Global Martial Arts University Blog

A World Leading Distance Training Online Martial Arts University

Qualities of a Great Martial Arts Teacher

Teacher’s Attitude

When I think back to the most impactful teachers from my life, there is a commonality. They tended to push me hard, and really challenge my capabilities; but from a place of love. They had a strong backbone and were even strict at times, but also pumped out positive energy and passion. As martial arts teachers, we want to emulate this double-edged sword of strength and caring. We want to show our students that we have great self-confidence, but are not full of ourselves.

Check Your Ego at the Door

There is a fine line between showing off to stroke your own ego, and inspiring a sense of wonder into your students. Some of us have experienced instructors who are so strong, athletic, and capable that they are constantly showing off their moves. Don’t get me wrong, we need to show our students that we know our stuff, and I never recommend asking your students to do something that you would not do. But, your student base is not an audience, for whom you are entertaining.

Confidence

Your students can smell nervousness or lack of self-confidence, and it keep them trapped in their own lower emotions. Walk onto the mat ready to rock and roll, even if you are not the world’s best at a certain technique that is on your class plan. You can be the best at teaching it and helping your students master it. Have a plan. When I have a plan, when I am organized, I feel like I can hit every note - the warm up, drills, games, techniques - they are all locked and loaded. I might know the ins and outs of a technique, but without a fun and varied class plan, I feel a little naked when I walk on the mat. Everyone is different - but walk out prepared and you’ll be brimming with confidence.

Control

Leadership is a dictatorship not a democracy. Don’t let your students run class, don’t have them do whatever they want when they want to. You need to have a set of rules that must be followed and are consistently enforced. Many traditional martial arts have a set of etiquette that is to be followed. Even if you teach a modern martial art, it is incredibly important that you have a set of expectations before, during, and after class. This will help you maintain control without having to herd cats. Here are some things to consider:

  • What happens when students show up late to class? Where do they go? Do students know that this is the procedure? (Make it known in the new student manual, or at the time of signing up, or a new student orientation class.)
  • What if a student does not have their uniform? Does not have their belt, or does not know how to tie it?
  • Where are students supposed to be before class begins?
  • What if someone has to use the bathroom? (Have them raise their hand and respectfully ask to be dismissed).
  • Is there a bowing procedure when walking onto the mat?
  • Are parents and siblings/toddlers being loud? Do they have a place to go? Is it known that they should be quiet during class?
  • What happens immediately after class? Do students linger about and joke with the instructor while the next group of students is ignored?

Caring

A great teacher takes an interest in their student. This does not mean that you should make an effort to be overly involved with a student outside of the school - visiting them at their house, hanging out, going to parties, etc. Clearly use your best judgement and set boundaries. But, how can we really show that we care? Here are some things that I do:

  • Always greet the student and their family before class. I like to ask how their weekend went, how school is going, ask about sports, their job, or anything that really matters.
  • Check on their progress. Address a certain technique or issue that they are starting to overcome, or ask if they have been practicing at thome. If you see a student struggling with something, give them a list of things to do at home, or show them a special movement that helped you to master that movement.
  • Remind your students that you were a student/white belt once. Sometimes our students see us as superhero experts that never make mistakes. Tell them about mistakes that you made, or show your own vulnerabilities (perhaps in a new style you’re learning) and mistakes that you are prone to. Students like to know that you’re human too.
  • Send an awesome job card, birthday card, or a quick email/letter talking about how well they have been doing in class. Getting a piece of mail from your instructor is not just worthy of being put on the refrigerator, but for many, is a momento that they will never let go of.

Role-Model

You are a role-model for all of your students - whether you like it or not. Not just for your youth students, but your adults as well. You’re the awesome black belt - you can kick over your head, submit any student, do 300 push-ups in a row...you have rock-solid integrity and are well-respected in your school and out. There is no reason to keep up a facade - it is okay to be yourself, but remember that your students want to emulate you. If they see you doing something rather questionable on social media or hanging out with an unexpected crowd or place outside of their training, it could really mar their viewpoint on you, and could potentially be a major “let-down.” Be yourself, but be mindful that others are always watching, and that can be an opportunity or a danger.

Like a Preacher in a Church

A great martial arts teacher is like a charismatic pastor of a local church. His audience is holding onto every word. They feverishly look forward to next week’s sermon and opportunity to bask in the glory of the group’s worship. They have great respect for this preacher because they know he/she is transparent, righteous, and has integrity.

If you walk into a hoppin’ school, you will get the same feeling. The student are intently watching, laughing, listening to every word and instruction. The harmonious kiais fill the room like the echo of a choir singing the gospel. The school is brimming with the energy of personal growth and moving up the rungs of self-mastery.

Michael Hodge is the founder & head instructor of Ultimate Bo, and teaches this art on the Global Martial Arts University. He also runs a kids-only private academy in rural North Texas. 

Qualities of a Great Martial Arts Teacher

Teacher’s Attitude

When I think back to the most impactful teachers from my life, there is a commonality. They tended to push me hard, and really challenge my capabilities; but from a place of love. They had a strong backbone and were even strict at times, but also pumped out positive energy and passion. As martial arts teachers, we want to emulate this double-edged sword of strength and caring. We want to show our students that we have great self-confidence, but are not full of ourselves.

