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#368940 - 11/06/07 10:43 PM Need advice from an instructor's perspective
kihap Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/01/07
Posts: 17
It has been a while since I have last visited this site. Work, life, and MA practice have kept me very busy. So far I have been having a lot of fun with MA practice…there are just not enough hours in my week to practice as much as my schedule will allow.
I am posting this in the instruction and business section because I need perspective from those who run their own MA business.
In a nutshell, the head instructor/owner of the school that I attend asked me for money.
This is not related to my contract –I paid that off months ago. Without going in to too much detail it is a personal matter…he is going home (Asia) to pay a final visit to a family member who is terminally ill.
I can’t imagine what it must have taken for him to put himself out there and ask for help. If I would have had a little notice I could have pulled together double the amount of what he asked me. I have no problem giving actual cash, but I was a little taken aback when he asked for my credit card number. I was shocked, taken off-guard, and a little spooked. Financially, this month has not been the best. My pet’s cancer has returned as well as the expense associated with it. As mentioned, I paid off my year contract long ago and have been adding monetary “gifts” to the school when I can.
If I had this discussion with any of my close friends I know they would tell me to get the hell out of there ASAP. Not knowing much about Asian culture I am not sure that my instructor knew how odd that it was to ask such a question. It was merely a request for help in my opinion, but my eyebrows are still raised about the credit card issue. I have never (and never will) let anyone have access to my personal financial information. That is just common sense, good judgment, and a general cultural standard where I come from. I found myself driving home tonight just shaking my head with a wide-eyed blank stare. I am fond of my instructor, he is like family. Imagine your grandfather needing help…that is how I feel. Warm feelings aside, I wouldn’t even let my grandfather have access to my credit card. I suppose that makes me a bad person. I wonder how offensive my behavior would be considered in Asian culture? I will see what cash I can pull together to do what I can, but my god that was just something I was not prepared to hear.
I would still like to attend there as I feel the instruction is superior to anything in the area, but this is a very awkward situation. Given the cultural differences, I am not sure if I should be offended or sympathetic? How would you handle a situation like this?
_________________________
I make it my ambition to live a peaceful life.

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#368941 - 11/07/07 12:49 PM Re: Need advice from an instructor's perspective [Re: kihap]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
In Asian cultures, it is not uncommon for a teacher to act more like a family member in such personal instances. If you can help, it wouldn't be wrong, but trusting him with such personal info is obviously a no go. A check or money order for such help wouldn't be bad, if you had the money. If you don't have it, be respectful, and tell him truthfully, you don't have it.

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#368942 - 11/07/07 01:29 PM Re: Need advice from an instructor's perspective [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
kihap Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/01/07
Posts: 17
Thank you for your reply. It is helpful to have sensible advice from individuals immersed in the world of MA. It is harder to get balanced opinions from friends who are looking from the outside in –so to speak. I had a conversation with my father who studied MA (Oyama Karate) in the sixties. He basically mirrored what you said and added that since the instruction that I receive is priceless, it is the least that I can do.
Being able to approach a situation with confident and decisive action is always helpful.

Time and again I appreciate the Fighting Arts website. It is like having an advisory panel when I don’t have clear answers to situations that come up in MA.
Thanks again.
_________________________
I make it my ambition to live a peaceful life.

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#368943 - 11/07/07 02:11 PM Re: Need advice from an instructor's perspective [Re: kihap]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
That sounds very odd to me. If the guy has been in this country for any length of time, he should know how improper is it to ask for credit card info. That sounds suspect to me. I am glad that you didn't give him that info.

Personally, I would be careful about giving him any money. Don't give him anymore than you can painlessly do without.

How long have you known him?
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#368944 - 11/07/07 04:31 PM Re: Need advice from an instructor's perspective [Re: MattJ]
Bossman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
I have helped out 2 of my Japanese sensei in this way in the past, one when he needed to bring his Instructors over to the UK (so I also benefited from that) and the other when some of his other students ripped him off big time leaving him and his family in a lot of trouble. The latter one has now passed away and I'm soooo glad I helped both of them out when I did.

So I think you've had the good cautionary advice and I agree with that and it's some 20 years since I helped my sensei in that way am so glad that I did.
_________________________
supporting standards in the martial arts www.shikon.com www.masa.org.uk

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#368945 - 12/30/07 11:49 PM Re: Need advice from an instructor's perspective [Re: Bossman]
ScottBolinger Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/23/07
Posts: 13
in a business sence, intead of giving out credit cards, come up with different fund raising ideas or promotional ideas to get more students.
_________________________
WarriorRage KickBoxing Federation www.wrkf.us

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