Tag Archives: academics

My classes are NOT fitness classes!

I am NOT a fitness instructor! My martial arts are NOT a fitness class!

Recently, I found a posting for a Martial Arts Instructor position with a major fitness center. The requirements were listed as: (copied from the job posting listed today – 6/4/2014)
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Qualifications
– High School diploma or GED preferred
– Six months to one year of martial arts experience
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This seems to be just a bit degrading. If the fitness industry can promote programs with this little knowledge and experience, what does that make our society believe the martial arts are? How can the core principles and concepts of the martial arts be taught, developed and understood when the instructor barely has enough knowledge to do the techniques? This is one major worry that I have about how the martial arts are presented…continued…within our society.

Another major worry is the plentiful list of schools who do “business” well but don’t have any real knowledge of their arts. The acceptance by our society that “if they’re a Black Belt, they must know what they’re doing” is a horrible trap that will ruin the martial arts. The number of schools who play upon this as a method of convincing students and recruits is huge. The business of the martial arts recognizes the need for an increasing student base to earn money. The “Black Belt is a Black Belt in Everything” allows new programs learned by watching DVDs and reading books to be added to the school and bring in more money. An easy way to watch out for this is to ask the instructor about his lineage. “Real” teachers will tell you without hesitation. The others will have replies such as “it’s a secret or special program” or “why does lineage matter”.

My biggest fear from these items is that people will not understand that the one bad experience is not the whole of the martial arts. Once they have a bad experience, they’ll never try again. A different teacher of the same art or trying a completely different art may be completely skipped. In a society that argues Chevrolet or Ford, Domestic or Import, Harley or Honda, how can we NOT be losing some of the greatest potential and world changing leaders because of fraud and ego.

I have felt that working within academia is the best way to change the fitness industry flaw. Creating the degrees that truly represent the work that illustrates our efforts. The myriad of educational subjects that non-martial artists never understand or see such as anatomy, biomechanics, history, philosophy, conflict & crisis studies, problem solving and personal development (emotional & social).

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”.