Break the Habit of Tagging

This is a 2-minute video lesson from the Martial Arts Teacher’s Association Instructors’ Certification course. MATACertification.com

Have you ever spoken to someone or listen to a speaker that has a habit, a language pattern of finishing their sentences or statements or lessons off with the same phrase?

For instance, you’re talking to somebody and he’s explaining something and then asks, “You got me?” “You got me?” “You got me?”

Or,
“You know what I’m saying?”

“You hear me?”
“You hear me?”

That’s called a tag. A tag weakens your delivery because you’re asking for permission.

“OK” is another classic tag.

The instructor says “Fighting stance, OK? We’re going to do this, this, and this. OK?”

I’m not asking permission from the students to teach them fighting stance. They bowed into my class. Line up!

Joe Lewis had a tag. “Make sense?”

He would explain something…”Makes sense?”

He was a highly analytical technical teacher.

Contrast that with someone like Bruce Lee, who was far less about technique
and more about the spirit behind it.

The merging of both those teaching
styles, I think is ideal.

But because Joe was so analytical, he
wanted to make sure it made sense to you.

And in many cases, as a teacher it’s a trap that you fall into and you don’t really mean it.

What I mean by that is this. The worst tag right now that we’re hearing more than any other is, “Good job!”

“Everybody sit down. Good job.”

I watched an instructor just recently promoting his children’s program,
He was going to give a mat chat. He said, come on over here, kids.

He sat down and as a kid sat down, he turned to each kid and said,
“Excellent”

“Excellent”

“Excellent”

What the heck is excellent about sitting down?

It’s following instructions.

If that’s excellent, why would a child
walk any harder to earn your praise?

If it’s already awesome, what could be better?

How about making them work to earn those compliments?

We are living in the most narcissistic society possible, and as a martial art instructor, that is not something
you want to contribute to.

So pay attention to your tags.

“Got it?”