Saturday, May 8, 2010

When There Is Only One....

...student in class.

In my experience, May is a busy month. I missed Tai Chi class last week because my daughter had a mandatory May Procession at school. There are end of school concerts, programs and projects. Baseball season has arrived and some karate students are juggling T-ball schedules and karate classes.

There was a class last week that had only one student. I immediately thought...opportunity. We focused on basics, punching techniques, stances, distance and kata. The young yellow belt worked hard and was focused on his movement.

As a student, would you like to be the only person in class? As an instructor, how do you feel about having one person in class?

My answer is the same for both circumstances...opportunity.

There was one tai chi class that I was the only student. I admit there was a brief moment of "Oh no!" that was quickly replaced by "opportunity". I had to demonstrate a portion of the form individually. The instructor made corrections and offered advice. As an instructor, I ask the student if there is anything they want to work on or if they have questions. I can focus on specific material.

What do you think?


Narda said...

I was the only kobudo student for 5 years, for the past two years the only one in Goju class. Despite the advantages, it gets a bit lonely.

Ariel said...

I've had several times where I was the only student in class, but it has only been in the past year that I have started appreciating the opportunity a small class presents.

Last week it was just me and one other student. Our instructor really worked with us on the small things in our forms and 1-step sparring. At the level I'm at in my training, I'm really trying to concentrate on getting the details right. A 1 on 1 or small class is a huge opportunity for me, and I look forward to having them.

Shang Lee said...

I would try to find out more about the teacher. It's always nice to know the human side of the teacher, with his/her own problems and ways to solve it. It's difficult to get this when in a formal group class. This is also a strategy to avoid the painful 1 on 1 corrections. ;)

Meg said...

I enjoy being the only student in class. I enjoy the one on one with my instructor/s and feel like I get a lot more out of the class.

Anonymous said...

I would love being the only student for a few classes! I think that would really be an amazing opportunity to pick my Sensei's brain and get his individual attention and feedback on each of my kata and many of the basics. We are fortunate that our Saturday class is freestyle, so each person works on whatever they want to work on, and my Sensei circulates and works with people individually.

Michele said...

Narda: After five years, I bet it does get a little lonely.

Ariel: Good for you!

Shang Lee: Excellent idea. :)

Meg: I agree. It does not happen often so I try get the most out of the class.

Frank: I like the idea of a freestyle class. From the stories that I heard, it is my understanding that is how Sensei Odo taught in Okinawa. He would say "You do...I fix."

Anonymous said...

I will take one-on-one instruction anytime I can get it! When an instructor is able to spend more time with me, I'm able to iron things out more quickly and pick on the finer details of things. There's always the opportunity for the instructor to "show" you something that you may not have gotten while in a larger class.

Michele said...

Hi Michael: I agree.

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