How do I seem less boring when teaching white belts?

hoshin1600

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so after 13 responses of "less talk more action" how about some other input on how instructors actually keep the class from being boring?

i think the number one thing is vocal intonation and enthusiasm in your speech. being energized in your actions. i also keep a close eye on students to watch for when they are getting bored with the repetition of something. i dont necessarily want to move to something different just because one person is bored. so i will notice if someone is lagging then walk over and motivate them somehow or ratchet the difficulty up for them by adding a new focus to the action or layer on another action.
 

Andrew Green

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i think the number one thing is vocal intonation and enthusiasm in your speech.

It's not just that, most instructors in the martial arts are given 0 training on how to actually coach a class before being thrown into it.

Combine that with a history of teaching martial arts like military drill and things can get boring in a hurry.

Imagine going to a 6-year olds soccer practice that was taught the way a lot of martial arts classes are taught... You line up by rank, practice kicking patterns in sync without a ball as the coach counts of reps and makes adjustments. Do a few offence / defence drills in sync and to a count still without a ball. Then maybe at the end play a short game with a balloon as a ball... since a real ball is far to dangerous until you have at least a few years training.

What we do can be a lot of fun, different demographics will find different things fun obviously, but it's the coaches job to teach and train in a way that keeps everyone having fun.
 
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Manwithquestions

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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?

Ill be honest, 16 is pretty young to be teaching people. If you dont 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?
I dont mind it to be honest. My teacher will be like "Go teach this gentleman his basic Kata and all of his basic kicks" I just dont want them to see Karate as boring. I'm not gonna lie though its kinda annoying to teach mostly because I wanna learn new katas and sparring techniques. I think that my teacher is testing me to see how I teach.Its a little scary to be honest
 

Tez3

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I think that my teacher is testing me to see how I teach.Its a little scary to be honest


I think it's more likely he's testing how much you know.

how about some other input on how instructors actually keep the class from being boring?

That's hard to do because we don't know the age of the students nor how and what he's teaching now.
 

pgsmith

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I dont mind it to be honest. My teacher will be like "Go teach this gentleman his basic Kata and all of his basic kicks" I just dont want them to see Karate as boring. I'm not gonna lie though its kinda annoying to teach mostly because I wanna learn new katas and sparring techniques. I think that my teacher is testing me to see how I teach.Its a little scary to be honest
In our school, everyone will teach someone else after attaining a certain level. This is because it takes a different way of thinking to teach someone else than it does to learn yourself. When you are focusing on how someone else is moving, it can bring a great many aspects of your own movement into focus, both good and bad. I always try and keep in mind what one of my early instructors told me ... "Just because you are teaching others does not mean you have stopped learning yourself. Instead of watching someone else to learn, you have to learn to watch yourself while showing others." This allows you to learn a number of things about your own movements that you would normally miss if you were only focused on learning new kata and techniques.

Just another way of looking at things.
 

hoshin1600

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That's hard to do because we don't know the age of the students nor how and what he's teaching now.
i am asking in general. its not that hard a question. there are three groups: kids, teens and adults. answer for all three or however you see fit. i just wanted to stimulate conversation beyond "talk less"
 
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Manwithquestions

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i am asking in general. its not that hard a question. there are three groups: kids, teens and adults. answer for all three or however you see fit. i just wanted to stimulate conversation beyond "talk less"
late teens, I've taught two people so far
 

Flying Crane

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I dont mind it to be honest. My teacher will be like "Go teach this gentleman his basic Kata and all of his basic kicks" I just dont want them to see Karate as boring. I'm not gonna lie though its kinda annoying to teach mostly because I wanna learn new katas and sparring techniques. I think that my teacher is testing me to see how I teach.Its a little scary to be honest
Ok, sounds to me you are kind of ok with it, but if it was completely up to you then you would not teach. So Im gonna say thats not really a great situation. Lets be honest here: you are young and dont have much life experience, which can go a long ways in helping you understand how to teach. That is not an attack on you. It is simply recognizing reality for what it is. You will get life experience, it will come.

If your instructor is somehow testing you to see how you teach, I think thats pretty unfair given where you are in life and that it sounds like he has given you little or no guidance on how to teach.

