It’s good to help others, and that’s a key goal of every Choi Kwang-Do instructor. Whether that's helping students learn self defence, helping them engage in enjoyable exercise or helping them to realise more of their potential.
Why It's Good To Help Others
When we help others three things tend to happen:
Provided the intentions of helping others are sincere and genuine, and not merely in order to gain something in return, this can do wonders for a our self-esteem.
Secondly, we will have imparted some of our knowledge to someone else. For some people, one of the most gratifying aspects of learning something is having the opportunity to later share that knowledge with others. Now, this could be viewed as conceited (nobody likes a show off, do they?) but again, if it helps someone else and is done with humility – a core principle of Choi Kwang-Do, surely this is a good thing?
Thirdly, we can better ourselves. In order to teach someone else, you first have to be clear on the details of the information yourself. In the context of teaching Choi Kwang-Do, if you were teaching a punching technique, you would need be clear in your own mind how the body moves during the punch, what part of the fist is used to make contact on the striking pad, the wrist and arm position etc. etc. You would also need to be able to demonstrate the technique which is likely to involve practise too.
This need for clarity causes you to think more deeply about the information that you wish to give out, maybe even question the information - both with others (interpersonal dialogue with fellow students and instructors) and ourselves (intrapersonal dialogue), thus furthering our understanding.
Couple this with the simple act of fellowship experienced in class as students bond through physical training, you can understand why many Choi Kwang-Do students offer to help out at their classes, and possibly even go on to certify as an instructor.
Another side effect of teaching someone else is that you become more confident with presenting and conveying the information. Your communication skills begin to improve and your techniques - both physical execution and understanding - also develop. Not to mention the leadership and social skills you are exposed to.
So by helping others you are also helping yourself; a classic win-win scenario.
Having said all of this, personally, I think one of the best parts of learning through teaching is this:
As you become familiar with the information that you are teaching, you simultaneously appreciate that you have more to learn.
I feel very confident in saying that martial arts instructors around the world, irrespective of rank, style or number of years training...would agree that they are all still learning. So take a moment to think about learning through teaching, and if you think you know it all...think again.
Jason Wright is a 6th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in the martial art Choi Kwang-Do. For further information on Choi Kwang-Do classes for children, teens and adults in Ealing, West London visit www.TheMartialArtForLife.com