View Full Version : What teachers should know

Joseph Svinth
26th January 2002, 01:09
Obviously a taiji class is pedagogically different from kick-boxing club, and both those are organized differently from a koryu naginata dojo. Nonetheless, what are some reasonable minimums that any coach/teacher/sensei should be expected to know? For example, most people would probably say that some first aid training would be useful. A brief introduction to legal issues such as sexual harassment and the responsibilities of a supervisor might be useful, too, especially if one is teaching in a public setting. (One could still do one's traditional things, but sometimes just a tiny change in emphasis or explanation provides a lot of extra legal protection.) Likewise, some understanding of drug and bloodborne pathogen risks, principles of safety, principles of sports education, and the like could be very useful.

At the same time, you don't want to end up requiring or expecting everyone to have a BS in kinesiology just to practice kata with some friends.

Anyway, whether required by an external source or simply something one should research on one's own, what are subjects, academic or otherwise, that a coach/teacher/sensei should seek knowledge about that are not necessarily traditional parts of a martial arts class curriculum?

26th January 2002, 12:01
Cardio-pulmonary resusitation is a relatively short course. And even life guards in California (at least in LA County beaches) are required to learn to use a simplified electro-shock, or "paddles" technique (no paddles, just a device which passes the shock to the heart at minimum voltage and lies over the chest area. All control is done, some with voice instruction and warning, by computer).


26th January 2002, 13:24
I agree with Mark - we have actually been discussing getting one of the electroshock machines for our dojo, "just in case..." there only a couple thousand dollars, but can be the best way of saving a life. So, I guess my list would include...

Requiring external coursework
1) CPR / First Aid training
2) A class in child development (a lot of instructors should NOT be teaching kids... they don't understand a child's physical/mental development)
3) Legal responsibilities - research can do the trick for this portion, but I think it would be more in the instructor's best interest to take a course. At the very least, to provide documentation that they have had training in such stuff "just in case."

Personal research
1) Bloodbourne pathogens, etc. There's a lot of medical documents which provide a healthy amount of info on this.
2) Business-type responsibilities (such as supervisory position, general business practices etc.) can be researched. They aren't "necessities" for being safe. Although again, it might be in the instructor's best interest to make sure they completely get this stuff, especially if it is a school that is trying to make a profit.

That would be a good beginning, to say the least...

Shitoryu Dude
27th January 2002, 16:18
While I'm not sure about having electo-shock equipment on hand (a lawyer would tell you that having it would mean all sorts of responsibilities you probobly don't want), I think running the instructors through a basic emergency first aid class would be appropriate. Something I've also noticed over the years is that many dojos are not run in a good businesslike manner - some schools just seem to be always losing their lease. A few classes in business at the local community college would seem to be worthwhile if you can't find a good office manager to see to it that things such as rent, utilities, taxes, etc are paid on time. :beer:

Harvey Moul

Jon S.
27th January 2002, 19:23
Something else to add would be knowledge of contraindicative exercises.

Jon Small

Timothy Walters Kleinert
28th January 2002, 19:44
I'm not an instructor, just a student, but what about some fitness/excercise-physiology/theory (Sorry, not sure of the correct termanolgy). I've seen a few teachers who seemed to be stuck with out-dated ideas about excercise, pushing excercises like the famous bouncing-stretches, which today are considered harmful.

I personally would like it if a teacher would learn some basic fitness physiology/theory, and then would tailor the warm-up, cool-down, etc, to fit the particular needs of the style; as well as promote/incorporate things like aerobic and weight-lifting cross-training to help the student get the most out of their physical performance. Also maybe some calculated periodization in the training schedule.

Oh yeah, and proper nutrition. That goes along with fitness physiology.

--Timothy Kleinert

9th February 2002, 03:37
As a matter of fact, I do teach taiji. I find most public venues want basic first aid and CPR certification, which is reasonable and available from the American Red Cross for a nominal fee.