Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The First 'Un' of Martial Arts 'Unqualified'

The fact is that 99%  of martial arts instructors have no qualification in teaching martial arts. ‘But they’re black belts, the ultimate rank in martial arts expertise, surely that qualifies them to teach?’ Well this sounds like a reasonable enough question doesn’t it but let’s take a look at it:

  1. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you are qualified to teach it. Otherwise we wouldn’t people to study as school teachers, driving instructors, sales trainers and the like would they? Possessing a skill does not mean one can teach it to someone else and yet the teaching of martial arts is left to those who in the main, can perform the arts but have no training in how to teach them. I estimate that 99% of martial arts instructors in the world today have no formal qualification to teach. How is it that the teaching of martial arts, potentially deadly skills in the wrong hands, passed down from generation to generation over thousands of years is done by people who are unqualified. Sure they have black belts and may be able to do amazing things but have undertaken no training in how to pass those skills onto another individual, safely and with good intent. If you have a child who is currently studying martial arts he or she is very likely being taught by someone who though wearing the universal emblem of martial arts skill, the black belt, has never been taught how to teach by anyone who could be formally recognised as qualified to do so.
  2. There are many types of people that come into a martial arts school, both gifted and challenged and some of those people have special needs that have to be taken into account. What if you have a student who is dyspraxic, dyslexic, autistic or suffering from aspergers syndrome. What if the instructor has no training in how to teach people with these kinds of conditions to overcome? A fully qualifies instructor must understand and be aware of how certain challenges that their students have may be dealt with
  3. A qualified instructor also works to a syllabus and plans every class to ensure that students undergo a structured program of tuition with an eventual outcome at the end of the program which they will achieve such as black belt.
  4. A qualified instructor doesn’t just undergo a 3 hour seminar in a particular set of techniques and then be awarded a certificate of attendance without completing any test of their understanding and ability to teach the subject safely.
  5. A Qualified instructor undergoes many hours of ongoing professional development training (Career Professional Development or CPD) during and after their qualification as an instructor
  6. A qualified instructor is tested at many levels of understanding and performance in a graded and progressive curriculum
  7. A qualified instructor is not just expected to know the material but also how to teach the material as well as understanding the learning modalities involved.
  8. A qualified instructor is qualified in more than just tuition but also in coaching, development, safety and business protocols.
  9. A qualified instructor understands how to market for and enrol new students safely at a commercially viable rate to ensure that both the student and the school will still be there at the end of the program. 
  10. A Professionally qualified instructor does not allow students to pay casually  by the class or without obtaining full hard and soft facts about every student before they are allowed onto the mat thereby ensuring that unsuitable students are weeded out and any medical conditions are known from the outside

These are just a few of the reasons why all martial arts instructors must be fully trained and qualified before they can be licensed to teach. Sadly if you find an instructor that matches this basic criteria you'll be lucky. Part of our goal at the National Martial Arts Colleges and in conjunction with other high standard professional schools is to make the general public aware that any instructor they choose MUST have the necessary training. training must be both initial and ongoing and be more than just a 3 or 4 hour seminar with no testing as we see so often these days!

Thanks for reading today and please join me again in my next blog about the next 4 'Uns' of Martial Arts

Best wishes

Tony Higo
Chief Instructor
National Martial Arts College
0800 0920948

Call us today to book your first FREE class with a FULLY QUALIFIED Instructor! 

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