Monday, August 27, 2007

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Black Belt thinking

How do I judge whether or not a class I have taught, ws a successful class or not?
Simple answer: If I have left people thinking more clearly or differently about the subject matter that was presented, I have done my job well. I love getting people thinking. To me this is one of the most important cornerstones of the martial arts instructors job. Sure, we all love to learn new ways to get submissions or put together better combinations, but getting people thinking and improving their understanding of the universal principles at work when we do these things - that's what is ultimately, the most important thing.
In the martial arts industry, THINKING, can be pretty thin on the ground. But THINKING, is what drives us forward and upward. THINKING raises the bar.
Having students understand how techniques evolve and why they evolve, allows them to better contribute to that process themselves. Having students understand the bio-mechanics and physics that underpin the techniques they do, allows them to make improvements on those techniques and better aply other, similar techniques. The process of UNDERSTANDING, on my mat, begins the day I teach them their first lesson. I don't believe in waiting until people are at an advanced level before I start them on their teaching apprenticeship - that begins on the same day as their first lesson. Helping people to be better THINKERS is to enable and empower them, beyond the boundaries of the mat.
THINKING is fun, THINKING is good - but THINKING requires discipline and practice just like any other skill.
Train Safe - Train Smart.
JBW

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