TEACHING 101



Today you become the instructor. Those people in front of you are your students. They will not bite, or deliberately hurt you. They are looking to you for help in learning Ju-Jitsu, and being able to do the techniques they see on TV. You will need to help them learn and understand Ju-Jitsu. You will have to dismiss the myths, and help find the truth of the art. They must understand that it is not easy. That they will only improve with hard work and dedication. Be strong, be firm, and be confident in yourself and your students. Below are some helpful hints on how to teach. Use them as a guide. Don't be afraid to mess up—we all do. When you have a question, ask. I will be there. You are doing this to learn. Keep this paper with you and refer to it, when you become lost or unsure.

Teach - To impart information or skill about a subject.

Teacher - A person who teaches others. A guide, who takes his/her students through the development of a specific physical and mental skill.
Teaching is a way of giving knowledge through specific lessons. You will be the teacher. Your students have no knowledge of what you are about to teach them. They will look to you for help and support. Encouragement is a key element in teaching. Each mistake is a step to learning. Both you and your students will make mistakes. You are not alone. When you are not sure of something ask. I will be there.

Teaching martial arts involves giving others the knowledge required to perform specific physical movement, and sharing the spirit of your art with them. The more excited you are, the more willing your students will be. Keep up the pace. Keep all students active, at all times. If a student has no partner, you are that partner. It's easy. Just show them what you know, in the most simplest way possible.
This semester you are here to teach. You are here to learn about all the things you think you have learned, since you were a white belt. Your students will help you by being you. Always remember that you were in their place not long ago. Be patient. You are more than qualified to teach. Remember you have been teaching and helping each other for a while.

Things to Remember

Planning - What do you want to accomplish in each class? What do you want from your students? What is acceptable?
Motivation (Patience) - The desire of your students to learn new skills is necessary. Make sure they succeed. Make the tasks easy. Break your techniques down to their basic parts. Never hesitate to encourage or praise students when they do well or when you know they are trying their best. Use terms that are positive. Like "that was good, now try this" or "you really have that part down well." Don't use "that was wrong" with new students. It's hard to use negatives when you are just starting to teach.

Recognition of Individuality (Experimentation) - Each person is different. Each will learn different. Don't expect them all to learn at the same rate. Find out how they learn and what style of learning is the one for them.  When they start to divide into levels, split them into groups. Take turns teaching each level.
Practice (Repetition) - Practice, practice, practice. Make sure they have lots to practice. Some techniques are very easy and won't take a lot of time to learn. Other techniques will take time in every class and need to be gone over many times.

Performance Assessment (Evaluation) - Keep track of each students individual performance. How did they perform last class compared to this class. WRITE IT DOWN. You can keep a log or journal, if that will help. Keeping a log will help you when you do your Nikyu exam.
Feedback - To your students, to each other, to me, always ask, tell, discuss. Keep me up-to-date. I will be watching, anyway. Don't feel that you have to be perfect.

Reinforcement - For some students, just getting it is enough to keep them going. For others you will have to keep selling it to them.
Follow Up (Understanding) - Check each student's progress regularly. Know the difficulties and strength of each of your students.

Reasons for Failure -
Boring subject; Too much effort required; Doesn't understand concept; Lack of ability; Tired; Scared; Insecure; Low esteem; Fear of failure; Bad attitude; Dependent on instructor praise; PLATEAUS.

Techniques of Teaching - ( Different ways of teaching )

All at Once (Demo) - Show the technique all the way through. That way the students will know where they are going with it.

Break it Down - Piece by piece, or section by section. It does not have to be in order. You can teach the end, first, if you think that will help your students.

Command - Call it out while they are doing it.

Follow - Have them do it in kata form with you. Have them do the technique in kata, while you watch. Have them do the technique, while you do it in kata.

Hands On - Don't be afraid to put your hands on a student. Just be nice. Tell them what you are doing or are going to do. Help move their body into position. Be careful.

Build - Have them do the part that they know, then work on the part they are having trouble with. Skip a part if you can to get to the bigger part of the technique.

Steal - Watch others teach. If it works for them, it might work for you. I use this one all the time.

Experiment - Don't be afraid to try something new. I will be watching. If I'm not, get my attention. If it is good, I will steal it.

Do in Parts - Have them do the technique in parts. Do the parts they know and work only on the part they are having trouble with.

Ask others to help to help. Sometimes when you are looking at a technique over and over you will loose the part they are having trouble with. By having someone else to look at it they will be able to see the problem. It is not a bad thing to ask for help.

Things to Remember

Teach like you would like to be taught. Be friendly, but keep the relationship between student and teacher visible. Earn their respect as their teacher.

Keep it simple, but age and grade appropriate. They are not stupid. Keep them moving.

Don't say it over and over, unless they are not getting it. "Put your feet into duck stance," only takes six words. Don't say it, do it. Be imaginative and creative. If you just can't get through to them, ask for help.
A picture and a demonstration is worth a thousand words. It is easier to show than describe. Use non-verbal action. Use large movements. Use action with words.

Remember, remember, remember. Be at class. Be on time. Come to class prepared to teach. Instill in your students the need to come to class. Let them know that to miss a class is to miss many techniques and to fall behind. Help them see the need to come to class regularly and on time. Give them a reason to be there.

ASK me, ask me, ask me. I do not expect you to be perfect. If you do not make a mistake, I can't fix it. Don't be afraid to make them.

You did not become a brown belt by not knowing your basics. By teaching, you will review them and learn to understand what and why they are done the way they are.

If you have a problem, be it physical or mental, come to me. If you have a student with an attitude problem, try to handle it. If you just can't get through to the student, let me handle it. Problem students can cause injury. Make each student aware that this art can be dangerous, if they do not pay attention to you or to what they are doing.

Last, but not least, come to me for help. Don't be afraid to ask me how to do something. You are here to learn just like your students. I want you to be a good instructor and I want your students to be good green belts.


It is time to become the instructor.  You have been helping each other since the day you started. Now you will have tools to help you become the instructor you were meant to be.  Go forth young Padawan.


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