With each belt test that my students take, I expect more from them than the last test. Sounds straight forward enough, right?
Well that is not always the case!
Some get complaisant and stagnate, whilst others, progress at a greater pace. This is down to the individual, as some are quite happy to just come along and use it as a hobby and/or just self-defence, which is fine and you can still achieve a reasonable degree of competency. However, as with anything in life, you only get out what you put in! The ones who want more from their training, will do something more about it!
So what is the answer……..?
It does not matter whether you are a white belt, advanced or a black belt/master, you MUST train outside of your club (home, park, beach etc).
Most adults drink tea, coffee etc, while the kettle is boiling, do something positive with those 2 minutes. You can do your basics, blocks, punches etc, or do a form in a stationery position, who says you have to move in different directions to perform your form? Altering your stances to suit your space, will make your art more realistic and more interesting, no one is going to attack you (heavens forbid) in any given way.
Yes, of course, there are certain situations where you can only be attacked in a particular manner, maybe due to your environment; being in a crowded place, tight space etc, like being in a car for example. So being able to do all your techniques/forms from standing or sitting position, can only make you better at your art!
I am sure a lot of Martial Artists, teachers/instructors will disagree with me on that one, well that is their business. I am only interested in developing students who WANT to progress and become better, stronger, healthier, (both mentally & physically) and most important, to me anyway…… happier! You will learn more when you enjoy what you are doing.
Students come and go in every Martial Art out there and it really doesn`t matter how good you are as a teacher/instructor. It is the nature of people to start something and never see things through. For every 100 students that start, maybe 10 will go on to black belt (1st Dan) and maybe 3-5 will go beyond that (2nd Dan and above).
The Martial Arts are very forgiving, as you can achieve a good level, regardless of who you are and regardless of your ability. If you have to leave your club for some reason (injury, move to another area etc), you can always come back, start at another club and carry on with your training, although to be respectful, stand at the back with the beginners/lower ranks, in a T shirt etc, until your teacher tells you that you are ready to resume back to your rank, even if you are highly ranked!!!
-Master Paul Pears 6th Dan-
Founder of Yu Kang Do Karate