There are a couple of things that I have learned over the years from teaching kids and adults in Rancho Bernardo and 4S Ranch.  There are so many martial arts schools around here, and you really don’t need to find “the best” one.  There are plenty of good ones.  I have made friends with a lot of instructors around here.

Some of the schools I thought were more based on games than learning have taught me how to disguise repetition to make kids have a good time.  If you are having fun learning becomes so much easier.

When my daughter and I play Pokemon Go walking around Rancho Bernardo, if she isn’t catching Pokemon and we are just walking, she quits pretty quick.  She knows it just exercise at that point.

Here’s a quick list of what makes a good instructor:

  1. They have to care…  If your instructor isn’t learning your name, isn’t active and keeping track of your progress, and isn’t trying to make you better in the manner you wish, they aren’t a good instructor.
  2. They teach to you the way you learn… We all learning differently, I am a kinesthetic learner, or kinetic if you want to be all auto correct about it.  That means I learn by doing, among other things.  If you talk to me really fast, and I am not energized with you I have no clue what your talking about.  I just don’t do auditory very well.  That being said, I have had to learn how to talk through anything I teach because I have auditory students.  I have to talk to them instead of show them and make them do it.  When your kid comes in for a 12 minute intro, that is one of the first things I am learning.  I am going to find out their learning type and teach to that.  Now sometimes I forget and sometimes I go back to what I like, but if it isn’t clicking I immediately ask myself, “Am I teaching to their type?”  You want your instructor to know you.
  3. Class is fun… My first Kempo instructor was great at disguising repetition, to this day he is the king in my book.  I definitely did not leave my first school because I did not like my instructor, that was one of the hardest parts because I had so much respect for him and what he did.  I had a short attention span, and anyone that could make classes fun and keep me engaged made it possible for me to learn.  That is pretty awesome.
  4. Positive reinforcement… There is a book going around Oak Valley Middle School in 4S Ranch about buckets.  I love it.  All a good teacher wants is to make a positive impact.  Your teacher should always be telling you what you are doing right.  Now, everyone reaches a level where they are so good it is more important to know the 1-2 things you need to fix, but you should always know you are doing well at that level.
  5. They are in it for the long haul… No one wants someone to give up on them halfway.  I remember going through the ranks and hearing about schools whose instructor left without the students even knowing why.  You should always feel like your instructor doesn’t have one eye on the clock and one eye on the door.  Master Giuseppe often times ends class a little late because he is so excited about what he is teaching he just has to keep you for a few more minutes.  That is a great kind of energy.

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