Making the Decision to Teach

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Making the Decision to Teach

Postby Appledog on Thu May 11, 2017 5:38 am

This post is supposed to be deleted because I only keep my most recent 100 posts. An admin should delete it or allow users to delete their own posts to save space.
Last edited by Appledog on Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby RobP3 on Thu May 11, 2017 6:30 am

I started teaching some years back and it has brought me nothing but good. Aside from providing some great training partners / students it has given me an income, helped me develop myself on many levels and led to me travelling all over the world, learning and teaching. Most rewarding is seeing guys develop and set up their own clubs, as well as hearing how what I have taught has helped people in various ways.

I disagree, however, with what you say here
"Quite frankly when I look back on all my 20+ years of training I can say that I not only learned many new things I did not expect to learn, but that the essential limits of that knowledge have been tested. I mean, that whatever there is left to learn, really only will come through my own self study and research. Yes, I could go and study with my sifus again, and pick up another couple of forms."

I got to that stage with TCC, where it seemed all that was left was "more forms." So I travelled around and trained with numerous people, I found that I still had so much more to learn - and still do! Self study is good, but needs to be tested. Having students is one method of testing, as long as they are free-thinkers and not followers.

So overall I would say think carefully about how, why and what you want to teach, then make a decision from there. Don't give up the day job just yet, unless you are an uber-commercial school it takes a while to get established.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby charles on Thu May 11, 2017 6:42 am

Appledog wrote: Do you feel in the end it helped you improve as a martial artist or did it become a burden?


For me, it became a burden. Whether or not it becomes a burden, I think, has a lot to do with the teacher's expectations of the students and reasons for teaching.

... my conception of what Tai Chi is and how it works is radically different not only from the casual practitioner but also from what I believed it was even just a couple of months ago.


Although not the topic of this thread, I'd be interested, if you are willing, to hear how your conception of Taiji is radically different than others.


It just feels like such a major life decision. But I know it is right for me.


It is, or can be, a significant part of your waking hours, taking up a lot of time and effort. The good news is that if you decide later that you've had enough, you can always stop teaching Taiji or scale it down to working with a few dedicated students.

Best of luck with it.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby Appledog on Thu May 11, 2017 9:11 am

This post is supposed to be deleted because I only keep my most recent 100 posts. An admin should delete it or allow users to delete their own posts to save space.
Last edited by Appledog on Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby Appledog on Thu May 18, 2017 8:35 am

This post is supposed to be deleted because I only keep my most recent 100 posts. An admin should delete it or allow users to delete their own posts to save space.
Last edited by Appledog on Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby yeniseri on Thu May 18, 2017 12:56 pm

I love to teach but I have found it to be a 'mixed bag" of stuff that though positive, its perception can be subjectively negative when confronting the essence of teaching.

I have had quite a few workshops/seminars but no one showed. I was able to see true dedication when an interested party showed up at one seminar and I just taught for free because it was appreciated.
For me to have students, it appeared that I would have to teach stuff I did not personnally believe in, or just to make money off someone for the sake of collecting money, Perhaps if I were better at it, nothing else would matter. I stink at it but learn more about myself.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby Niall Keane on Thu May 18, 2017 4:11 pm

Appledog wrote:What I got is just a complete system, basically, as complete as it gets minus "all" the martial applications....... I see a really clear path from beginner to fighter in Tai Chi, and thats what I want to share.


???
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby shawnsegler on Thu May 18, 2017 6:21 pm

Niall Keane wrote:
Appledog wrote:What I got is just a complete system, basically, as complete as it gets minus "all" the martial applications....... I see a really clear path from beginner to fighter in Tai Chi, and thats what I want to share.


???


I know, right. This is a huge part of the problem in CMA. What makes you think you're qualified with that? There are tons of people like that who got the forms and none of the "rosetta stone" on how to make it work and they try and put it together as a fighting system just from the forms and they're just HORRIBLE.

What is it in your head that tells you that your "clear path" is worth ANYTHING? It's so Dunning/Kruger.

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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby Appledog on Thu May 18, 2017 7:11 pm

This post is supposed to be deleted because I only keep my most recent 100 posts. An admin should delete it or allow users to delete their own posts to save space.
Last edited by Appledog on Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby JoeWood on Thu May 18, 2017 7:55 pm

Appledog wrote:The big problem now is training space.

I found a space which is about 850 square feet near parking, 2nd floor, semi-separate entrance (you have to walk through the first floor which is a lobby). The main issue is the first floor which is unfinished. I'd have to have people call to enter. I'd be paying $600 a month for it. I'm probably going to take it since its the lesser of many evils. Most of the rentals around here are houses and they want prohibitive rents for a main street area -- $2500 a month for a 750 square foot storefront on a main street. Keep in mind this is a town of less than 100k people. Also, all of the 'commercial lease' homes/buildings seem to have been designed by idiots. There are no separate entrances to 2nd or 3rd floors and most places have open concept central stairwell which make privacy impossible, or weird designs/posts (which make training impossible). I am wondering what kind of term they want. I don't think I will be in this place for longer than six months. I'll surely find a better place by then.

