Add KarateForums.com
tallgeese Celebrates 10 Years as a Moderator!
Username:    Password:
Remember Me?    
   I Lost My Password!
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> Instructor Central
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 See a User Guidelines violation? Press on the post.
Author Message

scohen0300
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 09 Feb 2016
Posts: 84
Location: Long Island, NY
Styles: Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu (Shodan), Vinyasa Yoga (200 RYT)

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:31 am    Post subject: How do you teach kata/bunkai to new students? Reply with quote

(Actual problem in 3rd paragraph)

Now my dojo (over the past 2 years or so) has become a kata school where we focus 90% of our time practicing and drilling kata. The other 10% MIGHT be used on bunkai, maybe weapons (more kata), and possibly some more exercise (usually kata based).

I totally get that in most karate schools, itís mostly kata. I understand itís important to preserve the martial art and its tradition, and I fully understand traditional martial arts arenít for people that are expecting to get into cage fighting (although you could).

However, Iíve seen too many students come to the dojo expecting to learn self defense. The instructor proceeds to include the new students in the warmups and kihon. Either having the new student try to keep up with the group kata practice or having a senior student go over the most basic kata in the back. IF the new student is even shown WHY theyíre doing kata or told WHAT the actual kata is, itís very brief and then right back to the kata. The student comes back maybe one or two more times and then I never see them again.

I fell in love with karate because I always asked questions about kata and I always received good answers! I wanted to know WHY Iím doing what Iím doing in the kata. I donít think instructors teach this enough and new students certainly donít know to ask about it. Itís horrible that my dojo fell away from teaching more than just kata, because new students will get bored and older students will eventually move on.

Unfortunately Iíve left that dojo due to a lack of progression, I have no interest in becoming better at kata for the sake of becoming better at kata. So my question to you is, how do you teach kata/bunkai to new students? And does it continue with the older students?[/b]
_________________
ē
Instagram: swami_fist
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

scohen0300
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 09 Feb 2016
Posts: 84
Location: Long Island, NY
Styles: Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu (Shodan), Vinyasa Yoga (200 RYT)

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just some stuff to add:

If I know why Iím practicing this technique over and over again, Iím way more likely to TRY and improve at it!

A few month before I left, there was a new student who I noticed was NOT having fun during his first class. Maybe 14 or 15 years old. Completely uninterested. My Sensei has me take him to the back and teach him the first kata. My Sensei told me which point to take him up to, and I know not to go any further than that. After a good bit of drilling the same few techniques, I got angry and decided to show the kid (who looked MISERABLE) why he was doing what he was doing (the applications of the techniques I was supposed to be teaching). In a few short minutes, this kids eyes opened up, he was engaged, he was having fun. He came back to 4 more classes, I didnít get to help him at any of them and I kept looking to see how bored he was and sure enough, the kid wasnít having any fun trying to learn kata. I never saw him again!
_________________
ē
Instagram: swami_fist
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1703

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider that though kata is a sequence, the ďbunkaiĒ is not. Each and every technique is meant to be used independently of one another. Once the kata is learned, demonstrate and explain each the applications by breaking down the kata in manageable parts.

After that the best way to approach it is to use drills with partners(pair novices with advanced students). Taking the first 3 moves and drilling them thoroughly before proceeding to the next three is a good way to do it. Increase speed and intensity gradually. Going back and forth between the kata and the application drills will help to emphasize the relevance of kata and their purpose.

Most important of all is not to rush through anything and avoid overwhelming novices with more information than their level allows them to grasp.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

scohen0300
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 09 Feb 2016
Posts: 84
Location: Long Island, NY
Styles: Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu (Shodan), Vinyasa Yoga (200 RYT)

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely understand where youíre coming from!

However, what I see all the time is new students coming into the dojo and simply not having the patience to learn a kata they donít understand. My personal opinion is that a better approach would be to teach these new students part of the kata, and after they have a sequence memorized, explaining what the application can be just in that part. I would see that to be more engaging to these students, otherwise they naturally get bored and donít come back.
_________________
ē
Instagram: swami_fist
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14268
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learning the Kata is piece-meal; a little at any given time, not too much so as to not overwhelm the student, particularly the beginners.

The Kata IS separate FROM the Kata; neither are taught ever the same. Kata is the paragraphs while the Bunkai is the chapters of said book [The name of said Kata].

With beginners, during group classes, I do throw them into the mix. It is follow the leader, and other students around them, while my Sempai's keep a very close eye on them; all of the time, I'm darting in and out with corrections as necessary.

All of the time, Bunkai is being taught. Either along with said Kata, AND/OR Bunkai applications through segments, tiny, never numerous, to avoid overwhelming the students. Too much can spoil the learning.

