In a conversation and now I'm working something out.
I have a book's worth of examples - personal examples as a student, stories from other people I know and I'm sure there are my own unconsciously stupid moments at the front of a class.
But who wants to read about all the ways we can screw up self-defense instruction? There's a riveting bedtime story for you (read this dripping with sarcasm).
Thinking about ways to categorize it. Tags to chunk the information together and make it easy -or at least easier - to see dangerous instruction when it's happening.
Although the tags I am playing with could be as wrong as they may be accurate - it would be cool for students to have a framework as they started looking into choosing their training programs, wouldn't it? But it's more likely that most people looking for training are going to make their choices based on convenience. Convenient location, convenient scheduling, convenient cost. And that's too bad because that is a horrible litmus test by which to measure the value of your training.
That in mind, getting clear about dangerous instruction may be more valuable for instructors, people coaching, guiding, opening doors...whatever you want to call it. The goal with these tags is to keep them to a limited number. Broad categories. Too many measures and we will blow it off.
Right now I have three. I'm still working it out...
Lazy Teaching: instructors who don't take the time to think about what they are teaching or saying. Parroting their own instructors without actually wondering whether or not those axioms are valid. Drinking System kool-aid, these instructors may be using loyalty to their Sensei, Sifu, etc. as validation. It's a monkey brain trick designed to fool your human brain into napping instead of gut-level honest evaluation.
Guru Teaching: instructors who are teaching so they can develop a band of loyal followers, people who hang in her (or his) every word and admonished for their own efforts at personal discovery. This goes deep because if the instructor is also lazy and just drinks the kool-aid of their own style - then the students' learning will be deeply controlled. If this student is ever in a real encounter that doesn't match the controlled fantasies of the training experience...the consequences will be devastating.
Fad Teaching: take Krav Maga as an example. When it gained popularity instructor certification programs started popping up. Give us a weekend of your time and we'll make you a Krav Maga instructor. Problem with this is when the weekend-certified instructor gets asked a question she doesn't know the answer to...now what? Ego is going to be a factor. It's hard to admit that your training might have been insufficient for the job at hand and rather than say I don't know, Fad Certified instructors are likely to make-up an answer...and state it as fact.
it's a start.