Martial arts…today?

Robert Frankovich
Help wanted —
Martial Arts Instructor – Tae Kwon Do-EDE01156
Description:
Our team of Martial Arts Instructors works to provide entertaining and educational athletic programs for our members. Utilize your excellent customer service skills and passion for martial arts in this exciting position!
As a Marital Arts Instructor, you will teach new skills to members to help them develop martial arts techniques while building teamwork.
Qualifications
– High School diploma or GED preferred
– Six months to one year of martial arts experience

Primary Location: : MN-Eden Prairie – CRT – Eden Prairie (Crosstown)
Schedule: Part-time
Job Level: Individual Contributor
Shift: Evening Job
Travel: No
Nearest Major Market: Minneapolis
Job Segments: Customer Service, Education, Instructor, Part Time, Service
Actual job posting

I came across this job posting while bored & surfing the net. While I can understand fitness centers/health clubs wanting to offer martial arts programs for the clients, I don’t get the “disrespect” shown in their job posting.

Do they truly think someone with six months of “training” is capable to teach a program? This is the attitude that I’ve complained about as yoga programs began showing up everywhere. Attedn a weekend training course and become a certified instructor. How much do they truly know about “real” yoga after a weekend? Do I believe that they can “lead” a class, yes. Will they promote the personal development of their clients, no. I did use clients specifically because I can’t see them as being “real” students since they aren’t attempting to learn anything “real”, just get a workout. No, there’s nothing wrong with a good workout.

Personally, I see the personal trainer status in a similar light. The people working now are much better and knowledgeable but I have a hard time understanding it when a “certification” program from an organization is placed higher than a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science…unless its because they can pay the personal trainers less. Capitalism at its finest.

Most who know me know that I’ve preached the pursuit of an academic martial arts program, if a university will give one a chance, to initiate the change of martial arts from the second class status that it has to one with the respect that it deserves.

You hear regularly from counselors, educators, psychologists and others that people greatly benefit from martial arts training but the development of an academic program hasn’t happened. Yes, I know of Bridgeport University and Amerstate but there’s still a flaw since they don’t grow. On the other hand, though, massage therapy has become a credible, respected and profitable industry. Go figure.

If anyone has ideas on how to get the academic program accepted by a university, please pass it on. I’ve got plenty of curriculum developed…as do many other quality teachers that I know. And, yes, I called them teachers because they do much more than “instruct”.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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4 replies on “Martial arts…today?”

  1. In the earlier days of our system in the US, shodans were encouraged to start new classes, remotely under the supervision of a more qualified sensei… but that was still (on average) at least three years of what I call “extended basic training”. These days, 25+ years later, there are many more higher ranking black belts than shodans floating around out there in our association and so the requirements are higher than they used to be; probably closer to that on Okinawa where you generally have to be a to be a Godan (5th dan) to start your own orthodox dojo. Six months to a year is just not enough to give a new student a good martial arts experience.

  2. Christine B. says:

    I thought it funny as well when it said 6 months to 1 year of Martial arts experience. It did not specify TKD especially. They might be requesting that amount of time because you would know enough to teach it as a general class, but you would not be trained enough to have bias against the program and try to change it to be more than just a workout.

  3. Ms. Kim says:

    Easy on the personal trainer thing, I have been one for 12 years with an associate’s degree in my pocket! 😉 My gripe with my own industry is the lack of personal knowledge that current trainers have with or without the degree (i.e.; trainers who coach you in nutrition but look like they live on pizza!) As for instructors in the martial arts, that is all part of becoming a mature martial artist. Only certified black belts are allowed to instruct in our school (takes anywhere from 3-5 years to obtain your first black belt) so you have all the program experience (and personal experience) you need. Keep up the great blogs!
    Ms. Kim

  4. Jon says:

    I had actually applied for this job, I figured that they needed someone who actually knew what they were doing to head up a program like that. I too, was quite amazed at the dearth of experience they expected for this position. Even the most dedicated TKD practitioner could only possibly to purple and POSSIBLY blue belt with 6 months to a year of training.

    The amusing P.S. on this one is I have not heard one single word back from them since I applied. I have made a call inquiring as to the status of this position without any answer. Needless to say, I still get alerts about this job from the different job sites I subscribe to.

    I share your concern about employers such as this neglecting to take into consideration the actual time it takes to become skilled enough to teach TKD, and that’s not taking in the time that it takes to reach 1st or 2nd Dan. To me, you really don’t figure out how to master a technique until you are able to break it down and instruct another person on how to do it properly. If this place is serious enough about a program, they need to start doing their homework and researching what it actually takes to be a qualified instructor before posting for the position.

    I had seen another post for an Assoc. Professor at UMD to teach Tae Kwon Do/ Self-Defense, and they specifically stated that the candidate had to be at least a 1st degree black belt. Nice to see someone has a good idea about qualifications.

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