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John Graden

John Graden

Executive Director

John Graden led the martial arts into the modern era by creating the first professional association, trade journal & instructors certification program.

Martial Arts Instructors: Stop Rescuing Your Students!

by | Jan 26, 2021

Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA) Instructor Certification 

Module 1-Lesson 4

This video lesson from the MATA Instructor Certification course touches on two important areas.

1. The difference between asking a question of the class and asking a question of a specific student.

2. How instructors rescue their students’ answers to questions.

In your martial arts school, when you ask a question to a student or the class, make sure you AND your students know what the minimum acceptable answer is.

In this video, we see an instructor asking the class what is the definition of integrity? It seems pretty clear that there is no established definition so the student who raised his hand is just taking a stab at it with a one-word answer.

This leads to the instructor “rescuing” the student’s answer.


Instructor: “What is integrity? Joey.”

Joey: “Ummmm. Integrity is when you do something good…”

Instructor: “Right…when you do something good whether or not someone is watching.” Good job!”

Sally didn’t answer the question, the instructor answered it for her and then told her she did a good job.  That is not teaching. That’s called pulling up or rescuing the student. The message to the student is that half-answers are considered “good jobs.”

Teach the exact answer to the question and repeat it enough so that there is no excuse for Joey to only know half of the answer. 

joe lewis graduates the martial arts instructor certification program
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