Would you train under and uncertified "guro"

Discussion in 'General' started by geezer, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. geezer

    geezer Member

    Some instructors have great credentials on paper and have fully verifiable certification by well known masters. Others don't. Would you train under an instructor, guro, maestro, or whatever, who seemed to be top notch, but had picked up his training here and there over several decades of serious involvement in the FMA's, and never got certified by anybody. And, what's more, he doesn't care! He teaches his own system. He's confident of its merit. Take it or leave it!
     
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I wouldn't dismiss him out-of-hand, but I'd certainly be wary! I know people like that who are very good at what they do...but all too often there are holes in their background.
     
  3. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Knowledge is knowledge as long as YOU deem the context as valid for YOU. Paper work , belts, title etc. are merely decorations that some unfortunately covet over truth, will they save your behind when the shite hits the fan?

    "If one is thirsty for knowledge sand may quench your thirst" ~ MOI
     
  4. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    Most of the older instructors who I have trained with were not prone to give out paper certificates for the purpose of the I love me wall that most americans that I have seen were infactuated with.. Paper is only good for one thing and that is wiping the red eye of the gluteous maximus.. The proof is in the pudding as as PG Mike put it.. In the older days, you either got recognization by doing and being able to use it when the fecal matter hit the oscillating mechanism and you were told by your instructor that you were good enough to teach or to develop your own fighting system and proceed with it as you see fit..


    Just my .02 pesos
     
  5. Doc_Jude

    Doc_Jude New Member

    If I was looking for good training, sure, I'd train with him, if he's really as good as you say. If I was looking for "portability" of my training, maybe not. Though, good training can cross over to another lineage, if only to shorten the learning curve.
    It's been said before, I'll say it again: paper won't save your life.
     
  6. Christian

    Christian New Member

    I guess, people like Angel Cabales and Antonio Ilustrisimo also did not have certificates...
     
  7. geezer

    geezer Member

    Wait, there's more....

    I forgot to mention that this guy isn't Filipino (although about half his students are) and he doesn't use ranks or uniforms. Rank is reduced to student and instructor. He says he knows where you're at. If you want a uniform, you can buy the school T-shirt...or not. And students call him--respectfully--by his first name. If you question a technique's practical value (questions are encouraged), he is always glad to respond at whatever level of "reality" you want, from a patient explanation to a full speed, full contact demonstration. He's careful about his student's safety, but if you gotta know. he's willing to answer.

    Would any of this influence your opinion about this guy?
     
  8. Christian

    Christian New Member

    So what? The Art is spread around the globe. I guess most instructors are not Filipino.

    Yes, I would certainly think this guy is a great teacher.


    Regards

    Christian
     
  9. Brock

    Brock Asha'man

    Souds like he runs his school pretty much the same way I run mine.
     
  10. silat1

    silat1 Active Member


    I'm not Filipino, but go to the Philippines at least a couple of times a year to train with the people in the province.. My students who are approaching instructor level are given a certificate because it is the american thing to do to fulfill the desire to look good. I was faced with this dilema back in the early 90s when I was in the Philippines and some of my students were looking for certificates as to mark their progression.. I had a long talk with my last instructor from the 70s and was told that due to the influences of the business world infringing in on the martial arts of the Philippines, I should start giving certificates due to this reason..

    In the old school, you were promoted when your instructor felt like you were ready, not when you thought you were.. It was their decision and not the parents of little Johnny who decided that he was ready for promotion..
     
  11. scubamatt

    scubamatt New Member

    I don't wish to offend, but in several places I have seen comments about certificates that basically say 'its an American vanity thing'.

    I disagree. It's an American legal thing, and a business thing pretty much everywhere else on Earth, too. In nearly every single occupation, there is some sort of documentation that shows you have had some kind of training, somewhere, for some period of time. From working in a burger joint to performing brain surgery, you have to show something that documents your experience or training. Even the military gives you ribbons and badges and patches to indicate your skills and experiences (i.e. rank, responsibility and training).

    Without documentation of some sort, people are disinclined to believe you (i.e., employ you). You may still be able to prove you know what you are doing, but the vast majority of people who might be looking for someone of your skills will pass you by, because you have nothing to document your experience.

    In the past, when communities were smaller, you could simply say "I am the master of such and such skill" and it was relatively easy for you to prove it, either directly or by eyewitness testimonials. Likewise, every single student you trained would personally be known to you (and likely each other). But the world community is much larger now (look at the list of member locations on this forum alone) so documentation is much more expected.

    More instructors and more schools, teaching more people. Because of all that, there is a need for some kind of documentation to show that a specific instructor/school/system is, in fact, directly linked to the original source. Even if its simply a list published by the highest authority of your specific art, naming all of the people who are authorized to train others.

    Legally, having some kind of certification helps if there is an accident during training, showing that you weren't just making things up as you go along, resulting in an injured student. Advertising, insurance, affiliation with other organizations - all of these things are much easier with some sort of documentation. The farther back you can document your skills, the better off you are - and that starts as a student, from day one.

    There is a certain amount of pride in receiving a new belt or a certificate, but its not vanity, and its certainly not an exclusively American thing. If it were, how could you justify attending tournaments and competing for recognition against other schools, other styles or other warriors?

