From a basic point of view for a martial artist, you should have ONE…but…

Yes, you should be going to class to be taught by your teacher (school master?). You are paying them to instill their knowledge and wisdom in you, so you should be in their class.

Now here’s where the line blur though, shouldn’t you be learning from everyone that you train with? Each person that you have the opportunity to be on the floor with has something that you can learn. This isn’t always an obvious teaching. Hopefully its an positive lesson, but…

Keep in mind that things that you see other students do are examples of their abilities and knowledge…egos and maturity. I do believe that you can improve you techniques through watching others and learning the way that they have come to understand what they are doing. You should also learn by recognizing the things they shouldn’t be doing. Horseplay, not following directions, etc. are distractions to learning and development.

Now, I have stated forever that I believe the variety of martial arts that exists is due to their attraction of different personalities. They are ALL good. It is also the personality that attracts students. I have students in my classes because they like the curriculum and they like my teaching methods. Its the same at every school. With that in mind, you should still participate in classes taught by the other instructors in the school. While your preference may be for one teacher, you may miss unique insights by not participating. All it takes is a different word to make your understanding of a technique improve.

In the end, it comes back to “why are you training?” If you are only in class for a couple hours a week, are you actively working toward improvement during that time? The time that you are training on your own, make sure that you are developing your focus and discipline. This will help make your time on the floor more productive.

Sorry if the rambling repeats itself.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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