Tag Archives: Frankovich

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)
– High School diploma or GED preferred
– Six months to one year of martial arts experience

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
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.
– 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”.


Robert FrankovichSo, why do you “compete”? Regardless of the activity that you prefer, why do you “compete”?

It struck me recently that, even though they acknowledge the amount of effort, commitment and training that goes into competing, people really associate success with the trophy won.

Now, professional athletes compete…because they’re PAID. If they weren’t, they would have regular jobs like the rest of us. It may be me, but it doesn’t seem that the majority of professional athletes aren’t much of a success…only notorious.

College and high school competition is fun and helps promote community. The pride felt as the students representing your school…your town…test their skills against the neighboring team. I was a part of this and enjoyed it greatly. I got to know some very cool people that way…and some friends from the opposing teams when all was said and done. The unfortunate part comes from the focus on professional athletics and the lack of representing community. When high schools and colleges recruit players to bolster their team, is it from community pride or to attract big money? I guess I’m just old but I thought college athletes came straight from high school, not 3-4 years in “juniors” first.

Looking back, the main reason I competed in high school was to be part of the team. Something bigger than just me. I would bet that teammates grumbled under their breathe because I wasn’t the most skilled athlete…merely average, but I tried. We had successes and enjoyed the time. The past high school reunion still had stories from those days and games.

Outside of the organized competition, I did play a lot of games too. I played for the fun and truly didn’t care if I “won”. There were even times where I intentionally chose a struggling player as a partner. After telling them to make sure they had fun, we had our share of winning. Looking back, I can see that it provided at least two things – skills development and leadership.

Particularly in tennis, if my partner was struggling, I would try to make a few more shots but not be a ball hog. If we lost a point, so be it. Prompting my partner to proactively work on their skills allowed us to be a better team. Encouragement and some friendly “try this” to support them turned many matches around.

In the end, looking back on all these years, I competed to test my skills in a variety of situations, encourage others to become better, develop a “coaching” skill. All this shines very strongly on the horizon as myself and several students prepare for an international competition and promotion testing in the next couple of weeks.

Why did/do you compete?