With the greater expectation on technical competence on a Green belt, a number of students start to increase the frequency of their training. Some add one extra class per week while others might add three or four.
When getting out and trying new classes (either at the same location or an entirely new dojo), students might find the instructors differ in what they give to a class. Because of this, some may not feel a different instructor is giving them what really want from training and as such, stay at home that night instead of going to training.
The following is a perspective on different instructors and different classes:
We all have our favourite types of karate classes. Some of us love a session where we work extensively on our grade kata, or learn a new kata. Others love a class where they spend plenty of time doing kumite. There are those who are most happy when they walk out of class absolutely dripping with sweat and those who prefer walking out having learnt a great deal.
Yes we all have our favourite type of session, so what of those sessions where we don’t get our preferred class? Lets face it, we cant always get what we want, classes will vary. A varied class is good for you because it means you are working on different aspects of training, each one important. But some people can get a little upset when they don’t get what they want.
An example could be people who expect a really hard sweat session from their instructor, and then leave unsatisfied after an explanation filled class where they finish without sweating a drop.
So what are the signs of a good class?
a) When you walk out dripping with sweat. It meant you did your body a World of good. You likely also strengthened your character by pushing beyond your normal comfort zone. Even if you prefer to learn all the nuts and bolts of karate, it was still great for you to be pushed.
b) When you walk out enthused and re inspired. These type of classes are beneficial to your long term goals.
c) When you walk out having had a reality check. Reality checks are great because they give us a clear indication of where we are at (progress wise) and what we need to start working on.
d) When you walk out having learnt a lot or gained understanding of something. Perhaps you weren’t so enthused that you didn’t sweat as much as you’d hoped but karate is not aerobics and requires understanding to accompany its activity.
e) When something has finally clicked with your body. Some techniques take longer for our bodies to grasp hold of. Any class where you have a technique breakthrough is a beneficial class.
f) When you have spent ample time working on something important for your next grading or self-defence. This doesn’t necessarily mean a class where you did partner work and self-defence training. Spending ample time on a few techniques, refining these and helping them become instinctive will serve both to see you grade more quickly and more equipped for self-defence.
So you may not always get what you want but it isn’t to say it wasn’t a great class for you.
Building your appreciation for different types of classes is merely the first stage, but it doesn’t take away the fact we don’t get what we really want. So let us look into a way we can ensure we always get what we want.
The best method to ensure every class meets your criteria is to utilise the minutes before and after class. Example are:
i) Those Who Love A Sweat Session
Ok, so your instructor did a lot of explaining tonight and you haven’t sweat. As soon as class finishes, go over to the side and do some of your own training. You can go through some kumite combinations, kata, push-ups, sit-ups, shadow sparring the list is endless. A simple ten minutes of high intensity work will ensure you leave sweating.
ii) Those Who Love A Kata Class
Before and/or after every class, take ten minutes to work on kata. Ask your instructor or a higher grade for some feedback.
iii) Those Who Love Their Kumite
Find a fellow student and spar for ten minutes. If it is before class, keep it light and don’t do any kicks until you are warmed up properly.
iv) Those Who Love To Seek Understanding And Knowledge
Take advantage of your instructor by getting to class early to pick their brain. Furthermore, you can ask them questions after class.
Remember, not every class is going to be exactly what you want, but it will be what you need. For the classes where you don’t get all you want, take advantage of the before and after class minutes and ensure you leave completely satisfied.