Path to True Learning

There have been many discussions about good teachers and good fighters (please don’t ask me to get into it now). I’d like to share a teaching tip with you, and if you put this technique to practice you will see your student’s skill improve greatly.

By the way, I’m not sure if you are new to my philosophy of the FMA, but when I speak of “skill”, I am referring to fighting skill. Not skill at performing drills. Not skill and demonstrating defenses and counters, but concrete, measurable skill in fighting. The funny thing about fighting skill:  either you can do it or you can’t. Either you’re good at it, or you’re not. What I am promising you is utilizing this advice will help your student’s ability to stop and defeat their opponents–for whatever type of fighting they do (point, full contact, street combat)–improve.

And here it is:

The best technique one can learn is the technique that is used in the face of possible defeat.

I sure hope I didn’t sound like the old Guru in the mountains promising the key of life. But this advice is very sound. What I am telling you is that you must ensure that your students have had someone try to make them fail in the execution of their techniques, as part of their training, as a major part of the learning process. It is one thing that is missing from most FMA programs. Students spend too much time with cooperative training partners and not enough time with opponents. Your students are better off if they train to develop aesthetic skill in technique, and have someone try to stop them with those techniques to forge their application skill. For every technique in a man’s arsenal, he should have failed to execute the skill many times as a part of learning that skill.

Here’s a second tip:

For every technique you teach your students to use, they should learn several ways to counter or defeat that technique.

Am I suggesting this because you don’t want your students to get defeated by the techniques they are learning? Not exactly. This teaching technique will help solidify your students’ knowledge of the techniques by teaching them what can be done to stop them when they use it. This is the idea behind the FMA philosophy of “counter the counter”. For every attack we throw to our opponents, there are several counters they can use in response, and we need to know what to do in order to stop the response.

Whew! That was a mouthful! I am going to stop here. One of my closest students, HA, pulled my coattails in a store a few days ago (he bought TWO copies of my book, hint hint) and told me that I’m sharing too much. And I think he’s right. We came up with this blog to generate interest in training at my school, not to teach the martial arts over the internet. So, take these tips and see if you can find a way to incorporate it into your curriculum!

And as always, thank you for visiting my blog. If you like this, you will really like my book, Mustafa Gatdula’s How to Build a Dominant Fighter in 12 Months! Check it out on the “Offerings” page!