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#156840 - 06/17/05 10:56 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: harlan]
BuDoc Offline
The doctor will see you now

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1067
Loc: USA and Abroad
Lets forget about Martial Arts for a minute and talk about basketball.

Everyone familiar with the game?

If you have a chance to learn from Coach #1 or Coach #2 for approximately the same cost and time commitment, which would it be?

#1 High School All star. Has been playing since he was 6 years old. Lead his team to 4 high school state championships. Really understands the game at this particular level and is incredibly physically gifted.

#2 NBA coach. Through the course of his career he has been the high school player. And college player. And pro or semi-pro for a few years. He has coached high school and college and now pro. He understands what it is to play on every level, and how to train someone on every level.

Now if you want to learn basketball, who are you going to seek out?

No one ever says " I want to learn the basics of a sport, do it for three years, and then stop. Even if I really like it"

Young people can only teach what they know. And what they know, no matter how well, is bits and pieces. They don't even know what is next and how to incorporate what they know well into the next phase.

Here comes the argument.. Well it's not possible to know everything about all phases of your martial art.

True. But don't you owe it to yourself or your kid to find someone that knows as much as possible?

Now I know that I have opened the door for some of you smart guys to make the "depth or breadth" argument.

Is it better to know one aspect of an art deeply and completely or all aspects of the art but only at a basic level?

Deep philosophical debate could ensue. If requested I will post my idea on this topic later. For know we have enough to consider.

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_________________________
Medical Advisor for the Somolian National Sumo Team

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#156841 - 06/17/05 11:15 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: BuDoc]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
You assume. There are plenty of things that I simply enjoy learning. Once I understand 'how it works' my curiosity is satisfied, my passion sated...and I leave. I don't want to master everything I start...or even become good at it. Just understanding, and enjoying is enough. This is me. And for most of the population, I think it applies. And no matter how much you decry it...the fact is they are happy with their McDojos.

Then comes the passion that can't be sated. The fever that wakes you in the night, that is always on the mind. It is natural in that event that one will 'burn through' teachers, or styles, seeking more. "Better" more than likely being an individual that IS AHEAD of me. Since I'm 44, I guess older is expected. But that is not true in my case! I am meeting many people younger than myself, on this very forum, that I am learning from.

Again, water seeks it's own level.

Quote:

But don't you owe it to yourself or your kid to find someone that knows as much as possible?

Is it better to know one aspect of an art deeply and completely or all aspects of the art but only at a basic level?




Edited by harlan (06/17/05 11:19 AM)

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#156842 - 06/17/05 11:18 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: BuDoc]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
For teaching kids, I actually think a woman instructor (esp. with a degree in ECE) would be better. At the youth and adult levels however, you want older, more experienced instructors on the floor. Referring back to your Bball analogy, the JH or HS student rarely gets the option of a former NBA coach, if ever. Alot of who is teaching you has to do with the level you are at. Ie, don't expect to train with the former Pro Kickboxer unless you are almost to Pro level yourself.

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#156843 - 06/17/05 11:23 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: BuDoc]
MAGr Offline
Veteran

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

Young people can only teach what they know. And what they know, no matter how well, is bits and pieces. They don't even know what is next and how to incorporate what they know well into the next phase.





You ve put it very well.
If we incorporate the question of 'levels' in MAs and there ARE levels that you reach.
Even if you keep doing the same over and over you reach different levels.
It takes time to reach levels, you cant skip when it comes to experience.
So to teach the first level the basics, you need to know the next levels.
I am not saying that she cant teach the basic notions and movements of MAs I am saying that the way you teach those things will vary depending on what you know about advanced techniques.
There are no shortcuts in learning. Some people learn faster than others, but unfortunately we are governed by mental and physical limitations, and there is no way to pass them.

The tennis player and tennis coach example.
The professional tennis lpayer is always better than his coach, but would he be able to teach as well as his coach? no.

I am a better tennis player than my coach, and recently I tried to teach my girlfriend how to play.
Impossible, I couldnt teach her anything. Because I know how to do the movement, I dont know how to break it down.

There is a reason, that when you apply for a good, well payed position in any career, the first thing that they require is a minimum number of years you worked in that field. They require experience, something that gets less the younger you get.