Honestly, unless you really want to do it AND he is coaching you to help you be a good teacher, my opinion is that you shouldnt be teaching at this stage of your training and at this time in your life.
 

Buka

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late teens, I've taught two people so far

Two people....Every great journey starts with a first step. You may very well be on your way.

When I watch people teach I look for a few things. Knowledge of the subject, obviously, communication skills.....and passion. You can tell when someone is passionate about what they do. Not jump up and down passionate, but rather how it comes from within. Let it out when you teach. Let it shine, bro.
 
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wab25

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so after 13 responses of "less talk more action" how about some other input on how instructors actually keep the class from being boring?

I like to pick one thing to work on, then work on it in different ways.

One day I may pick a technique, say a wrist lock. We start very simple, other guy reaches, you get offline, parry, get the grip and apply wrist lock. Let them practice many reps. When most have it somewhat... use the wrist lock to a take down with it. After reps there, do wrist lock, take down, turn the guy over. Next do wrist lock, take down, pin. Keep the initial attack and technique the same, but go different places with it. This helps the student feel like the class is moving along. They think they are learning this cool combo. In reality, they are getting lots of reps on the same technique. As they start focusing on step 2 and then step 3, they start doing the first technique without thinking about it. You can also space out the details. (to get them to turn over, the trick is to set it up, get the grip correctly when you start the wrist lock, keep the tension and grip as you take them down, now the turn over is easy)

Another day, I may pick a principle, say getting offline from a straight attack. First, do reps with a punch to the chest, and you get offline. Then do reps, where you get offline, move behind, catch the shoulders and throw them back. Then get offline, catch the punch and arm bar. Then get offline, catch the wrist and do the wrist lock we did last week... Get offline, throw o'soto gari. Here they are getting lots of practice getting offline. Same as before, they are getting lots of reps of the principle with realizing it. You can spread out the details.

When doing either technique of the day, or principle of the day, focus most of your correction to that, not the rest of the combo. Keep focused on the principle or technique. The rest of the combo may look pretty funny at first... just keep it safe. It will give you ideas for the next technique of the day when you see they all have issues with this piece of the combo. At the end I like to let them know what we were working on. Have them go back and do the initial technique, and realize how much better they are at just that piece. Now they feel like the class moved along, they got to do a variety of things and they realize that they feel less awkward about a technique or principle by the time they leave... they get a sense of accomplishment.

I many times have a mix of low rank beginners and higher ranking students. Principle or technique of the day works great here too. Everyone starts the same and together. The advanced people get different variations or different aspects to focus on. This even allows you to rotate students, and keep a mix of low and high rank students working together on the same ideas.
 

Buka

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so after 13 responses of "less talk more action" how about some other input on how instructors actually keep the class from being boring?

i think the number one thing is vocal intonation and enthusiasm in your speech. being energized in your actions. i also keep a close eye on students to watch for when they are getting bored with the repetition of something. i dont necessarily want to move to something different just because one person is bored. so i will notice if someone is lagging then walk over and motivate them somehow or ratchet the difficulty up for them by adding a new focus to the action or layer on another action.

Not trying to evade your question, but you pretty much answered it in that post. Pretty damn well, too.

The whole "boring" thing in teaching Martial Arts is very odd to me. It would be like being bored while skydiving.
 

oftheherd1

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In our school, everyone will teach someone else after attaining a certain level. This is because it takes a different way of thinking to teach someone else than it does to learn yourself. When you are focusing on how someone else is moving, it can bring a great many aspects of your own movement into focus, both good and bad. I always try and keep in mind what one of my early instructors told me ... "Just because you are teaching others does not mean you have stopped learning yourself. Instead of watching someone else to learn, you have to learn to watch yourself while showing others." This allows you to learn a number of things about your own movements that you would normally miss if you were only focused on learning new kata and techniques.

Just another way of looking at things.

