Philosophy of Teaching
I strongly believe that teaching is an art. My philosophy is that a good instructor should be able to modify the techniques being instructed, in order to conform to a student’s age and physical capabilities. Having a physical education degree with a specialization in teaching orthopedically handicapped and neurologically impaired children changed the way I view instruction. Activities must be carefully taught in order for the child (or student) to succeed at the motor skills and achieve self-gratification. This is what I love about teaching. I enjoy watching students grasp the content, skills and or activities that they are learning. The reward I gain is being apart of that positive feedback experience. I feel that this is one of the reasons why my approach to teaching is very effective.
In today’s world, there are many adults who have never had good motor skills taught to them previously in their life. Young adults are no different with very little physical activity due to pre-occupation with electronic games. In addition to the later, an over consumption of fast foods have contributed to the obesity epidemic in this country and has assisted in the de-conditioning of their already poor motor skills. So imagine a student trying to do roll-outs or break-falls. Envision this student trying to be kinesthetically aware of their body when being throw or when practicing grappling maneuvers. Picture that same student trying to learning striking skills or joint locks. A good instructor must always take into consideration a student’s age and his or her age related disorders. By modifying techniques the instructor can help the student succeed, enjoy learning and continue training in martial arts.
This is why I approach and teach each student with a perspective that they can succeed in learning the necessary skills without the tournament mentality many schools have. This teaching method also provides a different relationship with my students, as compared to the more traditional approach I was exposed too. In the traditional setting, the teacher (whether it was a Sensei or Sifu) was held in such high esteem. It was as if they were almost worshiped and seemed unapproachable. My method is to provide a friendly learning atmosphere with a hands-on approach. It is not a militaristic or a hostile learning environment. I hope that the martial arts community realizes that the population of the world is getting older and a tournament mentality is very limited to a small percentage of participants. Martial arts is for everyone and should be taught as a lifetime activity.