There are a few, what I call wimpy martial-arts instructors, who hold back information from their students. These martial-arts teachers have an ego that prevents their students from being the best they can be.
Fortunately, there are martial-arts teachers who know that their students represent them. They want their students to excel. And they wish the best for their students — these instructors really want to pass on the art.
What follows is a suggestion on how martial-arts teachers can help their students to improve a faster rate and more thoroughly learn martial arts:
Students Learn Martial Arts Outside of Class
Face it — students “do” learn martial arts outside of your class. It happens whether you want it to or not.
Control-freak instructors don’t want their students exposed to any inferior (or “different”) martial arts. They want to control the input to their students.
It makes sense, but preventing outside access to martial information does limit the learning. For that reason, I don’t put limits on my charges.
Note: Even learning useless martial arts outside of class is a great teaching opportunity for you. Help the student to understand why the move or application lacks efficiency or its other problems.
You want your students to practice outside of class, right? Well, practice could potentially expose them to other martial arts. And your students may also experiment with what they see in the movies or on TV.
Martial Arts Teacher Panic
Does the thought of your students learning extra material bother you? Does it panic you?
I advise that you release your grip. Allow your students to learn as much as they can. (I know; it seems risky.)
In fact, take control of … releasing control.
As a teacher, you can give your martial-arts students assignments to complete outside of class. And in assigning homework, you exhibit more control than just letting them soak up material from wherever.
What kind of martial-arts homework assignments?
The Best Task To Give Your Martial-Arts Students
Of course you should have your students practice martial arts outside of class (I even wrote an ebooklet on the subject). But that’s not what I am referring to here:
Give your students a “READING” assignment. And no, I am not kidding.
When your students have to figure out techniques and strategies from the written word, they don’t have a moving video to copy. It means they have to figure things out.
The exploration is great for them.
Also, you are encouraging reading. And you already know how beneficial that is to the mind.
Reading is a great way to release control … while still maintaining control.
You’ll also be helping them to learn more than you are presenting in the class. It gives you something to discuss at the next class. It’s a way to judge who takes your instructions and assignments seriously (could be important for promotion). And you may even learn something new from your faithful researchers.
Teachers, Make The Martial Research Practical
One last bit of advice: make your directives practical. Don’t send them on wild goose chases. Don’t waste their time.
Make sure they are researching something useful Some ‘juicy martial technique.’
Let the learning serve as some of the reward. Make it good stuff.
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Keith Pascal is a full-time martial arts writer, a former high school teacher, and has instructed martial arts for over 25 years.