You need to try your best

I am going to write about something that happened to me while teaching a class recently at our Thorndale location. We had a student flat-out refuse to do a drill & also refuse to ki-hap. I had this person sit out of class when the drill was refused & asked the student to return when ready.

In case you are wondering, the drill was a mere partner stretch. The student refused because the drill was “awkward” & initially asked to tell me this in private. So, I had this student sit out the drill & return when composure & focus had been regained.

Later in the class, we began working on only ki-haps. Students individually were performing ki-haps so that we could assess each student. Often in class, when the entire class is supposed to be performing ki-haps together, a student who has a weak or non-existent ki-hap can slip by. This student refused to do a ki-hap in isolation. This is a student who has a weak or non-existent ki-hap. I responded to this by moving on to other students & not engaging with the student for the rest of the drill. I did not want the scene of having the student sit out again.

Needless to say, this is not something that we as instructors deal with very often. I decided to allow the student to return, but to be honest, I was a bit torn. I am not sure about what sort of message it sent to the other students in class that a student could sit out a drill simply because that student did not want to participate, & then come back into class when we are doing something more fun.

Karate is fun, to be sure. If class isn’t fun, then we are not doing a good job running class. However, karate is about hard-work, character, & growing. The only way to grow is to leave your comfort zone, and sometimes this can be scary or “awkward”.

The Little Ninjas class, because of the age range, gets a pass on this, but once we get to the regular kids class, we may give a pass once. Personally, I am not inclined to use this approach again in this particular class. I think I will make it an opportunity for an on-the-spot life lesson about self-discipline & confidence. If that student still needs to leave class, then I’m not sure that student will get to return simply for the fun parts of class. That student can watch class & consider the consequences of choices.

Guess what? You have to try your best. If you work hard, you’ll get to play hard, but you have to put in the work!

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