During my black belt confirmation trip to Yakima, Reed Sensei and the others went to great length to talk about the upcoming year.  This was to develop the curriculum to match the other schools in the region and pitch ideas back and forth.  Through a lot of stories I've heard all kinds of the passive-aggressive behavior that the schools have had with one another, but for the most part they want to be on the same page.  However, having a head master who might not be absolutely consistent from time to time creates friction.

An example in Kata.  He tells one school hands are this way and another school that way.  When testing happens one school fails all the tests because their hands are wrong. How is the local instructor supposed to deal with this?  He teaches his students the other version and then they go back.  As you can guess this might create some feelings. 

To contend with this students are taught to expect flaky judgement at tests.  Not fair, but that's the way life is I guess.  Thankfully color belt tests are all done locally so that's all consistent with the local curriculum. 

So after long conversations with the new regional head guy everybody is on the same page about what katas are supposed to be learned.  Another area of contention, but everyone is on the same page.  We'll see how this ends up in a year.  The black belts all had to rapidly learn a relatively simple kata, pinan godan, and get ready to teach it to everyone in bites. 

This process started last night.  Thankfully, this first portion of the kata is fairly simple and the kids were able to absorb it.  We worked on that for half the class, but as the only other black belt I was instructing the kids again.  The little bit of delight in that was that one of the little girls didn't want to touch the boy across from her.  For their age group and skill level we will often have them touch hands so they know how far they need to be for the work.  These two would get farther and farther apart.  Hah! 

The second half of class was spent working on kata with a brown and green belt.  We didn't get to clean too much up, but the practice was nice. 

I ended up missing the second hour due to work.  Sigh.  I'm definitely not advancing at this point.  This summer is going to be a challenge to remain consistent.


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