Guidelines for Teachers in the Martial Arts
1. Never show preference in training students. Measure their training by skill level, determination, personal self discipline, integrity, sacrifice, and honesty. Never compare students, for each student is on a slightly different path and is trying their best to move upward.
2. Show gentleness and strength, kindness and reliability. The students are relying on the teacher for these qualities. A strong school has a reliable teacher.
3. Sacrifice: Though a teacher shows the student the value of sacrifice, they have to display sacrifice themselves. This can be demonstrated on a physical level (ex. letting their student get shots in with compliments and without retaliation), a monetary level (ex. paying for a student’s uniform in need, meals, etc.), an emotional level (ex. showing compassion for effort that fails, demonstrating humility and humbleness. Explains that you yourself have tried and failed). Demonstrate sacrifice of your human-ness.
4. Admit shortcomings: Actually wanting to make their students as good as or better than they are. Admitting their own shortcomings and training their students to not have the same problem areas.
5. Teachers are not God: Teachers, above all, need to not be on a power trip. This is the one disease that effects many teachers. Good initial instruction helps eliminate this trait, but this does not insure the balance of power. Real power is never shown and to direct and teach without command is the key to the art and balance to power and authority.
6. Forgiveness: Teachers have to have the ability to forgive. This one trait makes a strong school and teacher. Forgiving makes the teacher stronger and more human.
7. Anger: To show outward anger is not only a breach of character but a loss of martial strength. A leader needs to know that anger shows loss, and that emotional decisions in anger are never sound. People do not like to follow angry people. Strong teachers control this emotion.
8. Honesty: Be honest. Your presence of honesty will set the tone for the students. Honesty is the foundation of a big house and makes for clear communication.
9. Condemning: A good teacher will not condemn other arts, or students' teachers. Condemning others lowers the strength of the teacher and devalues their character. This trait usually means the teacher themselves have problems to hide by trying to lower the strengths of those they condemn.
10. Character: Teachers are the ones who the rest of the school looks up to. Act like it. Represent upright character in and out of the school. This is an obligation of a teacher to not indulge in any of the vices excessively (drinking, smoking, drugs, etc.). Teachers are human, they make mistakes like anyone else, but all teachers have to make the realization that their character affects many people and a school is relying on them for guidance and direction.
11. Honor: Honor means everything to the teacher and the student. Honor creates leadership and is the soul of the Martial Arts. Honor is not rigid. Honor is tempered with humbleness and humility. The goal of the teacher is to install in the student these traits without breaking the spirit of honor. Too much or too little in the flexibility of honor can hurt the spirit of bearing and is the lifelong goal of the teacher to instill this trait carefully and to be an example.
12. Teacher's Obligation: Is to train regardless of their age. Medical problems might alter this, but if this is the case, they need to have their assistants teach who can effectively demonstrate the techniques to upgrade their students. A teacher's obligation is the life-long pursuit to further and perfect their art.
13. Teacher's Obligation: Is to never deceive their students about their rank or position. This is a disease that is never cured. Assuming rank, whether you give it to yourself, or another teacher out of your art gives it to you, or an association that is designed to hand out rank for money, or even students ranking their own teacher so that they can be ranked higher, is the sin and disease of power. To deceive your students not only blackens your soul, but now days can come back to you legally, for no student wants to train hard for years under a teacher to find out that the teacher didn't have to train for their rank and deceived them. Be honest on this subject and your overall health will prosper.
14. Teacher's Obligation: Is to make quality students rather than quantity. If a teacher makes a few instructors it should be considered a good sign. Making many Black belt instructors should be questioned. Making pyramids of teachers makes training secondary rather than primary. Every teacher you make represents their teacher, school, and art. Being able to stand behind your students is primary. Occasionally, no matter how hard one tries to uphold the integrity of the art, a student can go astray. We try hard to avoid this but we must move on with integrity for the rest if this does happen.