How to give clear instructions | Association of Martial Arts Teachers

From the MATA professional martial arts instructor certification course

Module 1-Lesson 1: Four keys for clear instructions

1. Specific. Effective directions are specific. They focus on manageable and accurately describe the actions that martial arts students can perform.

2. Concrete. Effective directions are not just specific; include clear activities that every student knows how to do. When you guide a student to be careful, he may or may not know how to do it. But if the instruction reads:Turn your body to face me. Look at me with your eyes. Listen to me with your ears. If you have a question, raise your hand. “

These are the real things: physical, simple, ordinary. No gray area or prior knowledge is required to comply.

3. Sequential. Effective guidelines should describe the sequence of specific actions. In the case of a student who needs help with attention, a martial arts instructor can advise him: “John, turn your body to face me. Look at me with your eyes. Listen to me with your ears. “

4. Observable. The instructions give John actions that a martial arts instructor could clearly see doing. This is important. The instructor provided him with a number of steps that were specific and simple enough for each student to reasonably expect. That leaves John with little room to wander.

What to do allows you to distinguish between incompetence and defiance by making your commands specific enough not to be intentionally misinterpreted and useful enough to explain any gray areas.

However, it is important to distinguish between incompetence and defiance. If I ask John to pay attention or sit down or take on a task and he doesn’t, knowing whether or not he will, it depends.

If he can not, the problem is in incapacity. If he will not, the problem is defiance. I react differently to these situations.

David Berry

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