#039;s a good idea to call your sifu and tell him beforehand. It is also usually customary to chip in a few bucks for a gift on the Sifu%26#039;s birthday, but that%26#039;s something to worry about later on.|||Respect.|||With respect, of course. Ask him what you should call him--each martial arts instructor has their own preference on what they want to be called.

Anything else--just ask your instructor.|||Treat him with respect. Don%26#039;t worship at his feet or as a god.|||Quite simply, with respect.

Depending on your discipline, there are different ways of greeting. I would imagine that most, if not all of them, involve a bow, or salute.

Be on time for class...if, for some reason, you have to be late, and you have opportunity to inform him ahead of time, do so. when you arrive, ask permission to join the class before entering the training area (dojo, dojang, etc.). When he invites you to join, say %26quot;thank you sir%26quot;.

Depending on your discipline, address him by either Sir, Mr. (insert last name here), or Sensei, Sabuhnim, or whatever word your discipline uses for teacher.

If he complements a technique, say %26quot;Thank you, sir%26quot;. If he critiques a technique, say %26quot;Thank you, sir%26quot;.

If you have a question, ASK IT. Raise your hand, just like in any other class, and when he acknowledges you, ask him. When he answers your question, say %26quot;thank you sir%26quot;.

Most of all, RELAX. Unless you have travelled in time back to fuedal Japan, it is unlikely he will do anything outside of correcting you with instruction if you slip up.|||Treat them with more respect than you want them to treat you with. They%26#039;ll inform you of their title, but %26quot;sir%26quot; or %26quot;ma%26#039;am%26quot; always works.

But, one word of caution, if they are so serious about discipline and respect that they are hard-nosed towards new students, they may not be a great instructor. Meaning, if they are so %26quot;serious%26quot; that they have no room for error, even among new students, they are overcompensating the %26quot;martial%26quot; for a serious lack of %26quot;art%26quot;.|||The traditional Chinese term for teacher is Sifu (pronounced see-foo). Usually an instructor tells the students what to call them because not all of them use traditional titles. I would ask your instructor if he doesn%26#039;t tell you soon. When you enter the dojo (school), as your are passing through the doorway, bow. Whenever your instructor enters the room, directs his attention to you and leaves the room, bow. When you exit the dojo, as you are passing through the doorway, turn around to face inside the room and bow. Also you should bow to higher belts and to an opponent before and after each sparring session. If you want to make a good impression be serious about your training, practice often and NEVER stop learning or quit on yourself!

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