"Teach By Example"
By David Silverman, Ik-kyu
As my training continues in Toronto, I find that it has become more
important to teach by example. The old phrase "do as I say, not as I do" does
not apply in Karate, as students will not follow the application of a technique if they do
not see it in the instructor.
This became apparent to me at my last visit to Midtown Karate dojo in New York. It was
pointed out to me that my stance was very high compared to my previous visit. When I
returned to Toronto, I noticed this same trait in all of my students. They had adopted my
bad habits! Since that time, I have tried to over-emphasize this correction to make up for
In the past, teachers who influenced me most always led by example. One instructor who
always concentrates on a different aspect of his own Karate each year would conduct his
class so that we would work on this same skill. For example, one year he was working on
body shifting. In every class, we would work on a different aspect of body shifting
through a different exercise. To emphasize these tasks, the instructor would always
participate in the exercise and hi-light the important points by repeatedly showing us.
Seeing the instructor practicing what he preaches made a large impact on my Karate
performance and helped me grasp principles much more easily.
This is perhaps most important when we do kata. No matter how we may instruct someone in a
technique, nothing re-inforces instruction as well as a demonstration of the principle in
the kata. The body shifting technique as noted above could be interpreted in numerous
katas including fukugata-ni (6th move) and pinan shodan (5th move). It is also integral to
all pre-arranged fightings. By viewing various instructors performing these kata, once can
have a better understanding of the principles involved.
David Silverman, I-Kyu
| Shorin-Ryu Home Page | Registration
Form | General Store | Dojo listings |
| Shorin-Ryu Museum and Learning Annex | Email: