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#334866 - 12/13/05 01:25 PM "Professional"
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
What is a PROFESSIONAL martial arts instructor ?
Why is one instructor a "professional" and another something lessor... or not "professional" at all?

Thoughts anyone???
J

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#334867 - 12/13/05 02:59 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
A couple of years ago, when I had been running my own classes for around 6 or 7 years, my mum came to watch me teach and my daughter train.

During the break, in a loud voice, she told me "ooh, that was really good, you looked like a real karate teacher" I saw several students snigger and a few look gobsmacked

To answer the question, I gues a proffessional teacher is one who does it full time, or at least that is what most people mean when they say it.
Sharon
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#334868 - 12/13/05 09:48 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
BuDoc Offline
The doctor will see you now

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1067
Loc: USA and Abroad
Not sure what you are looking for here.

I would genererally expect that anyone that made their living teaching martial arts would be called a professional.

Notice I did not say anything about skill level. There are many "professional" Martial artists that don't know jack. And many "non-professional" that do.

If you can find a way to pay the bills with martial arts you are a professional regardless of skill. Some can not or don't want to.

Page
_________________________
Medical Advisor for the Somolian National Sumo Team

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#334869 - 12/14/05 01:41 AM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Ronin,

Budoc hit it on the head. The term itself is defined by making a livining from whay you are doing. Some of us are only serious hobbyists. Many, because that is all we can afford to be.

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#334870 - 12/18/05 02:39 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I'd say it depend what your definition(s) of 'professional' are. I was once told 'unpaid does not mean unprofessional', likewise paying for something is not a guarantee of 'professional' service.

I'd say you could mean an instructor whose primary(?) income is from MA

OR

An instructor who provides a high quality service.
_________________________
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Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#334871 - 12/20/05 02:03 AM Re: "Professional" [Re: trevek]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Ok, let's add a new dimension to the question, what would you consider qualifying to be a "professor" of the MA. To be an education professor has some stringent qualifications, not just the PhD. So, considering that both words have the same root, perhaps the meaning might be related.

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#334872 - 12/29/05 06:17 PM "Professional" [Re: still wadowoman]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Still Wadowoman:

It is amusing given the amount of time many of us spend, and the years, decades that many of us spend... I am always appalled and severely amused by the reaction of ones parents, IF, if and when they finally observe a class...

Complete strangers come to us, but people whom we know and love remain... uninterested, oblivious, ignorant or something else. A strange challenge....

In answer to others responses I suppose, I am seeking others perspectives, others views concerning what the term means from fellow practitioners of many assorted arts. We toss the term "professional" around pretty loosely... many of us, so I was curious if there were other facets, other aspects concerning "professional" which I had not as yet considered...

"Professional" being defined as being ones "day job"... fairly standard, I was hoping for some other aspects/factors to the concept/term perhaps.

J

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#334873 - 12/30/05 01:23 AM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
A professional is one who answers the question: "What is your profession?" when they are doing their taxes.

consider the answers:
'fitness consultant'
'business owner'
'art instructor'
'sport coach'
'ring fighter'
'entertainer'
'coreographer'
etc...
wouldn't being in those professions (which all could be Martial Artists) make you a professional?

I answer 'software engineer'. so I'm not a professional martial artist.

now, what about the instructors that teach at night/weekends and have other full-time professions by day? people can have multiple professions: Congressman/adult night-club owner, for instance.

lets make it more complicated and say an MA instructor teaches for free and doesn't need to claim it. then you have to turn to the death certificate...if that person died today, how would the same profession question be answered by the family?

taxes and death...the two sure and defining things.

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#334874 - 09/26/06 03:15 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: trevek]
kickinuggett Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/26/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Earth
Quote:

I'd say it depend what your definition(s) of 'professional' are. I was once told 'unpaid does not mean unprofessional', likewise paying for something is not a guarantee of 'professional' service.

I'd say you could mean an instructor whose primary(?) income is from MA

OR

An instructor who provides a high quality service.




Ditto that. Have been thinking about that myself. WRT what makes a "real" "professional martial arts teacher", firstly I'd expect him/her to BEHAVE professionally and have very sound knowledge in his/her art. Whether the teacher makes teaching MA his/her only income is a non-issue.
_________________________
Victim of McDojoitis.

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#334875 - 09/27/06 02:24 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: kickinuggett]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Kickinuggett:

Wow ancient thread!

<< I'd expect him/her to BEHAVE professionally

Meaning what exactly? What is professional ~martial behavior~ per se? I obviously have ideas but I'm hoping to hone-solidify them hopefully via more discussion...

<<and have very sound knowledge in his/her art.

Again no quibbles here, merely curious as to your details...

<<Whether the teacher makes teaching MA his/her only income is a non-issue.

Truly? I beg to differ, rather strongly actually... I want my Neuro-Surgeon, to do that, and ONLY that, not have another "primary job" as a... plumber! Identically I want the professional instructor to do that and hopefully only that... because that is their profession?

Jeff

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#334876 - 09/28/06 04:37 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
kickinuggett Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/26/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Earth
Hi Ronin1966. WRT your question on what I consider "professional behaviour", here's a short list of the things I expect to see:

1. If you say you'd do something, do it. Deliver. Don't let your words fall to the ground. If circumstances may prove problematic, don't give people false hopes. (It all comes down to honor and integrity, basically.)
2. Honesty.
3. Willingness to teach, and sustain the school/club/academy/dojo/dojang etc, which ever term you like to use to describe your "school", The students are there to learn, they are not there to receive your wrath just because you're having a bad day/month/year. They are not there to receive flakey instructions that don't reflect the fees they pay. (Students leaving en masse may be a sign that something is not right. Have the balls to acknowledge it, and deal with it. Dealing with it does not mean banishing those who disagree with you, even when being impossible is so much easier than being reasonable.)
4. If something involves a business decision, then have the wisdom and discernment to turn to the right people for help. TRUST your friends, those who genuinely care, in other words not the McDojo salespeople.
5. Try your best to have no favouritism or unfairness. In a class there will always be students who are more talented. Have eyes and ears open so the mere mortals don't start to wonder why they're there.

</Rant>

In terms of having a "second job" - I'm neutral on that, because not everyone can live like a shaolin monk- train full time every day, and find time to study religious texts! If it's not religious texts, then at least journals from the ACSM, or keeping up to date with relevant subjects on nutrition, training techniques etc.



As for a neural surgeon having a second job as a plummer - surely the person should be a heart surgeon!! I would have thought a neural surgeon would have a second job as an electrician, but anyway.
_________________________
Victim of McDojoitis.

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#334877 - 10/01/06 12:54 AM Re: "Professional" [Re: kickinuggett]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello:

I appreciate your thoughts, thank you!

Lets see... I was not asking concerning myself, simply wondering aloud about one of the many terms which get thrown about like confetti in many places.

"...What the heck is a "professional" martial arts teacher..."

I understand neutrality from a certain perspective. Let me press the point a bit... If I were a.... substitute teacher in a school system, by definition that is what I am doing in many different places and debatibly part time. Those who's profession is being in one class room 5 days a week, however many days per year, are by definition Professional Teachers, and not "substitutes"? So far ok?

They are not taking two, three other jobs on top of their paid day job. That is their living, and the thing they are trying to be the best they are able to become. Transferrers of knowledge-learning...

<<neural surgeon would have a second job as an electrician,

Conceeded...

I merely am hypothesizing that a professional is an bone-fide expert in a very narrow field of knowledge. Other interests, amusements why not, but their day job, that is what they do and exclusively in that respect.

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken...
Jeff

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#334878 - 10/01/06 01:14 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
kickinuggett Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/26/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Earth
Sorry Jeff. Even with my limited experience in Martial Arts, unfortunately within a year and a half of my training my school was - INFECTED - by the McDojo plague. There is much sadness and pain in my heart over the changes that have been brought about in my MA school. I do apologize that when I say "YOU" I meant only as a figurative being, e.g. the owner or instructor, not directed AT you.

I think we all have our own understanding or definition of what PROFESSIONALISM should be. Thanks for reading my posts.

P.S. IMHO - if someone is a "professional substitute teacher", surely there is nothing wrong with that? I believe newly qualified school teachers go through something like that before finding a permenant job to teach kids at a school.
_________________________
Victim of McDojoitis.

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#334879 - 10/30/06 08:49 AM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
Landus Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 373
Loc: UK
The title 'professional' is typically self-claimed, the same with 'master'.

'Professional' is commonly used by MA organisations, to 'boost' the appearance of it. Generally, 'professional' conveys the sense of thoroughness and experience.

