This Guest Post is by Charles T. Goodin, a sandan and instructor in the Hikari Dojo. The second son of Charles C. Goodin, he is a senior at the University of Hawaii.
Most people think that the most important part of Karate is learning. What I've learned from my experiences over the past 16 years though is that so much more is gained by teaching. When you teach, you are forced to break everything down, step by step, move by move, and if you don't know exactly how it's supposed to be done, you have to either figure it out yourself or ask one of the senior students or one of the sensei to assist you. I've been teaching the beginning students since the dojo opened up in 1997, so I have more experience than most at teaching. I'll admit, at first, teaching is pretty boring. I definitely would have rather been training with the rest of the class. But after doing it at every class for the past 9 or 10 years, it is something that I have come to embrace and enjoy.
Teaching others has made me a much better Karate student. I have learned much more about koshi through teaching than I have from having it shown to me by others. You can only learn so much from watching and copying, but by teaching, you are forced to learn it the right way so that you can pass it on to others. I've taught everyone in my class, with the exception of my dad and his sensei, and just knowing that you've helped improve the Karate of someone is very satisfying. Even though I've been able to really tap into the potential of some students, I've gained much more through teaching than any of the students I've helped. It's been said before that "those who can't do, teach." I feel though, that those who teach, learn to do.
Charles T. Goodin