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#156940 - 08/22/05 09:22 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Shotokan_Nut Offline

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 43
Loc: Liverpool, England
I think that age matters quite a bit. Think of it like this, your instructor (sensei, sifu etc) stops advancing in dan grades to concentrate on teaching. You become a higher dan grade than your instructor. Now would you still expect him to guide you in your training since he has seen more of life? How would you feel if he asked you to teach him instead, would you feel ok with that situation or would you find it uncomfortable because the roles were reversed?
"There Are Many Imitations, But Only One Shotokan" Gichin Funakoshi

#156941 - 08/23/05 10:05 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Foolsgold]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1669
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Foolsgold, I do agree that younger people shouldn't be disregarded in discussions either. They also shouldn't be disregarded as assistants to a head instructor.


#156942 - 08/23/05 10:15 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
happy (belated) 2 month anniversary, thread!

#156943 - 08/24/05 04:58 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Kintama]
pathfinder7195 Offline

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 336
Loc: T.C Michigan, U.S
Did anybody see a white rabbit with a drum go by?


#428609 - 07/25/10 11:34 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: pathfinder7195]
Reece Offline

Registered: 07/25/10
Posts: 4
I realise that this thread is very, very old however I felt complied to respond to it. I read a lot of MA forums, but participate in a select few - but this discussion is one that can generally be found on most MA forums.

This is my first post on this forum, and as such to provide light on the direction that I am coming from I will provide a brief background. I started my own dojo at the age of 18 at the recommendation of my Sensei . I moved away from my current dojo, and the style was not taught at my new location. I did not want to stop training in the style, and thus opened my own dojo.

Pre-apology for the length of the post, and sorry for curdling the blood in posting in this thread!

Life experience is something which has been heavily discussed. However, I get the feeling that ‘life experience’ equates to ‘time you have been alive’ in this discussion – this is where I disagree. Consider a 21 year old who started working at 14, enlisted in the Military Services at 17 whilst completing a university degree at the same time and has dealt with managing people, dangerous goods (i.e. weapons), responsibility, dealing and managing emotional states of peers, subordinates and superiors and has seen live-action with the grief of death, over a 35 year old who has no partner/children, is reclusive and has a job behind a desk – but both teach martial arts with equal rank, style and time in the MA. I realise the case of the younger said person is rare – but the discussion isn’t on whether it is rare, the discussion is ‘Does age matter’. My point simply, is assessing the person on their display of skill; ability in both the martial art and their teaching ability should be the most prevalent factor in making a decision whether or whether not to accept this person as your instructor.

Teaching is not directly related to how long they have been doing that said martial arts, or how long they have been teaching – it is related to the individual. As I said, I am speaking from a personal point of view, being an instructor in my early 20s who has my own dedicated martial arts centre, and runs it as a non-profit business, successfully – and one who is looked negatively on because of my age, where others are not – and don’t take this as complaining, it’s just a hurdle, which I deal with.

On the other side of the coin, I do believe there is an age requirement for a teacher (meaning a primary teacher, not assistant instructor). But that age is in comparison to the individual student. The fact is you won’t really see an under 18 year old being the Head Instructor/Sole instructor of a Dojo as not many facilities, part-time or dedicated would permit them to teach there. I would, however pick the teacher; despite how young they were if they could successfully teach me what their MA was about.

I hope I haven’t bored you overly, and that my post makes sense.

Yours in Budo,

Edited by Reece (07/25/10 11:36 PM)
The traditional Karate guy, from an nontraditional background

#428618 - 07/26/10 10:35 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Reece]
ninpopo Offline

Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 72
Loc: Africa *drums starts playing i...
Reece i agree fully with what you say, I see a very fine example with my friends who only finshed their studies at 24, and still live with their parents, in comparrison to people who didnt have the oppurtunity and had to start catering for themselves at the age of 18 already.

Also your statement also shows light to a motto I strongly believe it "youre never too old to learn" doesnt matter who or what the source, arrogance shouldnt be a reason for not bettering yourself as a person and/or skill
Be the change you wish to see in the world

#428620 - 07/26/10 11:43 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Reece]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

I both agree and blood "curdling" just a bit of respectful disagreement smile

1st--The person you are talking about is an exception......and while there are exceptions to rules, the sad truth is that people generally consider themselves to be exceptions to rules all the time.....weither its warrented, defensable, or not.

