Three types of Teachers

Zhang Liao, Three Kingdoms GeneralIn the martial arts world I've encountered three basic types of teachers, all of which are great and all of which have draw backs.

The first type is the Perfected Example. This type demonstrates the physical and energetic height of the art. Students tend to develop from the outside inward, meaning that the students try to copy the look and feel of the teacher. The teacher is a perfect example of what one should strive for.

The second type is the Refined Guide. This type specializes in being able to explain, and come-up with exercises which reveal, the deep inner workings of the art. They can explain how to modify or adapt the practice for different types of people or to achieve different types of fruition. A high degree of refined skill is made up of lots of smaller skills. This type of teacher breaks everything down into digestible nuggets. They tend to be interested both in innovation and in the history of how each aspect of the art developed.

The third type is the Constant Trainer. This type teaches the student how to train every aspect of the art. Their motto is, "One day missed, ten days lost." This type will usually practice with the student, so that the student sees exactly how to apply constant discipline to any training method. Without constant, yet natural, discipline, even the greatest methods produce mediocre results.

For Chinese Martial Arts to survive and thrive into the future we need all three types of teachers.  Ideally, everyone should have access to all three types.