Friday, January 2, 2009

Dojo New Year's Resolutions for 2009

I'm putting off the second segment on my training session with Perry Kelly Sensei until my next post so I can deal with a more immediate topic: my dojo's New Year's resolutions. Honestly, I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right away no matter what time of year it is. It just so happens that I have a few resolutions that coincide with the new year, so what the hey.

Resolution #1: Less talking, more training. We dealt with this issue a couple of times last year, but I feel it's worth re-emphasizing. Because of the friendly and open-minded mentality of our dojo, sometimes it opens the door to more "free discussion" on the mats, reducing the amount of actual training time on occasion. If students are having trouble with a technique, I want to discourage too much discussion on fixing the problem. I don't mind if students need to ask their partner for help on sequencing or other easily answered questions, but other than that they're better off waiting for an instructor who has more experience at pointing students in the right direction with more complicated topics without having to talk overmuch.

Resolution #2: More opportunities for specialized training.
I have a number of great resources that allow me the opportunity to expose myself and my students to other styles of Jiu-jitsu and other martial arts. Having cross-trained in a number of different arts and styles, I firmly believe that it can help give students perspective on their own training as many of the foundations of different arts are shared. So this year, I intend to bring in other instructors to teach special topics on occasion.

Resolution #3: Let go of the reins when I'm not leading class. Having allowed a new instructor to teach on my mats in 2008, I found it difficult sometimes to let go of the reins. As a result, every so often I would unconsciously apply my own teaching/ class management skills to classes that I wasn't leading. This sometimes interfered with my other instructor's own teaching plan because he often has different, yet equally valid ways of running and teaching a class. So my goal is to back off and let him do his thing.

2008 was a great year for our dojo, having accomplished a number of great things. We moved from a 2-class to a 4-class training week. I got my first student to the purple belt level, the first the senior belts in our style. We even filled up our student roster at one point and were in a position where we were adding new prospective students to a waiting list. Now that we are starting our 4th year of operation, I want to make it our best year yet.

Happy New Year to everyone and all the best for 2009!

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