A friend of mine said something many years ago that has remained with me ever since and that was;
“Embrace the ones you love with Open Arms”
We were talking about partners and relationships but I think it applies just the same for Martial Arts instructors.
As an instructor, when I enter the dojo, I see not only students, but friends and loved ones. People whose progress and discovery of everything that Martial Arts represents and offers lies in my hands.
People who have put their trust and faith in me to ensure I take them down safe and honest paths, with measured challenges and opportunities for growth along the way.
“Do I think I have all the answers?”
Most definitely, 100%, NOT!
Which is why, I embrace my students with open arms and encourage them out of the nest to seek other instruction, be it in different styles or even in the same arts that I teach.
This article isn’t in any way intended to “big myself up” or preach about what a fantastic instructor I am. I am still a student after all.
But, if I don’t have all the answers and if I truly have my student’s best interests at heart then I have to send them out and encourage them to seek from as many sources as they can. In fact, it is my responsibility to help them and I would go one step further to say, it is my duty of care to teach them the philosophies of martial arts and go out and find those other sources of instruction on their behalf.
Embracing with open arms however, comes with a bucket load of fears.
Fear that my own classes will slowly empty
Fear that the instructrs I send my students to will be better than me and so my students will never return
Fear that my students will find a passion for arts that I cannot teach and so have no further need for my own tuition
Fear that I will be exposed for being a bad instructor, with poor technique and a lack of ability to live up to my own hype
And so the list goes on.
But, my duty as an instructor is to deal with each and everyone of those fears and to never ever impart them onto my own students.
The natural reaction to everyone one of those fears is the same; to close the doors on my class and tie my students in to only being allowed to train with me.
And so, the moment I act on any of those fears, means to prevent my students from becoming the very best they can be.
Not only does this prevent the ones who have trust in me from being the best they can be, it also shows them I have not mastered control of my own fears and so how can I ever expect my students to be able to master theirs!
“No”, I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t know many who do.
So I encourage you all to venture out and seek from as many sources of expertise as you can and you should also expect those who support, teach, train and love you to encourage you to do the same.
I’ll leave you with a generous, open-armed hug of my own
Stay Safe and Have Fun
Personal Safety Expert
If you are interested in experiencing a wide range of arts, without the commitment to other clubs and associations, why not consider the CSP Masterclass for 2011.
We are teaching over 12 different arts, with specialist guest instructors helping out each month to bring you world class instruction in arts which will blend and compliment what you already do.
Equally, if you’re considering getting into martial arts, this course is a fantastic way to gain a taster in a diverse selection of styles so that you can move on in the direction you like the most.
visit http://www.completeselfprotection.com/Masterclass.html for full details