The Effects Of Ego When Teaching Martial Arts

attitude-is-everythingBy: Sensei J. Richard Kikrham B.Sc.

I'm so proud of the fact that I have no ego. It truly makes me the most humble person I've ever met. Regardless of whether we admit it or not, we all have an ego. It's what we do with that ego and how we demonstrate it among our martial arts peers and students which determine how good and what type of instructor we are...

With over 36 years of martial arts experience I've seen a lot of different types of martial arts and self-defense instructors. They all, including myself, have their weaknesses and strengths...

In Here I Am God

Granted some ego, i.e. self-confidence, is needed in order to teach, but there are those who teach for themselves and those who teach for their students. In the few cases I've seen the god complex in a martial arts or self-defense instructor, it's generally been for the instructor. Even one very good combat veteran martial arts instructor whom I personally knew, seemed to teach for himself. Let's not confuse this with a military manner of teaching martial arts. The word martial after all means war and many of the martial arts taught have or had a military basis at some point in history. His students had a lot of self-confidence, but they also, I unfortunately noted when I asked a newly ranked advanced student his name, had his ego and pride as well. This, in my opinion is unfortunate since a martial arts instructor can, by example, offer so many positive traits to his/her students. If you're looking for a martial arts school or self-defense school, watch some classes and remember the above comments I made. Talk to the instructor, but talk to the students as well. Go with your gut as well as your cognitive processes.

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Makiwara - How to Build and Use

Makiwara is a punching board. It is a piece of equipment essential in toughening the hands, strengthening the wrists and giving training in hand techniques.

A makiwara consists of a straight board with the top portion fitted for punching. The board itself is made from a seven or eight foot long four-by-four, cut diagnonally so that the very top is about half an inch thick. Traditionally, the striking surface of the makiwara consisted of a bundle of straw with rope tightly wound around it at the top foot of the board. A piece of sponge rubber, two inches thick, four inches wide and one foot long, covered with canvas or leather, is widely used. Anything that cushions the shock of impact can be used. For example, a tightly bundled t-shirt attached with duct tape would work just as well.

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Zanshin

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By Christopher Caile and Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

There is an old Japanese samurai saying, “When the battle is over, tighten your chin strap.” This refers to constant awareness, preparedness for danger and readiness for action. The Japanese saying itself focuses on the end of a combat engagement when it is natural to relax awareness, thinking the danger is over, when in reality it often is not. “This concept carries over into the dojo which is not just a training hall but a place where a certain awareness of the possibility of serious combat must constantly be maintained,” said John Donohue in his article Kendo: The Way of the Sword. But, for the serious martial artist this heightened state of awareness becomes a natural part of the psyche, something that is automatically turned on while awake as well as during sleep.

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Stillness Training: The Basis of Movement

By Aaron Hoopes

One of the most important things I have learned in teaching breathing to martial artists is that one can only understand its importance by actually practicing deep breathing oneself. The same is true with stillness training. It is impossible to adequately understand the benefits of contrasting movement with stillness without actually trying it yourself.

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Secret to developing an Effective Personal Karate Training Plan

By Paul Walker

If you are a member of any serious martial arts school with a reputable instructor then you will have no doubt heard in class the words "Be sure to practice at home. Martial arts training goes beyond the dojo." Often, this advice is given without any suggestions or tips on how to actually do this. How do you practice at home? How do you develop an effective training plan? How often should you practice?

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