Check Your Ego at the Door

There is a fine line between showing off to stroke your own ego, and inspiring a sense of wonder into your students. Some of us have experienced instructors who are so strong, athletic, and capable that they are constantly showing off their moves. Don’t get me wrong, we need to show our students that we know our stuff, and I never recommend asking your students to do something that you would not do. But, your student base is not an audience, for whom you are entertaining.

Confidence

Your students can smell nervousness or lack of self-confidence, and it keep them trapped in their own lower emotions. Walk onto the mat ready to rock and roll, even if you are not the world’s best at a certain technique that is on your class plan. You can be the best at teaching it and helping your students master it. Have a plan. When I have a plan, when I am organized, I feel like I can hit every note - the warm up, drills, games, techniques - they are all locked and loaded. I might know the ins and outs of a technique, but without a fun and varied class plan, I feel a little naked when I walk on the mat. Everyone is different - but walk out prepared and you’ll be brimming with confidence.

Control

Leadership is a dictatorship not a democracy. Don’t let your students run class, don’t have them do whatever they want when they want to. You need to have a set of rules that must be followed and are consistently enforced. Many traditional martial arts have a set of etiquette that is to be followed. Even if you teach a modern martial art, it is incredibly important that you have a set of expectations before, during, and after class. This will help you maintain control without having to herd cats. Here are some things to consider:

  • What happens when students show up late to class? Where do they go? Do students know that this is the procedure? (Make it known in the new student manual, or at the time of signing up, or a new student orientation class.)
  • What if a student does not have their uniform? Does not have their belt, or does not know how to tie it?
  • Where are students supposed to be before class begins?
  • What if someone has to use the bathroom? (Have them raise their hand and respectfully ask to be dismissed).
  • Is there a bowing procedure when walking onto the mat?
  • Are parents and siblings/toddlers being loud? Do they have a place to go? Is it known that they should be quiet during class?
  • What happens immediately after class? Do students linger about and joke with the instructor while the next group of students is ignored?

Caring

A great teacher takes an interest in their student. This does not mean that you should make an effort to be overly involved with a student outside of the school - visiting them at their house, hanging out, going to parties, etc. Clearly use your best judgement and set boundaries. But, how can we really show that we care? Here are some things that I do:

  • Always greet the student and their family before class. I like to ask how their weekend went, how school is going, ask about sports, their job, or anything that really matters.
  • Check on their progress. Address a certain technique or issue that they are starting to overcome, or ask if they have been practicing at thome. If you see a student struggling with something, give them a list of things to do at home, or show them a special movement that helped you to master that movement.
  • Remind your students that you were a student/white belt once. Sometimes our students see us as superhero experts that never make mistakes. Tell them about mistakes that you made, or show your own vulnerabilities (perhaps in a new style you’re learning) and mistakes that you are prone to. Students like to know that you’re human too.
  • Send an awesome job card, birthday card, or a quick email/letter talking about how well they have been doing in class. Getting a piece of mail from your instructor is not just worthy of being put on the refrigerator, but for many, is a momento that they will never let go of.

Role-Model

You are a role-model for all of your students - whether you like it or not. Not just for your youth students, but your adults as well. You’re the awesome black belt - you can kick over your head, submit any student, do 300 push-ups in a row...you have rock-solid integrity and are well-respected in your school and out. There is no reason to keep up a facade - it is okay to be yourself, but remember that your students want to emulate you. If they see you doing something rather questionable on social media or hanging out with an unexpected crowd or place outside of their training, it could really mar their viewpoint on you, and could potentially be a major “let-down.” Be yourself, but be mindful that others are always watching, and that can be an opportunity or a danger.

Like a Preacher in a Church

A great martial arts teacher is like a charismatic pastor of a local church. His audience is holding onto every word. They feverishly look forward to next week’s sermon and opportunity to bask in the glory of the group’s worship. They have great respect for this preacher because they know he/she is transparent, righteous, and has integrity.

If you walk into a hoppin’ school, you will get the same feeling. The student are intently watching, laughing, listening to every word and instruction. The harmonious kiais fill the room like the echo of a choir singing the gospel. The school is brimming with the energy of personal growth and moving up the rungs of self-mastery.

Michael Hodge is the founder & head instructor of Ultimate Bo, and teaches this art on the Global Martial Arts University. He also runs a kids-only private academy in rural North Texas. 

Qualities of a Great Martial Arts Teacher

Teacher’s Attitude

When I think back to the most impactful teachers from my life, there is a commonality. They tended to push me hard, and really challenge my capabilities; but from a place of love. They had a strong backbone and were even strict at times, but also pumped out positive energy and passion. As martial arts teachers, we want to emulate this double-edged sword of strength and caring. We want to show our students that we have great self-confidence, but are not full of ourselves.

Check Your Ego at the Door

There is a fine line between showing off to stroke your own ego, and inspiring a sense of wonder into your students. Some of us have experienced instructors who are so strong, athletic, and capable that they are constantly showing off their moves. Don’t get me wrong, we need to show our students that we know our stuff, and I never recommend asking your students to do something that you would not do. But, your student base is not an audience, for whom you are entertaining.

Confidence

Your students can smell nervousness or lack of self-confidence, and it keep them trapped in their own lower emotions. Walk onto the mat ready to rock and roll, even if you are not the world’s best at a certain technique that is on your class plan. You can be the best at teaching it and helping your students master it. Have a plan. When I have a plan, when I am organized, I feel like I can hit every note - the warm up, drills, games, techniques - they are all locked and loaded. I might know the ins and outs of a technique, but without a fun and varied class plan, I feel a little naked when I walk on the mat. Everyone is different - but walk out prepared and you’ll be brimming with confidence.

