“The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.” – Ruby Dee
“How are you going to find out about things if you don’t ask questions?” ― L. M. Montgomery,
When one teaches, two learn. – Robert Half
When a self-defence instructor stands in front of a class they are deemed, experts. They have developed technical proficiency, understand violence and how to survive it, and can develop skilled students. There are times, however when you will not understand what the instructor is trying to convey or you have doubts that a technique would work in a real scenario. When this happens it is important to ask questions.
Gone are the days when martial arts students are passive receptacles of knowledge passed on from an omniscient instructor. Good riddance!
For you to protect yourself you need to believe a technique will work. To believe, you need to understand how and why it works. Questions help you to develop a broader and deeper understanding of self-defence. Also, by understanding the logic/rationale behind various techniques and tactics you can learn future skills at a faster rate. Questions also help the instructor(hence the Robert Half quote). Through explanation, instructors develop a more sophisticated understanding of self-defence. Win. Win!
So, even if your instructor is certified, an internationally recognized expert, if you don’t understand a technique or doubt it’s effectiveness ask her to explain. It is your instructor’s responsibility to work with you to understand. Ask questions. After all, you are studying self-defence to learn the most practical ways to protect yourself. Clear understanding can be life-saving.