It would be utterly foolish to believe an instructor is simply someone who solely teaches kicks and punches. The truth is that a student of the martial arts earns more than belts and techniques and those attributes the student earns are directly from the teaching abilities of their instructor. Self-confidence, respect, self-respect, honor, discipline, good character etcetera are all things that an instructor imparts to their students.
Good instructors listen to their students, just as much as they speak to their students. Instructors are counselors, organizers, encouraging, nurturing, patient, understanding, unbiased, a philosopher, dedicated to their student’s welfare and growth, etc…
An instructor is all those things, plus plus plus, and someone who is very talented in the combative side of martial arts. The instructor is someone who has dedicated their life not only to the martial arts but to the service of teaching those skills to their fellow human beings.
An instructor listens….they grow alongside their students and are attentive to their student’s needs regarding growth in the arts and in life. You cannot be a good instructor and be someone who is lacking in character or who only listens only to their own internal voice. If an instructor sees a student faltering in class, they will pick up on it and will be able to help them through it, to get back to training properly.
I am writing this to give a bit of insight into what an instructor in martial arts is, as opposed to the popular misconceptions. I also wrote this for those who want to become an instructor someday, to have a sort of understanding of what it takes and what’s expected.