View Full Version : When Choosing an Instructor...

02-27-2001, 07:23 AM
I have been curious for quite some time as to how people go about choosing a good internal instructor. For some people it seems to be a matter of location. For others, they look for a "name." Still others will actively research and find who is best for them.
The next part of this question is: How did you determine your instructor is good? What criterion did you use? Did you compare them with others?
Finally, what determinatino do individuals use to determine that an instructor is "bad"?
I would love to hear from others on this. I will post my opinions as long as there is feedback.

My first statement on this matter is: "What does the prospective instructor have to offer, and how well do they offer it?"


yi beng, kan xue

ninja turtle
02-28-2001, 05:16 AM
I don't have the experience to answer your question, but I'd like to add something relative to it, in the hope that others may answer both our inquiries.
What if your potential teacher is the one choosing you? How do you make yourself a more "attractive prospect"? And don't say "lie"!

02-28-2001, 05:34 AM
I must have talked to over 100 teachers before finding mine. I even spent time with other teachers first. I have seen every kind of fraud out there. Some of the best practioners make lousy teachers. The ones I really wanted to study from proved to be either nasty people or to busy to take the time to even talk with me. When I called my teacher on the phone to ask if I could come in a take a trial class he said "no, one of the elder students is getting married and we are having a party. Would you like to come?" This said volumns about the way he ran his school and the way he felt about his students. Turned out to be a great teacher with a rich lineage too. I have been with him for the most part of the last 20 years and I could not see finding a better one.Q

02-28-2001, 05:35 PM
Hmmm. When becoming involved in Chinese martial arts, I didn't exactly have a basketful from which to choose. I read many books, and from my past experiences within other disciplines, decided from what type of teacher I would best learn.

So I set out to find one exactly like that, but found out the real world likes to mock us with false fronts, expecially in this area. I tend to hold people to high expectations and was greatly disappointed. Still, I ended up with several good men for teachers, who were willing to show me all they could.

What To Look For in a Master:

Then I met my master, and I discovered the qualities by which I would forever judge teachers. Here was an unassuming, confident, happy, intelligent and gentle man who still scared the crap out of me! I would tell anyone searching for a master to seek brilliance, yet listen to your heart.

Then came the hard part, Ninja Turtle's point. This master was not teaching openly. He didn't have a school, and he didn't teach many other students. Even with my current teacher's blessing, he outright refused to teach me. Still, I benefitted from his knowledge in conversation, so I kept visiting him. Even when I visited once a week, for six months straight, he would actually ignore me. If I was with classmates, he would talk to them. I was terribly hurt. But I still went.

How To Be a Student:

One day, my persistence, respect and humility paid of in spades. He accepted me - into his kung fu, his family and his business. And I in turn accepted the responsibilty.

It seems like such an easy path to follow, this becoming a student. I didn't choose the route, it was laid in front of me as plain as day. Yet I watch so many others struggle to find their way. From watching them I gather this: One will never find a teacher, nor become a student, until one is ready to accept responsibility.

"Waiting is bad." - Musashi

02-28-2001, 05:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> One will never find a teacher, nor become a student, until one is ready to accept responsibility.

Well said!

ninja turtle
03-01-2001, 04:30 AM
True, true. I feel that I am ready. For a long time I was not ready for any responsibility. I still avoid certain things that could be considered responsibilities- certain bills, and the services that go with them. I wasn't born with a need for them, they won't make my life better, I don't want them.
A teacher, the knowledge he/she may share, and the responsibility to be a good, loyal, and honest student- I am ready for. After changing from a pure unassuming being as a baby into a person somewhat molded by society, I feel the need to be under the tutelage of a good teacher, who can teach me how to be a better person than I am. That is something I feel I need. Being a good fighter is not the only goal in life.
If there was only one, I think it should be being a good person. If you've found that, on some level, your prospective teacher is a good person- put them on your list of possibilities.

03-06-2001, 01:56 AM
We all have to travel different roads ... each will have to make decisions on
what to do, which direction to practice.

This is how it went for me. I never really chose a style ... I chose a teacher. It seems to me the reason I am studying Chen Taijiquan, Xingyi and Bagua now is because that seems to be the systems with the most good useful information is coming from now and great teachers are coming to the US like CXW and other of the buddah's warrior attendants plus the FZQ system of Chen style has several good quality teachers in the US now.

So for me, it has always been the teacher, not the system. If the teacher
is very good, then the system must be good as well. If the teacher is
only okay ... well ...


03-06-2001, 02:49 AM
When the student is ready, the teacher appears....


yi beng, kan xue

03-06-2001, 03:53 AM
That's True!

Peace back at ya!

03-06-2001, 08:06 AM
From my experience, it was all by luck. I had just came back from the Philippines and wanted to learn kung fu. I have always heard of my current sifu by word of mouth, but nobody knew where his school was located. I looked in the phone book and searched far and wide for a kung fu school in Anchorage, Alaska. I checked out a so-called northern shaolin kung fu school, but it turned out the teacher was a fraud. Then I went to another school at a locale recreation center, but it turned out that teacher was an ex student of the fraud. I then went to a Taiji teacher, but he was too hokey pokey for me.

A couple of days after I came back from the Philippines, I passed by my cousin's place to drop some stuff she requested from Philippines. Then I noticed something on the way...a Kung Fu school!!! I went in to check it out and it turned out to be Sifu Kurt Wong's school! I had finally found him. So since then I have trained with Sifu Wong. Sometimes you find the right teacher when you least expect it

You must eat bitter before you can taste sweet.

wisdom mind
03-07-2001, 04:52 PM