We can train others only when we can train ourselves

There are two schools of thought within the martial arts world for some time now, one being the so-called “art of the warrior” and the other being the “art of the teacher.”

The “art of the warrior” is a system developed and taught by the martial teacher to train in the art of war and battle. The teaching of this particular system is in many cases the best, or at least is in my own opinion the best way of training and teaching martial arts. However, the “art of the teacher” is an art that is always taught to trainees. This art can be taught any time you want to, as long as you are within the scope of the instructor teaching it. The one being taught is teaching their system in a way that the students can learn. The art of teacher teaching is very much like a language – the teachers of their system are the “speakers.” As long as the students follow the directions given by the “speaker,” the art can be trained and become “proficient” in their system.

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The question is, how much direction is enough? How much direction is too much? How much direction can the student follow? Well, the students need to know that they have to go through the right steps in order to be proficient in what is taught, and these steps are taught to the students by the instructors. When people are taught to walk, it is through the steps of walking, the instructors are the ones putting the steps in place and guiding the students – the students are the ones that have to follow these steps. Similarly, when students are taught to walk, it is through the training of the instructors who guide the class into the steps that are necessary for them to reach the “proficient walk” that we have to say with certainty – we cannot expect the students to just jump in anywhere, or blindly leap over any obstacles. The same stands true when it comes to the art of martial arts – when training martial arts, the instructor has to be an instructor.

proficient walk

He is the one who has to guide the students into the proper path of training that is necessary for their martial arts skills. This is the teaching that the instructor is trying to impart to the student, even when he is very “short” with the students.