To be a successful martial arts instructor in a highly competitive environment, you must have the will and the skill.
What "the will and the skill" mean:
The Will. You have to want to teach. You must enjoy the process. Having the Will means that you look forward to teaching your classes --- that you relish the challenge of helping your students thrive in their martial arts quest. Having the Will is the most important quality I look for when I'm hiring. I would much rather employ an instructor with boundless enthusiasm and novice teaching skills than a seasoned veteran who is just trying to get through the week.
The Skill. The Skill refers to knowing how to teach. Possessing the necessary martial arts skills is important, but being a skilled teacher is vital. Martial arts and teaching skills are two very different animals. There are many talented Black Belts who have no clue as to how to run a class.
So how do you sustain the will and the skill?
It's very easy for most people to fall into a comfort zone. I have been teaching martial arts for the better part of forty years and I have had a full-time school since 1978. While I have learned a lot over the years, I know that I have just scratched the surface of possibilities. When I stay mindful of how impactful martial arts can be for people, I am able to keep my will to teach strong. And when I keep an open mind to new and different teaching methodologies, I am able to add new skills to my teaching arsenal.
Improve Your Instructing Skills!
For more from Dave Kovar on how to improve as Martial Arts Instructors, try attending one of our many upcoming events made just for instructors and owners.