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In IMBA our guiding principle is to learn to teach others – but what does it mean? The annual IMBA Summer Gathering really sums up the point of that. During the week we train together with our colleagues, teachers and friends from all over the world. We practice and openly share all our knowledge with each other to develop and lift each other up.
Without your team you can perform well, but not at your best – wise words of our Grand Master. IMBA is our team that makes us strong and resilient. Our training is about learning so well that you’re able to pass on the knowledge. It’s about preserving the precious Thai heritage. And it’s about a global network of sharing and caring for each other.

Teaching others is a great way to learn

Our motto could also be formed vice versa: we teach to learn from each others. Explaining and demonstrating a certain technique is different and way more difficult than just performing it alone. One needs to deeply focus on what happens and why, what are the details of a certain technique and how to perform it. Being able to explain that shows that the knowledge is at a high level.
Of course we aren’t all Grand Masters – yet we can pass on the knowledge at our current level. At the same time we all are both teachers and students. The double role keeps one humble when you’re aware of that you can learn from everyone all the time.
In IMBA we have no need to brag or push others down. On the contrary, we know that we’re stronger when we lift each others up and openly share all our knowledge within the family. That’s why we share all that we know.


Openly sharing the information helps preserving the art

Our highly-skilled Grand Master Marco De Cesaris has done amazing work studying and gathering this precious knowledge of Thai martial arts. However, it’s impossible for one person to spread and keep alive all that knowledge without help from others.
We learn the art to teach it forward in order to make sure the vast amount of knowledge and skills will be preserved. All the time we correct each other gently and politely, because the common goal is to perform techniques correctly and collectively remember them – not because someone else is better or more experienced.
When I started some years ago I was stunned by the friendliness and openness of IMBA members. Even very high level teachers are extremely friendly and down-to-earth with a newcomer. This warm welcome made me want to pass the atmosphere on and make all others feel as welcome as I did.

The power is in the network, in our community

Our strength is that we’re never alone. We have skilled teachers and students to rely on whenever questions arise. You can ask anyone, and if they don’t know the answer they’ll find someone who does. This international level teaching system and culture also guarantees high-level teaching locally in our gyms all over the world.
By teaching others we can have individual training even in big groups. It’s not just the Grand Master but many and many others who can coach us. The teaching also goes two ways – the students help their teachers understand things they didn’t consider before.
What I love about training in IMBA is the warm family-like atmosphere. We want to lift each other up, tell everything we know to help each other succeed and do our best. We support each other to exceed our limits and challenge ourselves. This community makes us thrive, succeed and try harder. As a team we’re stronger and possess more knowledge than we would alone.

Until we meet again

IMBA Summer Gathering leaves us all thinking of the knowledge we got and the things we learned also in teaching each other. After the camp it’s time for farewells, time to go home and keep practicing what we’ve learned. I feel honoured and grateful for being part of this unique community. For being able to learn from everyone and teach others.
We’re one big family scattered around the globe. Yet every day in our training we’re connected by the martial art we practice together.
We recall the details our teacher told us last time we were training together. We smile when remembering jokes our friend told while we practiced a form. And we strive to get stronger and better – to learn more things to teach each other once we will meet again.