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Teaching Karate 12 -- The Right Things...

The hard part of teaching Karate is making sure to teach the right things to the right students at the right time. It is easy to run a class in which all the students do the same things -- the same warm-ups, the same basics, the same kata, the same applications, etc. But, of course, the students are not all at the same level. In fact, each student is likely at a different level.

I have an orange tree in my yard. We watch the oranges as they ripen. First they are green. They are not ready to pick. Gradually they become orange. The trick is to pick them just before they fall. Not to early, not too late.

It is also like that with students. When the students are green, you have to let them ripen. It is appropriate for them to practice drills and kata -- the same things over and over so that they will develop good basics.

But at the right time, it is time to "pick" them. It is time to move them on to the next level of training. Too early and they won't get it. Too late and they might have become bored or discouraged.

Because each student is different, this is usually an individual process. It is hard to find a group of students who are all ready for the same thing at the same time.

This is one reason why very traditional Karate dojo are typically small. The focus is on individual training and progress. It is hard to teach more than a dozen students in this manner.

Whenever you teach, you must ask yourself: are you teaching the right things to the right students at the right time?

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin