Let’s talk about teaching!
Maybe you are considering becoming a Martial Arts instructor or a Sifu, or maybe you are already teaching.
In both cases, I think that a deep understanding of your martial art and of your student’s needs is essential.
Aristotle once said that “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
These are some of the ideas that helped me build a long-term relationship with my students.
1. NEVER EVER EVER EVER, not in a Million Years, Bullshit your students.
People can smell a pile of crap from miles away.
Students can feel if you are exaggerating or if you are showing something you are not 100% sure about.
When this happens, you are actually planting a seed of doubt in your students’ head.
You are planting weeds in your garden, weeds that will eventually grow and take over.
The best way to teach, in my opinion, is to be as realistic as you possibly can. Stay away from mystic stories of grandmasters fighting 10 karateka, and flying Tai Chi masters.
If you are not 100% sure about something, don’t show it. Stick to the simple basics!
Just because it’s fancier don’t make it better!
2. Be down to earth
A lot of Martial Arts teachers like to set themselves apart from the rest of the ‘mortals’ and create this aura of invincibility around them.
At the same time, martial arts students have this subconscious want to believe that their teacher is somehow invincible. And that nobody on this earth can stop him/her.
And when this fake image is broken and the teacher falls from his high stool, trust is lost forever.
I think that this scenario happens when the teacher doesn’t really teach and keeps martial skill for himself, or the students are not really looking for a martial art, but some kind of pass time they can brag about to their friends.
People don’t come to you to learn mysticism or magic tricks.
People want to acquire a skill, people want to change their lives, people want to invest time and money into a better version of themselves.
If you position yourself as this untouchable magician, you are cutting them short of their full potential.
They subconsciously think that they will never be able to reach your level. You end up limiting your own students.
I think that the best is to let them know right from the beginning that you are also human. And that you can also make mistakes.
What you are giving them is a skill, just like reading and writing. You get better at it the more you do it.
And while some use skills like these to read the news and write text messages, others become poets and touch people’s lives.
3. Show them their potential
As a martial arts teacher, it is your duty to present your student to his or her true potential.
There was a time in your life, when you didn’t think that you’d ever come this far, but there was somebody that believed in you, who said: ‘Go ahead and take the next step!’
Don’t look at what they are now, always look at what they can become.
Help them see that for themselves!
It’s about putting your students’ needs before your own.
You do that by being patient, by publicly rewarding every small step forward and by being there for them when they actually need you.
When people feel that you are honestly interested in helping them, they will give back to you. But it needs to come from you first.
Always give before you ask!
These are some of the ideas that I use to create an awesome relationship with my students. I hope you can fully integrate these ideas into your teaching methods.
Did you enjoy reading this article? If you did, please share it with a friend!