Filipino Martial Arts (FMA)The Role of an Instructor

The role of an Instructor – Inspiration… (Part II)

 The second entry is a more in depth reasoning, discussion to one of the five qualitys that I have defined as a common denominator for great instructors. If you have not read my first entry, I think you should do that first, because it’s sets up the following entry’s including this one and the comeing entry’s. You can read it here: The Role of an Instructor…(Part 1) 

The quality that i have chosen to start with is Inspiration, as you probably could guess from the headline. I wanna start this entry with a quote from  Datu Tim Hartmans signature line on (when this blog entry was written):

The Mediocre teacher Tells. The Good teacher Explains.
The Superior teacher Demonstrates. The Great teacher Inspires!


So how do we inspire people?

One very effective way is to smile, have fun make joke or two. Of course everything has a time and place, so sometimes you have to be serious or show a technique really fast and hard just for people to see that technique works. Showing that something really works in a punishing and destructive way can also be very inspirational. I think i have smiled the most when my instructors has shown me something that really hurts. So there is something to see about ”playing” a fast , hard-hitting tough guy as well.  As said before, everything has it’s time and place.
 For me personally, I really want to create an atmosphere where my students can learn and grow, and at the same time have fun. 
So 90% of the time I try to smile and make jokes when i teach.  It is important to show, how much you really like what you are doing, if you cannot show how much you love your art, you cannot expect your student to fall in love with the art either.

Another way is how you set up your training session. There is a whole science around the topic “how you make a good training session”. I will not go in to this to deep, I just want to point out some ideas you can use to inspire the people who trains with you.
When starting a session, show a complex combination, drill or technique and say this is what we are going to pull off by the end of this session. If you can show this in a really fast and dynamic way it’s even better. For the students this may seem like an impossible assignment at first. But with pedagogic method you can teach it and by the end of the day, they can pull it off in some way. This is of course within reason, and it’s important that we as instructors do not expect the same result as if they have done it for years. The effect will be, if they pull it off, that this was really cool, wow I never thought that I could do anything like that before. This will in many ways strengthen their confident and they will feel inspired to move on.

You can also during training, after training give complements to everybody, or a particular student. This is an easy way to inspire someone, it does not need as much work on instructor part either. Things to look out for here, that I believe, are you should not favor a single person and if you give complements all the time, the compliment itself will lose its meaning. So there is a balance here that one should be aware about.

Your voice is an extremely important tool, when you are performing in front of people. Not just while instructing, but when doing presentations on the job or school. Sometimes when we are stressed and nervous it’s hard to control our voices, and at times we can even sound like we are in puberty voice change. So this is one of those things you could think about when you are teaching. I am not going to go deeper in the subject of voice training in this entry then this.
So how you can use your voice to inspire people? Just by using your voice in different pitch in related to the situation you can enhance the experience for the listener/student. For an example, if you are talking about something that you really feel passionate about try to smile with your voice. When I say try to “smile with your voice”, I am referring to trying to sound happy and passionate. It’s the principle of using your vocal pitch in the settings of the situation that can draw out inspiration and commitment.

Body language is another subtle thing you can work with, it’s not that I think you can inspire people just with your body language. Or maybe you can? But my idea was that it could amplify what you saying, and for the audience it feels like you are more committed and/or passionate about what you are talking about.                          


The goal with this post is to plant some ideas on how you can inspire students as your role as an instructor. I have only mention a few ideas, hopefully you have a lot of ideas you would like to share, please write them in the comment section so everybody can read them and hopefully we all can learn more…
It should also be said that I truly believe that many of these principles or ideas you can use in so many other situations as well. So this is not just for a instructors, could be for a teacher s, salesmen to name a few examples.

In short we have these ideas or principle that you can adopt, learn or develop:

  • Smiling, Jokes
  • Planned out training session
  • Complements
  • Your voice
  • Body language

I hope you found this entry about inspiration to be helpful and interesting…

3 thoughts on “The role of an Instructor – Inspiration… (Part II)

  1. It feels like you really have strained to write this text. I like that you thinik about from many peoples situtation and perspective, it result that many more type of people can benefit by the text.

    I think this text is one of the most profitable you have done, because in so many siutations we need to be like this. Marketing ourself. Workinterview, lectures..It’s about if you belive in yourself. Then, others belive in you.

    constructive critique:
    * In every long text, it’s easier to find out if you use headlines.
    * And as I say before, pictures is always welcome.

    You did a great job!


    1. yeah good point, i will try to better myself with some subheadlines in future blohentry…

      i am truely happy that you find this blogentry helpful. and yes, i will try to better myself with the photos… if you look at my latest blog entry you will find a few pictures…

      thank you for your feedback…your comment will only make this blog better…
      With deepest respect

  2. Making jokes and having fun is important during training but as you say, only where it fits to make them. Having fun or making jokes is good to make a good atmosphere. So people dont being stiff and feels like they are in the ”army”. Some instructors are very hard and non joking type of guys and that’s make a ”army” type of feeling it can also make the students very nervoues . it is important to make the students feeling comfortable and not nervoues so they can do the training 100% of their ability. it is also important to have patience with the students, some are quick learner and some are slow learner. You cant start getting sulky against them if they dont get it.
    It is also important to have the jokes on a good level so the students still have respect for you and listen to you. And not see you as a comedian.

    And what have this with Inspiration to do ? Well if you get your students to be relaxed and make them to do 100% of their ability duing training and still having good atmosphere and having them listen to you and ar not afraid to ask questions and continue to train. Then you probably have done the work to be a inspiration for them.

    And again, dont be sulky or sound angry against them if they dont get it. its just gonna make them nervoues and lose respect for you and they will be afraid of asking questions and not gonna reach their highest personal ability.

    Be against your studens as you would like your instructor should be against yourself! golden rule ?

    // KG


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