What Is An Instructor ?
A genuine instructor is someone who teaches for the good of others and manages to encourage, inspire and guide, pass on their knowledge and keep you on the correct martial art path.
A Master is someone who teaches not only the physical side of Taekwondo but who touches on their own life experiences to help and guide another person through both good and bad times. Therefore it is vital that an instructor teaches TaekwonDO. The technique is nothing without the way and the student cannot progress without the DO.
Tips and advice for instructors and black belts when teaching.
To get the most out of your students, whatever your martial art, you need to have the following; DISCIPLINE, RESPECT, PATIENCE, A CRITICAL EYE (for both mistakes as well as good technique) and also you must be able to COMMUNICATE with your students.
If you do not enforce discipline into your lessons students will have NO respect for you. This doesn’t have to be done in a disciplinarian manner. You can still have control over the lesson and use humour or other methods to get your point across. As long as the student is respectful when you are teaching and whilst in the Dojang. Remember respecting someone and liking someone are totally different things. As a martial art instructor your job is to instruct in a safe environment and get the best out of every single student you teach.
Lack of respect means the majority of students will not listen and will have no respect for what they are learning, for who is teaching them it and for themselves. This should not be seen as game-playing and messing around. It’s not a youth club and students no matter what age will appreciate a passionate approach to learning as opposed to the undisciplined one.
As long as a student is putting effort and concentration into trying to correct a technique or learn a new movement then you have to be patient.
People, depending on age, ability and aptitude, learn things at different rates so every student should be treated as an individual. Try and stress to all students that progression in the martial arts is not a race and because of the above factors you should never compare yourself to anyone else.
As an instructor you need to learn the difference between giving gentle encouragement to those students who are trying their best and harder methods of motivation for those students who may be lazy. It’s a matter of finding a balance between the two and knowing when and which method to use. It is all down to experience.
The martial arts are all about building up self confidence. Remember how much influence you have as a black belt or instructor. One wrong word from you, even if meant in humour, could totally destroy someone’s confidence if taken the wrong way. So take time and think over your methods of teaching.
A good instructor should point out both good and bad technique so that students understand what they need to improve on and also build up their confidence. Too much praise can lead to a big head whereas too much criticism can lead to lack of confidence. It is important that you learn to balance the two.
Instructors should NEVER let bad technique go unnoticed. Once students, regardless of grade, have acquired a bad habit it is extremely difficult to correct. The longer it is practiced wrong the longer it takes to put right, which means you end up with higher grades having sloppy and incorrect technique. The more basics students practice the better their martial art foundation to build on. Simple exercises like hand tightly on the hip and correct stances are fundamental in any martial art.
A GOOD INSTRUCTOR WILL ALWAYS CORRECT INCORRECT TECHNIQUE.
A lot of adult black belts hold back from opening a club or teaching in their own club because they are constantly training themselves. You should want to pass on your teachings and knowledge. Imagine if your instructor had that selfish attitude then you would not be here today. Always try and instill this unselfishness into your students and gradually build up their confidence to teach.