Teaching philosophy is as much of a challenge for an instructor as teaching any physical technique. Like kicking and punching, constant study is needed to integrate the philosophical 'techniques' of Cuong Nhu into the martial artist's personality. These are the ethical and practical underpinnings of the style, and they must be more than simply words on a page or a list to be memorized. Thinking about and discussing the precepts of Cuong Nhu can enrich the understanding of both student and instructor.
Be innovative in teaching philosophy. Integrate a philosophy discussion into classes regularly during a rest and recovery period after a hard workout. Each week, choose one topic from the philosophy lists in this manual and use the bullets beneath that topic as the starting points for the discussion. Keep the discussion organized and brief so that you do not overwhelm beginners or allow the students to cool down too much if they are to continue working out. Invite advanced students to talk about their understanding of the topic. Use visual or other teaching aids, such as chalkboards, to help with your presentation. Quiz your students on topics covered in previous classes to test their memory.
One approach to teaching the topics is to create a scenario which unfolds as a story from bullet to bullet within the topic. The following example for the Five A's of Self-Defense illustrates such a scenario. The object of this example is to have the students 'fill in the blanks' verbally or in writing, with the keyword or topic.
A __________ : You arc going from a safe area to an unsafe area, and you become conscious of your surroundings (external) and body position (internal).
A __________ : While walking, you hear a rustic in the bushes which catches your attention.
A __________ : Someone stands up from behind the bushes, and you cross the street to change your situation.
A __________ : This person starts to walk threateningly toward you, and you foresee a confrontation.
A __________ : The threat becomes an attack so you must now run, or if cornered, you must defend yourself.
Another approach to teaching philosophy is to simplify the concepts by using abbreviated language as explanation. The following example is a crystallized version of the Code of Ethics:
1. Care about self and others
2. Faith and sharing
3. Oneness and togetherness
4. Discipline and honor
5. Responsibility and purpose
6. Mind, body and spirit building
7. Soul crystallization
8. Balance and resiliency