I have always read about, researched and wrote about the different arts I have learned as well as trying to read as much about other arts I have been interested in. I think it has helped me learn at a quicker pace and in today’s world, video and DVD can substitute for books but you can’t substitute having a teacher! It is essential to get the little things and they are the things that make a difference.
I like to think that anybody who has trained with me has always come away with as much as they wanted and what they needed from the lesson, I used to lesson plan everything and chart progress for students so I could determine the best way to help them achieve goals but then it became tedious and quite boring so I decided to take a more instinctive approach and it seemed to work for me and the students. I think this approach would not work with a large amount of students but as I mainly taught between 8-10 who were already instructors it seemed to work well.
If I taught larger groups it was usually as a workshop so I needed to plan and teach to the groups level taking into account what they had learned previously and what the next step will be.
I have taught for over 20 years and I am still enthusiastic about passing on my knowledge to anyone who is interested I only ask that you are respectful, loyal and honest, if I am not teaching what you want or need let me know I might be able to point you in the right direction as what I teach is not for everyone but they are always welcome to try and find out.
Those of you who can be bothered reading this blog maybe think I have jumped from one art to another but I can assure you that I have not started to learn an art unless I had a competency and was teaching the other other art I was practising. So that is my first rule if you get a good grounding in one style before moving on, this does not mean getting a black belt but maybe getting some teaching experience as it helps and really learning the basics of whatever style you choose.
There is no secrets in martial arts, the only secret is practise and you must practise everyday to reap the rewards, I was lucky in that my first teacher Chu Sifu frightened me so that if he gave me something to practise I did it till he said stop not because I was scared physically but I was worried he would tell me to leave and I wanted so much to learn from him, that work ethic as helped me over the years and I am sure if you contacted any of the teachers I have mentioned and asked about me they would say I am a hard worker. Many people have said I am a natural at Martial arts, I don’t believe that as I have worked long and hard to get the skills I have and I am still working everyday to improve. My teacher in China paid me a great compliment, he said I was worth teaching because I worked hard. My friends teacher Wen Laoshi commented I was a good student, as even when it was snowing I was in the park at 7.30am.
My enthusiasm has waned like everybody else over the years and I have had bad times, but I have never stopped training it is this that builds your character and gives you the mental attitude to face and deal with problems, in my darkest days I could practise and feel better, remember you practise for your benefit not others! So get out there and prove to yourself, you are who you think, be positive! Learn, teach and more important enjoy your chosen art or arts after all this is just the rantings of a martial arts anorak who will never stop training and sharing what he knows as long as there are people who want to learn.
If anyone reading this wants any help or advice they think I can give please get in touch.