A recently posed question to me asks;
Mr. Lewis, many people are adamant that a martial arts instructor must be a master of executing techniques and fighting. However, many of the great boxing instructors such as Angelo Dundee, weren't fighters. How much emphasis would you personally place on an instructor's ability to perform technique and fight? Should an instructor be proficient in combat to teach it, or is it only essential that one be able to show a fighter how to master the moves without being a master of them yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
“What counts most is not the martial arts skills you’re able to perform or to teach someone, but rather the confidence you leave within them that enables their effective use of those skills.”
When Angelo Dundee’s Brother, Chris, wanted his own Son to learn how to defend himself, he did not send him to train with the Uncle, Angelo; instead, he send him to take karate lessons from one of our Florida studios.
Some of my instructors taught me technique, and others taught me about how to fight. In other words, some trainers are good at teaching “style” and others are better at developing ones “substance.” A fighter needs both.
I’ll leave you with another of my quotes: “It is not what you’ve done that makes you what you are (a great trainer), it is what you are made of that determines that.”