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Any Teaching Positions Available?

He opened the door and walked right onto the mat with his shoes on while class was in progress.

“What the heck?“, I wondered.

Shaved head, regular “skater” clothes, maybe 16 years old and trying to make eye contact with my junior assistant who was instructing the warm-up. After a brief verbal exchange, my assistant Thomas told him to go back out and enter through the other door and talk to me about whatever he wanted.

Moments later my new friend appeared from around the corner and approached the front desk.

“Hi there”, I said, “Wassup?”

(Usually I’d say something a little more courteous, but you know me – trying to be cool and fit in with his image I thought I’d  change it up.)

Yeah… ah…. you guys have any openings?“, he asked while looking at the ground.

Openings?“, I asked, “You mean for training or teaching?

No, not for training. For teaching“, he said.

“What’s your background?”, I asked him.


(Wait for it, this is where it gets good!)


“Ah… nothing really, except the stuff I do with my friends”, he stated.

(That’s like wanting to be a driving instructor but not knowing how to drive – except of course the “stuff you do with your friends”. Yikes!)

“I couldn’t teach an adult class… but you know, I could teach your kids”, he said.

At this point my brain exploded. I no longer could follow his train of thought. I paused to think how I was going to answer his absurd request.

“Well, do you have something available? Cuz if not, I’m gonna go to Fightlab and ask them”, he said.

Whooah… wait a second. Did this guy just give me an ultimatum? Thank goodness I wasn’t emotionally invested in our relationship just yet, otherwise it might have been a tough decision… =)

So I quickly used my powers of deductive reasoning to evaluate his request. First he had no concept of martial arts, let alone karate. Second he had next to zero communicative skills. Third his presentation skills were awful. Three strikes and you’re out, right?

“Sorry pal… in order to be an instructor here you need to have been training for a few years. Then you also need to have completed our “Teach the Teacher” program, in which you learn how to teach the karate skills you’ve learned. I’m sorry I can’t help you… good luck though”, I wished him.

“Ahhh, ok…. thanks”, as he extended his “wet fish” hand shake, “I’m gonna go to Fightlab now”.

Wow… I bet Fightlab will be just as impressed with him as I was. Are you kidding me?? What the heck is up with people?

Now I’m all for entrepreneurship, initiative and all that good stuff, but clearly my new friend was going about it the wrong way. He brought nothing to the table, and wanted a paid position as one of my instructors!

I wonder if he was expecting me to say, “Sure… you sound perfect for a position here. When can you start?”

2 thoughts on “Any Teaching Positions Available?

  1. Sounds to me that his buddies put him up to it to see what you might do or he was wanting to have free training and a paying job…. I have been studying several styles of Martial Arts for several years and I yet feel that I am Teacher material… I love the whole learning aspect… That would be about as good as me coming to you and saying I am a Red Belt and am unemployed can I teach your classes and Black Belts your forms even though I know nothing about them..

  2. Man oh man….as I read this I nodded my head in agreement. We've had people come in, asking if we needed an instructor. I'd always ask "What do you teach?", and its *always* Tae Kwon Do or Wing Chun. Then when I ask how long they've been teaching, they reply "I'm a (insert rank here), and haven't taught a real class yet". And….they always say "I've 8 years of (whatever art)". Eight years, havent taught a class, and not yet at least a junior coach or junior assistant?

    When I tell them we teach Tai chi, Wushu, and Kajukenbo, they look at me as if I'm crazy, then say "Cool, do you need a teacher?" Um, Tae Kwon Do isn't exactly identical to Tai Chi, Wushu, or Kajukenbo, but do they figure they can slow down one of their forms to make it look like Tai chi?

    I never could understand how people can apply for a teaching job without first researching the school. Then again, I've heard of schools that will slap a black belt on you, train you in a few classes from beginner status, then give you a class to teach. As long as they're a few lessons ahead, its apparently okay. What???? Maybe your skater friend was looking for that.

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