Well, the day that many of us wait for when we start teaching martial arts has finally arrived for Mr. Chick & I.
We have students advanced enough that we can play with some veteran ideas and concepts and they can keep up (and even contribute) with the material.
Not really but kinda?
I mean, honestly, unless you are in a place where you have lots of peers and teachers around you, this is like THE reason to start teaching in the first place.
I know it's the reason my original Modern Aris teacher first handed me a stick back in 2008.
David walked into that TKD school looking for people to do Modern Arnis with because he needed training partners for his own progress, long story short (that's oversimplified, of course).
He couldn't keep growing in the art without people to teach, and students who could eventually become peers in the style to train with on the regular.
That's one major way Modern Arnis grew in the US. People would go to camps, come home, teach what they learned.
So when we moved from Texas to Kansas City, we had to start over and share & teach students if we wanted to grow. We left our peers and teachers in Texas, so we needed to build a new community for regular training.
Hence we started the Kansas City Presas Arnis Meetup, which became Kindred Protective Arts.
Some of our students have been with us since the early days of the Meetup, and at our old satellite program at Elite Dragon Martial Arts. We have students who are now hitting the point where they are starting to develop that martial arts vision, making all the connections they need to make, and are getting better and better at driving drills.
Hence, we are starting our first advanced-students-only class sessions next month, to focus on two things:
1) JUST the advanced level material for these students to focus on (no slowing things down or simplifying things for folks not ready for this material).
2) Exploration of the material Mr. Chick & I are working on (hello, triangle theory and countering counters!) with people who can keep up with it.
With the establishment of this advanced class next month, it finally hit me that we have a very good chance of producing our first black belts within the next couple of years.
I'm feeling like this, with less cotton candy (keto, y'know).
I mean... Y'ALL.
The very notion that we're getting to the point where we can get students to the black belt level is mind-blowing, it really is. In my heart, I still feel like an utter newbie, y'know?
I have to think that some of you senior martial artists out there feel the same way, right? I absolutely was blown away when I was promoted to black belt, but the idea of promoting someone else to that rank after they've earned it...
Not too far away now...
Tell us about when you were able to get a student to an advanced enough level to work on "the good stuff". What's it like to promote a student to these ranks, and up to (and past) black belt? Tell us about it!