Amelia Smith wrote:
Yeah, what's up with that? Aren't we supposed to practice with people at all levels? I have been wondering about how to impress beginners (and some others) in the dojo with the fact that it's OK to slow the advanced students down a bit. It helps the advanced students, too, and it helps the art (to survive, because we need new people, all the time). Of course, it helps if the advanced students have a good attitude about working with beginners.
I think that a 1 in 10 retention rate from first class to first grading/test is pretty typical. A lot of people who try aikido probably decide they just don't like it. Others can't make the time... and others are turned off by one thing or another at the particular dojo/class they go to, some of which we can do something about, some of which we can't.
The only thing that I see making a meaningful difference is if the senior students are friendly and helpful, which is less of an issue in intro classes. We've never had an intro class at this dojo, but I'm trying to start one, as an experiment, so I'd be interested in what people have to say. Also, I wonder if intro classes help with the general retention rate at all.
I started a beginners intro class and I told all my students that they were welcome to join in the class but not to expect to be doing advanced techniques, only ones that a beginner is capable of performing, to my surprise a number of color belts started to join in and very soon the word got around how great it was going back in time that now my black belts come to the class, we still only run it as a beginner class and every one there now helps out the beginners, I think they realized how important the basics are but also how much fun it is doing them.
I always say to my students your training and your life is what you make of it if you find it boring ask yourself what you could be doing to make it that way change it, same as work all work is good its peoples attitudes that make it fun or not.
You know if you could change one small thing in your life and change your whole life what would that be.........?
take care smile heaps and be happy