After my post about the instructor I will not trust proved to be popular, I figured I’d document a student that we should all attempt to imitate.
If you don’t know, I’ve been studying Tae Kwon Do (among other arts) for a number of years, and I’m now one of the instructors at my studio. A couple weeks back, we had a high school student decide to join our school.
After his first class, he was kicking and punching a heavy bag, and while his form was… lacking… he definitely looked had he had done this before. I asked him if he had a pre-existing background, and he told me that he had “self-studied” for about 3 years. This is where things usually take a turn for the worse. I’ve run into a *lot* of teenage/early 20’s guys that have “picked things up on their own” (or worse, went to an MMA gym where the instructors don’t know what they’re doing), and are convinced that they know everything.
This kid was the complete opposite. I gave him some pointers on actually twisting his hips and “punching with his feet” for his jab-reverse-hook combos, and he instantly recognized that his strikes were significantly more powerful. Equally, he was eager to take my advise on improving his kicks, and found similar results.
Sadly for me, he decided to take the Hapkido class instead of TKD. I’ve talked to our Hapkido instructor a few times about him, and he’s reported that the kid has been a great student in his class.
We need to remember to be like this new student whenever we’re training. Even if you normally do things a different way, try the instructor’s way, you might find out that they know what they’re talking about. If nothing else, when you’re training at home/on the range by yourself, you don’t really get the same kind of feedback that someone watching you can give you. Chances are, you’re doing things that you shouldn’t without realizing it.