Teachers have a grand responsibility to transfer their knowledge. Within any profession there are good teachers, and well,… not-so-good ones. Teachers who possessed confidence, assertiveness, and empathy are indelibly stamped in our memories.
Sub-par teachers hide their shortcomings in counter-productive obstacles. An insecure teacher will limit knowledge transfer to prevent a student from superseding their skills. They treat knowledge as a glass ceiling as if to say, “I want you to be good, but not better than me”. Students are treated as rivals – balancing knowledge transfer with protecting a position of dominance.
When a teacher views their students as opponents, then knowledge transfer is significantly compromised. The student is shielded from learning their deepest “secrets” for fear of a leadership confrontation, sometime in the future. The student also has a responsibility of maintaining respect. Their goal is to learn, not to win. In our article, MARTIAL ARTS • FIGHTING SCIENCE • 5 • YIN ☯ YANG OF EMPTY VS. FULL CUPS, we explore how a student’s ego clouds learning.
To learn effectively,
a student must check their ego at the door.
Insecurity leads to complicated interactions in society, not just in combat sports. These issues play out in all layers of society – between colleagues, friends, and family members. It’s essential to recognize how our own insecurities affect us externally and internally. Identifying these weaknesses is the first step to improving the students under their care.
A confident teacher will take the necessary steps for ensuring their students reach their full potential, even if this means exceeding their abilities. This is the ultimate goal. The moment this happens a magical milestone is acknowledged with pride. This day may also mark the end of their engagement. Both recognize the need for the student to find a new teacher to take their skills to the next level. It’s a humbling moment indeed, but should be accepted with dignity.
Teachers are forever students.
A humble teacher knows that knowledge is continuous. Teachers are forever students. Everyone offers a fresh perspective. It takes confidence to learn from the most novice student and be open to fresh perspectives.
About the Author
Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.
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Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series
If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:
• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable