Almost every teacher and coach I’ve ever had has been more concerned with having power over their students and being admired for their expertise than with building rapport and trust with their students. The small minority of teachers who weren’t like this were by far the best teachers I’ve ever had. Why? Because they cared about us—their students—far more than they cared about power and control.

These are the teachers who made a difference in my life. The ones who stood out to me, whose values and teachings spoke to me and resonated. They cared—and I cared that much more because of it.

With teachers who believed in me and supported me, I felt much more confident in my own abilities, and worked so much harder and set much higher expectations for myself than I would have otherwise. They gave me so much, and I wanted to give something back to them in return: my trust, my respect, and my effort.

How we teach matters. How we treat our students matters. So many teachers want respect and admiration first and foremost, but what they don’t realize is that by respecting their students as experts on their own lives, they WILL gain that respect and admiration without even trying.

If we are too concerned as teacher or coach with looking like an expert, looking smart, having all the answers, maintaining authority and that power dynamic with our students, then we’re not thinking enough about what our students need. And we end up missing out on all those subtle details and pieces of information from our students that could actually help us reach them better.

I talk about all of this in my fourth podcast episode. You can listen to it here, as well as wherever you prefer to listen to your favourite podcasts. You can find links to all the major directories on this page here.

Episode 4

Show Notes for Episode 4

In this episode we look at two different coaching styles: coach- or teacher-centered, and student-centered. The first one we are all familiar with; the teacher who makes it very clear that they are in charge, who wants to be seen as an expert, and who expects their students to “do as I say because I said so.” This style of teaching might work well for some students, but is rather ineffective for many others. In contrast, a student-centered style seems to encourage a much better relationship between teacher and student, as we will discuss in this talk. Join me in an exploration of how this second teaching style can be far more effective in strengthening the ties between martial arts instructor and student, and in making all of us stronger as martial artists.

Thank you for joining me on my martial arts journey, and in the exploration of all the ways we can perform better in life and martial arts.

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Thank you for listening! Together let’s build a community of strong, healthy, awesome martial artists.

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What style of teacher or coach works best for you, and why? Feel free to share your experiences in the Comments section below.

Recommended Resources

You’re reading Best Teaching Style for Martial Arts? by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!