Teaching at the College.

Discussion in 'Modern Arnis' started by arnisador, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I'm co-advisor of our college's martial arts club. I've always let the students teach--usually TKD--but now they're short on instructors so I'm teaching a weekly class in arnis! It's been a great hit--they can't get enough! Unfortunately we don't have a very good training space, just a corner of the gym at the edge of the indoor track, but it's good fun. The one Filipino student is really enjoying connecting with his culture. His parents sent him rattan sticks they had!
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    This is still going very well! They asked me to teach during final exams week--which never happens. It's very popular with the TKD-oriented group. There continue to be some "empty your cup" issues but overall I'm quite pleased. About one new student tries it out each week, in addition to the 10 or so regulars and equal amount of semi-regulars. They're definitely most interested in weapons but also enjoyed some basic dumog.

    I'm now trying to decide when to introduce sparring. We only practice once a week for an hour so it always seems too soon, but it's been about 2 months and we haven't done any yet and I'm feeling like it's overdue. One hour a week just isn't enough to review old material, teach new material, and fit in some supervised sparring!
  3. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Glad its going well. Sounds like you need to expand to a couple of days a week to me...
  4. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    It's a legacy issue and a numbers issue. Another professor on campus also wants to teach, plus they've invested several years into TKD and aren't ready to let that go. So, although they meet 5 times per week, I'm doing one night, the other prof. is doing one night, they do TKD two nights and optional TKD sparring on Sat. mornings. They've talked about expanding me to two nights a week but then it becomes something of a political issue if I have more nights than the prof. who is teaching Karate. We'll see! As a prof. I like seeing them run things for themselves as it's good for their personal and professional development, but as an instructor I want mroe of their time and less of their attention being split between three arts.
  5. pguinto

    pguinto New Member

    Roughly in 1986, Loyola University (Chicago) opened it's doors to martial arts clubs. Since the Karate and TKD instructors didnt like each other, 2 seperate clubs were formed. Although i had a background in TKD, i didnt like the tkd instructor much; too elitist and closed minded to anything outside of his teacher's academy and world tkd association. Besides i discovered that the goal for the tkd club was a means for promoting his teacher's local school; if you joined the tkd club, you pretty much had to join his master's local academy - this info came from tkd members, whom i easily befriended and sparred quite regularly (which the tkd instructor frowned upon). Speaking of which, I had tons of fun sparring members of both clubs; i was open to anyone wanting to spar from either club, from white belts to 3rd degree black belts, including the instructor of the karate club as well as a few self practitioners not interested in joining any club. The tkd instructor had nothing to do with me; he couldnt stomach the fact that a tkd purple belt could spar the tar out of his fellow 3rd dan black belts.

    A couple years later, Aaron Cunningham (Tacosa/Cadena Eskrima) formed the eskrima club. I stopped attending the karate club meetings other than when the karate club instructor would ask me to teach his class from time to time. Heck, the only reason i was there was to spar anyway. Besides i wanted to dedicate more time to learning an art that was part of my heritage. Back in them days, there was little promotion of fma in chicago; ie you first had to know that there was even filipino martial arts (which i didnt; most amboy flips i knew didnt even know there was fma, and would laugh at the the notion of filipino martial arts), and second, you were hard pressed to find a teacher near you (McDojos were everywhere and easily accessible); the only one actively advertising back then was Nate Defensor in a local filipino newpaper, but he was not easily accessible to me when i was in high school. Before the eskrima club came to Loyola University, my only options were the McDojos or streetfighting.

    The 3 clubs were separate and maintained their own identities. The only time the clubs would "come together" was when individual members would meet "outside of club meetings" to spar and throw around ideas; the other times were when the karate club hosted the inter-club martial arts tournament.

    So i can see where you are gonna run into politics. The thing to keep in mind is that there are quite a few individuals who dont care much about the politics and are willing to learn from anyone who is open to teaching people who are seeking knowledge, experience, and self-growth. It is a shame that there are quite a few instructors who are seeking acolytes and have a disdain for individuals that just wish to cross train in martial arts in general.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  6. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    You might want to contact Buzz Smith, he has had classes at a college in Michigan for a number of years now.. He can kinda tell you the political aspects of what can happen when trying to form a club at a university.. He goes on the forum here as kuntawguro, but if you look at the contributing members of this forum, he is listed there.. Plus Brian V knows how to get a hold of him also
  7. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    The club is long-standing, but it's a general martial arts club and what it teaches changes every few years based on what the students know. Before I came here it was Aikido through a local instructor, but then they switched to having the teaching done by a black belt student--be it Shito-ryu, various orgs. of TKD, Tang Soo Do, what have you. As a college prof. I liked the idea of the students running their own affairs--a maturity thing. I didn't like their slow progress--each year's TKD instructor seemed to be from a different org. so everyone had to learn new forms, for example.

    This year the new professor wanted to start teaching the style of Japanese Karate he knows. The students were losing their only TKD black belt (who wanted to teach) so it made sense. I actually just gave a demo or two while they were short-staffed and they asked me back. They really loved it! One TKD black belt teaches the TKD occasionally and a brown belt usually leads the class.

    I think they'd make more progress if they narrowed their focus, esp. since we're a pretty small college so it's not such a big group, but there's a tradition of multiple arts and student teachers. In anotehr development, an unrelated group is thinking of forming a BJJ club...

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