As students perform, we as instructors make corrections and adjustments. The manner in which we make corrections is important. If we make corrections too harshly, then we end up discouraging our students, rather than truly helping them. An emotionally discouraged student will be less motivated to learn.

Praise, correct, praise helps give corrections in a way that builds students up. If a student is performing a simple round kick drill and is not turning their body, performing their kick incorrectly, they need a positive way to correct them. If the student is made to feel like a failure because they are kicking incorrectly, that does not help them, even if they correct their technique. In the long run it ends up driving the students away. Students are only going to stay engaged in the long run if they feel motivated and capable.

Rather sandwich corrections with praise, it helps students feel motivated. For the student in need of the round kick correction, if the correction is given in this manner:

PRAISE – Great job bending your knee.

CORRECT – Let’s pivot your foot and turn your body, so your kick goes across the target, rather than up.

PRAISE – Great Kihap (yell).

The student will feel success from the praise and not discouraged by the correction.

Now, this is an ideal and not always possible for a variety of reasons, from time to the formatting of the current drill. So in many instances, trying to pair a correction and a praise can also serve as encouragement.

The goal is to keep the student encouraged! As long as they are encouraged and feel like they are making progress they will continue to train. Only when they are training can you help them succeed and grow.