When I was asked by Jeff to come in and teach as an assistant instructor with Will, I was honored and touched to have been given such a responsibility. As I’ve said before, for quite a while I had wanted to work with kids in one capacity or another but I never thought it would have been through martial arts. It was a learning curve for me for a host of reasons. As small as children are, they’re vicious creatures who live by a very different set of rules than adults do. You have to entertain them while teaching them techniques that they may consider boring. You have to find the balance of repping and drilling while disguising much of it as a fun game which will challenge them to get better.
Then there’s the whole disciplinary role that we both play which if I’m being honest often feel like co-parenting. Will and I have different personalities and sometimes viewing things differently but while I’m the assistant I often differ to him on the larger aspects of class. Outside of class I may offer an opinion on somethings but there has never been a visible division between him and I. We back each other up when it comes to disciplining them when they get out of line. Our friendship and natural chemistry makes the environment pretty easy going and fun.
Now sometimes as the weeks and months go by you don’t always see the impact that you are making on the kids. It’s rarely ever spoken out loud and it’s hard to see when you’re generally only around them for a few hours a week and are so focused on improving their techniques. Recently we got two messages that we really took to heart and I think took us both by surprise.
The first coming in a text message from Jordan’s mom to Will and the second a message from Haley to both Will and I. We were truly touched by both messages and it’s the kind of reward that affects you far more than any medal they may or may not win the future.