Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rank test as a teachable moment

We've got a new brown belt at Mokuren Dojo!  Today Todd did an excellent job at his sankyu demo.
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In this era of McDojos, what does excellent mean?  Well, I don't think that you have to be the ultimate master of all the Sankyu material by the time that you get your sankyu.  In that case nobody would ever be good enough to get a brown belt.  You should, however, be able to perform most of the material (4 out of  5 techniques or 80%) pretty good and you should be improving on all the previous material.
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So, any student in any demo will have better and worse techniques...
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I had an instructor one time tell me that they thought that tests should be teaching opportunities instead of torture or punishment.  Seemed like a pretty good idea to me, so today, when our "test" showed that Todd had a pretty good grip on all the stuff, but was weakest on Junana #9 - udehineri (A.K.A. kaitennage or udegarame nage) we spent nearly the whole remainder of the class time working that technique in several of its variations - from a punch, from a wrist grab, and the jodo udegarame where you thrust and uke grabs your stick.  Turned out to be a lot of fun working around and about that single idea.

[Photo courtesy of Peter Bekesi]

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