    Again, I'm not trying to offend anyone, but the recurring theme of 'yeah, Americans need certificates so they can feel good about themselves' is becoming very tiresome.
     
  12. Fan the Madman

    Fan the Madman Circles with Knives

    I have a 1000 sq. ft. FMA/silat/CMA room inside an MMA school.
    The only thing on the walls is paint and calligraphy and weapons
    racks. I am addressed as "Brian" or "Coach" or "sir". I usually
    call my students "sir" and "ma'am" also.
    I've studied multiple systems. I have an intermediate belt equivalent
    in my first FMA system. No rank at all in the other FMAs I trained/studied.
    I have a really nice space (much MUCH better equipped than most
    FMA teachers have honestly). If people don't like what they see..
    they can go train in their backyard. I got a cool space. I'm working on
    becoming a good or great coach. I care about my trainees and I
    give them 110% to make them the best I can.

    Certificates? I have two kamagong largo-length bastons hanging on the
    wall if someone will not be satisfied with a week or three of trial
    lessons or an invitation to leave me in peace to train and teach.

    I oil them every week.

    Nuff said.

    Certificates are good only as momentos of time spent with teachers
    you care about.. or when the toilet paper runs out.
     
  13. Fan the Madman

    Fan the Madman Circles with Knives

    I have a business license from the city.

    I have papers of incorporation from the state.

    I have a lease on my space.

    I have contracts with my students.

    I have an excellent "certificate" to show potential students and customers.

    I say "Excuse me " to one of my present students.. " could you show
    us thus-and-such please?"
    And they do.
    And the prospect goes "oh damn. that was crazy!"
    Then I say " and how long have you been training?"
    "What.. about three months coach?"

    You can always go across town to the other instructor.
    He has certificates. He's a decent guy with good skills.
    Better at FMA I think. More experience for sure. But
    is he as committed to his students development?

    I dunno.. but he sure doesn't have a "certificate"
    for being "Most highly motivated instructor for 2007".
     
  14. Phil Mar Nadela

    Phil Mar Nadela New Member Supporting Member

    I'm filipino but i think it does not matter if he is. He sounds like a honorable man and a Good Teacher. My Fisrt instrucrtor that introduced me to FMA is Canadian and I am Grateful to him.
     
  15. excalibur

    excalibur New Member

    I have train with black belt instructors but can't coach or instruct.
    I have train with lower rank instructors with the great ability to emphasize
    and teach. Teachers/Guru/Master/Instructors/Coach, being one of these
    is an art it self.....
     
  16. excalibur

    excalibur New Member

    Teachers, Masters, Gurus, Instructors, Coach, etc. all these categories, to be one of these is an art itself. Some teachers are excellent practitioners, but can't teach the art. Some are excellent teacher, but
    not as good as showmanship when it comes to the performance of art.

    pick your poison, either way, and in the end, it's all up to the individual
    skills and talent. Some practitioner are gifted and some are mediocore...
     
  17. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    I've had business license here on island. When I first got here, I went to get my license and the people at revenue and taxation told me that I had to go to the university out here for someone to evaluate me as an instructor.. I laughed at them and said there was no one on island that could certify me as an instructor because they didn't know what I taught.. A lot of head scratching by the rev and tax guys and they finally said, ok here is your license...

    It also helped when I pulled out my certs from the 70's that were registered with the Philippine government's Securities Commission as was required at the time.
     
  18. geezer

    geezer Member

    About that uncertified instructor...

    Well it's about time I filled in the blanks. I started formal martial arts training in the mid 70's and earned instructor certificates in Wing Tsun and PMAS Combat Escrima in the 80's. I taught for a number of years and then "retired" to raise a family and pursue a new career. Last year I decided to start training again and tracked down one of my early Wing Tsun and Escrima students. It turns out that all these years he had continued to train in the FMA's with a number of people, and eventually put together his own system. Since the system is his, of course he isn't certified by anyone else. Anyway, now I train under him. After all, I have my certificates in a drawer somewhere, so what have I got to lose?

    What surprised me, was just how little paper credentials mean to so many of you who have been in this for a while. Sure, we all know that there are a lot of unqualified clowns out there, but often as not, they will have all kinds of fancy credentials. So it comes down to what you know and what you can do. I wasn't sure if this "Missouri Mule" attitude would be shared by martial artists in more "traditional" disciplines, so I posted the same thread over on MartialTalk to see. It was encouraging to generally get the same positive response over there too.
     
  19. roger211

    roger211 New Member

    I dont think it matters what race someone is.

    I didnt care about rank before, but I wouldnt mind learning and gaining rank because maybe some day I want to open up a school.
    How I am, I want to be certified to teach and to give rank.
    If I did open up a school, I do wanted to be accredited and certified in that art so I can be an official school of those arts.

    personally, I think its personal preference. I take MMA classes from a guy at a local gym, he teaches grappling, but can not give rank in bjj.
    Nothing against the guy, he's kool as hell, but I want to eventually work my way up and be able to get help others learn. (I only take it for the no-gi grappling, I dont plan on doing mma).
    So I take BJJ at an official academy to suffice that.
     
  20. Imua Kuntao

    Imua Kuntao New Member

    teaching

    I have a friend who has been wanting me to teach tai chi ( I know one short form), but I wont, I am not a certified tai chi instructor.
     

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