Exploring the Life and Lessons of a Dedicated Martial Arts Teacher
At the end of a busy evening of classes. KickFit Founder Kyoshi Pankiewicz sits down to interview Senior Master Shihan Davis. A passionate martial arts instructor for 17 years, Kyoshi and Shihan delve into the world of martial arts education and the myriad benefits it offers to both students and instructors.
1. Passion Turned Profession
Shihan Davis’s journey into martial arts began as a young teenager, driven by a desire to learn self-defence and build self-confidence. What started as a personal quest soon evolved into a full-fledged career as she immersed herself in the art of Taekwondo. As she earned her black belt, her passion for martial arts inspired her to become an instructor. KickFit was evolving into a multi-style system and the new weapons and skills provided extra encouragement to continue life-long training.
2. Empowering the Next Generation
One of the most significant benefits of being a martial arts instructor, Shihan Davis explains, is the opportunity to empower the next generation. “Teaching martial arts is not just about physical techniques; it’s about instilling discipline, respect, and self-confidence,” she says. “I get to be a positive influence in the lives of my students, helping them grow not only as martial artists but as individuals.”
3. Continuous Learning and Growth
Instructors like Shihan Davis are not just teachers but perpetual students of the art. She emphasizes the ongoing learning process, which keeps her engaged and excited about her job. “I’m constantly refining my techniques and deepening my understanding of martial arts. It’s a journey that never ends,” she states. “Testing for my 6th Dan last year gives purpose to my martial arts training.”
4. Leadership and Communication Skills
Martial arts instruction hones vital life skills, particularly leadership and communication. “Being an effective instructor means being a great communicator,” Shihan Davis remarks. “You learn to adapt your teaching style to suit each student’s needs, which is a valuable skill in any profession.”
5. Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle
Martial arts training promotes physical fitness, mental strength and instructors lead by example. Shihan Davis shares Hanshi Kovar’s instructor’s creed which is at the core of the KickFit Instructor Team, “I will teach this class as if it is the most important class I’ll ever teach. I am patient and enthusiastic. I lead by example.”
6. Community and Sense of Purpose
Instructors often become central figures in their local communities. Shihan Davis points out that this sense of community and purpose is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job. “I’ve seen my students transform not only physically but emotionally. It’s a great feeling to know you’ve contributed to their personal growth.”
7. Part-Time Job and Income
Finally, Shihan Davis acknowledges that being a martial arts instructor can provide a part-time job and income. “It’s a flexible way to make a living doing what you love,” she notes.
In conclusion, the life of a martial arts instructor offers a rich tapestry of benefits that extend far beyond the physical aspects of martial arts. Through teaching, these dedicated individuals foster character development, encourage a healthy lifestyle, and contribute to the overall well-being of their students and communities. As Shihan Davis aptly demonstrates, being a martial arts instructor is not just a job; it’s a lifelong commitment to personal growth and the empowerment of others.