Control

Leadership is a dictatorship not a democracy. Don’t let your students run class, don’t have them do whatever they want when they want to. You need to have a set of rules that must be followed and are consistently enforced. Many traditional martial arts have a set of etiquette that is to be followed. Even if you teach a modern martial art, it is incredibly important that you have a set of expectations before, during, and after class. This will help you maintain control without having to herd cats. Here are some things to consider:

  • What happens when students show up late to class? Where do they go? Do students know that this is the procedure? (Make it known in the new student manual, or at the time of signing up, or a new student orientation class.)
  • What if a student does not have their uniform? Does not have their belt, or does not know how to tie it?
  • Where are students supposed to be before class begins?
  • What if someone has to use the bathroom? (Have them raise their hand and respectfully ask to be dismissed).
  • Is there a bowing procedure when walking onto the mat?
  • Are parents and siblings/toddlers being loud? Do they have a place to go? Is it known that they should be quiet during class?
  • What happens immediately after class? Do students linger about and joke with the instructor while the next group of students is ignored?

Caring

A great teacher takes an interest in their student. This does not mean that you should make an effort to be overly involved with a student outside of the school - visiting them at their house, hanging out, going to parties, etc. Clearly use your best judgement and set boundaries. But, how can we really show that we care? Here are some things that I do:

  • Always greet the student and their family before class. I like to ask how their weekend went, how school is going, ask about sports, their job, or anything that really matters.
  • Check on their progress. Address a certain technique or issue that they are starting to overcome, or ask if they have been practicing at thome. If you see a student struggling with something, give them a list of things to do at home, or show them a special movement that helped you to master that movement.
  • Remind your students that you were a student/white belt once. Sometimes our students see us as superhero experts that never make mistakes. Tell them about mistakes that you made, or show your own vulnerabilities (perhaps in a new style you’re learning) and mistakes that you are prone to. Students like to know that you’re human too.
  • Send an awesome job card, birthday card, or a quick email/letter talking about how well they have been doing in class. Getting a piece of mail from your instructor is not just worthy of being put on the refrigerator, but for many, is a momento that they will never let go of.

Role-Model

You are a role-model for all of your students - whether you like it or not. Not just for your youth students, but your adults as well. You’re the awesome black belt - you can kick over your head, submit any student, do 300 push-ups in a row...you have rock-solid integrity and are well-respected in your school and out. There is no reason to keep up a facade - it is okay to be yourself, but remember that your students want to emulate you. If they see you doing something rather questionable on social media or hanging out with an unexpected crowd or place outside of their training, it could really mar their viewpoint on you, and could potentially be a major “let-down.” Be yourself, but be mindful that others are always watching, and that can be an opportunity or a danger.

Like a Preacher in a Church

A great martial arts teacher is like a charismatic pastor of a local church. His audience is holding onto every word. They feverishly look forward to next week’s sermon and opportunity to bask in the glory of the group’s worship. They have great respect for this preacher because they know he/she is transparent, righteous, and has integrity.

If you walk into a hoppin’ school, you will get the same feeling. The student are intently watching, laughing, listening to every word and instruction. The harmonious kiais fill the room like the echo of a choir singing the gospel. The school is brimming with the energy of personal growth and moving up the rungs of self-mastery.

Michael Hodge is the founder & head instructor of Ultimate Bo, and teaches this art on the Global Martial Arts University. He also runs a kids-only private academy in rural North Texas. 

Qualities of a Great Martial Arts Teacher

Teacher’s Attitude

When I think back to the most impactful teachers from my life, there is a commonality. They tended to push me hard, and really challenge my capabilities; but from a place of love. They had a strong backbone and were even strict at times, but also pumped out positive energy and passion. As martial arts teachers, we want to emulate this double-edged sword of strength and caring. We want to show our students that we have great self-confidence, but are not full of ourselves.

Check Your Ego at the Door

There is a fine line between showing off to stroke your own ego, and inspiring a sense of wonder into your students. Some of us have experienced instructors who are so strong, athletic, and capable that they are constantly showing off their moves. Don’t get me wrong, we need to show our students that we know our stuff, and I never recommend asking your students to do something that you would not do. But, your student base is not an audience, for whom you are entertaining.

Confidence

Your students can smell nervousness or lack of self-confidence, and it keep them trapped in their own lower emotions. Walk onto the mat ready to rock and roll, even if you are not the world’s best at a certain technique that is on your class plan. You can be the best at teaching it and helping your students master it. Have a plan. When I have a plan, when I am organized, I feel like I can hit every note - the warm up, drills, games, techniques - they are all locked and loaded. I might know the ins and outs of a technique, but without a fun and varied class plan, I feel a little naked when I walk on the mat. Everyone is different - but walk out prepared and you’ll be brimming with confidence.

