I was going to say, "Everyone teaches martial arts for their own reason" but then I thought, scratch that martial arts part. Everyone teaches anything for their own reason.
My own reasons are a bit personal, I think.
Some people say, "I learn more from my students than they do from me."
Although it sounds really good, I can't honestly say that. Maybe if I had grown up in Santa Monica and had a perfect little life, I would learn from my students what it means to overcome adversity. Believe me, I know. I know the challenge that it can be to get out of bed and go to school knowing that you'll have to sit in classes where other students are disruptive, when you'll probably have to get in a fight just to go down some street to get home from school.
I didn't learn that from my students. I learned it when I was my students' age.
One benefit I do get from teaching is to review the basics of judo, and you can never go over the basics too often.
Some weeks, judo practice is the only exercise I get, despite best intentions to the contrary. The main reason that I started a judo class at Jamestown College, over 25 years ago, is that I was so busy with work, family and a pile of other responsibilities that I would never have gotten to class except that I was teaching it and I had to show up.
It's been that way ever since.
While it may make me sound like a jerk, I don't feel obliged to teach judo "to give back". I've held more offices in judo organizations than I care to remember, started as an assistant instructor when I was 13 years old. I also run a company that makes educational software that teaches kids math. Frankly, I feel I have done my share of 'giving back' as much as I was given.
So .... why am I teaching judo on Friday and then spending the next two days doing a judo mini-camp with 20 kids that includes practices, tutoring, team dinners and a Christmas party?
I do it because my students are worth it.
My day job -
Games that make you smarter. Learn math, learn social studies, try not to die in the woods, or in the rapids or when the bear attacks you ... just try not to die, okay?