Great post by Magick! Great advice and his description of just having that “eureka” moment when suddenly everything just “clicks” and you start to hit something that you had previously been unable to is a phenomenon that I am probably pretty much every other Martial Artist who has been at it for a while has experienced on numerous occasions.
Regarding the “lack of direction” I also agree that the reasoning behind your instructor’s apparent “ADD” is important.
Does he get derailed by students asking questions? I know I’ve got one student who is always asking (often times completely unrelated or at least “tangential”) questions whenever I am demonstrating the skills we are practicing in class. It’s hard sometimes not to let them steer class way off of topic.
Is he taking an inventory of the skill level and needs of the class? Sometimes I might go into a class fully intending to drill a specific technique or flow only to realize after watching them try it and/or having students who do not yet have the requisite control or skill required that those techniques/skills might actually not be appropriate and have had to switch to either the prerequisite skills (which honestly people are often less “enthusiastic” about drills tons of reps on) or completely unrelated but “safer” ones.
I will say in all honesty that I have all of my classes mapped out ahead of time and will make sure that I get the “core” things I want to cover done and only then move on to more advanced drills of those core techniques, or tangential ones time permitting. So I might start with side to side slap outs and get all the way to say setting up a Tai Otoshi utilizing a Ko Uchi Gari from a random dynamic position for the advanced people but only make it to the static Tai O or even a kneeling Tai O for some of the rank beginners or people with special considerations (injuries, age related things, etc…).
I just to just “wing it” and to a degree that can still lead to a good class, but I felt there was less consistent progress across the board and only the “naturals” were really excelling at the rate I wanted and I wasn’t satisfied with some of their grasp on the fundamentals.
Does your instructor have a curriculum? For instance, you need to know “x skills for your first stripe,” and “y skills for your second stripe,” and so on? Or, if it’s a little more open it might be “1 sweep from closed guard, 1 escape from side control, and 1 submission from back” or something along those lines?