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Old 01-13-2014, 05:20 AM   #16
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 795
Re: Could a child fail a grading?

Thank you all for great advice and comments. It gave me a lot to think about. Also one of my senior students who is helping teach the childrens class came up with some ideas that I and the co-founder of our dojo have been discussing.

In the end it boils down to the fact that we don't really want to fail children. So we have decided to be more selective when it comes to asking them to grade. We are putting this together as we go, since it is our first childrens program in the dojo, and the rules will have to change with the obstacles as we meet them.

So. From now on:
We start them out with 12th kyu after half a year.
For the first three grades (one pr. semester) all who meet the criteria of having enough mat time will be asked to grade
They will most likely pass

Purpose: to give them the first experience of success to celebrate that they have achieved something. If nothing else - then just that they have been sticking with it.

After the first two or three gradings. We will require that they put some serious effort into the technical part of their training. They will be at least 11 years old and should be able to understand that nothing comes from nothing.
Still the grading will be based on an individual evaluation so that those with less talent will get their grade based on time spent, dedication and individual improvement.
We will have them do one or two evaluation gradings during the semester where they can prepare a short portion of what they would like to show at their next grading, and they will receive feedback as to what we would expect them to do better. If the technical level (and seriousness) is just not up to par - the we will not ask them to grade. They will probably ask why not and then we will have to repeat what we told them at the evaluations.
This I think I will carry on until they reach a level where they are aspiring to go to the adult classes. We are thinking this should be from around 14, but I'm not sure yet.
At that point we will have to start judging them on their technical level to some extend. The same way we would the adult students. Still taking individual things like talent and personal situations into account, but with a somewhat higher expectation.

Hope this will do the trick. We might loose some along the way - or they may learn something important about them selves. Time will show.

Thank's again for all the input. It has been invaluable.


- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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