10 simple rules to be a great student 

Starting Martial Arts or any endeavour is a two-way process. You pay someone for their time and experience you agree to listen and learn. 

If everything works out well and you get along this can be a rewarding relationship. 

This could be learning to drive, dance, or anything else you are not an expert in yet. 

Over the years I have had many a student and Instructors. Some I got on with some, I did not. Some Instructors I thought were full of shit and did not walk their talk. Some students think because they pay you for an hour a week they control your family life as well as yours. 

Time is precious. My time, like anyone else’s time, is valuable to me. If I am not training, teaching or doing my day job I want to be with my family. 

After recently getting annoyed with a student in matters related to the above I thought I would create a guide for all students to think about & hopefully implement when thinking about starting to train. 

Turn Up to Training

If you arrange a weekly session at 6.30 Monday evening weekly, when do you think you should turn up for training? Thats it! Monday at 6.30. 

I know “shit happens” life gets in the way. We have work, kids and flu to deal with. 

The odd miss is no one’s fault. When it is almost guaranteed you won’t be there or you forget to tell people you are not coming then you are becoming point number 5(more to come on that). This of course goes both ways and if the instructor keeps fucking you off, fuck him off. 

Have a Training Mindset

Do not turn up to a Martial Arts training session, private or group with a can’t be assed attitude. 

Having someone in front of you not willing to try or put the effort in is a waste of time and very demoralising. 

I am at a stage now where I ask them if they want to go, I too CBA with their attitude. 

Add to that you are wasting your own money. If you want to waste money doing something pointless, go to the pub at least you will laugh with your mates. 

Empty your cup

Why why ..fucking why would you turn up and pay to learn anything if you think you are already better or (even worse) spend the whole time talking about how you did it elsewhere. 

I have had people pay hundreds of pounds for instructor courses, turn up and spend eight hours telling me how their system does it. 

Save your money or come with an empty cup.

I have no time for these people. I will stop a session and ask if they are here to train and learn or swing their dick. 

If a system or training method is not for you that’s fine, don’t go again. Don’t stand there like a street preacher talking bullshit like they do. 

Pay for your training.

Nothing in your life is too expensive, you just do not value it highly enough. That’s not an issue just don’t haggle or put off paying for the time you have booked. Every instructor I know would be far happier to hear ” I have other things to pay for and cannot commit to you” over “this week the window cleaner needed paying and the kids have a school trip can I pay next full moon?” If you owe an instructor money pay them! Most instructors will cut you some slack and help just return the favour and …..

Don’t be a dick!

Sime this, turn up willing to learn, pay on time and don’t fuck anyone about. If you’re training with a partner with less experience, don’t show them up or beat them up so, you have something in the wank bank for when you get home. Don’t Laugh about breaking equipment and have a fucking wash before coming. 

Remember, it’s fine to leave. 

If it’s not for you that’s fine. Say so shake hands and move on. Simple!

Practice in your own time. 

Why spend hundreds of pounds to learn things and not practice them when you can? Science tells us 6 days of 15 mins training a week, is better for you than 1 day of 90 minutes. If you cannot spare 15 mins a day to practice /shadow what you learnt in your lesson you have bigger issues than you know. 

Lean on us

Despite all I have been saying, we are a friendly bunch and become instructors because we want to help. Talk during your session we may not be able to solve issues however, a problem halved and all that. If you train long enough you will become friends so talk to each other like friends and hopefully, you can sort your shit out. 

Ask Questions

Do not leave a session unsure of what you need to do or have been doing. If you do not understand something ask. If someone refuses to help you find someone else. A good instructor will do their best to help. 

Be clear about what you want

Be clear in your objectives. If you want to be an Olympic TKD athlete do not start Tai Chi and moan it’s not happening. Tell the instructor what you want and ask if they can do it. I turn down students who want to fight in MMA. MMA is not my area so why would I try and show people? Be careful though many schools will tell you what you want to hear just to get your money. I was using a billing company once and they told me to advertise as Karate and MMA even though I was teaching JKD as that would get people in and they don’t know any better. So be careful and shop around. 

Thanks for reading


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