Taekwondo class structure

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by falcon, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    I have had a tkd gym for about 2.5 years now and i am still struggling with how to run class and finding drills for my students. I personally feel like i am failing my students, cause i haven't seen a lot of improvement in them, which i could blame on them cause some of them arent very motivated but i big portion of it is on me, so i was wandering if any one could give me some advice on finding drills and structuring a class. I know some people have paid monthly subscriptions for drills and class structure, are those any good and if so which ones or should i just stay away from them? I would appreciate any help thanks.
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I am sure the school-owners on this site can give you some good advice, but what about the drills your teacher had you do when you were a student?
     
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  3. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    Here is the problem... what your students need to work on, to get the most improvement is their basics. But, the basics are the last thing your students want to work on, once they think they have it.

    I like to look at my students, and find something basic that they all need to work on. Every class, we will work on that for a few minutes before doing the "fun" stuff. Over time, that basic will improve, and so will a bunch of other things as well. (heck, you will improve in that basic skill)

    You don't have to spend a ton of time on it, 10-15 minutes per class should do it, over time. Consistency is key.

    You can also disguise it a little. Say you want them to work on the lunge punch. You can just do lunge punches. You can do them super slow, as a warm up stretching exercise. You can do them fast, for speed or cardio if you do a lot. You can put them into simple drills: three in a row, block then punch, block then three in a row. You don't have to get complicated. You can cheat, and "work on blocking the punch." The class is now focused on the block, but they are getting their reps on the same punch. You can do blocks, parries, counter attacks, take downs whatever, as long as you are using the same punch as the attack. In their minds, they are not doing the same thing. You can do combos, that start or end with the punch... again, don't get over complicated. The trick is to change what they think they are doing, while they get a ton of reps on the basic.

    After a few months, you should see improvement in that basic technique you choose, but also in a few other areas as well. Then pick another basic. Remember, the basics are the basics, because the rest of the art is built on top of them. If you improve the foundation, you improve the whole building.
     
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  4. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    i do a lot of them, but they still dont seem to be improving so i am looking for something new.
     
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  5. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    reply thanks for the advice i will try to think about things like disguising things like that. my problem is i have one students that has been the longest and he dosent improve hes been almost 2 years and every time he does his forms i cant even be in a basic front stance he is basically just standing straight up and i have been trying to drill it in his head but nothing clicks, and just several examples like that that is seems no matter how much i work on something there isnt a whole lot of improvement.
     
  6. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    This sounds like there may be class structure/formality/expectation issues. There has to be measurable, chartable goals for each belt/rank. That is a foundational component in all TKD styles/schools that I have been around.
    If your model is such that people move up in rank solely triggered by time I feel that is a big problem for both the student and the instructor. If you students feel entitled to move up that is an even bigger issue.
    To coin an old football phrase, the "tone" has to be set accordingly.
     
  7. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    Time is definitely not the only constraint, but to be honest i had no idea what i was doing when i started so i didnt have a very detailed system, but the last month a have been getting all that figured out and am going to put it in place soon in my dojang. but im not sure if any of my students feel entitled to move up i think one of the moms of a kid thinks he should move up, so how would i fix that or fix if the student felt entitled has well? i also want this thread to stay mostly about the first post so this is just a quick side question since it came up.
     
  8. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Ok, let's start this from the beginning.
    What is your experience and background? Age? Superlatives?
    Detail an average class for us. What do you do? How long? What tools are you using?
    What is your new student sign-up structure? Month to month or contract? Terms? Black Belt program?
    How/what do you advertise your BUSINESS?

    Let us try to get these out of the way and we can go from there.
     
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  9. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    id be tempted to hold the student mostly responsible, some one with even average motor patterns should show marked improvement just through simple repeticion. if after two years he cant get the basics then its a reasonable conclusion his motor pattern recognition is somewhat less than average or he isnt trying very hard at all.

    i have a niece with a neurological problem that means coordination and motor patterns are not her strong point to say the least, two years of practise riding bikes, dancing and catching balls have improve her beyond all recognition
     
  10. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    You need to recognize:
    A. Their are 3 types of Learners Auditory, Visual and Tactile, - Hit all 3 methods of teaching as necessary.
    B. Everyone has a different level of Proprioception but kids need to develop it more. This is the brains ability to determine where limbs are without looking, so what can be mistaken as laziness or lack of understanding may be a proprioception issue. The work around is to First make sure they understand what the positions should be and then encourage them to look at their position and then correct. You can see if they know the correct technique by saying "Johnny - Fix the front leg " and see if they move it to the correct position. Then continue them to Look / Check.
     
  11. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Give us an example of a specific issue and perhaps we can suggest a specific drill.
     