You may have noticed other words... such as 'real'.

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#334880 - 10/31/06 10:46 AM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
vegantkd Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/06
Posts: 121
Someone who does something as a profession does it professionally. Make sense?

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#334881 - 11/01/06 03:42 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: vegantkd]
Landus Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 373
Loc: UK
Someone that is 'professional' is generally paid for what they do. Someone that is 'amatuer' is not paid for what they do. So I suppose you get amatuer clubs, and professional clubs. Although I think the two words are greatly taken out of context now. When I personally think of amateur, I think of somone who is less, which is not true.

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#334882 - 10/07/07 08:45 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ronin1966]
karate_popo Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/07
Posts: 154
Loc: NYC
my teacher is beyond real and he teaches once a week, used to be twice.. and does private classes upon request...
_________________________
Do what you love, love what you do

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#334883 - 10/17/07 12:37 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: karate_popo]
Ogoun Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Fort Myers, FL
A professional:
has a minimum knowledge requirement- whatever that may be
is competent
is compensated for his services
teaches effectively
is trustworthy
conduct his business with integrity
provides consistency in service

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#334884 - 10/17/07 04:50 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: Ogoun]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Just playing with the terms here

But if say its a plumber and they ran a plumbing business for which they were paid.

But:

-They were bad plumbers

-They were "ineffective" nearly "incompetent" plumbers

-They were not "trustworthy" and did not do business with "integrity."

And "provided consitantly" poor service.

Would they still be "professional?"

Or would you call them BAD "professionals?"
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#334885 - 10/17/07 11:25 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: cxt]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
maybe thats the distinction between "un-professional" and "non-professional".

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#334886 - 10/18/07 01:05 AM Re: "Professional" [Re: karate_popo]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

my teacher is beyond real and he teaches once a week, used to be twice.. and does private classes upon request...




Aren't we all?
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#334887 - 11/07/07 09:50 PM Re: "Professional" [Re: BrianS]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
In my humble opinion, a professional is someone that does much more than just make a living from what they are doing. I do, of course, believe they should be paid, and that what they are doing as a "profession" should be considered their main "job," however, I think it goes much beyond that as well.

I think there are two main understandings of the word professional. For instance, if you say someone is a professional (insert something here) that usually means they make their living doing that. But what about when someone is describing someone else and they say "So and so is a TRUE professional." What does that mean? I think the distinction is that a TRUE professional, in addition to making a living at what they are doing, is also constantly seeking to better themselves in what they do, to improve their abilities, and to continue to strive to educate themselves about the profession they have chosen. For example, medical doctors are constantly going to seminars about their specialties and getting as much education as possible, military members are constantly training and studying to better themselves and make them more combat ready, to include academic studies of their "art", educators have to maintain annual training requirements, etc.

According to some theories, such as one I remembering having to study while at Squadron Officer School as an Air Force officer, in order to be a "professional" you have to have an academic background in whatever career you are in. For instance, doctors, lawyers, accountants, educators, etc. Notice a theme? They all have academic backgrounds relating to what they are doing. DON'T FLAME ME!!! I didn't say I agree with that (for instance, I know many military NCOs that I consider to be "true" professionals, but according to some, without the academic background, you are "in" the profession, but not "a" professional.)

In my opinion, a professional martial arts instructor makes a living from teaching martial arts, but a TRUE professional martial arts instructor not only does that, but is constantly seeking more knowledge about his or her art and about how they can become a better isntructor, dojo/business manager, etc. In other words, continually seeking to improve themselves and their ability to teach martial arts or manage their martial arts business. This, in my opinion, also includes helping others to improve doing the same, and, in general, "giving back" to the martial arts community as a whole.

If you are wondering whether or not you are a professional martial artist, ask yourself these questions (all in regards to your martial arts "profession"):
1. Do I make a living teaching martial arts?
2. What am I doing to improve my own abilities?
3. What am I doing to improve my ability to teach?
4. What am I doing to improve my abilities as a business manager?
5. What am I "giving back" to the martial arts community?
6. Am I constantly seeking to make myself, my students, and my school better?
7. Am I seeking out training as well as educational opportunities?
8. If I were a parent of one of my students, would I consider (myself) to be a TRUE professional?

Once again, just my opinion.

Respectfully, Jason

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