At a certain point I forgot how to teach.

I believe I first coped, then repeated when learning a technique or movement.

Then I began to ‘do’ – where it just makes sense and your technique or methods flow.

But one day, you begin to create.

First, you see it the attack or the opening as it happens and begin to adapt to it and you guide it to where you want it to go.

After a period – you see it before it happens.  You’ve been there, you know what will most likely happen, and you are there before it happens.  Even when wrong, you can use your training to adjust to still guide what’s happening.

Then you create – it only takes once and you are addicted to creating your own methods.

You adapt constantly…either reactively, or proactively, and adapt to everything about your opponent.  His face, his movement, his mechanics, his mannerisms, his center mass.

You are able to stop what is happening and begin creating.

You get good at it and can do it by simply having done it so many times that everything slows down as you do it and you are just adapting the physics and mechanics to the situation.

But one day, you forget how to teach it all.

You come to a point where everything you are doing is creation and then you try to explain to the students what you did.

Many people get to this level in their martial art experience.

The maddening, dividing line is…can you teach it.

I haven’t been actively teaching students to get to where I am.  I haven’t taught someone to create.  But, I know how to get them there.

I know how to get them there because I keep copious amounts of notes…every thought process, training debrief, tons of videos, systematizing the knowledge.

Often times we get caught in the trap of just doing what we think works, or what we see someone else do what works.  This trap is just a loop that long term we will come to a point of tiring with what we know works…or we are shocked when it doesn’t work when we need it most.

My advice – take notes, document, film everything.  Create processes, try them with friends and other students, and always think…no…know there is a better way of doing something.

You just haven’t found that way yet – but you will.

The line between teaching knowing how to do something and remembering it when teaching is how detailed you have made your own personal study.

When you can reflect back on notes 8 years previous you will always get there again because you have a map.

– Matt


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