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Throw Out Your Syllabus

Posted by on in Instructor Training and Technical aspects
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Your association has a syllabus you are given for examining students for ranks? If so, you probably teach to this syllabus more than you know. My recommendation: Dump the syllabus – both for your classes, and for your students. Instead, teach what you love.


I don’t want my message of servant leadership of karate instructors to overshadow another value of mine: the karate class should be something that the instructor and the students enjoy. If the instructor doesn’t enjoy the class, then he’s not going to be teaching that class for much longer. Burn out is common (been there, done that), and once you burn out, drifting away from karate practice entirely is easy.

I have a friend who once said that people rarely actually quit in a single dramatic event where they walk out the door. Rather, people drift away gradually from their hobbies and activities. Miss a lesson, the sky doesn’t fall, so you get over it. You go back, but then you miss another and another. Pretty soon, you’ve missed six months, a year, two years, and you realize you’ve quit only when someone asks you where you train.

It’s easy to miss a class that isn’t any fun.

Pick content for classes that is enjoyable to practice. Arrange your drills so that they are interesting, challenging, and break up monotony. While marching and standing in place are highly effective for quick gains in skill, strength, and endurance, they are ineffective for retention.