Senshin: The Enlightened Mind

Martial Arts Blog

normrobitza On June - 15 - 2013

Every year around this time, I start to get the itch to teach karate. I spent about 7 months of the year teaching at the Mount Allison University Shotokan Karate Club in Sackville, NB. The club runs from September to April. During this period, I spend 6 days a week in a gi between teaching and training.

Once the Spring Grading takes place in later March or early April, we close the dojo so the students can focus on exams and go home for the summer. I stop teaching and get to focus completely on my training with Shihan David and Sensei Janice Pyke.

On occasion, they will ask me to teach for them. I usually love it. Usually being the key word. There are only a few times that I am nervous teaching. One being when I am asked to teach and more experienced and higher ranking students are in the class. What can I teach a higher ranking student that he/she does not know. I usually try to get that student to teach instead. Recently, this has happened and instead of teaching the class of black belts, I just told them to do some self training. I worked with the single brown belt in the class while the 4 black belts worked on their own.The other time I dislike teaching is when I have a group of children. I like to teach students that want to learn and can focus. Don’t get me wrong, I love that children are training. They are the future of our art. Without children training we will eventually disappear. I guess, I am just more adept at teaching students that can understand my style of teaching. I am used to teaching university students who are keen to learn.

I have attempted integrating youth into my dojo at the university but have not been very successful. We have had the occasional youth but only one or two have gone beyond the first couple of belts. We have been talking recently about looking into renting a new location in Sackville just to have youth classes. If we could get a group of youth that would eventually boost our numbers at the University club, that would be great.

With a little over 2 months before I teach at the Mt. A Karate club, I have already started working out what I plan on teaching in the fall. I plan on using our Saturday afternoon class as a advanced session. All Mt. A karate students can attend but we are going to focus on advanced katas, free sparring, what a judge is looking for in a tournament and more.

I have had some of the greatest compliments in the past few weeks. Students from other dojos in our region have approached me and told me that they would like to come and take some classes with me. They told me that my students are among the best in the region. This is a great compliment. I don’t consider myself a great teacher. I just pass on what I have been taught. I spend 3.5-5.5 hours a week with Shihan Pyke training. I try my best to pass on what he has taught me.

I have also been asked to teach self-defense by some of the students that I train with. They told me that I have a great grasp for self-defense. Again this is humbling. I am honored by these compliments. I don’t think I am great at anything.

With these great compliments, I have jumped into feet first and already have several lessons lined up for fall. I miss not being with my students in Sackville but when the doors to our dojo open again in the fall I will be happy again.

Categories: Teaching/Training

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