5 Levels Of Teaching Martial Arts I Went Through As An Instructor
When I first started teaching I believed the martial arts was about teaching students to kick higher, punch harder, and making sure that students could “place” in a tournament. It was completely self-centered and ego driven. I based my success as an instructor on how many students could place in a tournament, who could win in a tournament, my own personal performance, and how many students I had.
I then learned that it wasn’t about me but how I could inspire the same passion in students. It was about how many students could stay and receive the honor of me wrapping a black belt around their waist. Even though this was growth as a instructor, it was still missing some pieces.
I discovered the next evolution of my teaching was more successful because how I defined the mission, values, and purpose of the school. By defining why we’re here, who we are, what we stand for, how we get students there, I started to see more results like more confident students. This level magnetically attracted students and parents who believed in us and martial arts program that we offered.
The more students I taught the more I realized that each child was different and needed a personalized approach not just to the physical training, but, personal development. I needed a way to systematically and repeatedly give each student what they needed personally. This led to the creation of a 6 step system that offered a personalized and customized experience in both the physical and personal development. I call it our 6 step Personal Development System. It had to work for the modern student and what they where struggling with in our modern society like bullying, instant gratification, entitlement, and the participation trophy mentality that crushes the very spirit needed for success.
I consider this to be the highest level and the holy grail of what it means to be a master instructor. The ability to inspire students to take what is practiced on the mat –and put that work in the community, school, home, and in the world. The ability help others who can’t help themselves, be a part of a church community, graduate college, become agents of change in all areas of their lives. How my students manifest the martial arts, in their lives off the mats has been the most exciting part of this journey
Easy… Nope….Worth It…Yes
This final evolution is what I committed to as an instructor because it is what brings me the most passion and allows me to put a small dent in the universe with my God given abilities.