The Tao of Teaching Martial Arts: Daniel Norris (Jeet Kune Do)

“But at the end of the day, it’s my martial journey, and by teaching – I become better.” -Daniel Norris. Today we meet Daniel Norris and his students from Arlington Self Defense Club. Watch his unique teaching style and see the impact it is making. This is why we do martial arts. This is why we teach.

Watch the First Episode of “The Tao of Teaching Martial Arts”

What is The Tao of Teaching Martial Arts?

The Tao of Teaching Martial Arts peers into the styles of instruction from a wide range of martial arts instructors. The series deconstructs why certain methods of instruction either sink or swim, and displays the deep impact that martial arts teachers are making in the lives of their students.

In this episode, we meet Daniel Norris, the head instructor of Arlington Self Defense Club. He teaches an eclectic style of street self defense, based in Jeet Kune Do. But, is not afraid to add in some Capoeira, Boxing, Krav, or BJJ when it makes the most sense. 


“Remain physically engaged with your students – all the time. Share your energy and feel their energy. That’s how you learn and pass on the art.” -Daniel Norris


What stands out about Daniel’s teaching style?

  • It’s up close and personal. By teaching a smaller group, he is able to give every student the attention that they need. He gives personal experiences and vivid accounts of why certain techniques do or do not work.
  • It flow and builds upon itself. His drills threaded together like nicely to make one complete tapestry of a self defense scenario. The multiple modalities gives his students options that could make more sense to their particular body type.
  • He physically trains alongside his students. Rather than watching from afar and correcting purely with oral instructions, he trains with his students. Rotating in with each one, in different drills, while also keeping a keen eye out for mistakes.
  • It is delivered from the affirmative. While teaching class, he has a tendency to look for students doing things right, rather than bashing down every single mistake.

How can I be featured on the Tao of Teaching show?

Please leave a comment below, nominating an instructor that we should profile. Along with any comments regarding this episode. Let us know what you learned!

Written by Michael Hodge
I am a Lead Instructor at the Global Martial Arts University. I live with my three energetic kids and wonderful wife on a prairie in Texas. I also lead The Abundance Projects.