Martial Arts Education

“Do not put your main purpose in mastering the Karate techniques themselves…”

“Do not put your main purpose in mastering the Karate techniques themselves, you should instead study the way of life through Karate.” ~ Meitatsu Yagi 10th dan Goju Ryu repeating a quote from Master MEITOKU YAGI

The aim of education should be teaching students how to think, rather than what to think. But more than that, to create the “spark” – the curiosity, the creativity, the confidence, the zest for further knowledge that helps a student grow beyond what they believe they can be, and what they know. 

Teachers are the other part of this puzzle too; they need to believe that every student is teachable and set high expectations for them, and for themselves. Instructors should NOT have a “that’ll do attitude.” The sole purpose of an instructor is NOT to concern themselves with gaining their own next belt, but have the sole purpose of helping other people achieve as much as possible.

The task of instructors is not just to educate our students to perform techniques, drills, kata etc. in a rote form, but to help them acquire knowledge and understanding. To facilitate and accelerate the learning process, to learn to think, to analyze and synthesize everything they have learned. To ask the right questions of us, and of themselves. 

Today we have an unusual situation where we are faced with the problem of learning from the YouTube sensei alone, it is far from ideal. You can emulate the form you see in books and videos to the best of your ability, but your understanding of karate will be fairly superficial at best.

The purpose of education (as opposed to just instructing – which may or may not be education), is to kindle fires in minds. ??

“The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” – Malcolm S. Forbes

.“Education means inspiring someone’s mind, not just filling their head.” ~ Katie Lusk.

? Photo credit: The Rafu Shimpo