Saturday, April 26, 2014

When the cat's away

Have you ever attended a martial arts class when the head instructor was away? This happens a lot in the bigger schools, but somewhat infrequently in the smaller ones. I’m always interested to see how the students respond when the master is away.

The unfortunate aspect of a class being led by a substitute, almost assuredly a junior ranking teacher, is that some members of the class simply won’t work as hard. That would be bad enough if it weren’t also the case that these same folks seem to want to disrupt the entire class. They groan when asked to execute strenuously, or they talk out of turn.

These wanna-bees miss a fundamental element of the class.

The hard work, the exercise, the effort is not for the benefit of the instructors; it’s for the students. If you find yourself working harder when the master is in the room, versus when a junior instructor is leading the class - take note, you are the one who’s missing out.


  1. We have an unspoken rule that whoever our Sensei puts in charge is a representative of Sensei and should be treated with the same level of respect. It helps. Everyone is on the same team.

  2. That's a great rule, and it is the same for us. What I've noticed is that *some* students just don't push themselves as hard when the Master is away. It's a shame, because they only hurt themselves.


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