Quality of instructor
A yellow belt walked up to the Gates of Heaven and asked to be let in. "Tell me one good thing you did in your life," St. Peter said to him. "Well," replied the yellow belt, "One time I saw my instructor yelling at a white belt so I stepped up and told him that he should not do that." "When did this happen" asked St. Peter? "Oh, about 30 seconds ago!" said the yellow belt.
Instructors are similar to coaches. They do not have to be able to perform what they teach, but they must have the ability to get students to perform what they teach, and perform it well. Some instructors may be tournament champions, which is great for them, but it does not necessarily mean they are good instructors. Students hire instructors for what the instructors can teach them to do, not for what the instructor can do. Many times a good instructor may also be a great technician, but this does not necessarily make him or her a good instructor.
A good instructor loves teaching Taekwondo and can motivate students to love it also. Good instructors are able to point out specific things each student may do to improve his/her techniques. They are able to see the small things that may make a good technique a great technique. Good instructors motivate students to do more than they felt possible.
When looking for a good Taekwondo instructor, look for instructors that:
- Never tire of teaching.
- Never abdicate the role of instructor, even outside the dojang. Students, and the public in general, watch everything instructors do, both inside and outside the dojang. Good instructors always present themselves as the epitome of Taekwondo values.
- Teach to the best of their ability and continually strive to improve their knowledge and skills. Good instructors constantly seek the latest teaching methods and Taekwondo techniques and then incorporate them into their instruction.
- Are eager for their students to surpass then; this is the ultimate compliment. Good instructors never hold students back just because they are advancing too quickly. A good instructor will send his/her students to a higher instructor or a different school if the students develop beyond the instructor's teaching capabilities or when a student's particular aptitude, attitude, or ambition is not consistent with the teaching philosophies of the instructor.
- Encourage students to visit other dojangs, or even other martial art styles, where they may observe techniques more suited to them and may compare their own techniques to those of the other styles.
- Feel responsible for the welfare of their students. Good instructors encourage students to associate with their classmates and help students develop good contacts outside the dojang, such as professional services or business opportunities that may be beneficial to them. Good instructors place student development ahead of commercialism. Instructors who are too concerned with materialism will lose the respect of their students.
- Maintain a formal relationship with their students and avoid social or personal familiarity. Instructors who have personal affairs with students lose student respect and may create uncontrollable situations or develop a dishonorable reputation.
- Never take advantage of their students by way of positional authority. Good instructors are not "power hungry." They exercise their authority to maintain control of their classes but they do not abuse their authority.
- Never betray a trust given in confidence. Good instructors always set a good example. They continuously work to earn the respect of their students and never take the respect for granted.