Instructor Teaching Style
If an instructor’s name is on the door, then he or she should do most of the teaching.
During a class, observe the differences between exercise, practice, and instruction. Poor instructors are similar to drill sergeants, emphasizing heavy repetition of techniques that seldom vary. Average instructors conduct a brief warm-up, vary types of drills and repetitions according to class needs, and teach techniques. Senior instructors expect their students to warm up before class, frequently surprise students with variations on the basics, and teach concepts.
When looking for a Taekwondo instructor, observe the teaching style of several instructors. Look for an instructor that:
- Starts and ends class with a formal salutation and demands formal courtesies during class.
- Always uses warm-up exercises before beginning stretching and strength exercises, and uses cool-down exercises at the end of class.
- Only uses medically correct exercises. Good instructors do not just blindly use out-dated exercises they learned from their instructors; they investigate the purpose and effect of each exercise and discard any that are useless or potentially harmful. Overexertion or injury will slow a student's progress.
- Encourages students to do warm up, stretching, and conditioning exercises before class and at home, so that more class time can be spent teaching actual techniques. Good instructors stress to students that it is their responsibility maintain themselves in top physical condition.
- Maintains order, encourages team spirit, and ensures all students move together during exercises.
- Maintains strict, but not overbearing, discipline during class.
- Explains proper techniques and why they must be performed in the manner they are taught. Good instructors explain the physics behind each movement and explain each movement's component parts. If students correctly understand the physics of techniques, it makes it easier for them to understand why they must perform the techniques in the prescribed manner.