I'm planning on using puzzle mats as a cheap flooring solution initially, any idea on how to get a decent shoe experience with mats? Or should I just get a wooden floor of some kind?


Look in to renting a room at a community center or rec center.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby Appledog on Thu May 18, 2017 8:10 pm

JoeWood wrote:Look in to renting a room at a community center or rec center.


I've looked, but to beat 4-6 hrs a day for $600 the gym would have to operate at below $5/hr. Also it would be unlikely to find a place which let me use the space during 'prime time'. Remember I need the space for my own practice as well. I'm looking to sink some more time into training anyways, so it seems like my own place is the way to go even if I didn't plan on teaching anyone.

The quality of building around here is so bad though I might just end up getting some land and building my own place. If your going to do it, do it right, hmm?
Last edited by Appledog on Thu May 18, 2017 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Locations to teach; inexpensive

Postby yeniseri on Thu May 18, 2017 9:00 pm

Places to rent that I have found inexpensive:
1. Local YMCA or YWCA.
2. Local park district
3. Local high school gymnasium
4. Local community college
5. If all else fails, a public space obscured by trees (for cover/privacy) and have everyone meet there or even the outside location of the previous 4.
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Last edited by yeniseri on Fri May 19, 2017 9:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby Bao on Fri May 19, 2017 12:08 am

If you teach you need to learn how to explain things in words both for yourself and many different kinds of people. I found teaching much like acting as your own psychologist, or like a way to organize your knowledge in a new way, so it becomes more accessible both to others and to yourself. I miss the time when I had time to have my own group and teach. That was for about seven years ago. I shared some space with another MA guy and we just used the fees to pay for the place. Earning money on teaching has never been in my thoughts. If you aim for earning money, you need to compromise too much with your own development to teach whatever uneducated people (I.e. the market) demands. I believe that the health part of Tai Chi comes from practicing it as a martial arts and I've never been interested to teach TCC for health only, so I am not the kind of chi tree huggin' teacher that sadly most people out there want. :P
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Re: Making the Decision to Teach

Postby Appledog on Sun May 21, 2017 7:54 am

I have an opportunity to rent a 40"80" space, former TKD school. Cost? $1k US/month. Ground floor, storefront in a quiet "around the corner" from a busy intersection.

Nice. It's huge. Huge. I don't need so much space. It's huge. But I think I might try it for a couple of months. There's a 300 square foot space that would be good for 1-3 students (also a storefront on a busy street) for half as much. But this place is literally ten times bigger. Maybe twenty. So, space problems are pretty much solved. I think I am willing to take a stab at $1k/month. Even just 5 students will cut down the price to somethng I am willing to put up just for myself and my personal training.

Problem #2.
There's no other Tai Chi schools in my city, so there's already 2 or 3 people interested in signing up. Tonight I interviewed my first student. He came over a little late (9pm) and we stayed for an hour and a half. I couldn't stop talking to him and I was rather exited. Not too much but it got a bit awkward for me since time just flew by. He seemed to like what he saw. He was interested in Tai Chi for health but he also wanted to know about fighting. He wanted to learn some kung fu, some applications, some shaolin and things like that. I showed him a wide variety of things, maybe 5 to 6 different exercises. Something from Sun style, something from Chen, something from Yang, and a little kung-fu type stuff. He signed the form and took an envelope home. He said he would come back (yeah but who knows, I have no expectation, just trying to keep from getting over-excited).

But wow, what a feeling! I learned a lot about myself. A lot. And I really must give credit to my sifus. I recently returned from a one month training holiday with them. They not only taught me a lot more about tai chi and kung fu. But they also provided a solid model example of how to talk to people, how to teach, how to interact with students. So why is this a problem. Because I am excited! Too excited. Wow, now I understand what they mean when they say you always remember your first time. The experience was burned into my memory, every part of the lesson I gave him. Next time I will make it shorter, and not ramble on so much. All you who run your own school, it's exciting, isn't it? Is this a problem?

We went a little late, I usually try to get to bet at 10, so I was a little tired in the end. But I think everything went well. I am very excited for this future. I know this will push me to train even more, this was my plan all along. I will admit I am somewhat weak, and I need tricks like this to push me to practice. I think it's a form of mothering. I cannot rely on my sifus anymore since I am all alone. So I have continued this feeling by taking students. I think I might check in from time to time just to record how it was to set up the school, and some of the basic things I went through setting it up and dealing with students.
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