Aikislacker wrote:Hey guys- I'm currently a yonkyu (done other martial arts for a decade) and have a close friend that after over three years is still unranked in judo. Unfortunately our club has been incredibly unorganized for the three years, going through multiple instructors and not being a member of any national organization.
As such, there's been no curriculum. My friend is incredibly frustrated with judo and is near giving up. In the last class we attended, (no joke) a drill was shown to everyone (first day of class for one guy) that consisted of 6 different throws!!!
Instead of a long vent that I just deleted, I'd like to ask how you as an instructor would approach an adult student that needs some sense that they are making progress in judo asap....thanks.
I would echo what tafftaz said and point out that there are a lot of variables in your post and that it appears strange that someone would have not have received any promotion within 3 years as a kyû rank. Obviously, part of the equation is going to be how regular his training was within that period. Did he train weekly or did he show up once every 6 months ? We have a person within our club who has had the same kyû rank for even longer, but that rank is a 1st kyû. That is not impossible or unseen for 1st kyû since some 1st kyû just never make it to shodan and are stuck there forever. In our case the person typically comes every week once, but could also come more. The least excuse, however, is good not to come. Every class, even if repeating something really basic like kesa-gatame or hiza-guruma, the person never knows what it is, and all pointers you gave the past week are just lost and you can start all over. Why does this happen ? Multifactorial. When I was a even a beginning jûdô student I was with my nose in jûdô books regularly, eager to learn new techniques, eager to get better, but some people simply do not want or can't get themselves to put any time into jûdô even if it is just intellectual, beyond that one hour of practical training per week.
You may want to ask Hanon. He's the psychologist here and might have unique insights in that. I am not sure that the kind of things we are talking about here really fall within the realm of things which a jûdô instructor should or can resolve.
Something else I think of. I remember at university now and then having a student who was hopeless. I am sort of a perfectionist so I have a hard time dropping anyone. The student was flunking every class, but still I did not want to give up the student in my class. I always told students that if they struggled that they were welcome to come see me in my office, as long as they could show that they had actually put time into studying and doing preparatory work. Well, I remember one or two students who for each hour they attended a lecture of mine, I would spend 3 hours with each of them in my office. They did pass my course in the end with minimal marks, but overall you could say that there remain major problems. I care about my students and so I remember when I first experienced something similar to take up the issue with a few very senior professors close to retirement who had also won several national teaching awards. I had anticipated that they would say "yep that's the only way to do it", because of course at the same time I was interested in becoming as good as they were. You know what they all said ? "Don't do it". It's OK to be open and welcoming to students, but 3 hours of private tutoring time on top of each lecture, no. There is a burden on them, and if they cannot make it with average work and attention, then sorry, but they are in the wrong place.
I do think that there are cases where people are hopeless for jûdô. That is to say, I also think that everyone can succeed in jûdô. The two statements seem a contradiction, but they are not. What I mean is that if someone puts and extraordinary disproportionate amount of time into something, he likely will be able to reach a certain level. I do not think that it is your duty to put an extraordinary disproportionate amount of time into someone. I am sure that if this students is such an incredible exception you don't want to lose, that in that case there is sufficient the student can do himself, if necessary, in such an ... "extraordinary disproportionate way" to improve motor skills, and knowledge. For example, there is no excuse unless one is retarded, for a 1st kyû after having been in that rank for 7 years to have no clue what kind of technique hiza-guruma is. Even a 5 year old who for 5 years would daily look into a judo book for 6 months to a picture of hiza-guruma, would at least 'recognized' its broad lines and indentify it when for example compared to harai-goshi. In other words, as much as one might be committed to Kanô's educational principles, there is also a limit as to exactly how much people can expect from you as an instructor.