I am in shock right now. It was just brought to my attention that Livingsocial sold online personal training certifications for $148 and sold 1,162 of them! I get that people want to pursue their career of choice and become a trainer but is this really the way to do it? Hey, maybe I should watch a documentary about space travel and call myself an astronaut… OK, maybe too much.
It seems like anyone can create a personal training certification company and start selling certifications, without any guidance, limitations or quality control. How can you possibly become a good personal trainer by only taking an online course, without any hands on experience? There definitely are many individuals who have been training for years, would make great trainers but are missing the papers. For others, this might be the first step of many to come so they can become a fitness trainer. Fully understandable, however the majority of these vouchers sold are most likely to people who think it would be fun to be a trainer, have no background whatsoever and think this will suffice (thank you tv networks for creating a certain image).
This kind of practice degrades our industry. I spent 3 years in college, graduated cum laude and continue to pursue more skills and knowledge to make myself a better trainer. Throughout college, my peers and I had about 32 hours of classes every week, of which 10-12 hands on sports practice, coaching etc. In my mind, there is simply no way you can become a trainer by only taking an online course and test (which you can use your lesson material for).
There are fantastic trainers who are not certified or never went to school for sure but you can see my point. Some of the individuals who purchased this deal will still charge the same as a qualified, properly instructed trainer does. This practice undervalues the real trainers, is dangerous and unethical.
I personally still take courses (as I did with TRX and Kettle Bell because when I went to school for my degree, this was not practiced yet in Europe) and these are great if you are a trainer with a strong base and a thorough understanding of training, physiology, anatomy, exercise form etc. It is not great for people who have never trained clients before and think that, once they take the one day course, they can call themselves a trainer. For example, when I did my TRX certification course, there were some wonderful trainers there but also loud annoying individuals who didn’t even have the slightest understanding of what training is about! You can talk all you want but your clients won’t gain from it. So let’s raise the standards! Let’s make a harder to become a trainer! I spent my time, money, blood and sweat to become the trainer I am today and it is my mission to keep improving as long as I can.
Sorry for being so upfront but a person can’t call him/herself a doctor after watching ER right? Pretty much the same thing.
By Sander Vanacker, owner, head instructor and personal trainer .
Define Defense in Boulder, CO
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Self Defense Classes & Workshops
- Personal Training
- TRX / Cross Training Classes
- Kettle Bell
- Warrior Training
1805 11th Street Suite B
Boulder, CO 80302
For a very long time, there were no colored belt ranks in martial arts. Judo was the first art that introduced colored belts to indicate ranks. Knowing that Judo originated in the late 19th century, the colored belt rank system is a rather new development in martial arts.
Many stories have circulated about why and how the colors we use today came to be. One theory is that martial artist a long time ago did not wash their belts. This means that, the more they practiced the dirtier it became and eventually became a black belt. Fortunately this is not the case anymore since I am pretty sure some would go take a hike on the muddiest day of the year wearing their belt...
Although many people believe this theory is true, it is (most likely) not.
The most accepted explanation about colored belts is simply that martial artists in that period of time dyed their belts. Since it is much easier to dye a lighter colored belt darker than vice versa, our current increasingly darker rank colors came to existence.
After this method had been practiced in Japan, other martial arts all over the world adapted since it was a practical way to indicate ranks.
Every martial art has its own belt system with often different colors or variations. Often you will find yellow, orange, green, blue, brown etc. However in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you will find fewer levels: white, blue, purple, brown & black. This does not mean it is easier to obtain a black belt though.
Just as there are differences in belts, there are also many differences in curricula and testing as well. No martial art style and even studio is the same. Unfortunately, the popularity and commercialization has often led to lower standards and quality since some organizations give away belts without quality control. I have experienced this firsthand; let me explain.
Being a student of the Flemish Budo Federation was extremely strict and their curriculum is first class. We have several extremely professional individuals who make sure of that. For example, there are a few people who are chief instructors of the police arrest teams and special police teams. Anyway, being a student in my teenage years was a great experience. I joined national and international tournaments in which I had to compete with students of other organizations. Often, I had to compete against other individuals who were 3 belts ahead of me. Even though I had the odds against me on paper, most of the times I won. This was a clear sign to me that belts do not always matter, what matters are your skills and the quality of instruction. Since then, I realized I would rather have a lower belt and know that I am worthy than having a higher belt just to show it around and (falsely) impress people with it while being unable to protect myself and others.
With this in mind, I have created a strong curriculum with quality instruction that is achievable for everyone! We diversify within our classes and we offer a wide array of programs so nobody will miss out. Everyone will be able to advance at their own pace. I promise all off my students that they will progress quickly and be a well rounded martial artist that is worthy of his/her belt. You will never have to worry about whether you are capable enough. Every class you attend, you will be a huge step closer towards a higher rank. Our main focusses are quality, diversity, safety and providing a workout you will remember for a few days!
Take a look at our different programs as our priorities shift between all these different curricula in order to provide the best instruction for everyone. It is truly our mission to be the best in what we do!