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  • Anyone have a good syllabus for a beginners session?

    Considering getting a more structured beginner's class for our club. Does anyone hava a syllabus they could share that have been successful in getting raw beginners engaged and growing through the first 6 months? Thanks.

  • #2
    Hi,

    I know the Calgary Kendo Club has a good technical guide you can download. I'm sure you can base a syllabus from that.

    Thanks,

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    • #3
      Good stuff, thanks for the recco.

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      • #4
        Oregon State university's kendo club also had a good PDF syllabus. They've taken it offline, but I've stored a copy over here.

        Obviously, it's best to ask the original authors for permission before copying anything.

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        • #5
          I typically don't come up with a specific syllabus for beginners. From my experience, I have a plan for teaching class, but it usually goes out the window since something else comes up based on some issues I see while we are doing warmups and the initial suburi. When it comes to teaching beginners, my goal is to get them to participate in the main rotations as soon as I can, so I just teach people the ropes of the etiquette, footwork, posture and some suburi. For the most part, people seem to be ready within a few classes, where I tend to lead the advanced techniques, but give the beginners something to work on that's at their level.

          However, I usually don't deal with more than one or two new people at any given time. There was one time where we had like 10 or so new people but, as usual, people dropped out quickly so that issue became moot. I'm also trying to think of better teaching methods to cater to whoever walks in and thinking of ways to break the monotony of training if I can.

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          • #6
            Outstanding Information

            Originally posted by Cailin Coilleac View Post
            Oregon State university's kendo club also had a good PDF syllabus. They've taken it offline, but I've stored a copy over here.

            Obviously, it's best to ask the original authors for permission before copying anything.
            This document outlines and itemizes several things which are never mentioned [or taught]. You are to pick these up [basic commands at the begining and end of class] as you go. How often do we try to repeat what someone has said to get it completly wrong. Kinda like the old game "Telephone" Whisper a statement and by the time it gets to the 5th person - it is way off.
            Thanks you so much for this info.

            Thanks
            Bob

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Anime12478 View Post
              However, I usually don't deal with more than one or two new people at any given time. There was one time where we had like 10 or so new people but, as usual, people dropped out quickly so that issue became moot. I'm also trying to think of better teaching methods to cater to whoever walks in and thinking of ways to break the monotony of training if I can.
              We have found that dealing with people as they walk in is pretty much setting up to fail. You will have more success if you coordinate a beginners class with a specific start date and registration cutoff, and teach your beginners as a group. If you have the resources to have someone teach beginners and someone else teach advanced, you should do so. In our club we trade off this responsibility, and accept beginners in September and January only.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                We have found that dealing with people as they walk in is pretty much setting up to fail. You will have more success if you coordinate a beginners class with a specific start date and registration cutoff, and teach your beginners as a group. If you have the resources to have someone teach beginners and someone else teach advanced, you should do so. In our club we trade off this responsibility, and accept beginners in September and January only.
                We transitioned over to a beginners class 4x a year several years ago, retention was much better overall, perhaps one-two people are still around in 2 years out of the initial 10-20 people who start each quarter.

                As for the original poster, our beginners class is basically 90 minutes long 2x a week, first 30 minutes they do the same warmups and possibly suburi (depending on which cuts they know) as everyone else.

                One topic is taught each week. By the end of the beginners class, they know basic footwork, how to hold chudan kamae, preform kote/men/do, kirikaeshi, how to bow, how to sankyo etc. They first learn men, then each week a new target is added. Generally a dedicated instructor or two is assigned to teach the beginners class so there is consistent instruction for the first month. No other waza is taught until they join the main class. A basic kendo vocabulary sheet is provided.

                Each week reviews and builds upon the previous weeks content. Its pretty simple.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                  We have found that dealing with people as they walk in is pretty much setting up to fail. You will have more success if you coordinate a beginners class with a specific start date and registration cutoff, and teach your beginners as a group. If you have the resources to have someone teach beginners and someone else teach advanced, you should do so. In our club we trade off this responsibility, and accept beginners in September and January only.
                  I actually wonder how well that would work with my club. While we typically only get one or two new people at any given time, it's actually a rare occurrence as it happens maybe twice per academic year. If we were to get a more steady stream of people or had a larger base of advanced members who can show up to practices on a more consistent basis, then I would think it would make a little more sense for us to have the specific start date. We do have the resources to teach beginners, and we can even rotate, so that shouldn't be much of a problem.

                  Also, I don't think that letting people join as they walk in is necessarily a setup to failure. There's a dojo that I frequently attend in Dayton which has 15-25 people attend each week that handles people as they walk in, which has yielded some positive results. Of course, the way that dojos operate isn't a one-size-fits-all affair, so we really have to consider what works for our club in our environment. I appreciate the suggestion though.

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