Plus, we teach resisting training from day one!!

I've dozens and dozens of ways that I teach Kata/Bunkai, and never the same way because students are not the same.

I'm a staunch proponent of the three K's: Kihon, Kata, and Kumite, and that they ALL must be taught, and without any ambiguity whatsoever. If all your dojo does is Kata and no effective Bunkai, then you're being sold tainted goods. Kumite is the horsepower that drives the engine, Kihon and the transmission, Kata.

Kata and Bunkai have to be taken apart and put back together over and over and over forever and ever; baby steps to the most finite detail because there's more than one way to skin a cat.

ASK QUESTIONS: DOUBT what you're being taught, but at all times, be respectfully of your CI, and refer back to your CI over anyone else.

If you're not doing as much Kihon AND Kumite with your Kata, then, your dojo might be setting you up for failure across the board.

Time!! Be an intimate friend with time because it will take endless time to learn whatever it is that the MA is teaching. Nothing happens overnight!!

Generally speaking, and imho!!



_________________
**Proof is on the floor!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The why is sometimes more important than the how. As a science teacher, I always tell my students why theyíre learning what Iím teaching them. I found out early in my career that when I give them real world examples of what Iím teaching, theyíll pay attention. I teach grades 4-9 science, so itís not like Iím going into any serious depth with the material; but that doesnít stop me from showing them the in-depth stuff. Hereís an example...

I teach motion in many grades. As they get older and are more capable of actually using it, I teach them more in-depth math. F=MA, Speed = D/T, stuff like that. They hate math and commonly say ďI thought this was science, not math.Ē Then I take them outside and have them sprint. We measure the distance, and I time them. We go back to the classroom and calculate how fast they ran. They love it. I also tell them that these formulas are what police are using to figure out accidents, pilots use them to figure out when theyíre going to land, how much fuel theyíll need, etc. They hear that and it becomes something useful rather than just stuff they need to know to pass a test they donít even really want to take. Same thing when I teach anything - human body systems, rocks, etc. Even when theyíre incapable of actually using what Iíve shown, they understand they need to crawl before they walk.

If I just blabbed on and on about the facts and never gave them a realistic connection, Iíd easily lose them. I know this because I made this mistake my first year or two. I didnít explain why they were learning what I was teaching nor where it would go in the future. Getting them to learn it was like pulling teeth. Quite honestly, they didnít care; and a lot of that was my own fault.

Teaching is teaching, and it makes no difference what youíre teaching; the principle is the same - teach them why theyíre learning what youíre teaching, and youíll have them. If itís obvious to them in their mind that what theyíre learning is just to pass a test, theyíll check out. Especially if theyíre paying customers!

Even if the why isnít possible yet at their developmental level, if they see it, theyíll understand why and will stick around for when the time is right. If you donít show why, they most likely wonít be around for when the time is right for them to actually understand and apply it. Theyíll have moved on long ago.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We could use reading as an analogy here to help students understand...

You don't teach someone an alphabet, then hand them a novel with the expectation they'll be able to read it. In order to be able to pick up a book and read it, one needs to spend a lot of time with the basics: Spelling, sentence structure, grammar and punctuation, writing paragraphs/essays, as well as reading passages of varying lengths with comprehension.

Once someone has become proficient in all that, then reading becomes second nature.

Using martial arts for self defense is very much the same thing.

If someone wants to learn "basic self defense," there are classes out there. Cops and military personnel learn a few basic techniques, and drill them to the ground. This would be more efficient if all you're interested in is self defense. Not too interesting to us martial artists!
_________________
5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2405
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The depth I go into depends on the size of the class--for private lessons, I can obviously go into more depth than a class of 20. For us, getting people started on kata application is pretty easy, because the first movement of the first kata tells you exactly why you pull your hand to your hip when you punch. It's very clear, and easy to see and understand. We teach the application right alongside the kata for that. In general, as we go through teaching a kata, we will go over an application here or there, to give them an idea of what they are doing. The larger the class, the fewer examples we have time to give them to practice, but we still get a couple in there each time. Beginners get fairly basic applications, intermediate students get more in-depth/dangerous applications, and advanced students have to start working out their own applications based on the examples they have learned and the concepts/principles that come with them.
_________________
Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage, Jeff Allred
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker, Adrian Rivera
My Blog: www.karateobsession.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6851
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you teach kata/bunkai to new students? Reply with quote

scohen0300 wrote:
(Actual problem in 3rd paragraph)

Now my dojo (over the past 2 years or so) has become a kata school where we focus 90% of our time practicing and drilling kata. The other 10% MIGHT be used on bunkai, maybe weapons (more kata), and possibly some more exercise (usually kata based).

