Master Teacher: Teaching Key Points Refresher

Teaching Tools

An instructor’s teaching approach is influenced by their past experiences and the dedication they invest in refining their skills. If an instructor has a significant background in kata, for instance, they will prioritize that aspect. Alternatively, if their expertise lies in competition, they will focus on contest or competition judo. They impart the knowledge they’ve amassed to students through a variety of approaches.

We’ll examine a range of teaching methods. The goal is to expand the array of tools at your disposal, enabling you to perform your role to the best of your ability.


  1. Know yourself and your area of expertise.
  2. Know your audience, both the students and their guardians.
  3. Know what is in your tool kit and when and how to use it.


Performing a personal assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as an instructor, especially in judo with its multifaceted nature, can be quite challenging. Here are several areas worth considering: history, philosophy, etiquette, standing techniques, pinning techniques, choking techniques, arm locks, counter techniques, combination techniques, falling techniques, gripping techniques, kata (prearranged forms), contest rules, and ranking systems.

In addition, personal factors such as personality, past experiences, and individual preferences play a significant role in how we approach and conduct judo instruction. Questions arise about the nature of our class: Will it be run as a traditional judo dojo, a sporting club, a recreational center, a business, or a hobby? Will our club operate out of a community center, YMCA, school, or a storefront? Furthermore, there’s the question of our role: Do we embody qualities of a quasi shogun, storeowner, sensei, coach, or a combination thereof? What are our primary concerns: character building, winning contests, financial success, enjoyment, fulfilling the dream of being a sensei, or a blend of all these factors?

Parental Involvment

Managing a judo school or club in the United States involves significant consideration of membership agreements and their terms. One crucial aspect may involve the inclusion or exclusion of a clause prohibiting parent viewing of practice sessions. This is sometimes implemented to mitigate potential interference from parental involvement, which can occasionally disrupt instruction. Conversely, other clubs actively encourage parent participation and may even establish organized parent associations to foster engagement and support.

Indeed, in many schools, parents can be a significant asset if the institution is well-organized. Often, parents serve as effective ambassadors to the wider community. Their advocacy can essentially serve as free advertising; if you had to pay for this level of promotion, it would be costly. Word-of-mouth advertising, facilitated by engaged parents who witness sessions, can be one of the most powerful and cost-effective methods of promotion.

While parent participation can be beneficial, it also introduces additional considerations. In addition to focusing on the child’s instruction, instructors must also attend to parental expectations and concerns. Some parents may vocalize their desires for their child to receive more attention or express dissatisfaction with instructional methods or handling of specific situations that didn’t align with their expectations. Handling such delicate situations requires special conflict management skills to navigate effectively.