Thought For The Week

Thought for the Week (January 26th, 2004)

From Kyoshi David Baker,
Midtown Karate Dojo
New York, NY.


Keep the class moving

When conducting class, start out slowly with half speed and power movement. I
like to have the group perform the first kata at half speed and power as

After that, make sure that the group keeps moving throughout the scheduled
class time with as few stoppages as possible. Once the heart rate becomes
elevated during kata, it's best to keep it elevated until kata is finished. (Kata
should comprise half or more of any given class.) That way, there is at least a
twenty to thirty minute block of cardiovascular training during kata, which is
the amount of time experts suggest for aerobic training.

Therefore, don't stop them frequently while you talk, correct or explain.
That is a common mistake, most often committed by junior instructors. The Deshi
will learn best with many repetitions and occasional corrections while they
continue training, rather than stopping them frequently while you point out each
mistake or taking time to explain the correction. And it will be physically
more beneficial for them too, from a fitness perspective.

One way to prevent this problem of too much talk is to remember to leave most
of the technique corrections to the higher-ranking instructors. The lower
your rank, the less time you should spend making technique corrections. Just keep
them moving and point out the most egregious errors when necessary, ideally
as a brief correction and then get right back to the count.

If the correction will take several seconds, then it's best to try to have
them hold a low pose while doing the kata. Then, right back to the count.

Overall, keep them moving.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Kyoshi David Baker,