I totally get that in most karate schools, itís mostly kata. I understand itís important to preserve the martial art and its tradition, and I fully understand traditional martial arts arenít for people that are expecting to get into cage fighting (although you could).

However, Iíve seen too many students come to the dojo expecting to learn self defense. The instructor proceeds to include the new students in the warmups and kihon. Either having the new student try to keep up with the group kata practice or having a senior student go over the most basic kata in the back. IF the new student is even shown WHY theyíre doing kata or told WHAT the actual kata is, itís very brief and then right back to the kata. The student comes back maybe one or two more times and then I never see them again.

I fell in love with karate because I always asked questions about kata and I always received good answers! I wanted to know WHY Iím doing what Iím doing in the kata. I donít think instructors teach this enough and new students certainly donít know to ask about it. Itís horrible that my dojo fell away from teaching more than just kata, because new students will get bored and older students will eventually move on.

Unfortunately Iíve left that dojo due to a lack of progression, I have no interest in becoming better at kata for the sake of becoming better at kata. So my question to you is, how do you teach kata/bunkai to new students? And does it continue with the older students?[/b]


So I'm going back a bit here on the kata front, it's just not part of jiu jitsu. Interestingly enough, it is in the kali art I dabble in and it's this that has given me a fresh perceptive on it.

First up, it can't be disconnected. My first MA instructor did a great job of this. You didn't just do kata, there was a reason. Generally, this led to drilling a particular tactic or sequence in partner drills that came from the kata afterward and using this to build into one or three step sparring with a focus on integrating into spontaneous drills or sparring. It's a part of something larger and should be treated as such.

As part of this, he'd be very specific as to what motions we were pulling out for what situations. Adult learning theory has subsequently confirmed that this is the best way to teach grown ups. The WHY is important to us and the more useful a tool the more we'll embrace it and replicate it. It anchors learning if we understand the NEED.

Unknowingly, my first coach hit the nail on the head teaching in this fashion. Let's be clear. It was still my least favorite part.

Fast forward to PTK and you'll see those forms directly translate to combat. This is why I think the construction is better on these. There is no supposition or "finding" the bunkai. Your coach can tell you exactly what each cut is for. This is very difficult to find with authenticity in some arts.
_________________
http://alphajiujitsu.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJhRVuwbm__LwXPvFMReMww
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger

OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
We could use reading as an analogy here to help students understand...

You don't teach someone an alphabet, then hand them a novel with the expectation they'll be able to read it. In order to be able to pick up a book and read it, one needs to spend a lot of time with the basics: Spelling, sentence structure, grammar and punctuation, writing paragraphs/essays, as well as reading passages of varying lengths with comprehension.

Once someone has become proficient in all that, then reading becomes second nature.

Using martial arts for self defense is very much the same thing.

If someone wants to learn "basic self defense," there are classes out there. Cops and military personnel learn a few basic techniques, and drill them to the ground. This would be more efficient if all you're interested in is self defense. Not too interesting to us martial artists!


The reading analogy is an excellent one.

But let's take that analogy and analyse it a bit further.

Years ago, up until around my childhood, certainly my parents school days, reading was taught through repetitive drills with the alphabet. I recall writing the letter A hundreds of times before moving on to B. And I remember the whole class monotonously droning out the alphabet in bored unison. But I also remember very simple reading books. 'This is Peter. This is Jane. They play ball'. That kind of thing.

I hated school. Everyone is know that is at least as old as I am also hated school. It was boring and repetitive, and I speak to many people in their 40s or older that still admit they still don't feel like it gave them much of an education. Most of us that achieved anything did so after our school years.

Fast forward to present day. My kids were and are being taught to read using a combination of techniques. They still drill the boring stuff, but for much shorter periods of time. And it is mixed with a big dose of practical stuff. Things have moved on. Folks in education have advanced the science of teaching. They have a better idea of what works. Both my kids love reading, and bizarrely, they love going to school. They find it fun. And guess what, they are advancing far faster than I did at their age.

Perhaps the same is true of karate or martial arts in general.

I don't understand why some schools obsess over the 'traditional' way. What they mean by that is Funakoshi's way. One man's way. Because Funakoshi wrote rather disparagingly of 'some hot blooded youth' who might want to spar, and how kata alone is enough because you can practice anywhere and don't need a partner.

Maybe it's time to move on.

We no longer have to beg to be taught. We pay some money, and we usually have lots of choice of teacher and school. Repetition is good. Having a boss at the front that can motivate and instill discipline is good. But if it gets to the point of being boring and tedious then people will start to vote with their feet.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> Instructor Central All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


< Advertising - Contact - Disclosure Policy - Staff - User Guidelines >