For the first 15 years of my martial arts training I had a teacher who was always training as part of the class. While many sport coaches are usually on the side barking orders he was actively showing, demonstrating and practicing his techniques with us.
Unsurprisingly when I started running my own classes I could not think of a different way of teaching and, more than 25 years later, I am still training while teaching and teaching while training. Until about 4 years ago I could probably count on one hand, within a whole year, the number of lessons I missed or I simply coached without being part of the class. More recently, partially due to a number of training incidents which damaged my back, toes, shoulders, ribs and arm I started to slack a bit, train lighter or a bit less intensively to a point where a standard training session would be kind of challenging.
Early last year I was taking it easy as I was still recovering from a broken rib which happened in October 2015 and, during a training session, I ripped a tendon in my left arm which required a surgical procedure to be put back in working order. I noticed then that I allowed my fitness level to slip too much below a minimum expected level and this was triggering a number of niggling issues.
At that point I decided to increase the frequency and regularity of my training while reducing the times I allow myself to simply run a lesson to no more than once per month. I also select very carefully my training partners to minimise the risk of training due to excess of force or lack of control. Fast forward about 6 months of very regular and consistent training and I feel, once more, at the top of my game. I decided to concentrate on fast and technical training, which I most enjoy, and leave the sheer full contact stuff to people who are 10, 20 and 30+.
I simply had to acknowledge that if I have students in my weight category or heavier and they are training for full contact fights I should not try to spar with them full contact as I can get hurt. Apart from that I can still train regularly and consistently with a broad range of athletes at various levels of skill and fitness and keep in good shape while enjoying myself and being able to keep my technique at a high level and being worth the black belt I am wearing.