How To Be A Good Instructor

The text following was originally written by  Albert Timen ( and is noteworthy to be quoted completely.

What it really means to be a good instructor

Imagine how you would feel if someone you trained was brutally raped or murdered because you did not prepare them to the best of your ability for real life violence.

Imagine you were to teach someone that would knowingly go off and face a life or death confrontation that would affect them, their families, and their loved ones for the rest of their lives.

Think about the humiliation, the violation of trust, the fear, and the sense of helplessness that they carry with them after not having been able to defend themselves.

Suddenly, it wouldn’t matter what level of instructorship you were. It wouldn’t matter that what you learned came from the Special Forces. It wouldn’t matter how hard you punched or kicked. It wouldn’t matter how tough you were, or how many competitions, or street fights you won.

Nothing else would matter, but the fact that you did not do the right thing to guide that student out of a violent confrontation.

Unfortunately this is so often forgotten by us as self defense instructors. We train. We hone our bodies to high levels of pain and endurance. We get certificates, belts, and titles. We pat ourselves on the back and our students admire us.

The grim reality is that no amounts of our own personal accolades are going to help our students to survive in the street or the battlefield.

It doesn’t matter how fast we are, how many moves we know, or how many boards we can break. It doesn’t matter what we can do, ourselves, if they are the ones attacked. It’s about what they can do.

It's all about them. Never show them how good YOU are. Let them discover how good THEY are.  - Chris Schmidt

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We as instructors have an incredible responsibility to teach people how to defend themselves and survive a confrontation…..even if they are not as fast, strong, or as tough as us.  It is a huge responsibility, and one that you should take very seriously. We are dealing with the safety of other people’s lives.

We need to think about this the next time we pat ourselves on the back for having a 1,000 students training in a huge facility. We can never be complacent and always be continuously learning how to teach.

We need to study the behavioral and psychological aspects of a confrontation. We need to study human anatomy, physiology, and motor learning as it applies to combat.

We need to be able to say that we have worked hard to make students understand the mentality of survival, and make it apart of their lives. If you are willing to do these things you may be on the path to being a good Instructor.

Skip your ego.

Never lose sight of the fact that it’s not about us.

It’s all about them.

About the Author

Chris Schmidt
Tactical Trainer & Coach | YCF Krav Maga Supervisor ​| President YCF International

As a tactical trainer and coach I’ve been working with people and organizations for over 20 years. Starting my career in the military and law enforcement sector, I quickly discovered my true passion. Empowering people is what I’m here for. Find me
in the YCF Zone.

CS YCF Krav Maga Self Defense
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