What Makes a Good Instructor?

by Peter D Sorce

So what is the best indicator of a good instructor? A student once told me “YOU JUDGE A TREE BY ITS FRUIT”. How good is that apple tree? Well, it depends on how good the apples are. Same thing goes for an instructor. The students are the instructor’s fruit. How do you judge the students? First of all, and most importantly, is the students’ attitude. Children: if you walk into a school or are at a tournament and the kids are running around, playing….not doing what they are supposed to be doing, it says something about the instructor.

How about older students: teenagers and adults, what about them? Are they well disciplined? How do they carry themselves? Are they Respectful? Loud? Arrogant? All of these things have to do with the attitude the instructor instills in his/her own students. Also, what attitudes an instructor will tolerate.

What about the actual skills? Techniques? First of all, I will guarantee that if the attitude of the students is good, the actual skills
will be good as well. The indication for the skill level of students should not be determined by young or beginning students. Skill level should be determined by those students who are older and higher in rank. If the upper color belts and black belts are poor, then, probably, the instructor either isn’t a good instructor or his/her standard for belt ranks are low.

You should be able to spot out an incredible instructor before even seeing a single technique. If you meet a few students of the instructor and see their attitude, that is all you should need.