Control

Leadership is a dictatorship not a democracy. Don’t let your students run class, don’t have them do whatever they want when they want to. You need to have a set of rules that must be followed and are consistently enforced. Many traditional martial arts have a set of etiquette that is to be followed. Even if you teach a modern martial art, it is incredibly important that you have a set of expectations before, during, and after class. This will help you maintain control without having to herd cats. Here are some things to consider:

  • What happens when students show up late to class? Where do they go? Do students know that this is the procedure? (Make it known in the new student manual, or at the time of signing up, or a new student orientation class.)
  • What if a student does not have their uniform? Does not have their belt, or does not know how to tie it?
  • Where are students supposed to be before class begins?
  • What if someone has to use the bathroom? (Have them raise their hand and respectfully ask to be dismissed).
  • Is there a bowing procedure when walking onto the mat?
  • Are parents and siblings/toddlers being loud? Do they have a place to go? Is it known that they should be quiet during class?
  • What happens immediately after class? Do students linger about and joke with the instructor while the next group of students is ignored?

Caring

A great teacher takes an interest in their student. This does not mean that you should make an effort to be overly involved with a student outside of the school - visiting them at their house, hanging out, going to parties, etc. Clearly use your best judgement and set boundaries. But, how can we really show that we care? Here are some things that I do:

  • Always greet the student and their family before class. I like to ask how their weekend went, how school is going, ask about sports, their job, or anything that really matters.
  • Check on their progress. Address a certain technique or issue that they are starting to overcome, or ask if they have been practicing at thome. If you see a student struggling with something, give them a list of things to do at home, or show them a special movement that helped you to master that movement.
  • Remind your students that you were a student/white belt once. Sometimes our students see us as superhero experts that never make mistakes. Tell them about mistakes that you made, or show your own vulnerabilities (perhaps in a new style you’re learning) and mistakes that you are prone to. Students like to know that you’re human too.
  • Send an awesome job card, birthday card, or a quick email/letter talking about how well they have been doing in class. Getting a piece of mail from your instructor is not just worthy of being put on the refrigerator, but for many, is a momento that they will never let go of.

Role-Model

You are a role-model for all of your students - whether you like it or not. Not just for your youth students, but your adults as well. You’re the awesome black belt - you can kick over your head, submit any student, do 300 push-ups in a row...you have rock-solid integrity and are well-respected in your school and out. There is no reason to keep up a facade - it is okay to be yourself, but remember that your students want to emulate you. If they see you doing something rather questionable on social media or hanging out with an unexpected crowd or place outside of their training, it could really mar their viewpoint on you, and could potentially be a major “let-down.” Be yourself, but be mindful that others are always watching, and that can be an opportunity or a danger.

Like a Preacher in a Church

A great martial arts teacher is like a charismatic pastor of a local church. His audience is holding onto every word. They feverishly look forward to next week’s sermon and opportunity to bask in the glory of the group’s worship. They have great respect for this preacher because they know he/she is transparent, righteous, and has integrity.

If you walk into a hoppin’ school, you will get the same feeling. The student are intently watching, laughing, listening to every word and instruction. The harmonious kiais fill the room like the echo of a choir singing the gospel. The school is brimming with the energy of personal growth and moving up the rungs of self-mastery.

Michael Hodge is the founder & head instructor of Ultimate Bo, and teaches this art on the Global Martial Arts University. He also runs a kids-only private academy in rural North Texas. 

Qualities of a Great Martial Arts Teacher

Teacher’s Attitude

When I think back to the most impactful teachers from my life, there is a commonality. They tended to push me hard, and really challenge my capabilities; but from a place of love. They had a strong backbone and were even strict at times, but also pumped out positive energy and passion. As martial arts teachers, we want to emulate this double-edged sword of strength and caring. We want to show our students that we have great self-confidence, but are not full of ourselves.

Check Your Ego at the Door

There is a fine line between showing off to stroke your own ego, and inspiring a sense of wonder into your students. Some of us have experienced instructors who are so strong, athletic, and capable that they are constantly showing off their moves. Don’t get me wrong, we need to show our students that we know our stuff, and I never recommend asking your students to do something that you would not do. But, your student base is not an audience, for whom you are entertaining.

Confidence

Your students can smell nervousness or lack of self-confidence, and it keep them trapped in their own lower emotions. Walk onto the mat ready to rock and roll, even if you are not the world’s best at a certain technique that is on your class plan. You can be the best at teaching it and helping your students master it. Have a plan. When I have a plan, when I am organized, I feel like I can hit every note - the warm up, drills, games, techniques - they are all locked and loaded. I might know the ins and outs of a technique, but without a fun and varied class plan, I feel a little naked when I walk on the mat. Everyone is different - but walk out prepared and you’ll be brimming with confidence.

Control

Leadership is a dictatorship not a democracy. Don’t let your students run class, don’t have them do whatever they want when they want to. You need to have a set of rules that must be followed and are consistently enforced. Many traditional martial arts have a set of etiquette that is to be followed. Even if you teach a modern martial art, it is incredibly important that you have a set of expectations before, during, and after class. This will help you maintain control without having to herd cats. Here are some things to consider:

  • What happens when students show up late to class? Where do they go? Do students know that this is the procedure? (Make it known in the new student manual, or at the time of signing up, or a new student orientation class.)
  • What if a student does not have their uniform? Does not have their belt, or does not know how to tie it?
  • Where are students supposed to be before class begins?
  • What if someone has to use the bathroom? (Have them raise their hand and respectfully ask to be dismissed).
  • Is there a bowing procedure when walking onto the mat?
  • Are parents and siblings/toddlers being loud? Do they have a place to go? Is it known that they should be quiet during class?
  • What happens immediately after class? Do students linger about and joke with the instructor while the next group of students is ignored?