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#156844 - 06/17/05 11:32 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: MAGr]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Experience, coupled with the knowledge you've learned is one of the two keys. The other is maturity. Without both, you cannot be a decent teacher. I will defend the girl who teaches MA to younger students, as long as she is teaching children for now, and waits a few years to teach adults. She has the knowledge and maturity to teach young children the basics, and a fair start on the experience after three years. I would like to have seen her teach under someone older and more experienced for a while first, but she is probably doing alright.

But, it is experience and maturity which prompted my first post in this thread. Older people, with sufficient rank to run a dojo, and the younger and lower ranks to teach (and learn how to teach) under them.

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#156845 - 06/17/05 11:35 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Well, I will make sure to ask my teacher, the next time I see him, if he has the rank and the experience to match his wrinkles.

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#156846 - 06/17/05 01:50 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: harlan]
BuDoc Offline
The doctor will see you now

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1067
Loc: USA and Abroad
Quote:

You assume. There are plenty of things that I simply enjoy learning. Once I understand 'how it works' my curiosity is satisfied, my passion sated...and I leave. I don't want to master everything I start...or even become good at it. Just understanding, and enjoying is enough. This is me. And for most of the population, I think it applies. And no matter how much you decry it...the fact is they are happy with their McDojos.


A thoughtful and well explained opinion...of a 44 year old woman.

I think that you will find that the demographic that is most in pursuit of instruction is significantly younger, and gender impaired ie. 16-24 year old males.

Based on personal and professional experience, I have found that just learning "how it works" and then quitting, doesn't happen with most people especially when enjoyment is found.

The just understanding and enjoying then leaving philosophy often leads to the not so rare situation of never really completing anything throughout ones life. Regardless of the pursuit of martial arts. And you are correct. This does, sadly, apply to a large portion of the population.

Ignorance truly is bliss. A common trait in the aforementioned demographic. Educating people and then giving them a choice, I think you will find many that choose the road less traveled.

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_________________________
Medical Advisor for the Somolian National Sumo Team

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#156847 - 06/17/05 02:09 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: MAGr]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
For correct transmission of an art I don't think one can separate age and time training in determining who has any qualifications to teach.

I consider it reprehensible for anyone under at least 15 continious years of study teaching anyone. Why should the martial arts be second class to any other educational situation. We're many decades away from teenagers teaching first grade.

Unfortunately most martial arts consider themselves hobbies and the younger the student the less qualified the instructor should be.

I consider anyone who cannot teach every level from beginner to sho-dan from age 7 to 70 unqualified to teach and should be training. Too many times teaching at younger ages replaces training, and from what I've seen often because he program has nothing to teach them but instead chooses to take advantage of their efforts for the program's financial success.

The correct order to teach a class of 15 to 20, from ages 7 to 20 in mixture, should be at least 30 to 70 instructor years on the floor the entire time. I've been following that mixture for the past 15 years.

And in turn 100% of new student instruction, for the first 2 or 3 months, till they're ready to be assimilated into the rest of the group class is done by myself. There are too many things 7 and 8 year olds should get right the first time.

There is a vast difference between standing before a class and shouting instructions and being able to understand a students potential and limitations, be skilled as leading the ADD into instruction, and keeping track of 20 different layers of instruction at the same time.

The strongest classes incorporate all youth ages and grades together. It doesn't take age, it takes developed skill.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#156848 - 06/17/05 10:21 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Victor Smith]
MAGr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
I still have much to learn Mr Smith and I look forward to it,
I only hope that one day I can give back what I have received, and I want to do it as best I can.

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#156849 - 06/18/05 12:50 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Victor Smith]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
First, 'prodigies' have to work just as hard as people with less talent. Remember, 'the way' is about the journey not the destination.

Victor's standards are ideal, but there are three major reasons why they won't come close to being adhered to in the mainstream:

Greed, Lazyness and Impatience.

The inexperienced 'sensei' is an embodyment of all three.
Everyone wants the buck, without doing the work - right now.

Does age matter? yes, it does to me. simple mathematics:
15 years training as an adult = 15+18 = 33 years old. Reguardless of which dan level rank of the instructor or the age of the students.

Anyone younger than 30's, I respectfully walk away.

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