Sunday, October 09, 2005

Teaching kids.. number 1

Teaching kids.. Ah.. what a challenge! Helping my sempai with the new 6-8 year old white belts was quite an experience. It's not the first time that I've helped little karate-ka learn... but usually I'm the one teaching them, so I can stop, adjust the rhythm, even back-pedal and review things that I notice that the kids are struggling with. However, this time, I was just in the background helping the sempai. This one little girl had injured her foot the day before when she was playing at school. So, she couldn't do any of the moving exercises. I could see that she was feeling left out. I searched my mind for some way to keep her included in the class without having her actually move. I pulled her to the side, and stood in kiba dachi in front of her telling her to punch Jodan at me for each count instead of moving forwards, and I would block. It was a REALLY low kiba dachi.. the tips of my belt were touching the floor. I could feel my legs shaking with the amount of time that I stayed down there. However, the smile of delight, and of accomplishment that I received from her at the end of that exercise was worth all of the discomfort I felt in my legs It is a wonder to me how children respond to training. I noticed how as soon as you present the information in a "teaching" attitude.. their eyes seem to glaze over. What is this phenomena? Why does the light of curiousity, and energy dissipate from their eyes when an adult starts "teaching"? I've managed to recapture their interest, and focus.. but I've had to use some rather unorthodox methods that have had more than one Sensei turn and look at me with a questioning look. It astounds me that the kids tune out considering how many children are awestruck by the whole culture of Sensei/student which is being sold by such entertainment as "Shaolin Showdown", "Teen titans", "Samurai Jack", "Naruto", "Pokemon", "Yu Gi Oh" etc. etc. I've caught the children playing a pretend Ninja type of game.. wherein they talk about training hard, and present various goals to each other.

No comments: