First students get their doboxes

First students montage

WOW! Didn’t the new uniforms make a difference? The young students felt like proper students now, one even referred to his dobox as his ninja suit.

One of the disadvantages of getting older is that you tend to forget what a difference getting something new can make. It was so obvious from the reactions of these youngsters that the receipt of their uniforms meant so much to them. In a couple of cases it didn’t make a huge amount of difference to the mucking about in the lesson and they had to be reminded of the promises that they made at the start of each session. Nonetheless a lot of good work and practising was managed by the students.

As an instructor it is a difficult balance to keep the students attention by making the lesson fun and ensuring that they do enough practice in order to progress. I’m sure that it would upset them if they were not put forward to their first grading because of a lack of practice and concerted effort in class but I wonder about the benefits of allowing students to grade when they are clearly not good enough to achieve the standard required. I well understand the probable demotivating effect of not keeping up with the other students but there really is not much point doing a martial art if you do not learn the techniques and put in the practice.

I am hopeful that as the students see others making progress that they will increase their level of energy and practice more as a result. I look forward to the pleasure that the students will get when they receive their white senior belt and realise that they have made progress. This will act as a spur to practice for their yellow belts.

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