How to tell if Martial Arts Instructor is Competent
Wowee kazowee! Bruce Lee/Chuck Norris/Jackie Chan was the greatest! My martial arts instructor can beat your martial arts instructor! And, now that we have put childish attitudes aside, we can ask ourselves the question, how can you tell if a martial arts instructor knows his stuff. Choosing an instructor, after all, is one third the game in becoming a good martial artist ourselves. The other two necessities are whether the system is any good, and whether the student is any good. The first quality is whether he can communicate. Does he stand off and pronounce from on high, or does he grin right into your face and tell you what he thinks. Cheerful is best, but even abrasive is okay, if he is really talking to you. Another quality is whether he can get you to understand what he is saying. When he says square, do you see square, or something else? This is especially important when one attempts to share theory that can get heady and esoteric. Then there is the question of whether he actually knows anything. Yes, he may be a grand poobah, and know a thousand techniques, but can he tell you how and why they work? Is he a monkey see monkey do instructor, or one that knows the real reasons why the martial arts work or don’t work. Now we come to the all important question, can he beat people up. Okay, I don’t mean that the way it sounds. But your instructor should be able to defend himself adequately against real attackers. Now here’s one that’s going to sneak up on you. Is he too willing to defend himself? Unfortunately, many martial arts instructors breed an attitude which pulls in fights, and it is better to teach people how to fight so that they don’t ever have to fight. Okay, that is my take on it all. Argue if you want, but the fact is an instructor should be able to communicate, have something to communicate, and not encourage people to fight no matter what. Confidence, competence, and all the other martial arts related virtues are their own reward. The best Martial Arts Instructor course is, of course the Master Instructor Course at MonsterMartialArts.com. Here’s a great article on Martial Arts ranking systems.