How do I seem less boring when teaching white belts?

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

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm really good at geeking out. MA is one of my favorite topics for that activity.
     
  2. mr_pinball

    mr_pinball White Belt

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    Here's my two cents worth. As both a teacher (occupation) and a white belt, the best advice I can give is to give your students as much time doing and less time listening as possible. Model a technique and then get your students to copy for a set period of time. During this time go around the students correcting technique and form. Keep your explanations short, clear and show the techniques at a reasonable speed. Make sure your students know what they're doing before they attempt it.

    When you're going around students individually, try to give as much praise and encouragement as possible, actively look for things to praise your students on.

    Teaching is something that you have to work on contuinally. Reflect on what what you taught after each lesson, looked at what worked and why it worked and how you can apply it again, more importantly, look at what didnt work or didnt work as well as you would have liked and try to figure out where you can make it better. Finally, dont be afraid to experiment from time to time. When lessons become too formulaic people can lose interest.

    Hope that helps!


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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Interestingly, even that isn't universal (though it seems like it ought to be). I was visiting a friend's school, and thinking to myself how much of the class he spends talking. Some of his students had been at a seminar over the weekend with another instructor I know. One commented to me, "He would show a technique, give only one explanation, then just send us off to practice." Now, I know the other instructor (my primary instructor), and he talks more than that. By comparison to what those students were used to, though, it seemed that way to them. They like their instructor's level of discussion and dissertation.
     
  4. mr_pinball

    mr_pinball White Belt

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    That's where knowing your audience comes into play. Like you say, teachers/instructors have to understand that what works for one might not work for another and adjust to the circumstances. Having said that, you dont learn martial arts without doing, its the most vital component. You're doing your students a disservice by not allowing them the time to practice. Like I said previously though, make sure your students know what their doing before attempting it.

    But when all is said and done, you cant please everyone all the time. Be prepared for people to just not warm to your teaching, it could be for any number of reasons, some vaild some stupid, e.g: teaching style or methods, personality, sound of your voice, your haircut. Just don't take it personally!


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  5. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    I don’t like much teaching white belts / absolute beginners as well, but this thing was been working well: tell them ONLY 1 or 2 things, the most crucial at their stage. It will make things look easier to everyone.

    Once they got it, reward them for that and tell them more 1 or other thing.

    I tend to say and expect too much (because some instructions seem easy as blinking) but it only leads to frustration on both sides. Small targets and (a fun) time will show progress, potentially...
     
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  6. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I love working with beginners. They tend to have more of a sense of fun about what they are doing, even when it's difficult and strictly led.

    Middle and high grades can take themselves too seriously sometimes and it kills the mood in training IMO.

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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't have that problem with the middle and upper belts, but that might be my influence. I learned (through lots of public speaking and making errors in front of large groups) to get people laughing at my mistakes. Since I don't take myself so seriously, people around me tend to just relax into the training and have fun with it. I think I'm actually more frustrating to folks when they are in or just past the beginner phase, because I correct too often.
     
  8. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    Well, I like beginners as students. They listen and we can see progress on them in a short period.

    The thing is sometimes I was trying to make quick and handy training/sparring partners and this was the issue. They need time, but I was thinking on myself...This is when I didn’t enjoy training beginners.

    Advanced ones don’t listen you if they perceive you has worse than them, or they get offended when they realise their ranking is quite pointless/meaningless. The advantage is the advanced ones sometimes can give a challenge and teach each other.
     
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  9. Oni_Kadaki

    Oni_Kadaki Orange Belt

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    To add on to what others said, when you must explain something, try to incorporate humor. You'd be amazed what a well-timed joke can do to improve an audience's attention span.
     

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