I Want to be like the instructor
We often have people come in and watch a class without wanting to participate, most do, but on occasion some don’t. This one individual that came in to watch our classes, returned for multiple days just to watch, never participating. During one conversation, he said he was waiting for the instructor to demonstrate how he moved so he could see if he wanted to be like that instructor, if he did, then he would consider joining.
Well, here is a dose of reality, he will never be like that instructor or any other, just like I will never be like my instructors! And if that is the standard by which he measures the quality of a school, then he frankly has no clue.
Let me explain. How a person moves, i.e., performs a technique, a Kata, etc, is not an indicator of whether he or she can transfer knowledge and create good students. Aside from that, we all have different physical make ups, injuries, limitations, reasons for training, mind sets, life experiences, purpose for teaching, all of which play a factor in how a person trains, which translates into how they move. There are many martial artists that move beautifully, They flow gracefully along the mats, it is inspiring to watch, but that only means that THEY can do that.
Will you, after training with someone for some time, be able to move similar to them, YES, but that is because you have internalized the principles being taught at that school. You will have taken those principles and made them your own, adapted them to how your body moves. So it is the principles that are mimicked, physical and well as philosophical, not just empty motion.
See, unless you take the time to understand the philosophy and culture of the school, the mentality of the instructors and the performance of the students, you won’t know if this is the school for you. You need to understand what you are looking for first. Are you looking for a self-defense, traditional martial arts rooted in asian philosophies, a traditional arts that is showy and elaborate in motion, or school that is focused on sport and competition. If you don’t know what you are looking for, then what does it matter how an instructor moves, if he/she can’t properly teach that you are looking for?
If it is self defense, do they have an understanding of violence, do they do drills that address the different facets of an altercation, do they talk about the issues that are relevant to dealing with a violent encounter instead of how to win a trophy at the next tournament.
So what is this all about? Only by knowing what you are looking for will you know if a school and those instructors can give you that experience. Do not rely on the flashy show offs that will try to baffle you with BS and dazzle you with brilliance. Look at the training methodology of that school and make sure it aligns with what you are looking for. In our school our focus is on self defense.
Remember, Your Life, Your Choice, How You Train Matters