Does Teaching Martial Arts Like This Make Any Sense?

Does Teaching Martial Arts Like This Make Any Sense?


Martial arts does not encourage free-thinking, but the pursuit of success requires it.

Most classes contradict everything they taught in the first half of class.

Which half of a martial arts class makes sense?

First Half of Class During Kata 

Pull your hands to your hip!

Lock your legs in a deep stance!

Aim your punch!

Hold your punch out for form!

Chin up!

Square your body.

Shoulders back for good form.

Double punch to the head & groin.

Square block to stop two attacks.

Second Half of Class During Sparring

Get your hands up!

Get your legs under you so you can move!

Don’t telegraph your punches!

Snap your punch back to guard ASAP!

Tuck your chin!

Turn sideways to protect your center line!

Pull your shoulders up to shield your jaw!

You’re kidding me, right?

That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

How can a school advertise that they teach self-defense yet not allow head contact when sparring? That’s the most common attack in a street fight!

The reason is that most schools lack a system to teach students how to defend their heads.

Most schools spend the first half of class teaching, drilling, and instilling theoretical traditional karate defensive skills. 

Then the second half of the class contradicts the first half.

In real life or sparring, who crosses their arms and then steps forward to block a front kick to the groin with a front stance-down block?

I taught just like that for years until I started to question these skills.

This lesson from this chapter of the MATA Certification Program is on How To Teach Sparring So Your Students Don’t Drop Out.

Here is an easy-to-teach and easy-to-learn curriculum that applies everything I’m talking about in one white to black belt program. Just click the logo.


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The Most Neglected Move in Martial Arts

The Most Neglected Move in Martial Arts

This Video Exposes One Of The Major Gaps Kata Creates In Striking In The Ring Or In The Street.

When teaching martial arts students sparring, it’s critical to understand the habits you’re creating.

When virtually every technique of traditional kata contradicts self-defense or sparring, you have to make a decision.

Do you want your students to be good at kata or good at protecting themselves?

Some might think, well they can do both. I agree. I did for years.

It also took me years to get rid of the bad habits traditional karate created in my sparring and self-defense knowledge.

I realized I had been fed a bunch of ancient Asian smoke and mirrors. Just like my instructor.

If you chose one to focus on, the students would get better at that skill set faster.

If you chose sparring and self-defense, students would be better prepared to protect themselves than if they spent years uncovering the “secrets of kata.”

Students will follow your lead. To them, what you say must be the truth because they chose you as their teacher. You’re the black belt.

Therefore, it’s incumbent upon you to seriously reevaluate what you are teaching every year.

If you choose sparring and self-defense, you have to be careful of what kind of sparring.

Sport tae kwon do does not permit punches to the head, yet most street fights start with a punch to the head.

Point fighting is fake fighting that is based on the “killer blow” theories that a strike or a block from a martial artist could be deadly.

Another debunked theory is that most fights end up on the ground. Pick out a random selection of street fights on YouTube and you’ll see about as many fights go to the ground as you do groin kicks. Not many.

The most practical stand-up sparring system is continuous kickboxing. This means you don’t stop to honor a point. Instead, you hit the person back.