2nd if the person you mention started working at 14. Joined the military at 17 and was working on a degree at the same time----then I have to ask how much time they have actually spent on their martial art training.

It is one the reasons it often takes quite a bit of time to gain rank....between a full time job, family responsibilties, grad school, friends, dating, etc there are only so many hours per week to train.......harsh but those are the facts on the ground in most cases.

Fully agree that teaching skills should be the main focus.....and being a good teacher is only partially a function of age.......but there again age is IMO most surely a factor...perhaps an important one.

Consider (just off the top of my head) a young, athletic, highly fit teacher----is he really going be able to relate to the aches and pains and limitations of a middle age student? Maybe, maybe not.....IMO it depends on the person.

On the practical side of teaching pretty much anything age becomes a factor rather quickly. Hiring a teacher with say 10 years of objective experience teaching a given subject is almost always more expensive than a person just out of school....regardless of whatever subjective their level of preformence might be.

Perhaps it is not "fair" in the objective sense......but that is way of things.

Of course just looking at time in grade or years teaching is any locked in promise either.

Edited by cxt (07/26/10 03:18 PM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#428653 - 07/27/10 12:57 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: cxt]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA
The above should read:

"Of course looking at time in grade or years teaching is no locked in promise of good teaching either."

(beats head against desk)

Edited by cxt (07/27/10 12:59 PM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#428694 - 07/28/10 06:43 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: cxt]
Reece Offline

Registered: 07/25/10
Posts: 4
In response to CXT's post, but for general discussion to:

Whilst I realise these people may be an exception to the rule, I wasn’t trying to get into that discussion. I was trying to demonstrate to those who have the blanket approach of “they’re too young” or “they don’t have enough life experience” to take into account that many different people, come from many different backgrounds. Age should not generally be a primary consideration in a teacher (within consideration of course, i.e. 13yrs is a different store)

The situation that I provided with that person’s lifestyle is generally based around what I’ve done. I agree that it would most likely cause deterioration in their skill from lesser practice. During that time that I was working, in the military in before I have always managed to train with my instructor 3 times a week in class (2hrs) and usually 1 private lesson a week. For the past 2 years, I have had my own dojo and have run a class 3 times a week.
I agree it can often be hard to relate to the problems an older person may experience, but the potential student should not judge the potential teacher’s ability to do so purely on age – which is the point I’m discussing.

I agree with the reference to time in grade and objective teaching. The mere point I wish to express to those who shed their eyes is – see what the person knows, can do and what they can teach you before you judge them on their age. Most people around the 18-22 year mark might not make good teachers – but you might be lucky to find one who does.

The traditional Karate guy, from an nontraditional background

#428720 - 07/29/10 01:44 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Reece]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
I'm with cxt; agree and disagree.

I think there are always exceptions to the rule but they are rare. I would most certainly train with somebody younger if they had the necessary skills however I think in the majority of cases those teaching will have some age to them.

And while belts really don't tell a person's actual skill level, as I've seen lesser belts showing higher skills then higher belts, belts can at least be used as a guideline. Depending on the art, it may take 4-5 years to get a black belt (BJJ excluded); this is not enough life experience to begin teaching on one's own let alone run a school. 2 more years for a second degree black belt; again not enough life experience. 3 more years for a 3rd degree black belt; possibly a starting point of life experience, enough training and practical to begin teaching on one's own. 4 more years for a 4th degree black belt; should be a solid teacher. This is just not something a younger person has for experience. And I don't put faith into preteen or teen black belts.

I do believe we all have things we can share to make others better, at any level of our training, however with limited training comes limited instruction and practicality. Hard to make those you train grow enough when you yourself are limited. When training the amount of knowledge should be great enough that the teacher is leaps and bounds ahead of any student, and not just lower belt but those of higher belts that may become students. And as the students are growing the teacher should also be growing.

Don't get me wrong, as earlier stated there are exceptions to the rule but they are just that exceptions. Plus I do agree with your earlier statement and I would put more faith in life skills of a person in every day life who started young and has seen more and done more then an older person that has been idle in life. Age does not give you experience, experiencing gives you experience.

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