Today I want to express my gratitude for my students.
I strong considered teaching as a profession at one point in my life. Although I took another path for my full-time day job, I still love the process of teaching and the connection it gives you with other people.
Students are the best teachers, and I have been taught by some incredibly awesome people. Whether it was me showing someone how to do a sinawali pattern, or teaching someone a form or technique, or where I am today, helping lead our own school, helping out at a seminar... each interaction with a student is my opportunity to learn and grow in my art and as a human being.
I love the students who struggle to learn my art. These are the people who are not naturally gifted physically, who aren't especially well coordinated, and who have to work three times as hard to "get" it. These students have taught me so much about my art and what we do that I couldn't have learned any other way.
I love the students who come to my art naturally. It is a joy to watch someone catch on quickly and be able to "play" in a short period of time. They make what we do really fun.
I like working with kids. Watching the gears turn and the lights go on as they master something is the best thing ever. When one of them make a connection, such as spotting all the ways we do brush-grab-strike, you feel like jumping up and down in joy.
I like working with experienced adults. Making the connection between what they already know to what they are learning is always a fun and educational experience. They always have something to teach me, and that's a great way to learn about the wider martial arts world.
I like working with inexperienced adults. This group is most like me - I did start late in life after all. I admire the bravery it takes to take up the martial arts later in life. It's a real pleasure to help people most like me down this path.
I am so very thankful for every single person I've taught. I've learned something from each of them, and it helps make me the martial artist I am. Thank you, students.
So how has the process of teaching affected your life? Tell me some of your favorite student stories. I have my favorite story written here - The Gift of the Difficult Student.