Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So, Is This All You Do?

I have to be honest: I really cannot believe how many times this particular question comes up.  While I do realize that the people who ask this question genuinely do not mean any offense by it, I can't help but be a little bit offended nonetheless.  I find myself wondering why it's being asked of me.  Do I somehow not seem competent to do what I do?   Is it, perhaps, that being a martial arts instructor just isn't viewed by the general public as a "real" job?  If that is the case, I have to wonder in this day and age why this bias is perpetuated.

Let's take a look at what, exactly, a martial arts instructor does on a day-to-day basis:

In all seriousness, though, this really isn't that far off.  Some people will say that all a "karate instructor" should do is teach karate.  Well, that is what I do.  In order to accomplish that goal, though, there is so much more that needs to be done.  A certain degree of discipline and order must be maintained in classes, mostly so that no one gets hurt.  The day-to-day dealings of the business side must be dealt with.  Curriculum and various methods of assessment must be developed.  And whether others like it or not, martial arts instructors do get asked for advice by their clientele on a wide range of personal and professional issues.  I always tell people with truly serious problems that there are better qualified people to ask, but I won't hold back my opinion if pressed for it; nor do I think I should have to, if my opinion may be of some help.

At some point or another, I'm fairly certain that I've performed in most of the following capacities:

  • Teacher
  • Personal Trainer
  • Counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Life Coach
  • Administrative Assistant
  • CEO
  • Accountant
  • Drill Sergeant
  • Author
  • Theoretical Physicist
  • Executive VP of Marketing
  • Project Manager
  • Software Developer
  • General "IT Guy"
  • Philosopher
  • General Contractor

I could go on, but you get the point.  I have noticed, though, that most of the above professionals do not get asked on a regular basis if this is all they do in order to make a living.

Nevertheless, I usually just smile and nod.

Yes, this is "all" I do.

Kick. Punch.  Easy Stuff.