What’s your policy when it comes to teaching karate?
Will you teach anyone?
Or are you selective when it comes to choosing students?
I run a trial program before accepting students into my dojo to ensure they’re a good match for our program. So long as they get along with my other students, aren’t disruptive, are respectful and follow the rules, then I’ll welcome them to our school with open arms.
Otherwise… it’s the highway…
Now this isn’t an elitist standpoint where I only accept the very best. It’s very simple really – be nice, follow the rules and it’s no problem – it’s not too much to ask.
However some instructors believe that everybody should have the opportunity to learn karate no matter what. They see it as their duty to turn the lives of wayward students around and give them some structure in an otherwise structureless life.
When I first started teaching I believed in this noble cause also, but after running my own place for the last 7 years I’ve a very different opinion. Here’s why:
Some students are problematic, disruptive, high maintenance, time consuming and emotionally draining. If you accept anyone into your program, you’re going to get these types of people show up from time to time. And when they do, it’s bad news everyone concerned.
- First, your existing students will lose out since you’re spending so much time with the bad apples in your group that the good one’s growth will suffer.
- Second, you’ll be frustrated with disruptive classes and high maintenance students. You’ll be spending more time disciplining students than teaching karate. Disciplining students should be PART of what you do, not ONLY what you do.
- Third, the morale you’ve built up at your club will take a dive when Mr. TalksaLot won’t shut up and just train. He’s gonna get on other people’s nerves and your existing students will become frustrated also, some to the point where they’ll leave.
I love helping other people, but not unconditionally. I will give more than what they ask for, spend extra time with those after class who need it and be grateful for the loyal students I have. But when it impacts me, my existing students or my dojo in a negative way that’s where I draw the line.
By being selective in who you choose to teach you’ll be much happier, more successful and your loyal, hard working students will appreciate you more as a quality instructor. Accepting anyone and everyone into your dojo is a sure path to long term frustration, increased stress and a decline in the standard.
What about you? What are your thoughts?