Teaching martial arts isn’t easy. There is a lot that doesn’t feel natural…putting your fist through a board, most of the stances, learning all the techniques in Japanese, etc. I often remind new students that “if it feels uncomfortable, you’re probably doing it right.”
There are some lessons that teach themselves (like blocking your head when you see a foot coming towards it Walker Texas Ranger style), but for the rest, here are some fantastic things about teaching:
1) New students never know what they aren’t capable of doing. They surprise themselves and me too.
2) Watching younger students grow up from squirrely little guys to fighters and teachers.
3) Watching adult students become stronger, more flexible, and proud of themselves for reaching difficult goals. They are always their worst critic and worst enemy. Pogo was right, “I have met the enemy and he is me.”
4) Bragging on students. Nothing beats telling people why you are proud of them…it’s like a drug.
5) Blocking practice: It’s like getting paid. We have a padded stick that’s just perfect for encouraging proper form. It doesn’t hurt but makes a properly frightening noise.
6) Seeing students re-invest…helping teach lower belts, working on benevolence projects, and being part of demonstration teams.
I am not a parent, but I’m guessing that an ultimate source of pride would be witnessing a child grow, succeed and help others to do the same. I can say for certain, that’s the best thing about teaching.
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