Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thoughts on Curriculum

Back when I was a colour belt going through the ranks, it used to frustrate me when the curriculum was changed. It would be set in my mind what I needed to learn then all of a sudden things change and I had to learn new things and adopt a new mindset.

Now that I’m running my own dojo, I’m faced with the same conundrum of having to change the curriculum to add new skills and concepts that will benefit my students.

While I was away I had been considering my dojo's curriculum. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been learning new things and incorporating new ideas into my teaching. Consequently, I wanted to include them in my curriculum. But then as I sat down to do so, I found myself questioning the order in which my students were learning various things. In the end, I made some rather significant changes to the curriculum for green belt and up.

I had found that there were already too many things on the green belt requirements and there seemed to be too much on the blue belt requirements to add new things there. As a result, I decided to add a new belt level, purple belt, between green and blue.

In making the changes, I’ve held to the philosophy of keeping the curriculum up to green belt devoted to learning the most useful skills and technical principles for self-defense. Then from purple belt onwards, students are introduced more and more esoteric skills that improve their overall body awareness and improvisational abilities.

For those of you who are students getting ready to test for green, fear not. Any changes that introduce new curriculum for your green belt will only be asked for on your test if you feel comfortable enough with them. Plus, there’s the added bonus that you’ll be farther along in your learning of the purple belt curriculum. :)


glenn said...

Are you kidding me?
I just put up a blog site with the exact same picture.
That is so strange.
My blog is www.jiu-jitsustudent.blogspot.com

MARKS said...

It is hard, but a new technique on the syllybus is a new technique to be learnt, so im sure your students will appriciate it in the long run.