View Full Version : training instructors and assistants

10-02-2004, 10:05 AM
This may be a spin-off of the previous thread"teaching dilemma". I learnt much from the Toastmasters(association of public speakers), GM JIm(Wing Chun( and Mr. Jan(Chen TJJ).

Point 1 would be:never correct the prospective teacher during a session, wait until he is finished. Leave corrections to the leader, maybe gently try to involve the rest of participants. Make clear how embarassing it is for somebody in front of the group to be corrected. Never correct a student teacher in front of real students, wait for a moment for a one to one conversation. This is very much the policy of toastmasters which can be transferred to TC teaching

2. Prospective teachers need to be quite confident with the form they would like to teach and should be trained separately from the rest of the class. In class never give the preference and more attention to these advanced students

3. Overcorrecting is faux-pas. Try to give praise before correction of issues you cannot live with e.g. total violation against the tC principles. In TC very often mistakes can be corrected by repetitions, relaxation and focus. Correct in groups, don't say jim you dont do well whenever possible

4. In case of disagreement between partcipants the leader need to interfere whenever necessary. Positive thinking is good but problems need to be dealt with in a positive manner

Is there anybody on this forum who would like to share experience training prospective or current instructors?

10-02-2004, 10:45 AM
There is a tendency to overstate benefits of taijiquan or qigong so I tell assistants to always try to be objective in presenting information.

If I do correct, I try to present the same information to the assistant (that they gave to the audience) and have them analyze what was said and have them dissect the 'misstatement' themselves.

10-02-2004, 03:49 PM
What do you mean Stanton?

You present the same info that they presented to the audience in the same way as a live video recording so they can see a mirror of themselves and analyze? Would be a video recording good? Toastmasters also do this and GM JIm. We taught to a group of students Wing Chun and this was videographed. WC is slightly different with emphasis on self-defense but it is the teaching method

10-03-2004, 01:32 AM
This is very good advice and could be applied to any situation where any one is learning something new.

As a student I would not be happy if my instructor was corrected in front of me.

10-07-2004, 03:03 AM

I didn't see your post which is very refreshing from the point of view of a good student. Yes, an instructor can make mistakes, the grandmaster sometimes makes mistakes not because he is ignorant but because he know too much. Myself knows 25 forms and practice them daily. One day i was tired, teaching 24 forms after practicing Chen 56 and by accident injected a pao choi posture. Students giggled but understood that it was because i practice so many things and not lack of competence. Of course these students were regulars and not 2-day-workshop participants

10-07-2004, 06:43 AM

Assistants are enthusiastic and sometimes they get carried away with information, to wit, where on a few occasions some stated (at various times) that 9in so many words, tai ch can cure everyhting. What they said and how it was interpreted was enough for me to at least, have the assistant(s) get feedback from others (who heard the 'same') thing and how to prevent it from happenning. No pointing fingers or blame-just clarifying things that could be misconstrued.

Since everyone has their own style of teaching, best to correct misstatements of fact beforehand. Another thing I try to stress is that taijiquan itself, is not the actual key. Taijiquan, as concept with persistant and correct practice can do wonders but the 5 min/day that is sometimes touted is not a correct pattern (at least for me) for anyone so I try to have the assistant examine thois type of things.

10-07-2004, 09:36 AM
There is a different between assistant and instructor with own notoriety. An assistant is an assistant and only pass on information what i suggested. Normally i do the plenum i.e. all theory, medical information etc.....The assistants are given a session where we agree on the info to be passed on e.g. length of practice. About the 5 min thing i said when a person is extremely ill and cannot practise more than that, in this case it can work wonders for his individual condition. TC cannot cure everything but my own experience showed that it could cure many things. I practice 2-3 hours 7 days/week 2-3xday divided when time allows.

Myself was cured the tennis arm, headache, stomach cramps, many little ailments. But i do know how to direct the qi at will to acupuncture points which my assistants don't know yet.

10-07-2004, 09:50 AM

Just to clarify:

Assistants (actually students) teach in various health venues (health club, rehab facility (PT/OT), private instruction, etc) but their work titles are different. I have a retired nurse, former teacher, usually over 55 who have been helped by tai chi and they are truly enthusiastic. These are mature individuals who have titles as Fitness Coordinator, Fitness Instructor, etc who just happen to be assistants (students) but function in a diffferent category away from the class atmosphere as student(s).

10-07-2004, 01:53 PM
Great Stanton, every time i'm learning a little bit more. My assistants don't come from the class, i do avoid this due to jealousy among the students. They come from various walks of life, fitness instructor most of them, PT but one engineer and one manager. All of them have been helped by Tai Chi but do it for martial arts, teach for health like myself, have been certified by the Chen association as assistants, mostly under 55