White Belt Curriculum

Azulx

Black Belt
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For Striking martial Arts: I have been in two schools, my first school the average time was 2 months my second was 3-4 months. Some schools have white belts for 6-8 months. How do they keep white belts entertained for that long, especially when most schools do not let white belts spar. In your experience what did you do as an instructor, or witness as a student, to keep white belts entertained for long periods of time? Especially with a generation that gets bored so easily.
 
In kenpo I teach all the stances, the basic concept of the art, 3 combinations, reactions to grabs and a bunch of various strikes/kicks, that they have to get proficient in before they rank up it keeps them plenty busy.

In judo I had to learn probably 5 different throws/sweeps, along with how to fall/roll properly, the different positions and the basics of randori. That doesn't sound like a lot, but you'd be surprised how much you have to practice a single throw to get somewhat proficient in it.

I'm sure this is true for most styles. Just because you're a white belt or you can't spar, doesn't mean you aren't learning, increasing you skills, and enjoying yourself. Getting the basics of the basics takes time, and IMO people shouldn't be promoted until they have at least that down.

Edit: Just realized it stated striking arts. Going to leave my comment because I feel it's still relevant, and just ignore the judo paragraph as an answer for striking arts.
 
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In BJJ, I spent 2 1/2 years as a white belt. I knew folks who spent 4+ years as a white belt. I know you were talking striking and not grappling but, If you're having fun while training, why does it matter how long it takes? If you're getting bored after only a few months, I've got to wonder if that art is really for you.
 
You don't 'entertain' white belts ( or any other other for that matter) you teach them and make them work, there's a awful lot to learn as a white belt. If those white belts take on board their instruction and enjoy what they are doing then there's no problems. If they want to rush through techniques to grade quickly then they aren't in it for the long haul they are in it for the belts and bragging rights.
I do wish people would stop denigrating the younger generation though...ie a generation that gets bored easily, I teach children and am a leader in Guiding, I do not find young people get bored easily at all.
 
For Striking martial Arts: I have been in two schools, my first school the average time was 2 months my second was 3-4 months. Some schools have white belts for 6-8 months. How do they keep white belts entertained for that long, especially when most schools do not let white belts spar. In your experience what did you do as an instructor, or witness as a student, to keep white belts entertained for long periods of time? Especially with a generation that gets bored so easily.

I don't think there is a set standard. And I think it also differs between adults and kids. Keeping someone entertained (a better term might be 'engaged' or 'attentive' or 'motivated') sounds more like what you need to worry about with kids. If adults decide they're tired of waiting to be promoted and leave, that's their problem.
 
In USAF Aikido, there are no color belts at all. You are a white belt until you are a black belt. You might be a white belt for 10 years or more.

Point is, it varies......
 
I assume by "keep entertained" you mean "keep interested and motivated." At any level, there should be more than enough to keep students busy learning.

Neither of my primary striking arts use belt ranks. For beginners, there's plenty to do learning the form on basic strikes, stances, footwork, blocks, parries, head movement, counters, combinations, bag work, focus mitt work, clinch work, and so on before even worrying about sparring.

For grappling, my primary art is BJJ. White belts do spar in BJJ, but I have enough material in the curriculum that I'd like them to learn before blue belt that it could easily keep them busy for a couple of years even without sparring.
 
For Striking martial Arts: I have been in two schools, my first school the average time was 2 months my second was 3-4 months. Some schools have white belts for 6-8 months. How do they keep white belts entertained for that long, especially when most schools do not let white belts spar. In your experience what did you do as an instructor, or witness as a student, to keep white belts entertained for long periods of time? Especially with a generation that gets bored so easily.
Our Youth Program has more belt colors than our Teens and Adult programs.
In the teen and adult programs our students test for their white belt after 6 to 8 weeks or 20 hours after that it is right at a year before advancing to the next belt level. In CSW there are no belts, Muay Thai no belts but there is specific material they must know and have a certain level of skill in. All our students except youth spar from about 2 months in. CSW and Muay Thai almost from the beginning.
How to keep them entertained, dynamic drills that develop and strengthen their fundamentals, timing, footwork, and power generation.
 
Even with basic material, you can offer a wide variety of different drills and exercises. Mix it up and people won't get bored.

Let's say, to give a very simplified example, your white belt curriculum is one form, roundhouse kick, straight punch and knee strike. Everybody in the class has already learned basically how to do those 3 striking techniques, but needs more practice. You have 12 people in the class and 3 punching bags. Here's a sample class.

First, of course, warm up, stretch, do your form.

Next, you have everyone get with a punching bag, and everybody takes turns doing 25 roundhouse kicks, 2x each. Then 25 punches, 2x. Next, they do a combination of roundhouse kick and straight punch 5 times on each side. Then repeat that with roundhouse-knee strike and punch-knee strike. Then you put 30 seconds on the clock and have everybody just strike continuously, mixing up the techniques, 2x.

Next, everybody gets with a partner and grabs a shield-style pad (you might need to have 2 pairs switch off using one pad depending on how much room/pads you have). One partner holds and the other partner does roundhouse kicks down the room. Then switch holders and go back the other way. Do the same thing with punches and knee strikes. Then have them do the same thing with a mix of those techniques.

That class will not be boring.
 

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