Caring

A great teacher takes an interest in their student. This does not mean that you should make an effort to be overly involved with a student outside of the school - visiting them at their house, hanging out, going to parties, etc. Clearly use your best judgement and set boundaries. But, how can we really show that we care? Here are some things that I do:

  • Always greet the student and their family before class. I like to ask how their weekend went, how school is going, ask about sports, their job, or anything that really matters.
  • Check on their progress. Address a certain technique or issue that they are starting to overcome, or ask if they have been practicing at thome. If you see a student struggling with something, give them a list of things to do at home, or show them a special movement that helped you to master that movement.
  • Remind your students that you were a student/white belt once. Sometimes our students see us as superhero experts that never make mistakes. Tell them about mistakes that you made, or show your own vulnerabilities (perhaps in a new style you’re learning) and mistakes that you are prone to. Students like to know that you’re human too.
  • Send an awesome job card, birthday card, or a quick email/letter talking about how well they have been doing in class. Getting a piece of mail from your instructor is not just worthy of being put on the refrigerator, but for many, is a momento that they will never let go of.

Role-Model

You are a role-model for all of your students - whether you like it or not. Not just for your youth students, but your adults as well. You’re the awesome black belt - you can kick over your head, submit any student, do 300 push-ups in a row...you have rock-solid integrity and are well-respected in your school and out. There is no reason to keep up a facade - it is okay to be yourself, but remember that your students want to emulate you. If they see you doing something rather questionable on social media or hanging out with an unexpected crowd or place outside of their training, it could really mar their viewpoint on you, and could potentially be a major “let-down.” Be yourself, but be mindful that others are always watching, and that can be an opportunity or a danger.

Like a Preacher in a Church

A great martial arts teacher is like a charismatic pastor of a local church. His audience is holding onto every word. They feverishly look forward to next week’s sermon and opportunity to bask in the glory of the group’s worship. They have great respect for this preacher because they know he/she is transparent, righteous, and has integrity.

If you walk into a hoppin’ school, you will get the same feeling. The student are intently watching, laughing, listening to every word and instruction. The harmonious kiais fill the room like the echo of a choir singing the gospel. The school is brimming with the energy of personal growth and moving up the rungs of self-mastery.

Michael Hodge is the founder & head instructor of Ultimate Bo, and teaches this art on the Global Martial Arts University. He also runs a kids-only private academy in rural North Texas. 

Qualities of a Great Martial Arts Teacher

Teacher’s Attitude

When I think back to the most impactful teachers from my life, there is a commonality. They tended to push me hard, and really challenge my capabilities; but from a place of love. They had a strong backbone and were even strict at times, but also pumped out positive energy and passion. As martial arts teachers, we want to emulate this double-edged sword of strength and caring. We want to show our students that we have great self-confidence, but are not full of ourselves.

Check Your Ego at the Door

There is a fine line between showing off to stroke your own ego, and inspiring a sense of wonder into your students. Some of us have experienced instructors who are so strong, athletic, and capable that they are constantly showing off their moves. Don’t get me wrong, we need to show our students that we know our stuff, and I never recommend asking your students to do something that you would not do. But, your student base is not an audience, for whom you are entertaining.

Confidence

Your students can smell nervousness or lack of self-confidence, and it keep them trapped in their own lower emotions. Walk onto the mat ready to rock and roll, even if you are not the world’s best at a certain technique that is on your class plan. You can be the best at teaching it and helping your students master it. Have a plan. When I have a plan, when I am organized, I feel like I can hit every note - the warm up, drills, games, techniques - they are all locked and loaded. I might know the ins and outs of a technique, but without a fun and varied class plan, I feel a little naked when I walk on the mat. Everyone is different - but walk out prepared and you’ll be brimming with confidence.

Control

Leadership is a dictatorship not a democracy. Don’t let your students run class, don’t have them do whatever they want when they want to. You need to have a set of rules that must be followed and are consistently enforced. Many traditional martial arts have a set of etiquette that is to be followed. Even if you teach a modern martial art, it is incredibly important that you have a set of expectations before, during, and after class. This will help you maintain control without having to herd cats. Here are some things to consider:

  • What happens when students show up late to class? Where do they go? Do students know that this is the procedure? (Make it known in the new student manual, or at the time of signing up, or a new student orientation class.)
  • What if a student does not have their uniform? Does not have their belt, or does not know how to tie it?
  • Where are students supposed to be before class begins?
  • What if someone has to use the bathroom? (Have them raise their hand and respectfully ask to be dismissed).
  • Is there a bowing procedure when walking onto the mat?
  • Are parents and siblings/toddlers being loud? Do they have a place to go? Is it known that they should be quiet during class?
  • What happens immediately after class? Do students linger about and joke with the instructor while the next group of students is ignored?

