Ten unconnected thoughts on training and teaching

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Ten unconnected thoughts on training and teaching
As I’ve been quite busy with work lately, I haven’t had much time to write out full length blog posts.

In the meantime, here are some random and unconnected thoughts informed by teaching this martial art for nearly 17 years.

  1. Before a teacher can ‘steal’ another teacher’s student, they have to think they own the student. They don’t. You can’t own people.
  2. As soon as someone starts to think of themselves as a teacher first, and a student second, instead of the other way around, they stop progressing. At best, they stand still.
  3. Get good at ukemi – if you’re good at ukemi, high ranking teachers will know that they can use you as uke without fear of an accident. By being uke, you’ll improve faster. Plus, it’s more fun and fun is important.
  4. We all have egos – they help to motivate us to want to improve.  However, never put yourself in a dangerous situation because of someone else’s ego.
  5. Train for your age. If you love the art and you’re lucky enough to be young, make your training physically challenging. That way, you’ll have learned the lessons hard physical training can teach you before the option is taken away from you by age.
  6. Basics are incredibly important. You can never be too good at basics.
  7. Understand what the strengths and weaknesses of your martial art are, and what your own strengths and weaknesses are, and know the difference between the two.
  8. Students in my dojo are free to train with anyone else, at any time, in this art or any other.
  9. The only valid reason to be in the dojo is because you want to be. Not because you feel you should be, or you said you would be, or because someone else wants you to be.
  10. Don’t want to be there? Feel free to take a break. Or not come back at all. Or come back if you feel like it. It’s up to you. You’re a grown up, so you’re best placed to make this decision.

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