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#156830 - 06/17/05 09:11 AM Does age matter
MAGr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
In light of another thread, Id like to pose this question.
Does age play a role in teaching MA.
If so then in what way.
Obviously its not the only criteria, but is it important. Or does age not matter, and the only thing in question is the skill level?

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#156831 - 06/17/05 09:35 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: MAGr]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
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Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Different situations, different criteria.

Example #1: adult class, geared towards effective fighting (ie street defense). At least 28 yo with 3rd black for head instructor, and, depending upon style, 16 with a brown or above (but less than head instructor) for assistant instructor (eg being supervised but learning how to teach)

Example #2: Youth (age 13-17) does not need to be run by head teacher all the time (see above for criteria), can be run by 2nd black or higher, at least 25 years of age.

#3: junior's class (10-12) for men, must have at least black belt, must be at least 25 (unless the parent of more than one child). For women, must have brown belt, must be at least 22.

#4: children (9 and under) for men, Must have black belt, must be at least 25 (unless parent of more than one child), for women, must have studied for at least 2.5 years, must be at least 16.

Note that the only situations in which a senior/head instructor is necessary is where the classes involve adults training for SD. That is the only time when you NEED someone with tremendous age and experience to teach, when the people actually NEED to have the proper training.

Youth situations are different because a HS fight is hardly ever life threatening. Should a youth attend that dangerous a school, then he/she needs more adult type instruction, but should the youth attend a decent school, then he/she, should be somewhere between a sport oriented MA and SD oriented training.

Women get an allowance for the younger groups simply because I have seen that women are just better with younger children unless the guy (who is being compared) is a parent. (I'm an uncle and I still don't compare to a 16 year old girl when it comes to handling small children.)

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#156832 - 06/17/05 09:51 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
MAGr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
Bushi,
I agree with all that you said.
But I am not being specific here.
I am asking about a dojo that has adult students or that accepts adult students.

Even in the case that it is just kids however, I still maintain the position that they will not receive quality instruction in MAs if taught by a teenager. The teenager girl, might know how to handle kids better, but wouldnt it be better to have someone who can handle the kids and has had more experience in regards to teaching, getting through, transmitting the techniques. Someone who has the mental capacity to 'invent' appropriate drills for kids.
A teenager does not have the MA experience to break down the art and to be able to do so to the extent that she/he can make up new drills, or revamp the learning process.

I am all for any ages teaching as assistants because that is how you learn how to teach. But running your own dojo?

I am not sayig that 19 yearolds cant handle kids, I am saying that the same person with 5 more years of experience would be an even better teacher, and so why settle for less? Surely there is a minimum standard. In most other businesses there are standards agencies.

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#156833 - 06/17/05 09:59 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: MAGr]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
It would be better in five years, but for a dojo that strictly teaches children, not necessary. Bring in youths and adults, and the standards go up.

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#156834 - 06/17/05 10:05 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: MAGr]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Well, if it does then it matters both ways...age of teacher and age of pupil. I believe that it is 'maturity' that counts. Maturity of teacher, and pupil. This is the very reason one rarely sees the close, one on one, mentoring relationships. (Water seeks its' own level.)

The more one tries to quantify, and qualify (i.e. standardize) the martial arts...the more one turns it into that very thing one reviles (McDojos). Is it really the tools that are concerned with...or the process of learning?


Edited by harlan (06/17/05 10:06 AM)

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#156835 - 06/17/05 10:16 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: harlan]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Harlan, I am going to tell you right now, prodigies ARE immature. Period. Actually, I haven't met one yet that wasn't immature or had something else going on that stinted their ability to function as adults at any age, and (while I've never personally met him) by all accounts that includes Albert Einstein. And I am more than considered a part of that statement.

This relates to the topic because there are just certain ages where a person is mature enough for certain things. A person is not ready to be a business owner, let alone a teacher of adults in the fighting arts, until they are almost in their thirties. Men actually make better fathers after 25 (but before thirty) because they are mature enough to be a father without being forced to be that mature. Women, however, have a natural tendency towards caring for children, that takes hold at a much earlier age. My sister is a prime example. Life is way screwed up, but when she has her daughter, everything else takes second place.

The issue is maturity, but also what age it comes at. The people who have maturity at a younger age just aren't available for the level of study that a prodigy would have, and prodigies don't have the maturity until a much later age to run a dojo. That leaves everyone else, who becomes mature enough for certain things at certain ages.

It does work both ways as well. Children and Juniors have no business learning the full application of MA because they are not mature enough, physically or mentally, to handle it. Youths should be transitioning from sport MA to SD, and adults might need the diversion of sport now and then, but the main focus should be SD.

Edit, because after further thought, I couldn't think of a single prodigy who had the maturity of a normal adult their age range.


Edited by Bushi_no_ki (06/17/05 10:38 AM)

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#156836 - 06/17/05 10:27 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Tell me whatever makes you feel good. The original post does not mention any qualifiers (prodigy, skill level, etc.)...just age. It is not all about kick, hit, break, dislocate. If it is, then I have certainly run across my fair share of juvenile delinquents that opened my eyes martially. That stuff is freely available on the street. I think it is miserly to begrudge the art portion to someone because they are young. Would you prefer a 40 year old teacher with 2 years of training, or the 40 year old who cut her teeth teaching for 20 years? We are all in the process of becoming.


Edited by harlan (06/17/05 10:34 AM)

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#156837 - 06/17/05 10:41 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: harlan]
MAGr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
Quote:

It is not all about kick, hit, break, dislocate. If it is, then I have certainly run across my fair share of juvenile delinquents that opened my eyes martially




The point I am making is exactly what you are saying. Its not all about the kicks ita also about the art.
The kicks come with skill, the art comes with age and maturity.

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#156838 - 06/17/05 10:43 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: harlan]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Harlan, there are several factors that make a teacher better or more qualified, but this thread deals mainly with the age of an instructor. I've put down age and basic rank criterion down, and nothing more. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, a prodigy should never be able to run his own dojo or teach by himself, because he will never be mature enough, I guarentee that. Just as the person who is mature for their age is for a reason, and would make a great instructor at forty compared to others provided they have sufficient rank. And there are other factors involved, they just don't apply to the age issue so much. The main question is "is there a minimum age that someone can teach at?"

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#156839 - 06/17/05 10:47 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
No. But feel free to limit your training.

Quote:

The main question is "is there a minimum age that someone can teach at?"



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