Martial Arts Tips : How to Tell if a Martial Arts Instructor is Qualified


Hi everybody, I’m John Graden from The Martial
Arts Teachers Association and johngraden.com. How do you determine if an instructor is qualified?
That’s kind of difficult. Why? The martial arts is an unlicensed profession. In other
words, there are no specific universally recognized standards. Anybody can buy a black belt and
put it on. Anybody can open a martial arts school. So there’s no barrier to entry which
makes it a really good business if you are qualified. But it also opens the door for
quackery and people who pass themselves off as being what they’re not. In order to access
the qualifications of a good instructor you want to make sure, number one, top of the
list, you want to know what you’re trying to accomplish. What is it, do you want to
become a champion? Do you want to become a black belt? Do you want to become very proficient
in self defense? Or do you just want the mental confidence that goes in to the martial arts?
Once you know your goals, then its a matter of researching the instructors in your area.
Go watch the classes. And here’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking for an instructor
that you think is going to motivate you. You’re looking for an instructor that going to keep
you excited about coming back to class. Initially with students, I like to help them set black
belt as a goal. That takes about three years. So really think about it, three year span
to earn your black belt. As we’re watching this instructor work we want to see how he
or she works with the beginning students and then we want to go watch the advanced classes.
We want to see black belts. We want to see lots of brown and black belts who are proficient,
they’re impressive. In other words, they have skills that you want. They have body condition.
They have a mental attitude that really indicates they have been well trained over a two to
three period to get to that advanced class. So as I’m sitting there watching that class,
kind of look at that as a time machine. If I’m taking my child I’m going to go watch
the advanced kids and I want to see, o.k.in three years my kids going to be doing this.
Does this make sense? Is this what I want? Is this going to motivate him or her? Is this
going to accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish? So when you look at qualifications,
I’m not really looking at the past of the instructor. I’m not interested in where he
got his certificate. I’m interested in the future with that instructor. The only situation
that I’m really looking for, first I want to make sure that they’re involved, with a
continuing education professional program like The Martial Arts Teachers Association.
That tells me this is someone who is continuing to learn, continuing to grow. But more importantly,
I want to watch them in action. I want to make sure that they’re teaching in a way that’s
going to motivate me, keep me coming to class, keep my child coming to class. Then I want
to watch those advanced students. And if they look sharp, they look strong, I know I’ve
got a good instructor. I hope that helps. I’m John Graden from johngraden.com. Thank
You.

5 Replies to “Martial Arts Tips : How to Tell if a Martial Arts Instructor is Qualified

  1. Does your association give mandatory courses / hold examinations on first aid, sports science (applied physiology / sports coaching), self- defense law, for its associates? . If not all people got is your "good" word.. by the way good business talk..

  2. I wish they would come out with schools that give you a 6 month guarantee. Meaning if you cant handle yourself sparring, you have a right to ask for a refund. Forget belts. This would be awesome because the teacher knows you will probabaly stay for 6 months to see if he is right. Just dont force the student into signing a contract. I hate schools that do that, dont you?  Also what that would do is, after 3 months if the student is not getting anywhere, the teacher could say to him politely on the side…."maybe you should try another art. Im not the right teacher for you."  When did you ever hear that one!!!!!!?

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