It's not that we aren't helping each other all the time, but acting in the role as a teacher specifically to pass recent knowledge is pretty exciting.
The two folks that made it through their year of confirmation have both decided as of last night to follow the track to Ni Dan using the Birds package.
Blocks of Kata and their associated Bunkai/Oyo are called packages in Shudokan parlance. In my case I'm doing the "bird" package. At least five of the kata are straight up white crane kata derived from an ancestor of ours that when to China to learn martial arts. So we have the version that has been filtered through Japanese culture, but it's pretty recognizable by anyone for what it is. The remaining kata were selected over the years as the default for one reason or the other.
Starting with me (or my skill level in this year) we were given the option to select a different package which contained five Shotokan kata and five Riuryu kata. I stuck with tradition and the fact that I sort of knew two of the kata (Wando and Rohai) to help me make my choice.
When the two new sho dans (Sarah and Kyle) had the "talk" with Sensei they both went with the traditional, aka "the birds". To me the talk was kind of a big deal. I was aware that I was making a choice about what I was going to be doing religiously for the next two years and these both gave off the air of nonchalance when they did it. So much for tense considerations. I was worried that everyone would blow off the birds because they seem so weird, but so far there are four of us following that path. Since Olivia and I are a year and half in we get to be close in teachers.
During class we were able to start the process of teaching Kyle and Sarah. However, with the both of us saying different things it turned into a hash pretty quickly. Way too much information for them to absorb. We found that when we taught them one on one we did way better. Learning to teach all over again.
A side note - now that we are getting the bunkai down, Reed and Daniel are adding to the few moves to make them more complex. Yikes, more to remember when everything seems so tenuous.
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