I've been assisting and teaching people in Martial Arts since I was in my teens. I used to do it under my instructors school before it closed down in Clawson, MI and when it was in Sterling Heights, MI. So, I was never teaching a student totally myself. Their primary influence was my instructor. Late 2002, I opened up a small program for myself. The big difference between my program and his is that mine is directed towards competitions where his was self-defense. Anyway, what I'm getting at is the big difference I noticed is that I'm constantly playing psychology games with my students. One main thing I seem to have is from the new male students. They are hard to instructor and act like they already know fighting. The first couple of times I teach them, I usually try to humble them so I can actually get through their egos and actually teach (This isn't true for all guys). Then I find later on when they are learning I then have to post up their self-confidence.

That's a definite classic approach to teaching any kind of fighting system. Break the ego, and rebuild the confidence. Classic.

Well, I don't have to do it to everyone.

Another thing I do alot is motivate people differently. Some people I will yell and scream at because they seem to respond to it much better. However, others I will give more positive support and then they start training even harder.

"I do alot is motivate people differently"

Cool, you must be doing pretty well instructing then. I've noticed the good trainers often watching individuals with furrowed brows before. I asked one guy who taught me a lot what he was looking at/for in a particular person and he said "I'm trying to think of the best way I can explain how he should correct his round kick". Thats teaching.

I know there is a few book out on this subject, does anyone know some good ones?

i dont know of any specific titles off the top of my head.
I have one, i will find it on the book case.

Basicsally you are talking of "Sports Psychology"
which is a whole field all to its own :-)

Yeah, sports psychology!


BadBradBurrick --

How do you go about humbling them? Different cases for different guys? Do you spar with them?

Sounds like you're an instructor that cares. Good job.

JMo9597: No, I will not spar with beginners to humble them. I don't do that because it might make me appear more as a bully and I would feel bad if someone got hurt. (Specially if it was me! lol) To humble people, taking a term form my army service, I smoke them. By smoking I mean physical drain them. I have several drills I do with them that pretty much wipes out anyone.

"it might make me appear more as a bully"

You are a bully though. You used to pick on me all the time!

Oh yeah, ALL guys have egos and pride ...... some just know how to control it and the others dont.

Marie (Lil Katai): I picked on you because your ego is bigger then most guys I know.

lol riiiiiight


I think several people alluded to this above, and one sign of a good trainer or teacher, for that matter is knowing how your students learn. Taking the time to understand how they learn and being able to adapt the instruction for them, or explaining/demonstrating the same knowledge with that variation is effective and appreciated. Applying an inflexible standard to all of your trainees and claiming "that's my teaching style" generally results in losing some students who don't learn well under those circumstances and is just apathy on the trainer's part. I've seen this personally - not just in muayThai, but other sports too.