Teaching mixed martial arts is difficult in itself. However, learning classes that are inclusive to a variety of skill levels will incite additional challenges. It is necessary, in these cases, to cater your teaching style to make sure that all students of varying skill levels are getting the most out of your class. Here are some tips to help you teach a mixed-skill class in martial arts as effectively as possible:
Be in tune with the varying needs and wants of the group. What the older, and more experienced, athletes are seeking in your class will be drastically different than what the beginner or more intermediate athletes are finding. It is essential to stay in tune to that so you can make sure that each skill level accomplishes their goals and feels as though they got something out of the class, and thus are likely to return to another.
Stay flexible and ready to change your teaching strategy on a whim. This point goes hand in hand with the previous tip. If something does not seem like it is working well or benefitting the class to the extent you imagined, do not be afraid to adjust your strategy on a whim. On this note, don’t be nervous to try new things that you think may work–if anything your students will tremendously appreciate your willingness and ability to change and personalize strategy in response to them.
Do your research. Find options for exercises and moves that have a sliding scale of modification options that people can independently decide to add or detract when they want to. This way, you don’t have to spend time explaining five different moves, just one with tier-based variations based on skill levels. There are also a good variety of moves that are beneficial for beginnings and intermediates, or intermediates and advanced martial artists alike. It also never hurts to go back to refresh or perfect technique that was learned previously.
Get to know your students. Getting to know your students, especially those who are regulars in your classes, will help you be able to maintain a connection with them, especially while teaching at a higher level. It will also help you stay personal and establish a unique teacher-student connection with each student, while simultaneously maintaining a relationship with the larger class as a whole.