|Posted by texperkin on 18 July, 2019 at 20:10|
What a busy term at the karate and indeed a busy year so far! As usual, the end of term is a good opportunity to review how we all went, update you all on what’s going on and setting up for next term. In this post:
• Timetable over the next few weeks
• New instructors
• New system and direct debits
• Updated syllabus and student resource guide
• Plans for our karate school
Standard term timetable ended the week before last and as usual, we finished with normal classes on Saturday 6th July followed by the grading for those who have been invited. For those who are yet to be invited to grade and who would like to know what goes on, please come along after the adult’s class finishes at 11:30am. We’re starting at midday however it’s a bit of a rolling feast as we’re testing some at that time and others a little later, as agreed with those families.
We decided that normal classes would continue into the first week of the school holidays with the break only occurring in this, the second week. Students came prepared for a few surprises – fun and games. Therefore, key dates are as follows.
Saturday 6th July Normal classes and grading
Monday 8th – Sunday 14th July Holiday classes on normal timetable
Monday 15th – Sunday 21st July **HOLIDAY BREAK - NO REGULAR CLASSES**
Monday 22nd July onwards Normal classes resume
For your reference, the standard timetable is always up-to-date on the website at https//www.akasydney.com/timetable
We have some new black belt instructors at the dojo. It is the school’s policy that we will always aim for an appropriate ratio of instructors to students so that every student has access to expert instruction. Therefore, I would like to introduce these additions to the team properly.
Ahmed Da’Na – Shodan
Ahmed has been in Australia for about 5 years and is studying a Bachelor in Industrial Design at UTS. As a student, physical activity has helped Ahmed keep his mind clear and calm, and of course keep him fit and healthy. Ahmed achieved his 1st dan (black belt) at the age of 11 in karate in Shorin Ryu Karate Do and from there he involved himself in as many sports and activities as he could including soccer, rugby and even wake-boarding.
Ahmed says: “Now I'm back to my roots of karate, ready to learn more and grow while being able to teach is a great joy. Looking forward to the future of The Australian Karate Academy Sydney”.
Nitya Mohan - Shodan
Nitya came to Sydney in Feb 2019 to pursue a Master’s degree of Architecture at UNSW after having completed her Bachelor of Architecture in India and then working for a little over a year in an architecture firm.
Nitya has always believed sports are an integral component of a well-rounded individual's life. They not only instil discipline but also sharpen focus and improve self-confidence. She started Karate at the age of 6 and received her black belt (1st Dan in Shito Ryu) in 2015. During those years, Nitya was part of many inter-school, inter-state and national level competitions culminating with an opportunity to be a part of the judging panel at a National Championship in 2015.
Nitya says: “I am thrilled to be back and I hope to learn and grow as much as possible. I am delighted to have an opportunity where I can give back as a teacher to something which has so greatly contributed to my well-being. Look forward to an exciting journey with AKA”.
New System and Direct Debits
As the school grows, our systems need to keep pace. From our application procedure to our floor space even to the process for turning on the lights, we are constantly reviewing what’s best. With this in mind, we are implementing a new student record system called Club Manager which we expect will, among other things:
• Make the sign-in process easier, more efficient and more effective
• Make the application process faster and more accurate
• Give us a better platform for communicating with our students
• Allow us to smooth our payments
Also, while we’re on the subject of payments, if you haven’t already done so please apply for your NSW Government Active Kids Vouchers. There is now a second voucher available for this year!
Updated Syllabus and Student Resource Guide
Students received an updated adults and children’s syllabus as well as a student resource guide. While everyone receives a copyof these documents they first joined, they do change from time to time so it’s important that everyone stays up to date.
There are several ongoing programs which you may not be aware of, including:
The Leadership Program is a very exciting initiative and we are piloting the program for the rest of this year with a select group of senior students. The program is intended for students aged 10 to 15 years of age who train multiple times a week and who we consider would benefit. It is a structured program and includes training in goal setting, instructing, teams, group management, public speaking and of course karate. It spans a 12 month period and it is our hope that it will ultimately progress the student to instructor level. Stay tuned for updates.
Our Referral Program has been running for most of this year however we don’t talk about it as much as we should. If you have someone you think should give karate with us a try, bring them in! New students who are referred by an existing member receive a special introductory rate and there are benefits for the referee as well!
Our Parents Program has also been running for most of this year and we will continue this next term. Any parent of a current student can also train for three months for free. We will cover the cost of the training but also of the insurance and association membership. We do this of course in the hope that they will enjoy it so much after the three months that they join up, remembering that there is a family discount for second, third and fourth family members. If parents happen to train for the three months and then decide to stop, we are happy that they will at least have had some basic self defence instruction in case it's ever needed - and that’s the whole purpose of the school. We can’t make anyone an expert in that time, but even 3 months instruction is enough to make a big difference.
For similar reasons, we are now offering a Bullying Program. Anyone who is a bully or who is being bullied will receive three months of training for free. There is a lot of research into this but in essence a lot of the reasons people engage in bullying and a lot of the reasons people are victims of it boil down to confidence: physical, mental and emotional. Martial arts training helps all three! Understandably, this has to be in consultation with the child’s school as it needs to be part of a wholistic solution and it needs to be an identified issue. If you know someone who would benefit, please let us know.
Plans for our karate school
We started the school in January 2018 under the (continuing) guidance of the Australian Karate Academy in Brisbane and the Seitokukai in Osaka, Japan. At that point, we only trained on Saturday mornings in the Maroubra Senior Citizens Hall and by March we had a grand total of 1 student who wasn’t a family member (we offered a chocolate for anyone who comes and whispers the name of that student to Sensei Ben after class - to this point, only the student themselves has a chocolate!). At that point, the only solid thing we had was a high-level goal to continue the McMahon and Mitani family traditions of teaching technically excellent, world-class karate in a positive environment, bringing its benefits to as many people as possible.
We hope you’ll agree that we are achieving this goal and we have built a school all of you should be very proud to be a part of. Coming into this year we put in place a number of goals and we are proud to say that we are achieving them all while still keeping in sight who and what we’re doing it for.
Goal 1 Jan 30 June Goal (current) 31 December
Location Old Maroubra ID new location New dojo
Location (Botany dojo running!)
Students 1 50 (now over 70) 100
Classes 4 7 (currently 10) 13
S:I Ratio* Kindy: <7 Kindy: <7 (now ~5) Kindy: <7
Kids+:<9 Kids+:<9 (now ~5) Kids+:<9
Leadership 2 Instructors 4 Instructors 6 Instructors
1 Assistant 2 Assistants (done) Leadership Program
*S:I Ratio: This is student to instructor ratio. ie. the number of students per instructor. This needs to be low enough to give every student expert attention. Obviously the higher the ratio, the more students you can jam into a room. For reference the NSW Government mandates a ratio of not less than 1:24 (https://app.education.nsw.gov.au/sport/page/1085?returnpageid=1114). We believe this is far too high.
I think you’ll agree that we seem to be well ahead of where we thought we would be. We believe that must be because we are doing something right, however perhaps these things can be summarised as follows:
• we always strive to be the best karateka we can be and to teach that to others
• we always listen to our students and parents
• we are always positive in our criticism and make sure we praise
• we take the extra time and effort to get it right
• We are professional
That’s all for now. Hopefully you made it all the way to the end of this update and for those who did, remember our special prize if you whisper that particular name to Sensei Ben. In the meantime, hopefully everyone had a restful week off (from the 15th July) and we look forward to seeing everyone next week starting 22 July.