By Phillip Starr

    Over the years, I’ve heard several martial arts instructors remark that they like to “work out” in the classes that they teach and/or that they use the classes as their own workouts. I think this is a very bad idea for two reasons…

     First, it cheapens the instruction received by the students.  If the teacher is focused on himself and his own workout, he is not able to closely observe what his students are doing.  If he had to stop periodically to make corrections here and give encouragement there, or explain a particular principle or concept, his workout would be constantly interrupted.  If he really intends to work out, he must be wholly attending to what HE is doing rather than on what the students are doing.

    Secondly, if the instructor allows his personal workout to be constantly interrupted, he isn’t able to focus completely on what he’s doing.  It’s really not much of a personal workout at all.

     Using class as his own training time takes away from the quality of instruction received by the students and also ruins the teacher’s workout as well.

     I have told teachers (who informed me proudly that they simultaneously utilize class time as their own workout time) that they really must stop doing so.  I told them that in class, they should devote themselves to TEACHING and pay attention to the students.  Their own workouts must be conducted separately, on their own time.  Class time is intended for the students.  Period.

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