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All instructors need an imaginary time-machine. They need to be able to relate to what it’s like for a rank beginner to start out on their martial arts journey. It is so very easy for elite level instructors to forget what it is like for someone to work up the courage and walk into a martial arts school, for the very first time.
As instructors, although we need to challenge our students, I feel we also have a duty of care to nurture them; to guide them to a place where they can see the benefits of training, accept that challenges are a part of any worthwhile endeavour and inch their way forward toward real skill-acquisition. We need to look after them; physically and emotionally. Training is completely futile, if new students give up before they make any headway.
People need help, guidance, assistance, nurturing … that is why they come to us in the first place. The first rule of instruction is to care about your students - their lives are not our lives; their feelings are not our feelings; they are unique beings … who have made the remarkable decision to place themselves in our care. We all need to reward their faith with the respect and attention it deserves. JBW