In other articles, I have discussed the basic standing techniques for juniors, WHAT it is that I teach. In this post, I discuss WHY.
I think it is key that you, as an instructor, have a reason for what you do. Too many instructors just teach the way they themselves were taught, or, even worse, just do whatever they happen to feel like doing that day, with no real thought having been put into having a coherent program. Then, when the student asks,
“Why do we have to do this?”the instructor either changes his mind and does whatever the student wants to do or takes it as a challenge to his authority and loses his temper. While I might tell a student to just do what I say, I certainly would not be threatened by the question and, depending on the tone in which it was asked, I may explain my reasoning. With parents, certainly I am happy to explain why I teach techniques in a certain order. Those coaches who take an arrogant attitude that , “I am the sensei” are on the totally wrong track. The parents are paying you, it is a positive that they are interested in their child and it is your chance to educate the parents and gain their support as well.
I have a very specific system for teaching and reasons for selecting the throws I teach to juniors. Here is what I teach juniors at the very beginning, and why.
O goshi or Koshi garuma – Major hip throw
Why I teach it as a basis: Teaches kids to use hips to throw.
Right vs. Right:
Ippon Seoi nage Ippon Seoi nage to Kouchi Sutemi
Sode when they grab neck Left side o goshi when they grab neck
Why I teach it as a basis: Both are common situation for juniors, encountering a righthanded player against another right-handed player and having another player grab the student around the neck. It is simply good practice to teach beginning students the situations they are most likely to encounter.
Tani otoshi Uranage
Why I teach it as a basis: Again, these counters are effective against very common throws, such as seoi nage. Also, it is important to teach children early on to start thinking about counters. If you watch the junior nationals, you will notice that very few students perform counters, thus giving an advantage to your students that do.