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    structuring a class with students keeping a journal


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    structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by judoclimber on Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:40 pm

    I'm going to be taking over our club next week. It is mixed with adults and kids, practice twice a week for 1.5 hours. I'm thinking of something, maybe it's crazy, would like to hear your opinions.

    I'm wondering about whether or not its feasible to get students to keep a record of what they have practiced. I think that serious athletes must do this sort of thing, to keep track of how much effort they are putting into all the different skills, help them remember what they've learned, help with encouragement/motivation, and so forth. All that could work for recreational players too, i think.

    I'm imagining keeping a sheaf of papers with little pencils, at the end of the session I'd pass them out, and leave them a few minutes to record what they have practiced or exercises they did. On it I would set out a template to use, Eg. uchikomi: 20x static seoinage left (migi), 20x moving seoinage (hidari); turnover: 'can-opener' x 10; nagekomi: migi seoinage x 20; pushups: 5 x 10 reps. etc. They would leave them at the dojo for safekeeping.

    Anyone have any practical experience doing this sort of thing? Just be a headache for me with little payoff, or worthwhile, whaddya reckon? Thanks.
    still learning

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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by still learning on Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:48 pm

    As an instructor I keep the record of what has been taught and any activities, not my students. That way I can plan a structure and build on what was taught the previous session. Peoples memories can be remarkably good when you give them a small reminder.

    As a student, along with my co-instructors, we always ask permission before videoing any coaching / specialist sessions; so that they can be put on the clubs website and used as a resource. Other than this I have never kept a record of any sessions. In my experience if people want to keep a journal they probably do so already.


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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by samsmith2424 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:33 pm

    Once in Bath Daniel Lascau gave us a book called the judo training book. I have not been able to find another copy.

    It is very helpful though I have never got my player to fill it in The whole book is full of different sheets judo players can fill in.

    It includes sheets on the following:-

    Training and tests
    Weigh in and injuries
    Techniques and tactics
    Tournaments and analysis
    Belt exams and kata
    Feedback and reflection

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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by afulldeck on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:56 pm

    I believe your looking at it from the wrong angle. It is extremely helpful to students, as an instructor, if you make a detail teaching plan in advance and post it for all to see. That way the students can plan their training around what your teaching outside class and be prepared for your class. You could add in the teaching plan a suggestion section of what you would want the students to try a complete. They in turn could download your teaching plan and create a log book.

    “I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know.” ... Epicurus at Sen. Lucil, 29.10

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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by DougNZ on Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:31 pm

    In one style of ju-jitsu I practiced, we were required to document our techniques and, in fact, these notes contributed to our marks in grading.  One thing I noticed was that pupils became attached to their notes and when they couldn't work things out, they left the mat and ran to their notes.  Far too much time was spent writing and poring over notes, and not enough time was spent practicing. It all got far too intellectual.

    In that style, like many traditional-styled systems, the emphasis was on the pupil to learn.  Today I am involved in a system where the emphasis is on the teacher to teach.  There is a big difference.  In the latter, the pupils need only practice, fight and get better and it is the teacher's responsibility to provide the environment for that to happen.

    As an aside, my folder, containing well over 500 hand-written techniques - complete with diagrams - was stolen from the boot of my car.  At the time, I was devastated.  After a while I realised I was the keeper of those techniques, not the folder.

    I also kept a training diary when I was in my competition days.  This had my goals noted down, plans to obtain them and records of training sessions that were part of the plan.  This is a different kind of record and one I highly recommend for people working at a high level.  It is not about noting techniques but recording data from which to extract valuable information. The important thing here is that I was motivated to keep the training diary. I'm not sure that recreational judoka will be.

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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by GregW on Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:25 am

    I made a spreadsheet to track practices for my judo club and stored it as a Google doc. One one page, I track attendance for each practice session, a short description of what we practiced, and any special events like promotions, visitors, etc. On another sheet, I keep a list of all my USJA and AAU membership numbers, renewal dates, and individual attendance by sessions and hours for each student. Another sheet tracks promotion points. I make a new spreadsheet each year. I just change the dates and all the formulas that calculate totals are still there. When it comes promotion time, I have all the information I need. If a student forgets his USJA card at a tournament registration, the document is available on my phone so I can look it up. It's really handy.

    I recommend that students keep a journal, but I consider it my responsibility as the club coach to keep records to help them.

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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by Stacey on Fri May 02, 2014 10:02 am

    lots of people don't like to write. Lots of kids don't like homework. Writing the same thing as everybody else is tedium. You could ask for long and short term goals for each student, so they can express themselves, but those who write are already writing. Those who don't won't like the change.

    If you don't keep your own training journal (not teaching journal, training journal), how can you expect your students to do so? If you do keep your own training journal, what makes it worthwhile to you? What would have made it worthwhile as a total noob? As a shodan? As somebody coming off an injury? etc.

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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by NittyRanks on Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:07 am

    If they are paying for lessons and are kids good luck with this. It should totally be an option.
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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:34 am

    Is there any evidence that in this way certain training goals are better, faster or more efficiently achieved, and if yes how objectively was this established ?

    As to class schedules I think it all boils down to what you feel works best for you. I never make lesson plans or other class schedules and I never prepare a jûdô, class nor do I ever prepare any lecture I hold at university, nor any conference presentation. There is one exception to this: I do prepare when I have to teach jûdô for mentally disabled people, probably because my experience with this particular group is far less than with other jûdôka and because the group is particularly vulnerable and because I feel a moral obligation to make use of all my abilities especially those which the class may lack.

    I hate the idea of that what is in a lesson plan taking priority over the individual needs and problems posed on the tatami. I cannot predict who will be on my tatami and what their abilities will be. I want to be maximally flexible and teach during a class what is possible and proportionate to the abilities of those present, so I can only determine this after class has started, and when I do not know the jûdôka at all ... only after seeing them do certain things.


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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by Fritz on Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:08 am

    A year ago or so i tried to "force" our pupils to write down the lesson (resp. the part which are
    new for them)
    My intention was to encourage them to reflect about the learned stuff at home...
    At long term it was a disaster beside a few exceptions - very disappointing...
    They love to go into the judo class at Monday and learn some move, lets say Uki-Goshi,
    and at Thursday they are pretty sure, that Uki-Goshi is completely new and unknown for them...
    (You can replace Uki-Goshi in the example which every other technique name)

    We coaches use a kind of diary, after each lesson we put a small not into it, what was done...
    (Sometimes there are parents claiming that we did not teach to their offstrings something they would need for next belt exam or so... I quick look into the diary and a second look into attendance list gives the answer to such kind of questions ;-) )

    Best regards

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    Re: structuring a class with students keeping a journal

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:31 am

    NittyRanks wrote:If they are paying for lessons and are kids good luck with this. It should totally be an option.

    That would be my experience as well.

    I have tried to get the more serious, competitive judoka to keep a training journal, as well. No success there either.

    I think that it's a certain personality type that will keep a journal of their training, just the same as a person might keep a journal of their life experiences.

    Not too common among serious judoka, apparently...

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