Saturday, June 26, 2010

"It is wrong.... tell me why it is wrong."

I overheard my husband Tom saying this to the black belt testing candidates. Tom explained to the students that if they knew why it is wrong it would help them correct the problem. When the students stopped and thought about why...they knew the answer.

When students first begin learning karate, they are shown how to do a technique. We practice, drill and tell them how to do the movement. At this point in their training, a long discussion or analysis of a technique might be too much information for the student. They need to know how the technique should be done. As the student progresses, the instructors demonstrate and describe techniques. The students continue to practice with added discussion or analysis from the instructor.

Tom was pushing the students to think about the techniques. He could have easily told the students what needed to be corrected and why. It is time for the students to think about their practice on a different level. Small changes in body position and weapon manipulation mean big things in application. Practice looking at the bigger picture. For example, if a bo position is off center line, the correction may not be to adjust the hand position but to correct a wide/short stance.

Despite the fact that my husband and I are both instructors in the same dojo, we are not often on the training floor at the same time. I have mentioned in previous posts that we train parallel. We have the same instructor but did not take the same classes. When I was a kyu rank student, Tom tested for shodan. He taught classes at the Honbu and made sure he was never my class instructor. Tom wanted my training to be my own. When Tom opened up his dojo, there was no opportunity for us to train together.

I liked Tom's question to the 1st kyu students. It reminded me of the concept Instructor as Guide.


Frank said...

If the students win the answers for themselves, they will never ever forget them. If they are able to analyze what they are doing and self-correct, then they are able to work and practice on their own. If they are able to do this for themselves, they can also help the lower ranks work and progress correctly. There is a great wisdom in this method, in my humble opinion.

Michele said...

Hi Frank: Thanks for commenting. I agree!