As martial artists, we all have various objectives. Some see it as exercise, while others see it as learning self-defense. But for most of us, the ultimate aim is to obtain that elusive, strong, and mystical black belt. However, a standard query at Bear Martial Arts is, “Do you need that black belt to teach?”
As soon as you have advanced past the novice level in practically every club, your instructor will ask you to mentor a few of the beginners or lower grades. All of this is a very effective teaching method and a step on your path to becoming a black belt.
As you advance in grade, you will be requested to teach more and more of the class; eventually, you might even be asked to substitute for an absent, late, or vacation instructor.
The actual query is when you may manage your own club.
The response is relatively straightforward. Each club will have guidelines stating that you must reach a specific grade level before you may instruct your class. In my experience, my Kung Fu club permits students to conduct their classes at the red sash level. However, my Jiu Jitsu association allowed me to teach my club at brown belt/first Kyu (2 from black, the Chinese equivalent of 2nd Kyu).
Of course, operating a club without a black belt presents its difficulties. You will find it challenging to keep on new students since their respect and respect for authority are two qualities that a black belt exudes. But if you do well enough, they will recognize it, and you will succeed.
If you are reading this and want to run your class but aren’t a black belt yet, talk to your instructor and find out what the rules are. That way, you’ll know what benchmark you should set for yourself for grading.
Instructing a club is very different from operating one, so avoid doing so unless you set up your new class on the same night as your regular training night (your association would not approve of you putting up the direct competition! ). Ensure that you continue your training to obtain a black belt in the future.
Who Is Legally Entitled To Teach Martial Arts?
You might be surprised to learn that there is no legal structure for people to operate a martial arts dojo in the United States nor in a large portion of the rest of the world. Anyone can use a dojo and offer martial arts instruction, regardless of background.
Even if their education in that discipline came from YouTube rather than a teacher, there is nothing to preclude them from saying that they teach that discipline. Additionally, nothing prevents them from developing and training in their field.
From a student’s viewpoint, this indicates minimal martial arts training sector standardization. Some instructors are outstanding, while others may be so terrible that their courses endanger the students.