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August 25, 2008

I’d like to say that Karate is the most disciplined sport but that’s just not true. The level of discipline in any sport is largely determined by the instructor. Having trained in Karate and a couple of different styles I can testify that there was a huge difference in the level of teaching. On the other hand students are attracted to the level of discipline that they are comfortable committing to. My last Karate teacher was very demanding and disciplined. We did it right and to the best of our abilities. We WANTED and CRAVED to do it right. When this kind of quality is established between teacher and student and student becomes teacher it creates a bloodline of purity. Tradition and basics preserved. I had Colin Kemp for my instructor. He’s paddled for 23 years. These are my impressions of him. I could tell he has had very good formal training by quality disciplined teachers in his background. He was able to break things down to very technical basics and explain it in a very clear way. He also had the knack of spotting those bad habits that you know you do but think no one else can see. Colin’s whole personality is a natural teacher. When it came to coaching for the competition he really came into his groove. I watched him with the advanced group Friday afternoon. What I saw was the very best paddlers in the Midwest being given basic discipline and loving it. Colin is a top coach capable of coaching the best our sport has. Most importantly he had fun teaching us and we had fun learning. It was a great experience and I learned alot about competing and what it takes to excel. I didn’t have John McConville for a teacher except for a few minutes while Colin brought the late comers up to speed. In the brief time I was with him he gave me some great advice on my double pump technique. He also has the knack to see what you’re doing and the technical knowledge to correct you. Only having paddled for two years he is a phenomenal paddler. At 21 years old he has a beautiful future in paddling and teaching ahead of him!