1 - Fostering an interest in education, and
2 - Building Creativity, or in other words, thinking outside the box.
As martial arts instructors we have an opportunity to be able to equip students with a wondrous mind. To be able to think of new ways out of a particular problem. Not to become robots. Let me explain.
When asked what they are going to do when they leave school many default to a 'Gap year.' What a golden opportunity to be able to continue your education as you travel! Even the word ‘Gap’ is wrong. No year should be a gap in our education.
The year after school should be a high point as it should be a continuation of the child’s education in any area of life that interests them.
What's The Connection With Martial Arts?
As instructors we should look at our contribution to a student’s education as we can access this natural creativity. We do this by demonstrating A VARIETY of defences to an attack. We then hold the student responsible for their choice.
For example, if there is a standardised way of dealing with an attack, an opponent is going to be able to see it coming a mile away. We always have to think of unexpected ways of defending our self. That is why Brazilian Jiujitsu is constantly changing and evolving. Because of this BJJ has created this league of cult-like followers. It is the reason why many compare chess to BJJ. If you act logically, you get nailed. You must be creative.
But it shouldn’t be limited to BJJ.
In the past we have taught that when an opponent does a particular attack, we respond in a robot like fashion. Like a production line. Those days are gone. We can't do that any more. Our response should be, “Here are 12 ways to block a punch, kick or whatever. I'm going to show you all 12 ways but you must master one, and have two or three as backups. It doesn't matter which one you do. Your job is just to produce the result at the end.”
Having said this, your challenge now as an instructor is not to modify your curriculum. It is to totally transform it based on the new way of education that our schools are trying to move in. The problem with our mainstream education system is that it is a massive dinosaur and it cannot change directions quickly.
As an instructor you can change directions tomorrow if you so wish. If you want to, you can change the way you teach in your next class.
Any hesitations arising in your mind right now are just excuses.