Teaching advice my Sensei gave me…

Back in ’92 when I first started teaching I told my Sensei what I was going to work on in class with his students. I had a detailed lesson plan with more technical information than my class could possibly absorb in 60 minutes.

After I finished explaining to him, he raised an eyebrow and said, “That’s all good stuff, but remember some people come to class because they just want to work hard and go home sweaty.”

As I thought more about what he said, I realized I’d crammed too much information into my lesson plan. In fact I was doing this all too often when I taught class. While I was passionate about what I was teaching, I didn’t realize my class might not be as enthused hearing me drone on about the finer details of making a perfect reverse punch for the 15th class in a row…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Ever since I came to that realization I’ve always tried to remember the advice my sensei gave me…

Some people just want to work hard and go home sweaty.

And of course this should have been something at the forefront of my mind when planning my class, since fitness is the #2 reason people take martial arts in the first place.

However like many novice instructors I got bogged down in wanting my students to have perfect technique, and I forget about making class physically challenging and enduring for them.

Take note of how you teach, what you teach, how much you talk and how much time your students spend working hard in your classes, and try to strike a good balance between developing technique and improving fitness.

Yes technique is critically important but don’t forget that some people just want to work hard and go home sweaty…

Until next time…

– Jason

P.S. For a list of heart racing, blood pumping, sweat inducing karate drills and exercises click here

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