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On Choosing a Taekwondo Instructor.

Choosing a Taekwondo instructor is just like choosing any instructor.  The two most important components of your search should revolve around the instructor and other students.  If you choose a poor instructor, regardless of the art you pursue, you will never reach your fullest potential, will probably waste a lot of money and perhaps even put your health and well-being at considerable risk.  Likewise, if you find an excellent instructor with poorly disciplined or skilled students, then you should realize that there is a serious problem somewhere in the transmission from master to student.  Your instructor might be very good at the martial art he or she practices, but unable to teach that same technique and discipline to others.

Choosing an instructor is a common sense endeavor.  You do not need any special training or knowledge in order to spot a winner.  You should use the same reasoning you use when you choose anything of value -- a car dealer, a realtor, a stock broker, your poker buddies, your baby-sitter.

Here are some questions that you should be asking yourself about the instructor.  (I'll use the pronoun "he" hereafter.)

As I said before, the students are probably the best indicator of an instructor's ability.  Here are some questions you should be considering as you observe them? As you can see, these are the same kind of questions (albeit usually subconscious) that you're asking yourself every time you make a decision where other people are involved.  This is how you choose your friends and anyone else with whom you have a significant interaction.  You need no additional skills for choosing a good instructor than you need for deciding which grocery store will get your patronage.

Beware of the following.  These are a few things that should NOT impress you.  In fact, if you notice these or (worse yet) the instructor brings these up, it should set off more than a few warning lights.

I hope that this information will help you choose a quality instructor -- one that will give you the fullest for your hard earned money and help you grow as a martial artist.  If you have any specific questions that I did not address here, feel free to drop me a line at rshroyer@bigfoot.com.  Thank you.