This question pops up every now and then. A good question really. Here’s my answer and its my answer alone because, of course, it can differ to each teacher you ask.
We Only Got an Hour
One of the hardest things about being a martial arts teacher is to do a lifetime’s worth of work squeezed into one hour in the training session. Then in that one hour, teachers only get a percentage of that hour to translate the physical activity to the philosophies we admire and strive to honorably live in everyday. Delivering life lessons in that one hour with the demands of the instant gratification culture, doctors that do not see the human body as being built to withstand anything and the competing for attention has made a martial arts teacher a true unsung hero. I’m not talking about world champion athletes that give tips here and there or make cool technique videos on YouTube. I’m talking about the teacher that lliterally opened the doors to their house to help people.
With the help of technological devices, various social media platforms and the ever evolving creativity of doctors imagining new terms on describing emotions, quality martial arts teachers should be in high demand. But today, studying emotional substance is almost always spotlighted as a negative. I mean, who teaches how to express emotions properly? Is there a spot in public school dedicated to teaching children how to be aware of one’s emotional state? Good ways and bad ways can both be looked at with the awkward eye if expressed against of the status quo. And the restless child that wants to exercise no longer has that opportunity. They say, “Swings are dangerous, tether ball is unfair and the jungle gym is a death trap.” It was all replaced with something else like a doctor convicing young parents about things kids can swallow with the aid public schools who influences them to supress naturally occuring energy because its “disruptive”. Hey!!! They’re kids! Do you remember what its like being a kid who daydreamed and wanted to play outside? Curious…do kids play outside anymore?
Everyone needs training. In all types of skills. When you get a new job, you have to get training even after you tell the employer you have a lot of education. Academics and expectations alone will not structure the mind with the hopeful and anticipated results. After all that is said and done for the children, when they are middle age, thats when the doctors change their tune and say you need to exercise. It all starts in teaching kids how to do it properly when they are young. Who will stand out in front to teach kids how to focus their energies? How about when puberty hits? When the natural hormonal change in their bodies will be diagnosed with medical terms that illicit there is something wrong with the child. When I was growing up, bullies were bullies and peer pressure was abundant. I was taught that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. When did that meaning go away? Today, all I see is over sophistication of explaining what normal is to the point of being abnormal. Ridiculous.
Mind Body Spirit
“Mind Body Spirit!” This is what I have my students say at the beginning of each kids class. It serves as a reminder that we need all three to become the person we were meant to become. I say it every blue moon in my adult’s class especially when there are aspiring fighters wanting to compete. One of those alone will not achieve the result desired. It takes all three. It is my own personal belief that agressiveness is in the very nature of human beings and there is a lack of education to make sense of the martial triad. I cannot achieve explaining it all in this brief and incomplete blog post. You’ll just have to find a great martial arts teacher and have a discussion about their philosophies. Then you’ll know.
Teaching children is an accomplishment. Getting children excited about learning is an achievement.