Teaching-another way of learning karate


I have been doing karate now for about four years now, and have been helping out with teaching kids karate for the last two months, and it’s really interesting to see how much of my karate has been ingrained into my subconscious like the pattern of a kata, doing a throw, throwing a punch etc. But when it comes to teaching the basics from scratch it’s almost like relearning the way I do blocks or strikes as I no longer consciously think about each section, I just do it by instinct. I fully realised this when the instructor at the kids session was teaching the kids how we tie our belts in martial arts, it just seemed weird to me because I just tie my belt by force of habit I no longer think that the right as to be above the left, for example.

I have to break down the fluid motion of what I am doing in order to be able to show the kids how to do certain basics. The same was for in the Adults karate session when I was asked to show three newbies the first kata. I found teaching them more tiring then all the fitness stuff that we had done earlier in class! What I learnt was that breaking the kata down even more than usual helped was more useful than in larger sequences, and it’s much harder to show three people who are each at different levels of their potential karate journey. Teaching karate is itself a learning experience and teaching karate enables you to learn the smaller or more subtle points of that move.

I wonder if I put myself into their shoes more and focused on what helped me learn my kata more if that would improve the way I teach. So for instance in the first kata when Sempai first taught me nearly four years ago he explained and demonstrated the moves via bunkai, which enabled me to make much more sense of that sequence.


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