Caring

A great teacher takes an interest in their student. This does not mean that you should make an effort to be overly involved with a student outside of the school - visiting them at their house, hanging out, going to parties, etc. Clearly use your best judgement and set boundaries. But, how can we really show that we care? Here are some things that I do:

  • Always greet the student and their family before class. I like to ask how their weekend went, how school is going, ask about sports, their job, or anything that really matters.
  • Check on their progress. Address a certain technique or issue that they are starting to overcome, or ask if they have been practicing at thome. If you see a student struggling with something, give them a list of things to do at home, or show them a special movement that helped you to master that movement.
  • Remind your students that you were a student/white belt once. Sometimes our students see us as superhero experts that never make mistakes. Tell them about mistakes that you made, or show your own vulnerabilities (perhaps in a new style you’re learning) and mistakes that you are prone to. Students like to know that you’re human too.
  • Send an awesome job card, birthday card, or a quick email/letter talking about how well they have been doing in class. Getting a piece of mail from your instructor is not just worthy of being put on the refrigerator, but for many, is a momento that they will never let go of.

Role-Model

You are a role-model for all of your students - whether you like it or not. Not just for your youth students, but your adults as well. You’re the awesome black belt - you can kick over your head, submit any student, do 300 push-ups in a row...you have rock-solid integrity and are well-respected in your school and out. There is no reason to keep up a facade - it is okay to be yourself, but remember that your students want to emulate you. If they see you doing something rather questionable on social media or hanging out with an unexpected crowd or place outside of their training, it could really mar their viewpoint on you, and could potentially be a major “let-down.” Be yourself, but be mindful that others are always watching, and that can be an opportunity or a danger.

Like a Preacher in a Church

A great martial arts teacher is like a charismatic pastor of a local church. His audience is holding onto every word. They feverishly look forward to next week’s sermon and opportunity to bask in the glory of the group’s worship. They have great respect for this preacher because they know he/she is transparent, righteous, and has integrity.

If you walk into a hoppin’ school, you will get the same feeling. The student are intently watching, laughing, listening to every word and instruction. The harmonious kiais fill the room like the echo of a choir singing the gospel. The school is brimming with the energy of personal growth and moving up the rungs of self-mastery.

Michael Hodge is the founder & head instructor of Ultimate Bo, and teaches this art on the Global Martial Arts University. He also runs a kids-only private academy in rural North Texas. 

Learn How One Martial Arts School Owner Launched a Successful Online Course

In this article, we meet Dustin Koppel. He has been a career martial arts instructor for over ten years and has owned a school for five years. He currently owns two successful schools in the Knoxville, Tennessee area, and teamed up with the Global Martial Arts University to  launch an online Krav Maga program. In this interview, he discusses what it has been like since starting the online program back in 2016. 

Dustin's GMAU Course Success Story

This is an interview between Michael Hodge, the Director of the GMAU, and Dustin Koppel, the Krav Maga head instructor.

Michael: Why did you want to launch your Global Krav Maga Course?

Dustin: So, I met Michael Hodge back in early 2009. He owned a school out in Texas and I was actually here in Tennessee working and we developed a friendship. A couple years later, he reached out to me and was talking about this idea that he had with Global Martial Arts University and teaching Krav Maga online.

At first, I was really hesitant with it, you know, thinking how can you do Krav Maga online and what the not? But the more I thought about it, and the more I talked to him, if you look at how things are nowadays and how everything is shifting, almost everything is done online now. You can get a personal trainer certification, you can get a college degree online, you can go on YouTube and learn just about anything online.

It really made a lot of sense to me and I saw the potential. You know, I own two schools here in Tennessee, but I saw the potential of having thousands of students and being able to reach so many people throughout the world, so that’s really why I dove right in headfirst and was super excited about making these detailed classes in the way that we’ve designed our classes and our interactions with the students. They get so much feedback from the instructors that it’s almost like having a personal training session, and they get to do so much work at home, just like a lot of students here at classes do. They practice in their class with everybody and then they go home and sometimes they’ll practice on their own. But now, instead of doing the class format, they do it online, and see these classes that are really designed for being at home. It’s a really unique opportunity and I just couldn’t say no to it.

Michael: Like how much time do you spend on the GMAU on a weekly basis or how do you juggle that and having a local school?

Dustin: I actually, like I said, own two schools in Tennessee. I run a show, which is called National Top Roller, which is for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and then I work with the Global Martial Arts University. At times it can get tough to juggle and my wife is always joking with me about how I’m always on my phone, but really, I’ve broken it down to where I spend about an hour in the mornings on Global Martial Arts, I spend an hour with National Top Roller, and then I’m teaching later that night at my schools and marketing, things like that. Usually, I spend about an hour a day.

Now, students will send their assignments. They’ll send in tests and I’ll watch those and then later that night after I’m done teaching, do a quick feedback video for them, which is anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, upload it to them and get it sent back to them, so it’s really become a daily routine for me. It’s become my everyday life. I spend that time watching, answering questions for them and as I said, I take about an hour and dedicate it to the Global Martial Arts University.

Michael: How has the income from GMAU course improved your life or changed your life since being a part of it?

Dustin: It’s been amazing to watch the growth from when we first started to where we are now. I’ve really been able to pay all of my personal bills from GMAU. From my house to some of our cars, to our normal, everyday bills, so it’s really changed that.

Plus, I still have the other income from my schools, my National Top Roller, and really, I’ve been able to invest and do a lot more things. It’s been an amazing thing even though it’s a couple hundred students right now, the growth and watching it every single month grow and grow and grow and having the opportunities of doing testing, exams, assignments, instructor certifications, and having people come in-person and test, so there’s always these small bonuses as well. It’s been very beneficial for me to continue invest into the schools and other projects that I do.

Michael: What do you like most about working with your home study students, since you’re not actually there locally with them? What do you enjoy about that?

