It was a privilege to visit a club today run by an instructor who not only completely demonstrates the principles of martial arts himself but the club students also demonstrate them too. And they made it fun and very energetic. Especially the sparring session where the instructor said that if you’re not enjoying it then it’s our role as instructors not to force you into it.
I noticed this yesterday in our club with one of our most junior belts who was having to fight a smaller but more senior grade who just kept coming at him and I could see he was getting stressed / almost upset. So I intervened and demo’d some blocks that he could try and asked the more senior grade to give him space to try and land at least one kick every so often, so that he had enough thinking time to try and visualise what he could do.
I don’t know if he will move towards competition fighting but hopefully he can feel he has an opportunity to decide.
And my time came later when we were free sparring (everyone taller than me in senior grades) and I somehow managed what I thought was a semi decent back side kick and my opponent but didn’t return quickly enough to face my opponent and suddenly found myself with a much bigger, stronger arm hooked around my neck and lifted off the floor (not allowed in competition btw but useful for general practice!)
We both had a giggle and then I accidently kicked him in the balls a couple of times so what goes around comes around…
I noticed that the club instructor today emphasised the behavioural side at all times in spite of it being a session where people turn up because they want to fight.
I also noticed the instructor doing very mild interventions, laughing a lot and so were the students even when they went flying over. It was a great atmosphere throughout.
They have fighters of many different ages competing nationally and internationally – some wonderful prospects for British taekwondo.
If it works out,may try and take a couple of our fighters up there later in the year.