For Beginners …
To teach Karate we need have some understanding deeper than just ‘Harder Faster’. We, as Instructors, must understand that we are to lead by the right example. We are mentors and Students will look up to us. Students will copy us at first and then, as they develop in knowledge and grade so does their Karate develop. Therefore as Instructors we are to be mindful of what examples we are giving our Students. They do what they see without necessarily understanding the complexity of how the movement ultimately ends up or indeed it’s application. As Instructors we need to be mindful that our physical demonstration is appropriate to the audience and must be congruent with the topic of the class. In so doing this we must also Inspire!
Let’s take teaching Age Uke as an example.
At the same time as becoming familiar with Dojo Etiquette a beginner should first learn the ‘shape’ of the technique. They will learn with Chi Rei Kai Karate from Shizentai (Natural Stance) becoming familiar with the route in terms of how to move the arms. They will learn how to make the last Hikite the new block, the block the new Hikite, whilst keeping and covering their centre and of course Jodan level (upper level). They will do this on their own or maybe facing one another but not try to apply the technique against a punch, not just yet.
As they progress they will learn to bring their body into the technique. They will understand that Age Uke finishes with the hips in Hanmi (Side on, the hip on the same side as the extended arm extended forward). They will learn that that body rotation powers the technique and that there is a twist on the end as they make ‘Kime’. They will start to understand what ‘Kime’ is.
They will learn to use that block to protect their head. Although as experience is gained we know it’s not the ultimate use of the movement.
With a partner the Students will use Age Uke against a Jodan (Upper Level) Punch. This will be a safe exercise but with the added pressure of having to work with a partner. Through this an understanding of harmony, Technique and Etiquette will develop and be enforced and ratified through practice or ‘the Art of again’ as I call it.