Regardless of your goal is to get fit, learn self-defense or learn some discipline, all of them will rely on a good Academy but how to define a good Academy?!?!
Beside of the facilities that it should be always clean, spacious, and top notch, coaches will play a big part on defining the Academy.
Well majority of people think that when the academy has a big fighter name then this is what good Academy is; or in some cases holding a black belt certify or guarantee that X person is a good coach, but sadly that is not how it work!?
Let’s be very clear over here, majority (95% and above) of the big fighters name did not train under another fighter, as a matter of fact top notch international coaches are actually not fighters, (Firas Zahabi coach of Legend Georges St Pierre, John Danaher coach of Legend Gordon Ryan for examples)
What is martial art?
Learning a new martial art is just like if you are learning new language, first you have to learn the alphabet then basic words then some complex words, then you will start to make small sentences, read small stories, then short stories, then you will learn how to read and write small articles, then paragraphs then you can read or write novels.
Where is the problem?
1. Over qualified!
Having a professor in literature for that specific language doesn’t mean that he/she could be the good guide for you to progress through those levels gradually, as a matter of fact it might backfire at you and you might end up hating the language just because you’ve met someone so superior that he can’t explain the basics that you need to have in the beginning and initial phase in order for you to reach a high level in that language that you can communicate with your professor.
2. Qualified to teach is different than a general qualification!
Not to mention that not everyone graduated with high certificate and he is a good practitioner means he is a good teacher , we always hear that there’s good doctors and bad doctors as well, which means that doctor certification does not guarantee that you will get the best treatment.
Martial art is no different than those two examples mentioned above.
What should I look for?
Mostly to find a good coach you probably need to look in a very niche number of coaches, you probably need him to be:
- Punctual, determined and definitely not lazy.
- Man with principle.
- Martial art skill set.
Those are the elements to have a good coach rather than to have just a black belt, black belt can define certain skills but it doesn’t define his teaching skills.
A great coach is someone who’s willing to be punctual in his class, determined, able to explain the basics and not to show the flashy stuff but to show you what’s more relevant and close to your game.
When you are just starting you want something that is relevant and related to your current level, if he understands the concept of repetition where they keep repeating certain techniques or drills for you to mesmerize them that is a good coach, when the coach comes before the class starts and he leaves the Academy after the class ends by 15 minutes that’s a good coach, someone who’s fair and being able to determine who is putting an effort and who are coming just to show off, who’s willing to put everyone on the same level and treat them all equally, the only difference is your effort on the mat or on your punching bag.
All those elements are key to determine the good coach and will eventually determine a good Academy but definitely not that piece of cloth that is wrapped over his waist.