Deciding to hire a martial arts personal trainer is a choice that must be considered as a financial investment. In one case, money is used to earn more money, in the other, money is used to save time and achieve better results.
In both cases it is important to carefully evaluate the investment.
Indeed, perhaps in the case of the personal trainer, the investment should be examined more carefully since you risk losing both time and money (without considering the risk of getting injured).
For some unclear reason, however, in choosing a personal trainer, it is easy to be fooled by some natural and extremely common errors (cognitive bias).
In this article I have listed 5 with the corresponding explanation of how not to be influenced.
My martial arts personal trainer must be muscular and ripped.
The physical aspect is important but it must not deceive you.
Especially since the technical capacity is only relatively dependent on the physical one.
Even more important to consider that you can have superhero muscles and be ripped to the bone without being able to teach techniques in a decent way.
A fit and harmonious body only indicates that your personal trainer keeps fit, feeds properly, allows himself the right recoveries (in particular adequate night rest) and, perhaps, also has a good genetic heritage.
What is really useful for you is that the personal trainer knows how to make you achieve the goals you want and is able to come up with a sustainable and realistic plan. (whether it’s about how to fight or self-defense)
Of course, particularly if he keeps himself disciplined with training, recovery, and nutrition, you can consider this added aspect definitely as a bonus.
My personal trainer has to train with me.
No, he doesn’t have to.
Surely he can carry out exercises with you in pairs and assist you but always at an intensity that is not a real workout for him.
If he trains himself, the focus, necessarily, it is centered on itself.
If he trains you the focus is centered on you.
I would say that, since you is the one who pays, it is good that you benefit from the training.
My personal trainer must have an answer for everything.
Nobody has the answer to everything.
It is true that in his area of expertise the personal trainer you choose must be several leagues ahead of you.
Therefore, it is more correct to say that he has the answer to almost everything as long as you do not want to consider a personal trainer as a jack of all trades.
Surely, as regards the path you have chosen with him, he must always be able to explain to you what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Saying “I’ve always done this way” doesn’t count as an answer.
My martial arts personal trainer must have been a champion.
It’s a bonus but it’s not necessary.
Having been a competitor and having achieved successes is an interesting point in favor of the personal trainer but it is still something that must be considered with due attention.
This is for at least two fundamental reasons:
The first is that being very skilled in something is not a proof of being very skilled in teaching it.
The second is that an athlete, in particular a prominent one, must make a big change of perspective when teaching to adapt his experience and his studies (which must be there) to the person in front of him and to the goals he has set for himself.
My martial arts personal trainer has to be better than me and beat me.
Possible, probable but not always necessary.
The assumption that the “teacher” must always be better than the student is a logical fallacy that shatters when one considers even only middle-level athletes.
Is the track and field coach able to outrun his athletes?
Does the boxing master beat the young promise who has to turn pro?
Let’s be realistic.
Surely the coach must be ahead in terms of knowledge and experience.
Certainly these two parameters are very strong levers that allow the coach to keep the level even with younger and more performing people.
But this gap is being filled as a hunger and motivated athlete has the right tools.
At that point, if he is younger, stronger and faster he will be able to rely on the tools he has been taught. And for a good reason!
Of course, for what are the objectives and possibilities of an amateur practitioner, generally a good personal trainer is unreachable.
However, it all depends on the age of the teacher and his background injuries.
(do not worry. Even if you don’t notice them, they are there).
A good athlete is the result of one body and two brains.
Professional athletes have the benefit of being able to exploit and a team of brains to improve their performance. But this is another story.
If you want to train your body well and improve your combat or martial art skills you will need to use a second brain (that one of the personal trainer) that will pass on his knowledge and experience to you.
For this reason, a best practice is to choose the coach using your brain in a smart way.