That is how I learned and taught in both TKD and Hapkido.
 

oftheherd1

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I'd like to thank yall for helping me with this Journey of Martial Arts Its awesome to know that theres other people who geek out over it just as much as I do :)

It's good you geek out; that is representative of the passion Buka was talking about. Good students can't help but pick up on that and be inspired by it. Hopefully you knowledge is attested to by your teacher assigning you to teach. Even if you are the only other person he can count on, or he wants you to improve because you see the need in your own teaching. Communication skills are pretty much an acquired skill. Some get it without knowing how, some by a lot of trial and error.

Keep at it! You have a wonderful opportunity affect others to the good, and improve yourself as well. Don't lose your chance.
 

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so after 13 responses of "less talk more action" how about some other input on how instructors actually keep the class from being boring?

i think the number one thing is vocal intonation and enthusiasm in your speech. being energized in your actions. i also keep a close eye on students to watch for when they are getting bored with the repetition of something. i dont necessarily want to move to something different just because one person is bored. so i will notice if someone is lagging then walk over and motivate them somehow or ratchet the difficulty up for them by adding a new focus to the action or layer on another action.
Some of the same answers I have when teaching MS Excel or leadership:
  • Let your personality come through (assuming you have a fun personality)
  • Get people involved in the discussion (and, where possible, in the doing)
  • Make them laugh (in my case, often by saying something stupid)
  • Get them moving
  • Help them understand why something is important (actually important to adult learning)
  • Know your stuff, and show them enough to wow them from time to time
  • Make them think for themselves
 

Gerry Seymour

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It's not just that, most instructors in the martial arts are given 0 training on how to actually coach a class before being thrown into it.

Combine that with a history of teaching martial arts like military drill and things can get boring in a hurry.

Imagine going to a 6-year olds soccer practice that was taught the way a lot of martial arts classes are taught... You line up by rank, practice kicking patterns in sync without a ball as the coach counts of reps and makes adjustments. Do a few offence / defence drills in sync and to a count still without a ball. Then maybe at the end play a short game with a balloon as a ball... since a real ball is far to dangerous until you have at least a few years training.

What we do can be a lot of fun, different demographics will find different things fun obviously, but it's the coaches job to teach and train in a way that keeps everyone having fun.
As a former soccer coach, I really enjoyed imagining teaching soccer that way. Great visuals in my head.
 

Gerry Seymour

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In our school, everyone will teach someone else after attaining a certain level. This is because it takes a different way of thinking to teach someone else than it does to learn yourself. When you are focusing on how someone else is moving, it can bring a great many aspects of your own movement into focus, both good and bad. I always try and keep in mind what one of my early instructors told me ... "Just because you are teaching others does not mean you have stopped learning yourself. Instead of watching someone else to learn, you have to learn to watch yourself while showing others." This allows you to learn a number of things about your own movements that you would normally miss if you were only focused on learning new kata and techniques.

Just another way of looking at things.
My experience is that much learning happens while teaching.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Ok, sounds to me you are kind of ok with it, but if it was completely up to you then you would not teach. So Im gonna say thats not really a great situation. Lets be honest here: you are young and dont have much life experience, which can go a long ways in helping you understand how to teach. That is not an attack on you. It is simply recognizing reality for what it is. You will get life experience, it will come.

If your instructor is somehow testing you to see how you teach, I think thats pretty unfair given where you are in life and that it sounds like he has given you little or no guidance on how to teach.

Honestly, unless you really want to do it AND he is coaching you to help you be a good teacher, my opinion is that you shouldnt be teaching at this stage of your training and at this time in your life.
I'm not sure I entirely agree. Having a student teach a couple of students some really basic stuff is a good way to find out how they react and what preparation they need. Some students need no preparation, while others need a ton (and may never get any good at it). Some shine when asked to teach and actually start to get better quickly as a result, while others are bogged down by it. That's all useful information.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Not trying to evade your question, but you pretty much answered it in that post. Pretty damn well, too.

The whole "boring" thing in teaching Martial Arts is very odd to me. It would be like being bored while skydiving.
Yeah, I've gotten distracted, anxious, angry, sore, injured, talky, aggressive, sad, excited, loud, and quiet while doing MA. I'm not sure I've ever gotten bored - even with boring material (stuff that sounds boring to me if you talk about it).
 
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