Are all black belts instructors? Part 1

title on top of background

The quick answer to the question “are all black belts instructors?” is maybe. An easier question to answer is “are all black belts teachers?”. That’s a hard no because there are differences between teachers and instructors.

The differences between teachers and instructors

For the sake of argument, let’s say that all teachers are instructors, but not all instructors are teachers.

The instructor

Think about all the different types of instruction you have received throughout your life. The short list includes tying your shoes, getting dressed, riding a bike, swim lessons, balancing a checkbook, cooking a meal, driving a car and changing a diaper. Most of those scenarios involve one person showing another person, or people, how to get from point A to point B.

You will encounter instructors throughout your life. Many times, however, the word instructor is used synonymously with the word teacher. You may have been told that the individual standing in the front of the martial arts class and wearing a black belt is your teacher. If he or she is in charge of the class then he or she is definitely an instructor. Not necessarily a teacher.

To make it even more confusing, many martial arts disciplines, like The Bushido School of Karate, use terms like Shihan, Sensei, Deshi and Sempai. Those titles and their definitions will be the topic of Part 2 of “Are all black belts instructors?”, so stay tuned!

The teacher

Let’s go back to the list of instructors you’ve had in your life. Any one of them could have been easily replaced with another instructor. That is the difference between an instructor and a teacher. Teachers cannot easily be replaced.

Teachers make the effort to know each student’s strengths and weaknesses. They push you out of your comfort zone and care about your progress. Realistically, a student who holds a green belt (intermediate level) in karate could instruct a white belt (beginner level). When the instructor becomes vested in the student’s success and can impart the wisdom received only through their own trials and tribulations, the instructor becomes the teacher. And then…

The teacher becomes a student

By learning how to teach effectively, the teacher becomes a student of his or her own students, or karateka. Teachers are humble enough to be willing to continue to learn, especially from those they are teaching! Understanding and embracing this is the difference between an instructor and a teacher.

Some black belts are instructors, some are not, and some are teachers!

I hope I have successfully explained why the statement “some black belts are instructors, some are not, and some are teachers” makes sense. Earning a black belt means you have passed a series of requirements. It does not mean you are now a teacher, or even an instructor, although sometimes those requirements may involve instructing or assistant-instructing in classes.

In order for a black belt to be a teacher, he or she ultimately has to be willing to learn from the newest of students. It’s a journey worth taking!

Stay tuned for “Are all black belts instructors? Part 2”

Student Spotlight No. 36

female martial artists hidden by question mark

You can always come home again

The Bushido School of Karate is so appreciative of the students and families that are a part of our Bushido Karate family. We’ve had the pleasure of teaching for over 2 decades and in that time have been privileged to teach thousands of students. Everyone started at the beginning with no shortcuts, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.  Our weekly Student Spotlight features randomly chosen students on their own journey at The Bushido School of Karate.

This week’s spotlight is on Juliana!

Juliana is 24 years old, is in her last year of law school and is training for her 2nd degree black belt. She began her journey at Bushido Karate in January 2000. She is the youngest of three – all Bushido Karate students and all black belts. Juliana is a great asset to Bushido Karate and a power of example for both younger and older students. When she came back after a long absence we were thrilled to have her return – like coming home again!

I received my black belt 12 years ago and shortly thereafter stopped training. As a returning student, now 24 years old, I have realized one of the best aspects of training at Bushido is the constant self-improvement. I believe there are always ways to better oneself, whether it be academically, physically or emotionally. Today I box, I am training for my my second degree and I am studying for my final exams of law school. I have Bushido to thank for my accomplishments and am grateful for having been welcome back with open arms.

– Juliana
Adult female karate student in uniform
Spotlight on Juliana!
May 22, 2019

It’s Women’s Health Week, and some things have changed ladies!

national women's health week logo

The guidelines for how women should take care of their health has changed ladies. I am sharing this quick video segment which aired May 15th 2019, on Hoda and Jenna’s Today show hour.

Did I hear that right?

Did I hear that right? Did she really say women should no longer perform self-checks for breast cancer? I listened and re-listened. Yes, she did say that. I think the hosts were just as perplexed as I was!

Upon hearing that I had to do some research of my own. Granted, it was not thorough and relied solely on what Google would deliver to the first page after searching “newest guidelines for womens health”. But I believe many, if not most health care providers are not aware of this new information. In fact, this is what I was able to find from the Cleveland Clinic, and you can clearly read that self-exam’s are still recommended.

So now what are we supposed to do?

Old information collides with new information; what are we supposed to do? The days of blindly following what a health-care professional recommends should be long gone – I hope. You should not believe one or the other based on a) this short video segment nor b) what is provided by the Cleveland Clinic in a quick PDF file about women’s health.

YOU need to be your own advocate. YOU need to ask questions and compare the information. YOU need to be as comfortable as possible making your own decisions based on the many streams of information available. Unfortunately, some of what you uncover will be outdated and just wrong. That’s why you need good relationships with everyone on your health care team. You have a right to be heard and listened to. And you have a right to ask questions – it’s YOUR health!

You can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself!

Student Spotlight No. 35

karate student with face hidden by question mark

Training for almost 2/3 of his life, and he’s only 17!

The Bushido School of Karate is so appreciative of the students and families that are a part of our Bushido Karate family. We’ve had the pleasure of teaching for over 2 decades and in that time have been privileged to teach thousands of students. Everyone started at the beginning with no shortcuts, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.  Our weekly Student Spotlight features randomly chosen students on their own journey at The Bushido School of Karate.

This week’s spotlight is on Bryan!

Bryan is 17 years old, is in 12th grade and is a 2nd degree black belt. He began his Bushido Karate training in March 2007. He is the youngest of three – all black belts. Bryan is a very talented martial artist and a mentor to younger students. He has truly earned the rank of Sempai (“older brother or sister”) through his commitment to helping fellow students and his kind and mature nature.

Check out Bryan as a white belt in 2007 on Instagram @thebushidoschoolofkarate !

Bushido Karate not only pushes me physically to places I never thought I could reach, but it is also a foundation for my character, my mental fortitude, and my will to put 110% into everything I do.

– Bryan

I chose The Bushido School of Karate because I felt they were making my son more self-confident and more devoted to accomplish his goals.

-Bryan’s mom
teen martial artist in front of Bushido Karate logo
Student spotlight on Bryan
May 7th, 2019

Student Spotlight No. 34

karate boy hidden by question mark

On the journey to black belt

The Bushido School of Karate is so appreciative of the students and families that are a part of our Bushido Karate family. We’ve had the pleasure of teaching for over 2 decades and in that time have been privileged to teach thousands of students. Everyone started at the beginning with no shortcuts, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.  Our weekly Student Spotlight features randomly chosen students on their own journey at The Bushido School of Karate.

This week’s spotlight is on Franco!

Franco is 6 years old, is in 1st grade and is a blue belt. He began his Bushido Karate training in September 2018.

Bushido Karate makes me feel: good.

My favorite part of class is: I learn something new each day.

I like to learn: the forms.

– Franco

As a 6-year old boy Franco loves to kick and yell. Bushido Karate gives him an opportunity to get an hour of kicking & yelling while learning discipline & self-defense. He also gets a great work out and learns to set his mind to achieve and improve to a higher level. He also has lots of fun!

– Franco’s mom
Student spotlight on Franco!
May 1st, 2019
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