Before Rich Franklin became an MMA World Champion, he was just a math teacher. In many ways, I still am today.
Instead of the classroom, I now teach at gyms and martial arts dojos all over the world. The trigonometry and calculus equations of yesteryear have been replaced by high level problem solving in a Gi.
The syllabus has evolved but my passion for teaching remains as strong as ever.
I frequently conduct seminars at gyms, speaking to young aspiring mixed martial artists and enjoy sharing with them my experiences in the industry.
Fighting is what I do but teaching is truly who I am.
Here are the three things I really enjoy about teaching.
Breaking Down Complex Matter Into Simple Form
Like a math equation that begs solving, I really enjoy relaying information to others, taking the most complex of subjects (like math) and breaking it down into simpler parts.
To do so effectively requires attaining a certain level of mastery. So much so that when I’m teaching, I’m also actively reinforcing my knowledge.
Being able to simplify things gives others a different point of view through which they can better understand.
Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to revise your own perspective and perhaps in the process of explaining, learn something new too.
Connecting With Others
Teaching is not a one-way street. The transfer of knowledge can happen with two or more people.
Being a missionary for the ONE has exposed me to a wider audience. I am grateful to have been able to meet different people from all around the world and truly value the moments we shared.
Some of these relationships even opened doors for me professionally, which allowed me to transit smoothly into my post-fight career.
It was a valuable learning experience and as much as I could, I tried to take something away from each interaction. I believe it is now my duty to pass on this knowledge to young and inquisitive minds.
Making A Difference
Teaching is one of the most impactful vocations.
Education remains an unrivalled ladder of social mobility, with teachers having the biggest responsibility to influence, shape and groom young minds.
One of my goals as a teacher is to make a difference to the lives of those who I’ve met in any way, big or small.
As I strive to live a purposeful life that is much bigger than myself, I have faith that God has placed me on this path to do so.
If I have indeed touched and impacted lives positively through my teaching, then I have honored God in service.