The hardest job for a teacher, a parent or a boss can be to give dependents their independence. We want to protect them. We don’t want them to get hurt but if we want them to succeed, we need to let go and let them take risks.
One will never become an Olympic cyclist if they never take off the training wheels. They need to fall- down. The training wheels need to come off and when they train without training wheels, they might get hurt.
When your student spars, they will get hit in the face. That will hurt them and will make you feel bad. That hit, however, holds important lessons. The obvious lesson is to keep your hands up when sparring. The more important lesson is that the student can get hit in the face and move on. Things in life do not always go our way. We will get both literally and figuratively punched in the face. To succeed we need to be able to get passed that punch quickly and react appropriately.
Protecting your students or excluding them from risky lessons will limit them and hold them back. It can also hold you back. If you have qualified students, letting them teach helps you grow your school. There is only so much one person can do. When you leverage other people, you can expand your base exponentially. Any students you employ need to be qualified and you need to show them how you want things done but you need to trust them and let them do their own thing.
Teaching martial arts can give your students increased understanding. You should review and coach your students over time, but you shouldn’t smother them. If you do, they will get bored and frustrated. Then you will not benefit from their skills. This is a two-way street. They benefit from the skills and money they earn and you benefit from the help they provide and the satisfaction you get from seeing your students grow.
Support your students but let them take reasonable risks. Give them some independence that can increase over time. They will have the opportunity to be more successful and an opportunity to help you grow.