Consistency is Key
Written by Damian Chong; Artwork by Tanya Shroff.
This article is part of Active Parents’ Meet the Coaches series, brought to you in collaboration with Republic Polytechnic, School of Management and Communication.
Shamus Chan, 35, has over 14 years of experience in teaching Aikido. He currently conducts classes with ActiveSG Martial Arts Club and at Aikido Tai Shin Kai, an Aikido school he started with his father to bring the martial arts to more people.
When it comes to teaching, Shamus’ philosophy is consistency. He said that it is extremely important and students must know what is expected of them every lesson. Hence, when he sets rules for his students to help their learning and behaviour management, he makes sure that he reminds them every week to ensure the best environment for everyone. He also reinforces concepts taught to make sure that his students’ learning is consistent. He firmly believes that, “consistency builds discipline and character in students”.
One of Shamus’ memorable moments while teaching Aikido is seeing one of his students, who was usually playful and disruptive in classes, take the grading test seriously and performed well. That change in the student, to him, was rewarding as an instructor.
As an Aikido practitioner and a father of two, Shamus does not expect his children to learn the sport or follow in his footsteps.
“I don’t want to force them (his children) into Aikido because I feel that the child must have a keen interest in it to go far in their pursuit,” he said. “So I expose them to Aikido so that they know what it’s about and if they are keen to push further, I will always encourage them.”
He also instills discipline in his children. If his children want to start a sport, he ensures that they are committed to it for a certain amount of time and not just a few sessions. This allows his children to have a deeper understanding of the sport that they have picked up.
Shamus encourages parents to take the first step and introduce sport to their children. He added that as Active Parents, we should expose our children to as many sport as possible in their growing years; find out which sport our children show the most interest in and follow through with them in their sporting journey.