My First Time Teaching


So, unbeknownst to three of us, class was cancelled on Sunday. I was the most senior student present and the newer students wanted to practice anyway and voted that I lead them through kata. With that came a mix of honour and terror. I’m a no rank… I shouldn’t be teaching anything. One of them talked me into it given that I’ve been practicing the art for a year now.

I led them through etiquette slowly as it’s one of those areas I struggle with despite how simple it should be.

We didn’t do an extensive amount of work on Ippon-me Mae or Nihon-me Ushiro as they felt they knew those the best. We lingered on Sanbon-me Ukenagashi, Yonhon-me Tsuka-ate, and Gohon-me Kesagiri. I tried to explain the scenarios as best as I could. I didn’t know the grading points well enough to be able to critique them.

We spent the most time on the standing kata as one of them had sore knees. We did each standing kata about 5 times. I forgot the name of the eighth kata (Happon-me Ganmen-ate), so it was just referred to as ‘Number 8’. At least I only forgot the name and not the majority¬†of the kata. The only one I felt extremely terrible at teaching was Kyuhon-me Soete Tsuki. I was wishing I had the book with me for that one. I couldn’t explain why we did some things, what the scenario was, and wasn’t confident of the bulk of the kata.

I led them through Shihogiri, but I forgot words like Waki Gamae. My steps, cuts, etc were correct… Well as correct as possible for me. I *may* have paused during Waki Gamae…

They didn’t have too many questions, which was fortunate for me as I’m not sure I would have been able to answer them…

After class, we headed for the pub for refreshments and I breathed a sigh of relief that my first time teaching was done.

Hopefully, I helped them get the basics of the 12 katas, so Green Sensei can take them to new levels.

-Roy Iaidoka

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