I have been thinking a lot about what my job is. I don’t just mean teaching quality Muay Thai. And I don’t just mean running the business in such a way that the bathrooms stay clean, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. I mean if you broke it down to the simplest components, the most basic concepts, what is it I should actually be doing.
I came to the conclusion after considering the meaning of PHAS3. The meaning of PHAS3 put simply is that the human spirit gains the most during the most difficult times. Our capacity to grow and become stronger does not exist without heavy resistance and challenge. This is the primary reason I enjoy overseeing my fighters compete. I get to watch first hand as they transform pain, fear, and friction into a stronger state of being.
That is when I realized if I had to define my job in one sentence it would sound something like this:
“My job is to provide my students with challenges, and to give them a healthy place to work through them.”
And it only makes sense that if we define the role of a coach at PHAS3, we should also define the role of the students.
“A student’s job is to do your best to convert your challenges into personal growth, and to facilitate the same amongst your team.”
To a student a challenge could mean performing the perfect push kick, pushing themselves through the last hard round on pads, or losing the toughest fight of your life in front of thousands. For some the biggest challenge is simply getting in the car and making it to class. A good martial arts gym is ripe with challenges at every level.
The trick is to deliver JUST as much challenge as your student can survive without breaking their determination. Even if we keep in mind that most people can withstand way more than they realize, their ability to survive without quitting needs to be developed just like a muscle. Slowly at first and more vigorously as they grow. The more challenges they survive, the more confidence they have in facing future ones.
At the end of the day, we should remember that in any memorable journey or story worth telling there is always an obstacle to overcome and a crisis to be solved. So as a coach I make a solemn promise to become the best problem peddler I can be.
Sensei Ben Brown is the founder and Head Coach at PHAS3 Martial Arts, a Muay Thai focused martial arts school in Santa Rosa, California. PHAS3 offers a family atmosphere that welcomes students of all skill levels from beginners to the most competitive fighters. We strive to help people grow on multiple levels while learning and enjoying the martial arts of Muay Thai, Judo and Kickboxing. Learn more at PHAS3.com.