Learn to Use Tension – Not Conflict – to Improve Your Krav Maga

I have an instructor who doesn’t know the difference between conflict and tension. To be clear, I’m asking my instructors to create a sense of tension in the classroom.

Tension is necessary to foster growth. Tension is productive – conflict is not. When the hand moves to guard the jaw in fighting stance, the tension placed between the lower and upper arm bones create the basis for the muscles and connective tissue to contract and move the arm up to the proper position.

Tension creates the means to do more. Conflict is debilitating. Conflict is in opposition to growth. While we can develop drills that create tension in for the purposes of instruction, conflict will present itself as the need for a defense becomes urgent.

I think of tension as exhortation. Exhortation is defined as sharp-edged encouragement. Sharp-edged encouragement is, perhaps, the right tone with which to cheer on your students. Each student must feel supported by your encouragement, but too much empathy in your interaction can create dependency. That’s why I like the phrase, sharp-edged encouragement.

Tension lifts your students, directs their focus, and strengthens their efforts. In essence, you’re cheering for them to move forward. Conflict is simply yelling at your students. Keep this in mind; you’re classroom is not your anger management session. If you’re not there for your students, fighting to find ways to help them improve, you’re in the wrong vocation.

As you plan for your classes going forward, think tension not conflict. You’re students will flourish and so will you.

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