Just recently, the numbers of our adults class has increased three fold. Our small dojo usually has 10 or so people training, now with old members returning and new members beginning, the place is cramped with thirty people.
Among this group are about five 11 - 12 year olds that have 'graduated' from the kids class. They have achieved 4th kyu after three years of kids classes...good on them I say.
My problem however, is this.
I am an adult 4th kyu and due to being equal rank with the kids, find myself training with them more often than not. I feel my training is being effected by this. Due to their small size, my obvious strength advantage, they cannot test my technique or resist. I am tall for an adult and have long arms and legs, one of my irimis can drag a poor kid off his feet before I even attempt to extend.
I understand that this gives me an opportunity to give slow, gentle technique but at the end of the day, I feel I have nothing to aspire to while training with these guys. Also, due to class size now, the class is often cut in half, and people of my rank are considered the highest rank of the 'junior' grades so I do not get to train with the higher belts very often.
The whole dynamic of the club has changed alot. A month ago I would be training with anyone from a beginner right up to a shodan, it was great. Now...
I spoke to one of the club shodans about it, and he agreed that the children perhaps should be a bit older, it is quite a jump from the kids class to the adults. Also, the adult 4th kyus tend to have a higher level of training than the younger 4th kyus due to training with higher belt adults from day one. The chance of a kid getting injured is also a concern.
How would you people battle this problem. I'm actually thinking of changing clubs for awhile until numbers drop away, just so I can have some serious, rigorous training again.