Why Me?


I talk with my peers and one of the subjects that comes up is people looking for a new instructor.

A few of us agree that one of the questions we ask is “Why me?” It seems that many teachers take just about anyone. If fact, one man who writes me regularly called it the “money-go-round”, referring to how he’d been part of a arge Kenpo organization, then left, and they came back fishing to see if he’d re-join. A well-known instructor recruits anyone who indicates interest, then sucks as much money out of them as he can.

There’s a market for promotions and some are happy to provide the “service”. In fact, one actually said “If they think it’s worth the paper it’s printed on, I’m happy to sell it to them.” Package deals exist in which you host a seminar and a new degree comes with it.

Then there are the “shoppers”. These people move from group to group, using the last rank certificate to gain entrance and a quick move up a degree. I’ve been in some studio offices in which every degree hanging on the wall came from a different teacher. That says a lot.

So, when I’m approached, “Why me?” is one of the first questions I ask. I have actually experienced the person not knowing what to say. When I explain that I don’t recruit and that if you come into my group, I expect certain conditions to be met, interest declines in many. This is not a “trade knowledge for money” operation, as some have described it in their group. One senior, who shall be nameless, actually said “It’s simple. You want information and I want money.”

I like money but I won’t sell out. If you know why you want me as your teacher and are willing to meet the conditions, we can work for a year and see how it goes. If it’s not a good match, we go our ways – no harm, no foul. But don’t expect to come in and get a quick promotion.

When I ran a studio we taught something called The Black Belt Succes Cycle. One component was “Know what you want and have a plan.” No different when you come looking for a new teacher. If your plan is to buy a new rank, you need to look elsewhere.