Review: Guy Windsor’s How To Teach the Basic Class

Guy Windsor is the quintessential modern swordsman, and has been teaching and medieval swordsmanship for well over a decade. Based out of his salle in Finland, he is a modern expert in the ways of modern swordsmanship. Luckily for everyone who is not based in Finland, or are able to get to a lecture where he is invited, he also has been writing about his interpretations of historical treatises for the majority of that same time period.

One of his most recent offerings is part of a continuing series called “The Swordsman’s Quick Guide” in this case Part 5, “How to Teach a Basic Class ” Written in the mindset of how to teach individuals who are between pure beginners and advanced students, it is gauged towards instructors who do not have a lot of experience teaching.

Mr. Windsor begins by pointing out there are exactly four goals for the martial art instructor at a very basic level: safety, teaching them one thing, inspire them, and get out of the way. Moving past these basic ideas on what an instructor should do, Mr. Windsor further instructs how to set up your basic class, how to manage your time, how to deal with common problems, defining success, and what to do if there is an accident in the salle.

In short, this book is a great primer for how to teach a class. Even instructors who have been around the block a few hundred times can pick something up from this wonderful text on how to be a better instructor of martial arts. I would recommend this book for anyone who is wants to teach any form of activity, be it martial or sports, as Mr. Windsor’s techniques would move between genres quite well. I am looking forward to Mr. Windor writing two more books in this vein as he alludes to in the text, that being teaching the beginner’s class and teaching the advanced class.

The only issue I have with the Swordsman’s Quick Guide Series is that it is offered as electronic publications only. I deal much better with paper when reading information I want to retain. Otherwise, it’s a brilliant piece, and is worth twice the cover price of $4.99 if you purchase it.

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