View Full Version : monday class..... warning... rant...

3rd December 2002, 06:35
Okay I've totally had it.... training methods.... well I tried one in my Monday class for the last 6 months. My teacher had decided that the next exams would take place in the form of Duo Games.... For jiu jitsu that is using the attacks of the kata finishing in any way you like, as long as it's effective and done quickly (has to have a bit of a show element too..)

I've been teaching them several combinations over the last few months and had chosen to show them just a few techniques and repeat the often so that they would come automatically when the attack comes..

The atmosphere had always been light, I made jokes they laughed, I sometimes commented on them talking they stopped, the girls giggled etc. etc. etc.

Well last night my teacher came in as we had agreed to give them a general rehearsal for the exam. Well you can guess what it was like (why else a rant?!?). Absolutely horrible.. After I got home with some doubts whether I should continue teaching them and what the mistake was that I made, I sat down to consider how to continue.

The Monday class consists of teenagers and one of my other classes (on Friday) consists mainly of adults and some teenagers. I had been teaching my Friday class exactly the same way and at their rehearsal last week they performed excellent. So I decided that the fault could not be entirely mine.

So after some thinking I have come to the conclusion that I will have to use a different method on them. A strict regime, zero tolerance. They will have to do what I say, how I say and when I say it..

This will probably cause some people to leave the school, so I will talk about this with my teacher but I believe this is the only way to get them to learn anything.

Any suggestions, insights?

Mike Williams
3rd December 2002, 10:48
There has to be a balance.

Our club is fairly easy-going. We don't stand on formality, the teachers are good humoured and never verbally abusive, we just gather round to watch techniques demonstrated rather than sitting in seiza, whatever.

However, my favourte two instructors get the most out of everybody, simply by keeping the pace of the class up. Just encouraging constant movement and work seems to make people more attentive. Simply - there's no time for distraction.

Of course the teachers have to chivvy people along now and again, but it's all done with positive encouragement. Peer pressure helps, too - nobody ever wants to be seen to be the slowest at learning, or picking up a task. But if it all gets too physically demanding, no-one is going to criticise you for sitting some of it out until you recover.

Oh, hang about, you're talking about teenagers! Sorry, your only solution is harsh discipline - put the fear of god into the little buggers.



3rd December 2002, 11:28
put the fear of god into the little buggers.

aaahhh it seems you have some experience with them too...

3rd December 2002, 12:44
I am only replacing my teacher and assist him from time to time, yet I d think I could give an advice:
When you teach - train your mentality as if you were in a fight.
Keep maneuvering and adjusting your response to the situations,
Maintain your stability
Make them go to where you want them to be

Hence you should view your tactical situation and modify it to suit each case separately.
Sometimes, and to some students, you should be very tough and scary; others need you in a more friendly nature.

Another point to think about is Ė being strict does not make your students train more seriously, it might just make them resent you and leave. Those whom left did not get better, hence, you didnít assist them, you only assisted the group that likes a stern teacher :-/ You should try to aim higher, improving everybody. How can you do that? I have already written my only advice.


11th December 2002, 15:48
I think it's also a case of drawing a line from the start, which will be hard now you've already been with the class for a while.

I my old TKD classes a good few years ago the average age was mid-teens up to late 20's, there were very few people older than that (myself having reached only 16 by the end of my time there).

Everyone had a laugh and a joke and whoever was taking the class, be it the head or a senior student, would be quite happy to give out and recieve some verbal (or 'banter' here in scotland), all in good humour.

It was always clear though that there was a bottom line and at the end of the day he/she was the instructor: if they said do something then you did it, period, and that if a senior was taking the class they had the same authority as the head.

I'd dont think all training has to be of the 'drill-sargent' type (though it can have its place) but, as mike Milliams said, there's a balance that can be found.

My suggestion, for what its worth, for someone in your sitution of having been there for a while would be to be honest with them and say that the feedback from the teacker wasn't great and things'll have to change. Go pretty drill-sargent for a few weeks and see if there's anyone who'll leave and only want's a social club, then gradually ease back off and bring back the jokes. The trick will be to stop a the right point, so they can have a joke but know there is a line.

11th December 2002, 15:50
sorry, 'Mike Williams' :)

12th December 2002, 04:45
They is a reason for everything they do. They are actually working very hard, tirelessly, at learning how to be an adult. Not just generically speaking, but how he or she, as an individual who is still incomplete, will interact as an adult with the world. They're learning what they value, and what that means and how their values manifest themselves. Among other very important things like their sexuality, self-worth, philosophy of life, etc.

It looks really strange while someone is doing this kind of stuff. It's like they are people with temporary amnesia, and they're "trying out" different personalities, roles, and behaviors to try to figure out which one is the right one.

People (not only teenagers are "adolescently active") generally need direction when their lost. Think about yourself in a social setting where you're unfamiliar with the rules. You wing it like you guess you should behave, while you observe others who seem to be "successful" fitting in well or are the "authority" and emulate them.

So, my advice is too act in the way you expect them to, and also to be somewhat frank, or at least obvious, about "what makes a good student." To keep up motivation, I suggest dropping "fun" out of the class- budo is "fun" on its own, right? Try regularly demonstrating the goal of hard practice with technique demos with senior staff (adult) and telling stories of your experiences learning new techniques or insights gained from practice. Really, the goals of adolescence are to figure out how to be like their teachers.

IMHO, of course.

12th December 2002, 06:06

They had their exam this week and about half the class passed. This was the half that I actually expected would pass. If the rest comes back... we'll see and I'll start with them all over again.

If they don't come back... well.. my teacher said not to worry about that. He only wants the people who want to work for it anyway.