Interesting enough, karate and music lessons are extremely similar. Some students start both of these activities with varying abilities. Some are very natural from the start and some struggle. However, practice outside the music lesson/karate lesson is essential for improvement and proficiency.
Like a music student must consistently demonstrate a strong knowledge of chords/notes, scales and the ability to play actual songs, a karate student must do the same with kata(forms), techniques, self-defense, sparring, weapons, flexibility/conditioning and terminology.
If a music student comes to his/her next lesson without practicing what was needed for that session, the teacher cannot move forward and has to waste valuable time repeating what should have been practiced by the student. This compounds over time to the point where there is nothing left that the teacher can do for the student and the music lessons are a waste of time and money. It is the students’ responsibility to practice and be prepared to move forward with their lessons.
The word “kyu” in English refers to what grade they are in based on their belt. (ex. Yellow belt =12th kyu) So in other words, white belt is kindergarten, yellow belt is 1st grade and the higher belts represent high school/college. Although students all advanced at different rates, if they are not regularly practicing their required material outside of class and not testing once they have reached their required hours more of training at the dojo, then more practice is needed on the part of the student. It is true that some students take longer than others to grasp material as everyone has a different learning style so this means the student will have to practice harder to reach their goals as well as ask the instructor for help.
In a society that seems to think that every child should play on a team, every child should get a trophy, we do not teach false life lessons. There are martial art schools that will gladly take your money and test you or your child whenever you look “close enough or if you have signed up for the best “program.” We encourage and expect our students to earn their goals and reach their potential through their own effort and that is traditional karate.
In short, we have provided every possible written example, curriculum outline in the dojo and on our webpage(www.shoryukan.com ) to guarantee an upper hand by the student towards reaching their next belt and beyond.
It is my hope that all of our students make becoming a black belt their goal as it is the highest honor a karate student can make and then allows the student to truly begin to learn more and reach new heights and achievements. Like in boy scouts, not everyone makes it to Eagle Scout but the opportunities, instruction and information is there for everyone to, if they take advantage of it. It is the same for the dojo and the karate student.