  12. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    i didn't get the impression he was talking about children, but it doesn't really matter, if two years have not substantially improved them, then there is a much deeper underlying problem with may well be out side of a twice weekly ma class to address and at the least it requires him or her to practise proprioception exercise at home.

    i've notice that ma schools tend to attract people who are not other wise sporty or well coordinated ( quite why they think they can learn martial arts if they cant learn to play soccer or net ball etal is beyond me ) and whilst there should be improvement, there's a distinctive limit on what is reasonable to achieve, but no progress at all should be a distinct warning sign that the issues run deep
     
  13. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    If he can't do the front stance... why is he doing forms? When I started Karate, the first thing I was shown was stances: front, back and side. I learned to walk forward and backward in each stance. I learned to transition from one stance to the other. I learned the basic blocks and punches in each stance. Once I could show a decent stance (read: my front stance was not me standing straight and my back stance was also not me standing straight and it looked different than what I called my front stance) then I was introduced to kata. There is no point in doing kata, if you can't do the stances by themselves.

    Our first kata starts: left turn into front stance with down block, step forward in front stance with lunge punch, turn 180 degrees, into a front stance with down block, then step forward in front stance with lunge punch...

    If I couldn't do the front stance... this kata is not even worth starting. We would start be just standing in front stance... Sensei would make sure the stance was correct, then we held it. Then we did the blocks or punches. Or we walked forward and backward. Or we walked forward and backward doing blocks and or punches. Doing these simple drills each class should help, provided you make sure he gets into what you call a front stance first.

    You could even start with stretching at the beginning of class. Get into a deep front stance to stretch the legs. Slowly step forward to stretch the other side. Add your body to the stretch, when you step forward this time, do your down blocks nice and slow, doing the full body movement. Do step with down block alternating sides across the mat, slowly for the stretch, just loosening up. Then do a set where you are throwing the lunge punch. Oops... sorry, look at our first kata above... In doing these stretches you just did 80-90% of the first part of that kata without thinking about it... and you got them to over emphasize the front stance, for "stretching" reasons.

    Personally, I would not have students doing kata, until they can do the stances required in the kata. Same goes for the punches, blocks and kicks in a kata.
     
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  14. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I've never been sporty before - but nothing to do with "can't learn to play", much more "don't want to play".

    Simply zero interest in watching or playing that sort of sport.

    Don't mind tennis, but only got into playing (more than once every few years) after starting TKD anyway.
     
  15. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    I am i 2nd degree recommended black belt, 23
    for the class we bow in then we do warmups we usely do either ladder drills, excersizes (pushups, situps, squats), side shuffle, jogging, grape vine up and down the floor, on days we go up and down the floor we will do kicks across the floor or stance work across the floor. After that we we will kick the bags, shields, or paddles i usely try to keep them doing the same kind of kick like different side kicks, different round kicks and things like that. After that we might do forms depending on the day. i know the way i run class needs improvement and its something i am in the process of changing, and thats also why im asking for help.
    we dont do a month to month contract. we have a sign up offer for 6 weeks for $49 and you get a free uniform. we dont have a black belt program cause we only have a few blackbelts at my school and they are all my family that i got my black belt with.
    i advertise on facebook mostly
     
  16. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    and most of my students are kids, the few adults that i have quit usely, but i do a few older kids.
     
  17. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    how long would you say it takes for a student to get that down cause if i am constantly telling my students they will go into an okay stance but it still needs work.
     
  18. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    some issues are stances arent deep enough, flopping of the body well kicking, looking away from the target well kicking, no power when doing forms. those are a few problems i thought of really quick some are having them just cause they are new and it will be corrected over time but others just dont seem to get it.
     
  19. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    You may try to teach a set of "partner drills". For example,

    1. punch only:

    - 1 step 1 punch.
    - 1 step 2 punches.
    - 1 step 3 punches.
    - 2 steps 1 punch.
    - 3 steps 1 punch.
    - jump in punch.
    - hook punch, back fist, upper cut, hammer fist, jab, cross.
    - ...

    2. kick only:

    - side kick, back kick.
    - hook kick, roundhouse kick.
    - front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick.
    - ...

    3. punch + kick:

    - groin kick, face punch.
    - side kick, spin back fist.
    - side kick, palm chop to the neck.
    - ...

    You can always help your students to build up their basic/foundation through partner drills.

    When one student train the offense move/combo, his partner can train the defense move (block punch, dodge punch, block kick, dodge kick, …). This way the offense and defense are taught together.
    Those partner drills can be mapped into solo drills when partner is not available. If you link those solo drills, you have just created solo form/forms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  20. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    So retainage is a BIG issue. This speaks loudly to the program, material being taught, and most importantly HOW it is being taught. Even the best of marketing systems do not keep people is a program/school they do not enjoy and desire to be at.
    From what you described, not a lot of Martial Arts are being taught and instead it is largely an organized exercise program.
    One of the best things our GM says is that he gives us all the information necessary to adeptly learn everything in class. It is the responsibility of the student to receive the information and learn it. Just like we do in grade school or upper level education. And just like the results if someone repeatedly fails exams in school the same expectation must be there in the Dojang. It doesn't have to be an overt display. Better that a mood or tone is set and embraced by everyone, including the teacher(s). It sounds like this may be a challenge for you, possibly given your age and rank, but you need to make it a primary goal to engage with adults and learn what causes them to leave the program.
    FWIW, the 6 week deal you offer only works if most people hang around for 8-12 months. Of course that is still not ideal either.
     

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