YOU MUST ALWAYS RESPECT YOUR TEACHER EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE SURPASSED HIM
I also have a good relationship with my TKD instructor, and wouldn't want to leave him. Am I doing the right thing?
— Robert, USA
Basically, the choice is between being loyal to your teacher and staying with him, or leaving him for another teacher whom you believe will bring you more benefits. Many other people also have the same dilemma.
If the extra benefits are not great, the choice is not difficult. Most people will choose to stay with their current teachers. But if the extra benefits are tremendous and are what you have been yearning for in all your training, the choice becomes difficult.
If the teacher has not been kind or systematic, then one may not have any problem in leaving. But if the teacher is exemplary, even though his art or teaching may not be of a high level, then you would have a difficult choice. Often it is a choice between benefiting from the spiritual and moral influence of the teacher, or gaining measurable results from another teacher or art.
A few philosophical considerations will help you to make your choice easier. Learning from another teacher or another art does not mean you are being disloyal to your original teacher or art. I myself have learnt from a few teachers, and I am loyal and grateful to all of them. Moreover, a good teacher will encourage his students to learn from other teachers if this brings benefits to the students.
Even when you have surpassed your original teacher, by learning from another teacher or by your own development, you must always respect and honour him. Of course you must be very careful that your surpassing him will not cause him any embarrassment. Should others comment that you are better than your teacher, a good response is to tell them that it was due to your teacher's teaching that you could have such results.
The above is taken from Question 6 of June 2007 Part 2 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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