Hidden Gems of Martial Arts

Martial Arts Article
Know Your Students Weak Spots
     by Keith Pascal help them improve.

It's easy to spot your students' weaknesses, when you ask yourself one simple question.

As a martial artist, I spend all of my time analyzing how other folks fight. I examine their techniques. I observe and guess at their tactics. I even ask them questions about what they are practicing (smile).

I spend a lot less time analyzing my own strengths and flaws.

Sure, I practice. You do too, right?

I found a real quick and dirty way to discover my own weak points. All I have to do is ask myself one simple question. And presto, change-o, I know exactly what I need to emphasize in my workouts.

Are you interested in finding out this ever-so-basic question? (No, that wasn't it.)

Just ask yourself what you have been avoiding practicing?

Do you routinely procrastinate in one area?

I am willing to bet that's the particular area that could use some improvement? Don't you just hate it when I am right? ;-)

We'll apply this to student learning in a minute.


Would you like some slightly embarrassing examples from my own life?

I have a beautifully planned workout routine. It includes a lot of tummy exercises. I spent a lot of time carefully constructing my abdominal routines.

Do you think I do them?

Think again.

I just avoided doing my exercises for the last two and a half months! It's time to get back on track.

Another example can be found in Bruce Lee's Five Ways of Attack. I know all five ways inside and out. Yet, I definitely could use improvement in two of the ways. (And no, I am not going to advertise my weaknesses all over the Internet, thank you very much.)

Yet another example can be found in my students. I looked at my more advanced "cookies." These guys have been with me awhile.

So, I asked the same question to myself -- but this time I asked about what my students and I avoided practicing.

Our hand techniques are awesome. Our timing is pretty good too. Rhythm? You betcha.'

But our kicks ...

...left something to be desired. They sucked.

Can you guess what we are focusing on, this year? : - )

I know this question-asking method works, because as is human nature, we tend to do what pleases us, and avoid what doesn't. Of course, some folks have masochistic tendencies, but in general, we seek what we enjoy.

It stands to reason that what you have avoided working on needs improvement.

This is not rocket science.


Listen to Your Students' Complaints

Do your students groan about doing certain exsercises?

Do they nervously joke when it's time for a particular activity?

Have you ever noticed a lack of enthusiasm during specific drills?

These are all clues as to your students' weak areas.

You have the discipline to work on your own weak spots. Your students don't know how, yet.

It's up to you to add enthusiasm to certain tasks. Teach them discipline. Shape them to tackle and overcome weak areas in their training.

Remember, identifying these weak spots starts with a question.


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