Taught my first karate class all by myself

I’m getting ready to test for 1st kyu, again, for the third attempt (first two attempts failed due to injury).  Yep, the rib has healed, and I’m back to running 3 miles 2-3 times a week.  I started going back to karate last month, only attending once a week, and this past month has been twice a week, so I’m definitely taking it slow.  I feel really good about Wed’s night’s exam.  Warm weather is always a friend of mine.

I show up for one of the classes usually intended for lower rank this week, because I couldn’t stay for the later advanced class.  And the sempai (teacher) doesn’t show up.  So, I gave the prof the 10 minute rule, and started class.  It was the first time I had ever taught a class all by myself.  I focused on the beginning katas, pointing out things that separate a good kata from a great kata.  For example, I had them practice looking and then doing the next move, something you really have to get students used to doing as early as possible in their kata training.  Since it has been so warm out here (notice I say warm – in Mississippi right now, it is hot, so I dare only say it is warm out here), I did a lot of talking. 

Everyone said they enjoyed the class.  I’m sure it was a lot different than the regular class, just because it was someone different with a different view / interpretation on things.  What stressed me out was when the advanced class students and teachers started arriving and watching me teach class (these are folks who out rank me).  I kept looking at the teachers thinking, “When are they going to realize I’m not a black belt and take over for me?” but they never stepped in.  After the class was over, I explained why I was teaching class, and they said, “oh, we thought you were assigned to teach class tonight.”  I took it as a nice compliment.  I love teaching, but next time I want advance notice so I can put together a lesson plan =)

Comments (8)

  1. SteveM says:

    Advance notice is a double-edged sword – gives you loads more time to get stressed and nervous 🙂

  2. Nice!

    I’m studying for my Kenpo purple belt now.

    Christopher Meisenzahl


  3. Norman Diamond says:

    > 1st kyu

    My ears hurt. Whatever organization it is that tests you, they say "1st kyu" instead of "1 kyu"?

    Of course I’m sending this stone from an enormously fragile glass house. I surely make more pain for the ears of my boss and my colleagues every day. But still, when my eyes saw "1st kyu", my ears hurt.

  4. saraford says:

    Um, why do your ears hurt? Every shotokan club i’ve even belonged to (4 or 5, i lost count) always referred to rank as 1st, 2nd, etc Kyu.


  5. Norman Diamond says:

    > Um, why do your ears hurt?

    For the same reason they hurt when I read things like "Outlook Expless" or "June 23th". And for the same reason that, as mentioned, the ears of by boss and coworkers surely hurt when I do an equally bad job speaking their language.

    If speaking English then I agree that "1st rank" is grammatically correct, though so is "rank 1". But you used the Japanese word "kyu" so the Japanese phrase "1 kyu" ("ikkyuu") would be correct. I’ve never heard anyone say "ichibanme kyuu" or "ichiban kyuu". (Though maybe I should ask a coworker ^_^)

  6. Brian says:

    At our Tang Soo Do Dojang, they often split up class and have some of the red belts teach for a while. I think, aside from being able to have a more focused class to your rank, they try to build up everyone ability to teach.

  7. Founder says:

    I’m an ikkyuu in Shorinji Kempo. While I call it ikkyuu in the club and around kenshi (students) I call it first kyu to other people who don’t know what ikkyuu is.

Skip to main content