In part 1 of this article we discussed some of the negative aspects of martial arts teachers. I would prefer not to dwell upon this since there are so many good instructors out there. So, let’s continue with what makes a good instructor.
As I said, YOU CAN BE A MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTOR!
How do I know that? Well, given sufficient desire, motivation and effort there is no reason why this should not be possible.
In reality, not everyone is suited to this career. Some people just desire other things from life. But, I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that many martial arts instructors also have other careers. Some are PhD’s, some are medical doctors, some are plumbers, and one famous instructor even pulled a rickshaw when times were hard. It has not always been possible to make a living at the martial arts.
What are some of the requirements?
Excellent training at a reputable school
Sufficient rank (at least in the black belt range)
Permission from your instructor and/or organization to start a school
What are some of the traits of a good teacher?
Nobility of character
A good work ethic
A desire to help others
A well-developed talent for teaching
Good business sense
These and other requirements are, I think, necessary for the success of a teacher of the martial arts.
You must bear in mind that teaching classes is not the only responsibility of the teacher. One of my teachers once said to me when I told him of my desire to be a teacher, “You can either be a good teacher or you can be a businessman – not both.”
This is one of the few pieces of advice I chose not to believe. In this day and age you must be both. Unless you are born with a sliver spoon in your mouth (rich) you will have to be responsible for all of the operations of your school. You will have to be a businessman as well as a teacher.
I will say here that while teaching the martial arts can lead to a comfortable and satisfying life-style, the profit motive cannot and should not be the primary motivation for the aspiring teacher. There is a lot of hard work to do even after the hard work of learning your art.
Starting and running a school can be tricky. You need patience and perseverance but the rewards can be great.