Sunday, July 4, 2010

Week 2!

Pete here!

The second week (June 7-11) has been my trial-runs for the English classes. Both Erica and Louise have monitored me and given helpful advice for all the classes, and have given me sheets containing student profiles and what they have generally taught each year.

Tuesday, June 8 was a sad day as it was time to say goodbye to Louise; it was her time to fly back to New Zealand, but she will be back in August for the Wado World Cup! Hurrah!

The biggest test of the week has been the Friday, my first day on my own. Thursday and Wednesday have been with Erica, so if I was going wrong anywhere she could step in and take control of the class again; she was a safety net. No such thing on Friday: it was just me. Thankfully, although terrified I managed to get the kids enthused with my phonetics warm-up, which involves them pulling a lot of faces and making a lot of noise!

Saturday Erica and I went to the Kanto Regional High School Karate Championships in the former 1964 Gymanastics Olympic Arena in Komazawa Olympic Memorial Park, Tokyo, meeting Richard there too as he was on the staff. This was a good chance to see the difference in both the level of competition, and the method of organization for the event. Needless to say I was blown away by both. The quality of kata is beautiful to watch and the clean open fighting style of Japanese kumite a welcome difference to that of some regional competitions I have been to in my past.

Unfortunately, Richard’s school (who we came to cheer) was knocked out in their first rounds to some very skilled opposition, but we got a photo opportunity afterwards to mark the occasion.

Richard also introduced me to the Deputy Editor of JKFan Magazine, a goju practitioner. We had a good talk (her English is great!), and have set the scene for some good things to happen in the future.

After 1pm Erica and I decided to head back to the train (not before stopping by a really good Hawaiian-style bar for some food and ice cream), then headed to the evening’s training where she was beaten up more for leaving next week (if that’s what you get then I’m staying!).

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