Dustin: One thing that I absolutely love, is when I get to watch these videos and watching the growth of the students, from their physical abilities to actually taking what we give them, their feedback, and applying it. And it’s such a unique opportunity to be able to work with people in Australia, South Africa, Greece, and all over Europe. It’s really unique to me and exciting to talk to these students and give them feedback and work with them, but the most important thing is, watching their growth in Krav Maga and really seeing that doing this online can change their lives and help them out in the long run.

Michael: And the last one, from your opinion, what sets the GMAU apart from other online schools, like from what you’ve seen?

Dustin: As you guys know, there’s quite a few different online programs that are out there. A lot of them are just video banks and you pay a monthly fee and you can click on the video and watch it.

What we’ve done is—Michael Hodge and the team at the Global Martial Arts University—is really listen to our students and every single month - we’re trying to improve our website and our student feedback. We’re always giving them something new. We’re always giving them something to continue working on and challenging them and giving them new goals through the GMAU. It’s really awesome to see that.

From having a live feed of when students complete things, being able to give the students high-fives, kind of like a like on Facebook, it’s really almost becoming like a positive community for martial artists. It’s a very interactive thing, being able to find students that are near you if you want to train with them, you can reach out, you can message them, you can have a discussion on the forum and talk about your ideas. There’s so much that’s involved in it, it’s become very community oriented at the same time with the martial arts and being able to continue growing and continuing your learning.

You can learn more about the Global Martial Arts University Krav Maga course here. Are you a black belt martial arts instructor and school owner? Apply to launch your own course with the GMAU.

Is Your Personality Type Holding You Back from Succeeding in Online Martial Arts?

This is a guest post authored by Adam Bein, currently a yellow belt in the Global Martial Arts University Shotokan Karate program. He maintains a helpful blog for other shotokan home study students.

You've signed up to learn Shotokan Karate through the Global Martial Arts University.  You pay your fee and you've begun to watch videos and practice.  Wouldn't it be nice to know what hurdles YOU face studying martial arts online due to YOUR specific personality type-that other people who have a personality type different from yours, do NOT have to deal with or face?  Another way to look at this;  how does your type of personality get in the way of advancing in online martial arts training?  Furthermore; how can you leverage the benefits of YOUR personality type to maximize returns and advancement in online martial arts training?  The big question is:  Is understanding your personality type key to excelling and progressing, and not dropping out of, online martial arts training?  I say "Yes.  Understand yourself and your chances of advancement in online martial arts training are significantly greater." 

So What Type of Personality Do I Have?

There  is a personality categorizing test called the 'Kiersey Temperament Sorter' (sometimes known as the Meyers Briggs Personality Test), that, through a series of approximately 80 questions, any individual can find what personality type they have/dominates them, how they function and perceive the world around them, how people with that personality type make decisions, what they prefer, their needs, and their motivation.  

The Member

Are you a person who leans towards membership, being part of a community, finds comfort in functioning in a group setting? You might excel in online martial arts training if you get other people to join your endeavor in a weekly meeting.   Ask family members, people from your church, youth group, other clubs or organizations to join you.  Together all of you can learn Karate.  This might be exactly what you, and they, need, is a good fit-group learning Karate with Global Martial Arts University.  Succeed and advance as a group or a team.

The Perfectionist

Are you a person who strives on improving, perfection, to have skill or knowledge, to understand?  Are you extremely self-critical, self-doubting, yet you have an inquiring attitude?  Consider toning down your tenseness.  You more than the other personality types must learn to accept the mistakes and imperfections that you exhibit on your way to being proficient. You WILL reach competency!  You WILL excel at Karate!  You are never on the verge of failure-you are an exciting, brave individual and you WILL be skilled!  You might need to 'take it down a notch', and 'relax'.  Enjoy the process, enjoy the journey - with Global Martial Arts University. 

The Butterfly

Are you a butterfly?  Do you go from exciting endeavor to exciting endeavor? Are you quickly bored with the mundane?  Incorporate your Karate training into the pursuit of your own identity.  Help YOU become a finished, significant self. Global Martial Arts University can help you bring out the best IN you.  Time your learning and enthusiasm in the correct dosages and stick with it and you will ever closer get to perfection in the art of Karate and towards being a finished self, the you you really are!

The Action Star

Are you a person of action?  Repetition-boring!  Freedom to do as you wish-exciting!  YOU can work or practice for hours!   Karate is fun!  Karate is exciting!  The kicks, the blocks, the striking!  Look at you!  Preciseness, boldness, timing!  But one thing you must learn-leveling up in belts and improving in Shotokan Karate is not an accident and is not done simply by repetition.  Instead, success requires analysis, success requires setting and meeting goals, and improving-and not abandoning this endeavor when boredom strikes (you know you get bored easily!) you need to look BEFORE you leap.   One of the keys to YOUR success in learning Shotokan Karate with Global Martial Arts University is for you to realize that this race is not a sprint, it is long-distance and as such, requires levels of attention to which you would prefer, if given the option, let's be honest, to completely avoid.  You're a do-er after all.  Hate to break the bad news to you but it's time for less scattered doing and more thinking, focusing, planning, and sticking with the plan. 

So GMAU student, which type of person are you; the Member, the Perfectionist, the Butterfly, or the Action Star?  It may be important for you to understand yourself and your personality type so you can custom tailor your learning to fit YOUR personality and to steer away from pitfalls unique to your personality type, so you can excel in the online learning of Shotokan Karate. 

