Friday, March 30, 2018


Homework...remember that??

I have two boys in international school - one in high school and one about to enter middle school.  Homework means something a bit different to each of them.  For the elementary school boy, homework doesn't really exist.  After school they play basketball or do club activities, but no real study is needed outside the classroom. They are smart enough to let kids be kids - for the moment, anyway.

For the high schooler, in preparation for college, there are concurrent projects going on constantly.  In fact, time management is the real skill they must master since without it they would do little else but go to class, do projects and study for exams  - it's a lot like working.

In our KM school, we have 2 classes (Tuesdays and Thursdays) of 2 hours duration each (1900-2100).  That's four hours total each week.  I'd like it to be more, but I'm grateful for what we have.  Some students, due to work or other commitments, rarely make it to both classes.  That's 2 hours per week for many of them.

In each class we do warm ups and then cover at least 3 different skills (sticks/empty hand or knife/boxing or kickboxing).  In the new model that Guro Fred introduced just after Peaceful Warrior 2018, we will need to do conditioning/Tabata in each class as well.  That means that we have about 30 minutes of training for each technical part, plus 15 minutes each for warm up and conditioning.

Since I only teach adults at the moment, I normally don't give out "homework" as such.  During class time all of us, myself included, can forget the outside world and focus on our training.  We introduce new material, drill and apply in a variety of new ways.  My goal is to build understanding of all the ways we can move and solve situations.  I try to cover as much as I can in each cycle. 

However, martial arts can be understood with the mind but it must be mastered with the body.  The intellect can analyze the movements but only the body can perfect them and make them second nature.

This means that all students are expected to spend time outside of class working on what we do in class.  We provide videos of the material, done with great effort by Kasama Jeremy.  We are all available to meet outside of class for additional sessions as required.

My personal preference would be to spend our class time learning and exploring.  However, as a teacher, I need to spend at least half of it on repetition, since it is so important to develop muscle memory of our techniques.

The rule of 10,000 has proven to be very accurate when it comes to mastery.

Those who do their homework diligently always do better on tests than those who don't.

Anyway, wouldn't you rather do Kali Majapahit homework than trigonometry??   

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