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Quality of Students
The quality of instruction in a dojang may be judged by the quality of the students. Observe classes held for students of different belt levels.
Do the students appear to:
- Enjoy their training at all belt levels.
- Act friends with each other during and after class.
- Show respect for each other, the instructors, visitors, and the art of Taekwondo.
- Show the level of expertise expected of a student of that rank. If you saw the students training while not wearing any rank identification, could you accurately guess the belt level of each student, or would you be surprised to learn that a poorly performing student was actually a high ranked student.
- Student respect and discipline may be forced or natural; watch how the students react when the instructor is not within sight. If they step languidly through the motions or chat with one another, their previous show of respect and discipline was a facade.
- Talk to several students. Ask them how long they have studied at the school, what they like about it, who teaches most of the classes, etc. Do not ask them what is wrong with the school; that puts them on the spot to criticize their school and instructor. It will make you look bad if you attend the school. Just ask what they like about the school and read between the lines the best you can.
- At tournaments, how does the proficiency of the students rate against students of other dojangs? When sparring, how do the students react with they lose? What loyalties do the students feel toward the instructor and the dojang?
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