My Karate Journey with the Global Martial Arts University (Guest Post by Jonas Bieri)

This is a guest  post written by Jonas Bieri, of Switzerland. He is currently a 3rd kyu brown belt in Shotokan Karate-Do with the Global Martial Arts University. He also maintains a blog about his karate journey.

When my kids started Karate at a local dojo, my interest in the Shotokan style started. Watching them train, learn and grow made me want to practice Karate, too. Observing their world-class japanese instructor teach them techniques, mindset and stamina, and seeing all the kids improve, rank, sometimes fail and retry, motivated me enormously.

Being already a student in a local Goshindo Jiu Jitsu dojo and training once or twice a week, I did not want to spend yet another weeknight away from the family to practice Karate, so in 2016 I joined the Global Martial Arts University with their distance learning course to learn Karate at home via video lessons instead. We have some free space in the corridor between the kids’ rooms, that’s where I placed a mirror and now call it my home dojo.

The beginning was easy. Every free minute I slipped into my Karate gi and practiced along the lessons and classes of Sensei Jon. I already knew about the techniques from watching my kids, so I progressed fast, and soon I was able to test for yellow belt. I made space in the living room, started the camera on my phone - and felt horrible stage fright creep up on me!

I have never had problems with oral examinations at school or uni, but demonstrating my Karate on video for my Sensei, that was different territory. It really is hard for me to keep calm, breathe, and stay focused while still relaxing my body during an exam. Never before have I experienced a mental blackout, but in Karate exams this happens regularly to me (as you can observe in my latest examination video at 3:00). Thus for me practicing to overcome the blackouts is a great lesson for life.

The level of stress may be lower than what my kids experience during their exam in front of their Sensei and parents, but I think this is compensated by the much longer and physically more demanding video exam the GMAU requires. With each belt level, new techniques are added to the syllabus, and it gets more demanding. Even though with the addition of the different kicks the training gets harder, I now prefer longer training sessions than I did at the beginning. At yellow belt level I usually trained 30-60 minutes, while I now prefer 1-2 hour sessions. The longer the session, the more important it is to vary training intensity, so I had to learn to listen better to my body.

I usually do not plan my training session ahead - I begin with a short, 30 seconds meditation to calm my everyday thoughts and worries, focus on the state of my body and mind, what feels good and what not. Often I start with one of the video classes for the warm up, no matter what belt level they are targeted at. Depending on my mood and how much my legs can take, I vary the intensity of the basic techniques (Kihon) that follows. Sometimes I control myself in the mirror, sometimes I trust my body feeling alone. Towards a belt exam, I remove the mirror to gain confidence in what I do and how it feels, and shoot a video to check if what I feel matches how it looks from the outside.

I never do a training session without Kata. Usually I repeat every Kata twice, finishing with that required for the next belt level. Learning a new Kata is always hard for me, I’m not the fastest learner. It takes real dedication, perseverance and many hours of watching videos, checking my Karate books over and over, visualizing myself working through the techniques several times a day (e.g. before drifting off to sleep at night), and of course physically training the form dozens of times. Yet it’s worth it.

With my Kata training I think I now understand and feel what C. W. Nicols describes as “Moving Zen” in his Karate Memoirs. I often reach that state Sensei Jon describes as “No Mind”, where Kata movements just flow without thinking about what was and what’s next, and my mind is completely focused on the here and now. After such a session I feel reinvigorated, relaxed and full of energy for life.

And for me, that’s what it is all about.

Jonas is an active contributor on our Discussion Board, and has also filmed a "Student Created Class" for the entire shotokan student base. When you login to a free or enrolled account, go to Extras, then "Student Created Classes" to see his class.

Finalists of the 90 Day Student Challenge - Who Will Win?

It has been an exciting 90 day challenge! We started with 34 energized participants three months ago. Students who had set the goal of earning their next belt within the next 90 days, and to document their journey along the way. For some, they were off to a strong start. Training with intensity, blogging, making videos, and making progress. For a few, life got in the way, and they were not able to continue to make blog posts and train as regularly as they would have liked. Our initial group dwindled down to 6 finalists. Six students who not only trained with consistent intensity, but also documented their journey along the way for you to follow. Six students who put it on the line, and submitted their next rank exams.

Now, it is up to all active Global Martial Arts University students to vote for the winner. Remember, the grand winner will receive a $400 cruise gift certificate (its about time for a vacation after all of that training), the runner up will receive a custom GMAU training kit, and all finalists are receiving a special edition "Challenge T-Shirt." Here is an overview of the challenge and prizes.

And now, the finalists. Take some time to visit their blog or youtube channel to see what their 90 day challenge was like. Watch their rank exam video, and take notes for yourself. And then, login to your GMAU student account and vote for the winner! Are you not an active GMAU student yet, today is a great day to being your own challenge.

Nathan Douglas

Jonas Bieri

Conray Paul van Biljon

Adam Bein

Matthew Allen

Ambreen Khan-Evans

Voting Begins Now!

If you are an official (active) GMAU student, you will be able to cast a vote. Consider the student's overall challenge. Read their blog or watch a few of their video updates. Contrast their improvement over the challenge to their test. Take into account their testing video, and overall journey. Thanks for voting!