Sifu Lee on Teaching Kungfu
The great thing about being a Kung Fu teacher is that it is about being a teacher of life, it is not just about teaching someone how to defend themselves physically. It goes much deeper than that. So being a chiropractor, teacher, or a translator is all relevant to Kung Fu & Martial Arts. A chiropractor will know how to heal the body from pain, this is extremely important in the Martial Arts. When you share your knowledge in Kung Fu & Martial Arts to others, that is teaching. When you study the Eastern cultures and way of life and share it with others in the West, you are being a translator.
We are not meant to be cogs in a machine who are designed to do one repetitive task over and over again. We are meant to be creative and artistic with many loves in life. That is why you have so many interests in career choices that you find it difficult to choose one. The beauty of Kung Fu & Martial Arts is that you do not have to choose one. As you practice… as you turn it into a way of life, you are simply living, enjoying, and teaching about life – you are not just limited to serving one specialized function.
A Martial Artist may make less money than a Chiropractor, but that depends on how successful you are. As a Martial Artist you can reach out to many people in different ways. The schooling required in order to become a Chiropractor I would imagine would be extremely expensive, if you put that into consideration, they do not make as much money as you would believe them to make. Whereas being a Martial Artist would not nearly cost you as much in schooling, so you can potentially live a comfortable lifestyle in that field.
Being a Martial Arts teacher is not just a dream that many seem to fail at, but rather it is not a common practice here in the West. They do not have a wide variety of schools that prepare you to be a full time Martial Arts instructor. They do not have the curriculum established. You cannot go to grade school, jr. high, high school, and college all for the preparation to be a Martial Arts teacher. It is just recognized as a hobby, not something that is seen to be a serious occupational goal to achieve, like a doctor, professor, electrician, etc.
They do not have the schools available because people here in the West still do not know what Martial Arts really is. All they really know about is sport, they know nothing about Martial Art. They cannot teach what they do not know. That is the primary reason many find it hard to achieve their goals in the Martial Arts. They do not have the proper guidance. Those who are successful end up having to self-guide themselves. To develop themselves to be real Martial Artists.
Being a quality Martial Arts teacher is not a high paying job. If you are most concerned about money, then this is not the field for you. A big part of the spirituality in the Martial Arts is the balance between giving and taking. The more you make, the more you give. The goal is not to maximize profits in which to exploit others. You do not cheat people out of their money – you are fair in how you conduct business. Your success can grow through time, and you may eventually be profitable, but that is not the primary goal.
If you truly love Martial Arts, there is no other job that is more perfect than being a Martial Arts teacher. Real life is what you make it. Teaching Martial Arts is not just about giving kids self-confidence, it is about helping human beings grow to their potential.
I live modestly and I am able to make a living by teaching. It’s not easy, but neither is becoming a Chiropractor or whatever profession that requires an enormous amount of time for study and money for schooling. It may be better to work and teach on the side until you build enough of a student base in order to go full-time with it.
Yes, it is definitely a good job and yes, it is very realistic – much more realistic than you may think.
Without my notice, I had been training in Kung Fu since birth and all these years of training had led me up to this point, where all that I know and all that I have experienced is completely relevant to being in the position that I am in. I never planned to be a Martial Arts teacher, it just happened on its own. Sometimes in life you don’t plan for things. They just happen. I believe the key is to put your heart into what you love. If you do that, you should be fine.
[via FMK’s Facebook Page]