Kasey writes something that every martial art, self-defense, or combat sport coach should read. I have my own take, but I’m pretty much saying the same thing in different words.
If you are a teacher, your students must have permission to beat you.
I’ve known teachers who preach the opposite; one of the fighters at Sityodtong told me that a coach had once told him that you never let your students get the better of you. It’s a bullshit, petty philosophy rooted entirely in ego. The teacher who believes that is so fucking insecure in their own skill that they can’t accept the idea of being beaten. Those are the teachers that will hold things back, or teach you wrong, just so that they won’t be beaten. They’re crap teachers, and frankly, they’re usually crap fighters too. The good fighters worry about getting better, not making sure other people stay worse.
In case you cannot tell, this is a hot button issue for me. I believe that teacher’s job is to empower their students, and you cannot empower someone while holding them back. It doesn’t work.
I’ve watched three-quarters of the Sityodtong fight team come up in my time as a trainer; some of them spent a lot of time training under me. I watched them go from being unable to walk straight to being the kind of guys that give me fits when I spar them. They make me think; they challenge me. It’s AWESOME.
For any and every student of mine reading this: you have my permission, now and forever, to beat me if you can. If you can land that punch, do it. If you can kick me, kick me. I am far from invincible, and whatever you think you owe me, you will not repay me by treating me like a god.
Be great. Be better than me. PLEASE. I cannot do all the things you can.