Young Leaders in Karate

Karate is great for self-fitness, self-defence, self-confidence and many other personal benefits. One of the extended benefits of karate training is the opportunity to develop leadership and teaching skills. Like all activities, being good at something does not necessarily automatically make you a great teacher. Just being a black belt does not make you a great teacher. Teaching in itself is a skill set that also needs training and development but does share many common attributes of karate.

To be a good teacher requires among other things:

  • Awareness of others (a karate skill)
  • Awareness of self (a karate skill)
  • Ability to remain clam (a karate skill)
  • Ability to strategise and think on your feet (a karate skill)
  • A kind giving heart (fostered in a karate dojo)
  • Resilience (a karate skill)
  • A solid knowledge of the material being delivered (acquired through constant regular karate training)

At Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate we provide a leadership program to help develop our future leaders for the dojo and the wider community. Over the years of our dojo we have had a number of karate kids become school, house and team leaders. Members of our Leadership team work on assisting in classes for our younger dojo members as well as working on themselves to be leaders by example in their own classes.

The following excerpt from a grading essay by one of our young dojo leaders,  Millicent Mansbridge (13 years) is a great example of the thought process and beliefs of our leaders already showing a high level understanding of leading and teaching.

“Another one of my responsibilities is as leader, I was very happy and felt proud when I became a leader and I love to lead. I love to help teach new and young members of our dojo.

I think little children respond well to older children so I like to make the most of this and build bonds with the juniors. I need to engage with them in a way that they will respond positively to, I need to use correct language, talk in ways they will understand, make things fun, not be too serious, take time and be patient. I also need to make sure that what I am teaching they are understanding, don’t just position them or manoeuvre them where they need to be but help them understand why they are doing what they are doing.

It is important too to give feedback, I need to be able to do this in a positive way which encourages the junior members and helps them get better at their karate, I never want to make a little child feel like they are not doing well, lots of support and encouragement is very important to remember.”

Karate Leadership

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