What is it that makes a GREAT ITF Taekwon-Do instructor?
There are many things that make good instructors and there are many, many, many good instructors out there. However, I am going to assert that there is one thing that makes a GREAT instructor.
You could argue that I’m splitting hairs here between good and great, and although the difference may seem small on the surface, this one thing tells more about who you are and the life you’ve lived as an ITF instructor than anything else. Your legacy as an instructor, the number of people you make a difference for directly and indirectly, even the future of survival of ITF Taekwon-Do is literally dependent on this one thing.
Gen. Choi, Hong Hi was a master at this one thing and it was the catalyst for Taekwon-Do spreading across the entire world in such a short period of time.
This one thing is:
Your ability to create instructors that create instructors.
Gen. Choi went so far as to list the 8 qualities of an ideal instructor. They are as follows:
- Strong moral character and ethical standards.
- Clear outlook and philosophy in life.
- Responsible attitude as an instructor.
- Scientific mind in matters of technique.
- Knowledge of the vital spots of human anatomy.
- Unshakable integrity in political and financial dealings.
- Dedication to spread the art of Taekwon-Do throughout the world.
- One who gains confidence from his seniors, is trusted by his fellow instructors, and is respected by his juniors.
The first six are personal to the individual instructor’s thoughts, actions, relationships and overall living of that person’s life. Those first six serve as the foundation for 7 & 8. Without fulfilling qualities 1-6, accomplishing 7 & 8 with any shred of integrity is not possible.
So… back to the one thing that makes a GREAT instructor – The ability to produce instructors that produce instructors.
If you can produce instructors, that sends the message that you are powerfully dealing with qualities 1-6, that you have begun to fulfill on 7, and that you’ve earned the trust and respect spoken of in 8. In other words you are successfully being and setting the example, living the way of life (the Do), and are successfully passing that on, inspiring others to walk in your path.
But I didn’t just say producing instructors. I said producing instructors that produce instructors!
This obviously doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are producing instructors that are producing instructors, then there is no question that you have and are demonstrating the 8 qualities of an ideal instructor. You’ve also hit the fast forward button on spreading the art of Taekwon-Do around the world!
Since you’ve already got a head start, if you created two instructors in the next three years you’d have three locations. Can you imagine having three locations in the next three years? Then if in the next 5-7 years those instructors produced two instructors you’d have seven locations in only 10 years. Can you imagine having 7 of YOUR locations in your town?
If you run an organization you can use the same exact example but with your current members, it’s the same math. Say you have 50 Taekwon-Do schools. In two years, each one will produce two instructors and you’ll have 150 schools total. When those 100 new schools produce two new instructors each, you’ll have 350 total schools.
Even if you only produced half of that your organizations would go from 50 to 175 schools!
The problem is that we all know this is not happening on a large scale. The only reason this is not happening all over the world is because the focus is not on creating new instructors. The focus is on making money, on staying in business, on generating black belts, on having a certain number of students and on producing national team members and world champions.
There’s nothing wrong with any of those things I just listed, but if that’s where your main focus is, you are missing the bigger picture. You can make lots of money, live a great lifestyle, test hundreds of black belts and constantly crank out national and world champions, but then what?
What do you have in place to carry on your legacy? What are you doing to create instructors that create instructors? Are the business systems in your school set up to produce that result? If not, time to think about some changes.
When your eye is on the bigger picture, all of those things I listed above tend to fall into place.
About the Author:
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org