Sunday, August 10, 2008

Focus on Basics

In the dojo, over the last two months, we were focused on black belt testing material. We worked hard on kata, weapons and bunkai. The kyu rank students had a brief opportunity to work on a more advanced curriculum. Now, it is back to basics. I love to teach basics ...strikes, blocks, movement and drills. Last week we spent thirty minutes on how to move in the first kata. A few years ago, I taught a class that included several teenage brown belts. After warm-ups, we would begin each class with moving drills. They would groan and I told them that they would thank me one day. They had a particularly rough black belt test but passed with no problem. One of the students came up to me after he received his belt and thanked me for the all the moving drills we did in class.

There were several students that attended the 2008 Annual Training. They returned to the dojo inspired and enthused. Several kyu rank students watched black belt testing for the first time. They saw for themselves the level of commitment required to do well. The instructors have explained the process many times but it was not until they saw the testing that they truly understood.

In August, I will focus on the basics but not just in the dojo. There is much work to do at home. I spent the better part of the weekend school shopping with my daughter. I am exhausted from shopping. I am lucky that she wears a uniform to school every day. I can not imagine taking her shopping for back to school clothes. I have enough trouble finding shoes and a backpack. It took us three trips to the mall to find the perfect backpack. This is the first year that she did not get a Disney Princess or Fairie backpack. We bought a backpack with wheels because of the amount of books she is required to bring home each day. She weighs 60 pounds and last year she was carrying 12-15 pounds of books. I actually put the backpack on the scale!

Enjoy the rest of the summer!