Bournemouth Karate Club (Wado Ryu)

I find teaching karate very enjoyable and rewarding. Frustrating sometimes, but that’s because I want everyone to do the best they can and progress.

Teaching a larger class also has its difficulties as there will be a range of abilities, but also trying to spread techniques and syllabus work is time consuming.

Because what we are doing is not “karatecise” or “kick punch fit”, it’s not alternative to some spin class, there are nuances to it and different things to different body types which can be difficult to explain in broad strokes to everyone.

Aside from directly demonstrating to someone and physically correcting them, we have to explain in words don’t we? Or is it just me and my desire to give the students as much as I can distilled from my own previous years? It feels like sometimes I have taken the vats of wine that represents my own training, to then distil it down for me students. Does it end up like me feeding them cask strength Cognac and it’s too much?

To me language is evocative and it kind of works for the way I learn. Hence lies the issue, everyone has their own learning style. Someone might like visual imagery, some do better when it is related to sounds, some are more logical and so on. There are many different learning styles, but just one teacher at the front.

Sometimes I might even find myself contradicting something I said earlier, when in reality I am just trying to invoke something for that technique at that time.

Does it help when I saw that movement process is like a wave, it builds up and then completes, and then other times I say you have to go from 0 to 100 in an instant. Not very wave like. Stand in yoi and you have to be relaxed and alert, like a car engine ticking over and ready to go in any direction. Turn your core as if someone has stuff a pencil up your ass and twisted it. Turn into neko ashi dachi like you are drawing an arc with a compass. Even the word relaxed has detractors and Takamizawa Sensei always used the phrase "no tension" as opposed to relaxed, as that can bring up images of sitting on the sofa, glass of wine in hand watching the TV. Words eh!

So, are we spoon-feeding people too much now? Is this related to the ease of content consumption that modern life and modern technology gives us?

My concern is bad habits get ingrained too quickly and the core concepts of body movement are not absorbed in the pursuit of progress.

The brain and how we learn