When looking for a martial arts school to join or even re-evaluate whether the current school you belong to meets your needs and desires, it is important to evaluate two (2) main aspects, the teacher and his relationship with his or her Students. As a student, there are three (3) irreplaceable things you give as you commit yourself to a style, system, school, or instructor. These three irreplaceable things are your attention, time, and trust. Of course, you should already have clarified what your main purpose is for training in any particular martial art. If your goal is recovery with little progress then these paragraphs may not be for you, but if, on the other hand, you are looking for a workout that will change, challenge, and improve your life, health, and self-preservation then What I’m About to Say, What I Will Say Requires serious consideration.
The first assessment is about your teacher’s ambition to perfect their own craft. Is this person self-determined, motivated and inspired by the system itself to continue their education by all means?
The teacher should be active in his teaching. You should teach, train, and validate the material in each class. A real teacher will never give an excuse for not being able to train; they will not shy away from their students or outside observers watching them train with their students or with their own teachers and supervisors. You can clearly see her motivation to perfect her craft and to run it as a real professional.
A teacher should not only be able to explain to his students how to train on their own, but should also be able to demonstrate these solo training methods precisely and perfectly at all speeds and levels of progression. A top class teacher has a formula or ritual for their own solo training and there is never a lack of exercise. Every movement is precisely executed with authority and professionalism.
In class, you should always see the teacher actively participating in the forms, exercises and sparring, doing his rounds with each student and showing the right level of training, teaching and coaching with each individual. A true teacher works with his student to achieve his student’s success. This means that a teacher is willing to put themselves in controlled positions of risk and vulnerability in order to get the best performance out of their student. You should be able to clearly see that during this process, the teacher is in full control of the exercise or sparring while immersing the student in the game. The instructor should master both reach and timing, and place himself in vulnerable positions to encourage his student to recognize and seize these opportunities while maintaining the safety of himself and the student.
After carefully observing the authoritative and professional behavior of the teacher, it is time to take a look at the students and evaluate them. Students demonstrate the personality, skills and leadership of the teacher in relation to the education. Observe how students and teachers interact with each other, and how students interact with other students. Also, be aware of how the teacher and students act when they are not with a partner. Observe others, independently take notes and work on a skill, or just sit around with no intention of improving in any way.
With a professional instructor, no student is left behind, even those who may have a harder time grasping the information or physically applying the lessons. Patients are shown in the teacher even if the student is frustrated. A senior teacher understands this frustration, has experienced it before and should therefore know exactly how to lead this student out of his current impasse. A good teacher knows how to slow down and find the right way to properly explain and display the lessons to each of their students so that they can all understand the information presented. Especially when the teacher is frustrated. If the student eventually fails to grasp the material, it is the teacher’s failure, not the student’s.
The teacher does not ignore anyone. A real teacher always accepts his students’ questions and needs to train, practice and train with them. Make sure you never witness a teacher give a student an excuse not to go around and do some physical exercise and exercise with them.