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IUKF Teaching Suggestions

by George Mattson


I have noticed a lot of Uechi-Ryu dojo declines these past 10 years.  I do admit I have not been to every dojo to assess the causes of our dojos shrinking but what I can do is write suggestions every few weeks or when I get a chance.  I have since 1970, gone to many different dojos to learn from other instructors of almost every style.  As they teach, I watch and analyze the dos and don’ts in teaching methods.

My first observation is Uechi-Ryu is a very complicated system if taught to its full extent.  Most systems are linear and have only one objective and one end point.  Uechi-Ryu is mostly circular which enables multiple purposes and destinations for our movements.

Please follow my periodic suggestions and observations and hopefully I can be of some help.

When teaching, always keep in mind we put on our gis for a workout.  Children and adults.  No one takes the time to change into a workout uniform to hear you talk.  Keep them in motion as long and as often as you can.  When explaining an exercise or drill, just direct your students on what to do and how to do it.  The “why” can be explained as they are in motion.  If a few do not understand or are doing the exercise incorrectly, bring just those few together to reteach while the rest of the class continue to work out.

When students learns, its 15% learning through explanation and direction.  10% watching someone else and 75% doing the drills and feeling the motions do its job.  Your students will get more out of their workout and enjoy doing whatever they are doing instead of standing around doing nothing.  Out of 30 students maybe only 5 or 6 may need more help.  If we stop the entire class to explain to the 5 or 6, there’ll be another 25 standing around rolling their eyes and can’t wait for class to end.

If you are a new instructor and like these type of articles, please continue to follow my suggestions on teaching.  I realize a lot of teachers already know the things I will be bringing up.  It is still good to see that there are other teachers that thinks like you.     


Darin Yee

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