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Watch your emotions Daniel-san…

We’re all are familiar with the notion of not allowing disempowering emotions to interfere with our actions when it comes to self defense. However have you ever thought about how your emotions as an instructor might affect your students and their ability to perform?

An instructor I know gets extremely irritated when his students can’t do what he asks. Although he doesn’t lash out, yell and scream at his class, you can see his frustration in his facial expressions and sometimes in the way he talks to his students.

I’m first to admit there are times when I catch myself heading down the same path. At that point I try to do a U-turn and put on a “happy face”. I try to find something good in what my student might be doing even if they’re so far off the mark it’s not funny.

From there, together we build on making good the next thing, one step at a time. Not worrying too much about getting it *all* correct right then. If the student fixes just *one* thing and starts heading in the right direction, it’s a victory for you both.

To paraphrase a comment someone said to me once, “Don’t worry about closing the ashtray and locking the doors when the wheels are falling off the car”.

Next time you look at a student who can’t do what you’re asking, try not to get frustrated and reinforce that they’re doing it wrong. This destroys their self esteem.

Instead look for something good and let them know to give them some confidence. Then choose one small thing to fix. Once they’ve got that down, move to the next.

Before you know it your student will be making advances in leaps and bounds. A little confidence goes a long way.

3 thoughts on “Watch your emotions Daniel-san…

  1. Jason,

    I share the experience last night
    while working with a student on
    HP#1. She wasn't getting the 1st
    turn after numerous showings.

    I was wrecking my brain with a solution when my instructor
    statement to years ago became
    vivid ( switch from a black
    belt teacher to a white belt student). It worked out swell for
    the student & I after I went down to her level even with a lanuage
    barrier between us.
    Melvin

  2. Hi Melvin,

    Excellent. I love the statement.

    As you say, walking a few steps in your student's shoes often helps us find the solution to help them better.

    – Jason

  3. Hi Jason,

    i found this last subject really an "eye-opener". I face this "challenge" every week (while helping my sensei with his lessons). Het is sometimes difficult to go "one step at a time", but while teaching this is the beter way to go (speacilly with children).
    greetings,
    Cristina

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