I am fortunate in that I have access to a world-class martial arts' teacher, Maha Guru Stevan Plinck. Fourteen or so years I've been privileged to study with him, and he just keeps evolving so I have to run to keep up. I'm not getting any younger, nor faster ...
If you are involved in the silat community in the U.S., you know how well-thought-of and respected Guru Plinck is. If not, you can take my word for it.
Here's one of those little things that can give you an indication:
As a senior student in the class, I make it a point whenever we get newbies to work with them. Yeah, I don't get to play as much with the more advanced stuff being shown when I do this, but I feel as if it is part of my dues. A newbie needs to be working out with somebody who knows the stuff well enough to make it easier to learn, and however inept I might be, I do have a little bit of skill in this arena.
One hand up, one hand down. Pass it along.
Most recent class, we had a newbie, a first-timer. A young woman, about to go off into the Marines, and Guru Plinck wanted to offer her a chance to maybe learn a couple things, and get a a few good workouts before she headed to basic training.
He has a fondness for people in the military. He was a green-hat medic when he was in the service. We have some Special Forces guys who cycle by when they are in town, and he makes it a point to show them close-quarters stuff they might have need for where they are going.
So I paired up with the new student and went over stuff that most of us don't even think about, we've been doing it so long: How to make a fist. How to strike without hurting yourself. The principles of hard-to-soft, soft-to-hard -- where to punch versus where to use an open hand. Relaxing, using your elbows to cover your ribs, not locking out a punch or kick, all like that. People coming from other arts know all this; newbies need to hear what a boxer's fracture is, and how to avoid it.
I showed her our first djuru.
She was an enthusiastic student. Class went fine, she did very well for a newbie -- no bad habits to overcome -- and I felt useful.
After class, as the students headed for their cars, Guru Plinck pulled me aside to thank me for helping out with the new girl. He appreciated it, he said.
This was not the first time he's done this. Virtually every time I've moved over to work with a newbie, Guru has noticed, and thanked me afterward.
I think it shows both awareness and great class. And is a measure of his attitude toward his students.
Always a new lesson for me to learn.