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.