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Teaching Karate 6 -- Teach One Thing Well

There are so many things to teach in Karate. It can be tempting to teach many things at once, but this will usually lead to many mistakes.

In any class, it is best to emphasize a certain technique or principle -- to teach one thing well. You can also cover other subjects, but cover that particular technque or principle in depth.

It is also important to review that item in the following classes -- to reinforce the lesson. You might want to move on to other subjects, but a review is essential.

Even though you think that you taught the subject completely, the students might have only gotten 50%, or even less. You knew it, but that does not mean that they understood it fully. The second time they might get 20% more. The third time they might get 10% more. After several lessons, they will get it entirely.

Sensei Morio Higaonna likes to use the word "catch". The students "catch" the techniques and ideas.

Most students do not have photographic memories. Many of us cannot even remember what we ate for lunch. How are students supposed to be able to remember all the movements of Chinto or Gojushiho unless we give them the time to do so?

You might think that teaching one good thing is not enough. In Karate, if that one thing is a good punch, it is much more than most students will ever learn. Most Karate experts are highly skilled -- extremely highly skilled -- at only a few techniques, and tend to have one favorite or special technique.

In a class, teach one thing well -- and reinforce it.


Charles C. Goodin