We interrupt this hiatus (sorry, life’s been happening) because a new book is out, and I want people to read it. If you are someone who teaches martial arts/self-defence, you need it. If you are someone who wants to study martial arts/self-defence, you probably want to read it, too. If you do, you might end up knowing more about pedagogy than your teachers.
Don’t get me wrong: I love MA/SD, and I understand that the field has its own peculiar reaching flavour due to the way in which people rise to instructor positions. I’m all for meritocracies, and I’m not terribly appreciative of situations where “those who can’t do, teach.” Having said that, there are basic issues with rising through teaching positions by being very good at doing a thing. First of all, doing and teaching are actually two very different skill sets. People who have a natural aptitude for something can actually be appalling teachers, because they have not had to deal with the stumbling blocks other students encounter, and might not have solutions for overcoming them. Secondly, every teaching methodology creates a selection process. The students who do best under a specific teaching methodology may be good at the subject, but they are also good at learning in that particular way. Conversely, students who do badly under a certain teaching methodology may have no aptitude for the subject, but they may also simply not respond well to a certain learning environment.
I could go on here, but hey, I know someone who’s just written a book about this. It’s a damn good book, too. If it doesn’t revolutionise the way in which MA/SD is taught, then there’s something seriously wrong with the field. So, yeah, check it out.