Yes, what SHOULD you expect from a martial arts teacher?
You should expect -- and get common courtesy, yes? Of course. You might even expect uncommon, beyond-the-norm courtesy I would think? After all, isn’t a good deal of the martial arts about learning and practicing respect?
You should expect the teacher to be in good -- to excellent -- physical shape. An exception to that rule might come from a teacher who has an unexpected health condition or who suffers as a result of a disabling accident. Stephen Hawking, for example, is still without question a brilliant theoretical physicist, despite his physical limitations. But, in most cases, your teacher should be an example of the benefits of the lifestyle that the martial arts promotes.
You should expect your teacher to be knowledgeable, beyond his or her art. It takes more than a knowledge of kicks, punches, grappling, or sparring, to be the kind of teacher one imagines a “Master” of the martial arts to be. It takes some life experience, some mistakes, some losses, and some mileage on one’s life odometer to accumulate a little "wisdom" (common sense).
In the group of instructors I am a part of, The One Hundred, each of us is listed on this site: www.flavors.me/masterteachers. Each member listed there maintains a “project portfolio,” a record of the things we have done -- or are currently doing -- that, as the head of the project, Tom Callos, says, “Shows how we take our martial arts out of the dojo and put it to work in the world.”
Some of The One Hundred members are new teachers, so their project portfolios are just getting started, while other teachers on the team are veterans of dozens of remarkable community-based projects.
“In the future,” says Tom Callos, “all martial arts teachers will be judged not only by their physical skills or experience, but by how they’ve applied their ‘mastery’ to things in the world that lives outside of their schools.”
One thing you should definitely expect from every cognizant martial arts teacher is a chance to try his or her classes before making any kind of commitment to attending regularly. Ask for an introductory course (we will provide you with one free of charge), to try some classes before determining whether the school is a place you would like to spend time at.
If and when you’re ready, call, write, or stop by our location, here:
085 870 8885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org