Friday, December 14, 2012

Asking Questions: Self Defense and Interactive Teaching

When one teaches, two learn.  Robert Half

Leaving us (perhaps gradually) are the days when martial arts students are passive receptacles of knowledge passed on from an omniscient instructor. 

Good riddance.

As a self defense student you need to understand the how, why, when, what etc.... of the various self defense techniques/tactics you practice.  Asking questions is a vital aspect of understanding.

Will this work?
Is this effective against someone stronger?
What if I can't run?
What if their are multiple attackers?
Why do you teach that instead of this?
Wouldn't this work better?
Am I doing this right?
This doesn't feel natural.  Is there a better way?

Questions like these help you develop a broader and deeper understanding of self defense.  Also, by understanding the logic/rationale behind various techniques and tactics you can learn future skills at faster rate.

Questions also help the instructor(hence the opening quote).  By articulating our answers we also develop a more sophisticated understanding of self defense.

Win. Win.

So feel welcome to ask questions - during class, before and after class, via email........

After all, you are studying self defense to learn the most practical ways to protect yourself.  Having a clear understanding can be life saving.  

Ask questions and you will be well on your way to becoming a proficient practitioner - and perhaps, some day, a teacher. 

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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