Why do we not just have a kata for each rank after the beginner ranks?
This is a very valid question, and once you can understand the reasoning behind it, we hope you will see the many benefits of a rotating curriculum.
We have at least three belt ranks in each class. If we taught a kata per belt rank, that would only allow one instructor per belt rank to teach the kata. With a rotating curriculum, we can have one instructor teaching and two to three instructors identifying which students need more attention.
Another benefit is that there are many students who practice and retain their katas. It seems unfair to them to bore them with the same kata over and over again.
As a student rotates through the curriculum in the intermediate or advanced classes, they will revisit the same katas 2-3 times depending on progression.
Another benefit is that when there is a graduation, everyone starts over at the same spot and they can learn all together, focusing each week on the next section.
We welcome videoing the sections and the katas until it is exam weeks. Then, we expect that the students would have practiced or need to wait until the next one. Our goal here is to help students learn to understand the kata, not cram it in.
Sensei has explained kata, especially our nunchaku kata as learning a language. Each kata is made up of moves (words) that together form sentences (sections) and eventually create a paragraph (kata). A student is asked to practice the words (moves), which make up the sentence (section) and eventually create that paragraph (kata). To learn and understand, practice must be done. You can’t just expect to come to class twice a week, which we work kata one of those days, and expect to be able to retain it.
We recommend about 5 minutes of practice each day. That is one commercial break for most shows. Or a bit of video game time. The practice time could be used as a break between homework assignments to clear the head and get the body moving.
Many students who are struggling with kata admit they don’t practice. The number one reason is they don’t have time. Yet, we can ask each one if they have played a video game or watched a television show and the answer is always, “Yes.”
If it’s important to them, they will make the time, if not, they will wait until the next exam. We are always happy to offer extra help. Since before the holidays we have offered our instructors to answer questions and video katas. If they are not ready, they will wait until the next exam and they have the opportunity to work on a different kata, learning again from the beginning.
Thank you for your understanding. We always work hard to be very clear and patient and encouraging. Practicing encourages students to be more confident and enjoy the program more. If they are struggling to enjoy it, encourage practice, speak with us, and we will do our best to help. In the two forty five minute sessions we have each week, we are trying to accomplish so much for their abilities, strength, fitness, focus and character. Please help us to help your student by encouraging the minimum of practice to insure their success. Thank you.