Saturday, December 5, 2009

Getting Out The Clipboard

On Wednesday, I was back in the dojo teaching my regularly scheduled classes. The first night we worked on basics and bo techniques. The second night....

I got out the clipboard.

We have a group of 1st kyu brown belts in the dojo training for black belt. They are a good group who have been training together since white belt. I also need to mention...they are family members. The father and son of the group walked into class...saw the clipboard...and just knew. I handed a clipboard to the other class instructor and then sat down in front of the class. Since I was out of the dojo for for few weeks, I wanted to get a handle on the students training. I wanted to determine, as a class instructor, what the focus should be over the next few weeks. The class did all the weapon and open hand kata up to the Shodan requirements.

The students are occasional readers of this blog and I want them to know..."You did a good job!"

Observations and Key Points:

1. After the students demonstrated the required material, the other class instructor and I compared our notes. They were identical. Very cool. We teach separate classes and have different teaching styles but we are consistent. This is good for the students because there is very little "well....X does it this way and Y does it that is it supposed to be?"

2. Make the most of your time in the dojo. You are what you train. If you walk through material, your material will reflect it.

3. Be concerned about your own training. This can be tough for anyone that trains with family or friends. I am not saying that you should not help each other but make sure you stay focused on what you need to do to improve. Have confidence in your friends and family members and expect them to focus on their training too.

4. It is the little things. Small improvements can make big changes in the appearance of your kata.

5. Receive the information. Really listen to what your instructors are saying and how it applies to your material.

I am looking forward to the next few months in the dojo. Brown belt is an exciting time for students and for the class instructors. To the brown belt students in this dojo...remember to enjoy this time in your training journey.

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