The Perfect Student

I was having an impromptu martial art discussion with one of my Black Belts the other day and a question came up. It was: “do you have any perfect students?” My first, knee jerk reaction was to say “of course not.” I resisted and gave it some thought. After a few moments I realized that I have quite a few. As Tae Kwon-Do is impossible to perfect, how can one possibly have perfect students. The answer actually lies in the question itself. I don’t have any students who perform all aspects of Tae Kwon-Do perfectly (yours truly included) but I have some who are perfect students because they exhibit the traits listed below.

Although the list could go on endlessly, below are some important characteristics of the perfect student:

They only need to be shown/told once before attacking a goal and do not need to be reminded constantly of what that goal is.
They understand that any assignment given them is an important part of their journey.
They observe using eyes and ears, with eyes being the more important of the two.
They emulate.
They apply previous experience to future tasks.
They do not ask questions for the sake of repetition but rather for clarification, and only after attempting the task at least 50 times.
They keep a record or log of their training.
They never lose the “thirst” for knowledge or stop striving for perfection.
They help others and assist in classes.
They are loyal to the Dojang.
They participate in as many aspects/events as possible
They are happy yet never satisfied.
They leave their “shoes” at the door.
They hit the heavy bag.

Most of the list is simple. Some are lifelong goals. Of course there are more. However this list is a good start. I’ll give you more ideas once you have “conquered” those listed above.

Finally, when you look at that list, other than “hitting the heavy bag” could you not apply that list to almost anything in life?


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