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How To Teach The Martial Arts
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How To Teach The Martial Arts

So, you have decided that you want to teach the Martial Arts. Maybe you based this decision on your love of your particular art. Or, you like teaching and want to help others get out of your art what you have. You might feel that a Martial Arts studio is a relatively inexpensive way to have your own business and be your own boss. Whatever the reason, every instructor is faced with the dilemma of how to teach the Martial Arts.

A good instructor does not necessarily have to be able to perform his or her art at an excellent level. Being a great kicker does not guarantee being able to teach others how to kick. Knowing how to teach the Martial Arts is much more important that being able to perform that art. I'm not so sure that Angelo Dundee, the boxing trainer of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, was much of a fighter himself but boy could he teach! You have to be able to break down techniques to their most basic levels then reconstruct them one step at a time. It's not enough to say, "Look at this kick. Now you do it!" It must be more like, "Knee up, extend, recoil, now set down in a good stance!"

You will command a great deal of respect when you teach. At our studio we had doctors, lawyers, and airline pilots calling us Mr. and Mrs. and Sir and Ma'am! As an instructor, you must respect your students as well. Take the time and discover what their needs are. Do they need more confidence, more discipline, more fitness? Do they take well to criticism or do they need to be handled with kid gloves? How hard can you push them before they quit? These are all very important questions and you need to discern the answers to them on the fly when you are learning how to teach the martial Arts.

Teaching is not your opportunity to shine, it is your students. Your job is to try to make your students better than you in the end. If your students really respect you then there achievements and growth will never be a threat to you.

In conclusion, how to teach the martial arts is as much about relationships as it is about techniques. If you really care about your students and their growth they will benefit no matter how long they stay and train with you. Teaching is a very selfless activity but the rewards are well worth the effort.


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