How to Be a Good Student, Sensei, and Master of the Art of Isshin-ryu Karate

By Grand Master Willie Adams

First, most Martial Arts instructors train all their students the same. This is a big mistake. One size does not fit all. Kids must be trained differently than teenagers. Teenagers must be trained differently than adults. Adults must be trained differently than seniors.

Also, you must lead by example, by being in your gi and training with your students on a regular basis. All my Isshin-ryu instructors trained and were in shape until the day they passed away. Master Nagle, Master Armstrong, Master Long, Master Mitchum, Master Chapman, and Master Angi Uezu who is still alive. I personally trained with each of these masters, and they instilled these training ethics in me.

Treat all your students the same, from a 4-year-old white belt to a 9th Degree Black Belt and you will be successful and your students, like in my school, will be with you 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years. They all train on a regular basis, they support the school by paying dues, and they don’t mind because they are still students of the martial arts.

Remember that a tree is only as good as the fruit it bears. I have seen a lot of so-called high-ranking Masters of Karate, but they have no successors. Their tree didn’t bear any fruit.

Our guest article is from Grandmaster Willie Adams. Master Adams is a well-known and highly respected Isshin-ryu practitioner and teacher.  He has a well-established dojo in Southfield, Michigan and continues to spread Isshin-ryu karate across the country. Master Adams is a close friend to the IIKA. His knowledge, execution of techniques, and continued drive to teach good Isshin-ryu is evident in his many, long-standing students.