Our Teachers, Our Guides
by Yolanda Horace, 5th Gup, Houston, Texas
There are many times in the Dojang that students think they know more than the teacher. This seems to be more noticeable after every rank test. Students with newly colored belts want to start showing their skills by teaching, assisting the masters, etc. This is a great thing to want to do, but there is something that needs to stay in your mind as you progress; your teachers are your guides.
When a master, teacher, or assistant instructor is guiding you or another student on forms, questions, etc, it is respectful to listen to his or her words. Interrupting or trying to debate the methods being displayed is not only rude, but shows a total lack of respect. It shows you may have advanced in skill but not in maturity.
The poor attitude that a student possess towards an instructor is, in fact, disrespectful towards the Chayon Ryu system.
At times you may think the instructor may not be advising you correctly. Listen to what is being said and be silent. There is no excuse to be rude to instructors, yet, some students try to challenge their authority. Some even talk back; this is not acceptable behavior for any Chayon Ryu student. It will only cause harsh feelings and disrupt the harmony of the class. Someone who did not really understand the basic principles may have taught the instructor that particular form, move, etc. Other times a mistake may have just been made. If you are still unsure or want to clarify you can talk to either Grandmaster or Master Sean Kim after class.
When a instructor is demonstrating a skill that you may already have practiced, do not say ” I already know this form”. Learn what is being taught, even if you really know the forms. There have been times where you have performed your requirements 100 times and you may feel practicing it again is below your level. This is the time to use your mental training to see the form again in your mind. Then you will see that you may know the physical way to perform but you have not mastered the foundation that is required for your training.
Many times students will not comply with instructor’s directions because they feel it is not as good as a previous teacher’s instruction. This is not a good way to build up your moral character. Every instructor has his or her own way of teaching. Instructor “A” may teach you to jump very high, but instructor “B” may teach you to jump, but not so high. After you listen to both instructors, you will get the knowledge of what is correct and what might need modification. In each situation the result will be the same, you will learn a valuable lesson. Before you compare or complain, analyze what you have been taught and think about the process.
In your training, your teachers only wants to give you the knowledge that was passed on to them. Allow the instructor to give something back to the system. One day you will be a teacher, a guide and a student will challenge your system of training, that is why you must always keep an open mind during class.
Respect is something that the Chayon Ryu student must always display. Our teachers guide with instruction and knowledge. The hard work, dedication, and struggles that they endeavored should be recognized and admired. You must show the instructor all the elements of your training, not just the forms, technique, and speed, but also respect.
You must also remember that our instructors are human. Mistakes will be made. Sometimes a step may be missed or a kick may be at the wrong time. This is normal, be patient. There are times when an instructor may have had a stressful day and be mentally tired from work or outside influences, but they still keep their commitment to come into the dojang and teach, sometimes staying late in the evening and on Saturdays. The commitment they give to the students of Chayon Ryu should be appreciated.