The Importance of Choosing the
Best Martial Arts Instructor Possible
I was talking to my friend and teacher today, and during the conversation he stated how blessed he was to have had such a great instructor from an early age. When he said this, a light came on for both of us; not only can the right instructor set you on a course for success, in both martial arts and life, but the wrong instructor can set you up for failure in the martial arts and really affect your life in a negative way.
For example, let’s say instead of having a knowledgeable instructor, who taught you, not only correct techniques, but the correct attitude, philosophy, honor, character, meditation, etc., you had some guy who couldn’t tell the difference between honor and a rock, and couldn’t care less. Would your life turn out differently? I can guarantee it, especially if you were young and easily impressionable.
Let’s take the Karate Kid, Daniel Larusso, for an example. What if he had entered the Cobra Kai dojo before he had a problem with Johnny, one of the students from that dojo? Do you think he would have had the same attitude towards karate as he did after training with Mr. Miyagi? Of course not. Kids are easily impressed and look up to those who teach martial arts. Their instructor can change the whole course of their life.
I started my training in Shotokan with a great instructor from Japan. We didn’t get into character training, etc., but he did teach me good form, good techniques, and the correct attitude toward my martial arts. That set me on a certain path, with a certain attitude.
I knew nothing about martial arts when I walked into his dojo; finding him was pure luck. What if I would have walked into a dojo run by one of these people who are as fake as a three dollar bill? I would not be the same person, and certainly would not be the same type of martial artist.
I met a guy a few months back who bragged to me about putting 22 cops in the hospital one night when he was seventeen. He also claimed that he then went into the marines, knocked out 50 marines in a row during training and the marines declared him a “one-man army.” The went on to tell me about how he could stack 20 bricks and I could choose any one brick that I wanted, and that he could hit the stack and break only that one brick. Then he told me he held a 5th degree black belt in 5 different styles. Of course all of this was nothing more than ego babble meant to impress me, and in my mid fifties, I of course knew that immediately.
But think about it. When I first walked into my sensei’s dojo, I knew nothing about martial arts. What if I had walked into this guy’s dojo instead? I wouldn’t have known that he was full of hot air; I would how been wowed and ready to learn how to do all of those amazing feats.
Do you think my martial arts training would have been a bit different? What about my attitude toward martial arts or towards honor and character? Of course it would have been. Like I said, young men are highly impressionable; they look up to their sensei and hang on his or her every word. They believe in what that sensei tells them.
The right instructor can change the whole course of your life, but so can the wrong instructor. A good teacher can instill a life-long love of learning in a student, whereas, a bad teacher can make them hate school. The person who teaches your kids matters so much more than people realize.
Before you enroll your children, or yourself, in some martial arts class, make sure that you take into account the instructor’s attitude, how he lives his own life, his martial arts knowledge, his character, his honor, his integrity, and overall, who he or she is as a human being.
Yes, this will take a lot more effort than just going in and watching a class and signing your son or daughter up for classes, but it is important. Take your children’s training seriously, all of it.
If you have children, you have a sacred duty to teach them and to make sure they get the best instruction, in every area of their lives. If your son was a prince, you would undoubtedly make sure he had the best teachers and the best instruction available. You should have that same attitude towards your son or daughter whether they are princes or princesses or not. Take all of their education and training seriously.
As far as adults go, they aren’t as impressionable, but it is still very important to choose a sensei who is honorable, knowledgeable, and who has upstanding character. If you are serious about your training, you want to learn correctly, not from someone who couldn’t care less and just wants to get his or her hands on as much of your money as possible.
Everything you do affects your journey. When you are ready to decide on an instructor to teach you martial arts, you are at a crossroad. The choice you make will determine which road you travel. Choose wisely.