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TMA UnderGround >> at a TMA crossroads

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7/27/07 12:41 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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Edited: 27-Jul-07
Member Since: 12/26/2002
Posts: 6525
Modern Self-Defense Center
 
I am at a significant crossroads in my training and teaching. I'm sure others here have been in the same place, so I am offering up my situation and welcoming feedback. FRAT WARNING * FRAT WARNING * FRAT WARNING I grew up in TMA. I have 19 years experience training and teaching Kenpo Karate at a reputable and unaffiliated school (no organizations involved). I am the youngest instructor at my school to reach 4th dan (few instructors of any age have progressed that far in our school). I have been teaching there for many years and am one of the seniormost instructors. The school is also very into Modern Arnis. I too trained it for about a decade and earned my Lakan (black belt) from Prof. Remy Presas in the year before he passed away. Additionally, I have trained in numerous other TMA styles, and hold a variety of kyu rankings. Now, in 1997 I began training BJJ, and was hooked. To make a long story short, I'm a purple belt now and have been teaching under Roy Harris' association since 2002. I'm also a Level 1 JKD instructor under Roy, and am pursuing ranks in Boxe Francaise Savate and Kalis Ilustrisimo. Originally, I taught BJJ and JKD out of the Kenpo school where I have taught & trained all these years. Two years ago I moved my programs into their own facility, and tapered off my time at the Kenpo school. In the last year, I have stopped teaching TMA entirely and only teach BJJ, JKD, & MMA. I have left my relationship with the Kenpo school in limbo. They hope to see me return soon, because I am one of the seniormost instructors. I really miss the people from the Kenpo and Arnis training, but I do not miss the training. I had hoped, for a time, that my senior position would offer me the opportunity to teach their curriculum in a way that I felt would be more productive for the students: using more hands-on and effective training methods. Though the head instructors are open minded about such ideas (in theory), they tend to micro-manage their classrooms. In the year when I taught both at my school and at theirs, I was given very little room to take the lead or shape the classroom activities in any kind of meaningful way. As much as I miss working with the people there, the longer I am away the more I appreciate the control I have over my own classroom. FRAT - Skip to here. So the big question, obviously, is whether or not I should resume teaching at the Kenpo school. I also need to decide if the changes I would make to the classroom there are significant enough to make me want to resume training that curriculum. I'm sure some of you have been in a situation like this. What are your thoughts?
7/28/07 10:50 AM
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JasonKeaton
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Edited: 28-Jul-07
Member Since: 03/12/2002
Posts: 2131
I think you should probably continue on your own. I taught a kung fu program once and I kept making changes. Some of the other instructors were getting mad at me for doing chi sao to double legs or doing boxer vs. grappler in kung fu. Some of the students also watned "pure" kung fu. So I just quit teaching it. My heart really wasn't in kung fu although it was making me a good amount of money. And I liked the people a lot it just was I could not do KF anymore. I definately know how you feel. It is a tough decision to leave a lot of the people you have known for years to do your own thing. You have to remember why you left in the first place. That you knew what you were doing was a better training method. you had advanced beyond what you were doing before, right? Not that it was not good, it just wasn;'t good for you anymore? I think you should call and talk to them ifyou miss them. I wouldn't talk about MA or anything. Maybe you guys could do school functions together. It is hard to go back to certain training ideas ince the veil has been lifted, know what I mean?
7/29/07 11:50 AM
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twinkletoesCT
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Edited: 29-Jul-07
Member Since: 12/26/2002
Posts: 6531
Modern Self-Defense Center
ViewType, It's not quite so "black and white" a situation. I think that their curriculum could be trained with better training methods. So it's not that material that I don't want to participate in, it's the outdated way that it is being trained. If you ask them, they are "all about" finding new ways to improve their training methods and the way that they build skill in their students. But because most of them have only trained at this school, they aren't able to step back and evaluate their own assumptions about training. When I am around, they like to ask for suggestions; however, most of them are too comfortable in their ways to actually implement the changes that I suggest (or they reinterpret my suggestion in a way that removes the "new" value). I really, sincerely like these people and would like to maintain a relationship with them. It's more than just sentimentality--many of them really are fun people to train with. Additionally, it's worth noting that I don't consider myself among the "used to do TMA but now I just do MMA" people. I think that both groups have a lot of value to share, and I even have some TMA that I plan to continue to study.
7/29/07 7:55 PM
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FlashGordon2002
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Edited: 29-Jul-07
Member Since: 05/23/2002
Posts: 13348
Some of the students also watned "pure" kung fu. --------------------- IMHO - what you were teaching WAS pure kung fu. If you read up on the famous kung fu guys in history, those guys didn't learn kung fu for the love of the art or for some spiritual reasons. They learned it becasue for whatever reason, they had to kick ass and they basically were willing to learn anything that would give them an edge in a fight. It was only when they settled down and began to teach students that their methods became set in stone and the stagnation set in.
7/30/07 11:37 AM
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JasonKeaton
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Edited: 30-Jul-07
Member Since: 03/12/2002
Posts: 2137
I know. But I wasn't as new age as they would have liked me to be:) I was more into drilling than chi kung ( although I still do chi kung)

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