How do I seem less boring when teaching white belts?

Discussion in 'Japanese Martial Arts - General' started by Manwithquestions, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Manwithquestions

    Manwithquestions White Belt

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    I have this problem with teaching white belts. As I talk I just leave them bored and zoned out. My Master keeps asking me to help the white belts ever since I got my newest belt I've never taught anything before. I honestly try to get whats in my head into whats into the students head as best as I can. Thank you :p
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    They're white belts. Keep the explanations to a minimum and just let them perform. Just get them to do the movement roughly right, and then refine it as they go.
     
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  3. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Ask questions and have them interact with you. Like....What do you think the weight distribution for this stance should be? Why do you think we block like that? Which is the proper way to chamber this kick? etc...

    Also, focus on only 1 or 2 things at a time so its not information overload. Remember it doesn't take much to overload a beginner and if you bounce around on topics too much you lose them..
     
  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Stop talking keep moving.

    Keep the talking to a bare minimum people want to train not get a speech
     
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  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm going to guess you have the same issue I do, friend. I talk too much, explain too much, and want to make sure I don't leave anything out.

    With white belts, you want to show them what they need to do, point out one or two key bits to pay attention to (they won't be equipped to do more than that), and let them practice. It will be wrong, just know that before they start. Let it be wrong a little, and correct it when it's wrong a lot. Then step away and let them practice.

    It's much more fun to teach people you can teach principles and fine points to. Teaching brand new white belts is how you get some of those.
     
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  6. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I am going to repeat what everyone else said. Dont try to explain to much. Your probably trying to give to much information. Except the fact that they are going to do it wrong and be horrible. Let it be. As long as they know their right from left and no one is going to get hurt, let it be.

    Beyond that take note of your voice and tone. Make sure you animate your voice some. The worst thing is being monotone.
     
  7. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Your instructor should be guiding you. But talk less, do more. Two models to get to the same thing: EDGE or IDEA. EDGE is Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable. IDEA is Introduce, Demonstrate, Explain, Act. In either case -- it boils down to tell them what you're going to teach them, show it to them, show them how to do it, then let them do it. Put the emphasis on moving, not talking.
     
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  8. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Is it possible you are 'over' teaching.
    Explaining too much and for too long?
    Show, quick and short explanation, show again and let the students work it. They will struggle but struggling is important. They learn what not to do as they learn what to do. After doing several reps 10-15 show again correcting only 1 or 2 things at the most corrections. Then again let them struggle.

    Be encouraging,
    Be excited when the students do something well. Doesn't have to be perfect just better than before.

    Use phases such as:
    "You've almost got it" rather than "That's wrong".
    "That's better" rather than "No, it's this way, now do it again"
    "Great to see you working it, here's another way you can do it also.

    One of the worse things an instructor can do is to get in the way of the student having fun learning.
     
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  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I learned the hard way not to teach too much detail at first. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that there was a stretch where I spent more than a month with a new student before they could throw the first punch... (Class does only meet once a week... but still) Too much emphasis on teaching every little piece. Now, I try to teach 3 punches and 3 blocks the first night. I don't get a lot of the fine points in -- but I can add those and refine things as we go. I often use an analogy of building a road... You start by staking out the path, then clearing the trees, smoothing and grading, then paving, and finally adding the finishing touches like lane markings...
     
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  10. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    Exactly right imo. White belts should be moving, mimicking, trying to do what other people are doing for their basic movements. Perhaps getting conditioning in for those styles that do a lot of that, but still keeping things basic. There really shouldn't be any "lecture" going on for brand-newbies. Just, "OK, stand like this. OK. Now, step forward like thiss. OK. Now punch out at head level, watch this... like that. Do it slowly. OK. Let's do that together for a while." That's how the whole class should go for them.
     
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  11. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    QuestionMan, are we talking adult white belts or kids. If kids, how old?
     
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  12. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When you teach a group of beginners, you should give 1 order and they will do 1 move. They should then freeze there until you have correct all students to make sure their body structure are all correct.

    For example, the most common correction is when they punch with a front stance (bow-arrow stance), you want to make sure that their back foot heel are on the ground and their toes are turning toward the right angle.

    Many instructors did not pay enough attention toward individual. The following Q&A can be a good example.

    A: Why do you only move his arm 30 degree up for all his back reverse horizontal punch?
    B: He is too short. If he wants to punch at someone's face (or chest), his punch should be at least 30 degree up when he is in that low stance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  13. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    Keep it at gross motor movements.
    If I were to lay out all the details of a proper punch to a beginner, they would get overwhelmed and say there's no way they're going to remember all that, and most likely never come back.

    But if I just let them do a rough version of a punch and let them put in some reps and get a sweat going, bringing up a point or two as we go along, they'll leave class with a feeling of accomplishment and that they've learned something.
    They should leave with tired bodies, not tired brains and ears.
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Not picking on you here, Danny, so let me say that up front. Yours was just the post that I thought of this while reading.

    To the OP: don't do what we're doing here. Imagine all these replies were from one person. Notice the repetition and explanation of much the same thing over and over? That gets boring.

    Thanks for letting me borrow your post to demonstrate, Danny. :)
     
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  15. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    K.I.S.S.

    That is all.
     
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  16. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    To the OP: your profile indicates you are 16 years old. So, with that in mind, a couple of questions to you: how do you feel about teaching? Do you want to do it, or do you feel pressured by your instructor? Do you feel like you are ready to be teaching? Are you getting support from your instructor to develop your teaching skills, are are you just being thrown in there to figure out how to teach on your own?

    I’ll be honest, 16 is pretty young to be teaching people. If you don’t want to do it, if you are being pressured to do it, if you do not have appropriate support in the endeavor, then this is a bad situation. If that is the case, then it is a disservice to you and to the students you are teaching. Perhaps someday you could be a good teacher, but if you are being pressured to do it without proper support, then your progress as a teacher, and perhaps as a martial artist, is being undermined. This could unnecessarily develop an aversion to teaching or even to training.

    So, where are you with this? How do you feel about it?
     
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  17. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i started teaching at about 16. it was a way i could con my teacher into letting me get in more class time. i was a shy quiet kid (at first) but my teacher helped me along the way and really showed me how to teach. i was helping out in the adult class, i often wonder now how they felt being shown by some skinny kid but they were always nice to me.
     
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  18. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    At 16 you won't be too far away from when you were a white belt ( some of us are decades away from that :D) Think back to your white belt days, teach how you would have been liked to have been taught. Remember how little you knew then teach what you would have been able to comfortably take in at that level.
     
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  19. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    "Copy this. Ask me if you have questions."

    Break the skill into manageable chunks that don't need explaining. For example, show first one hand then the other. Break the movement into chamber and release. Demonstrate and have them copy.

    Less talk, more action.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
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  20. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    I suspect you have to change your mindset. You are probably thinking only of the material, which is "basic" to you, and not about them.

    Teaching beginners is, in some ways, the most rewarding group to teach. They make the most progress in the shortest amount of time. You are the one that can either lead them to a life long and life changing path, or lead them right back out the door to marathoning The Office on Netflix for the 12th time.

    As a coach your job is to help people, and white belts are the ones where you can see the effects of that the fastest. Think about it, if you coach someone from day 1 for 6 months you will likely see a major change in them. If you coach someone from year 27 for 6-months the changes are going to be far smaller.

    Draw your energy from them, and their improvement, not from teaching a jab for the 8000th time.
     
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