I’m Paul Willson I am a brown belt in Ju Jutsu, a centuries old Japanese martial art.
Due to my training partner doing evening bar work to help pay for his mortgage I have found that I haven’t had anyone to train with which meant I have had to help teach.
Now I have helped teach when many of my training partners have been sick/busy/on holiday etc before but that was actually quite rare but more often or not I have been the guy my sensei has used to demonstrate techniques. However, this time I have been teaching properly.
My first point I would like to make is that teaching is a skill. Just because you are a high ranking black belt it doesn’t mean you can teach. When you teach you have to almost get inside the students head and teach them in a way they can understand. If you teach multiple students that could be multiple methods and multiple heads to get inside. It isn’t easy. Also you need patience sometimes lots of patience. But you can’t blame the student for that. Everyone at times takes a long time to learn a technique and if you teach you need to remember how you were at the same point.
However, teaching is a great way to improve yourself and revise techniques from previous belts. The reason for that is that it is quite normal to almost forget what you have done on your previous belts as you progress. Teaching makes you stop and think “how do I do it?”. You then slow down and work it out so you can pass on your knowledge and I found that I do techniques of lower belts a lot better and a lot less sloppy than when I first learnt it.
I discussed this when I did some revision with my sensei when he criticised my sloppy technique (it was a bit sloppy to be fair). He mentioned that he taught from blue belt because he was in a larger club and he was asked for advice by other students so from early he taught techniques from lower grades which meant he regularly revised techniques and improved himself.
Being in a small club I don’t have the opportunity to revise as much as I am focusing on my black belt techniques too much. I can revise but that means I will fall behind on may black belt training so it is a hard balance to do but by teaching I am forced to think “how do I do it?”
One thought on “Teaching”
Great post, Paul. Haven’t seen you on here in a while, I’m glad to see something pop up.
I agree that teaching is an integral part of learning and my Sensei always used to say that teaching forces you to look at yourself and you can learn from teaching even the lowest belts. This may or may not have fuelled the idea for a post of mine own…