Benefits of Martial Arts General Instructor Resources

A (Student-Generated) List of Ways to Show Effort in Class


I was cleaning out files, and I found an exercise I had my classes do about a year ago.

I sat the class down and explained that I wasn’t inside their heads. I couldn’t tell what they were thinking, unless they told me with words or acted a certain way.

We broke out into groups. I gave each group a sheet of paper and assigned a scribe. Together, the group created a list of “Ways to Show Effort in Class.” 

Without further ado, here’s the 3 lists (remember, this is 100% student-generated):

List 1

  • sweating/red face/heavy breathing
  • power
  • improvement
  • focused
  • following instructions
  • practice
  • come to class often
  • always ready
  • good attitude

List 2

  • sweating
  • not goofing off
  • power in techniques
  • spirited (kiai)
  • positive attitude
  • don’t need instructor to tell you everything
  • alert
  • asking questions
  • [but] not disrupting class with questions
  • showing up for class
  • communication
  • focused/paying attention
  • helping

List 3

  • focus
  • effort
  • asking questions
  • listening to instructors
  • how much they sweat 🙂
  • showing respect
  • not talking when the instructor is talking
  • hustling when told to do things

They all mentioned focus, and I especially like the word “alert” from List 2. They all also said SWEAT!!

I just love these lists! It’s like they’re describing an ideal student: one who comes to class often, is mentally present, putting in effort, being respectful, but still thinking and asking questions.


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