As you move up in rank, our leadership curriculum is expanded to include weapons, sparring, board breaking, more advanced self-defense forms as well as more advanced katas.
Unless you have a photographic memory, the only way to remember all of the material is to practice until you have the techniques memorized.
This can only be accomplished by supplementing your dojo training with practice at home.
It is my goal, to help the student work on technique and strategy the higher they advance – rather than show them the same kata over and over because they haven’t memorized it yet.
I don’t expect anyone to memorize every kata in one class, however, once we have worked it 2-3 different times, it is my expectation that my student will do what’s necessary to remember it.
Of course, there are some other benefits of practicing as well.
The average 7-10-year-old tends to struggle with sequences of moves that require the use of fine motor skills. Our school utilizes self-defense techniques that are meant to challenge this stage of their development so that the student is able to learn, grow, and apply the appropriate movements.
Repetition at home is a great way to build that muscle memory .
The closer you get to reacting without thinking, the more prepared you are to protect yourself in an assault.
This age group also finds it challenging to focus on things that are difficult and sometimes they will “over-think” what is being asked of them. This happens the most with intermediate to advanced katas.
Another BIG bonus associated with at home training is a boost in confidence.
This age group will tend to be afraid if asked to do something brand new in front of an audience or put in the spotlight. Having parents and friends as a familiar audience will help them build up their confidence and prepare them to be AMAZING!
Lastly, when practicing at home students are bound to run into challenges that may frustrate them to no end!
It is in these situations, you will have a valuable opportunity to teach them how to address these challenges in socially acceptable ways! You may notice that they project their frustrations outward which may interfere with the current drill or cause other students to become uncomfortable.
We now have the opportunity to coach them to “Take a Breath”, “Count to 10”, or “Change your focus and come back to this later”.
In conclusion, practicing at home is not solely about repetitious movements. It is a valuable opportunity for them to learn and grow as individuals.
Working with their parents, being able to receive coaching advice that extends beyond the Martial Arts, all while learning to nurture a mindset that encourages self-improvement, are what work together to be the driving forces behind “practice”!
Who’s ready to practice!
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About The Author
Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense.
Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for four consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars.