1. Any student with Green Belt, Blue Stripe, will of course be attending the Green Belt class, but I will also allow them to join the Blue+ class for additional training. I'm planning a lot of technique development and Kata in the Blue+ so that, in the summer, we can begin learning One-Steps and Self Defense techniques, which are critical for higher-level students. I'd like the Green Belt, Blue Stripe, students to be a part of this semester so that they will be prepared for the summer. This is optional, but recommended. Please email me if you're interested in having your child attend this class.
2. Any Blue+ Student can receive extra training by joining in on the earlier classes. Further, this semester, I won't be allowing any of my students to act as Senpai's/High-Rank Helpers. I'd rather we focus on their development and skills. As a result, they'll be joining the earlier classes as students seeking to Sharpen their techniques. Attending is strongly recommended to all Blue+ students. Please email me if you have an interest in your child regularly attending these classes.
3. YCOA will be going green with our class handouts by sending them over email. At registration next week, please be sure to neatly write in your email address, and be sure it's an address you'll be checking regularly. Email me with questions.
4. We'll be continuing the Kata/Sparring rotation for the optional Specials class. For any parents of new or former white belts seeing this, the Specials class is a half-hour period between the Yellow/Green Belt class and the Blue+ Class, in which students receive additional training. Normally, this training takes the form of padded Sparring, which is practice fighting in a controlled environment. Kata, on the other hand, is a series of techniques always done in the same order every time. It starts off very simple with the three Taikyoku kata, but the five Pinan kata, the first Tekki kata, and Bassai Dai are more complicated. The Taikyoku's and Pinan's are needed for Brown Belt, and all ten are needed for Black Belt. We'll be switching off practice of these two critical areas of study every week, starting with a (non-contact) sparring class on Week Two.
5. Be aware, to take part in sparring, students MUST have a full set of sparring gear, except week 2, which is a non-contact class. As a reminder, students must be at least Green Belt to partake in sparring. Further, YCOA Policy dictates that sparring is Required for Purple and Above. See me for info and prices on sparring gear. I strongly recommend using the Raffle Packet I'll be passing out to you on the first week of class to pay for the Sparring Gear.
6. We'll be continuing the Team System I had in place this past semester. It saw excellent results, but encountered a few problems here and there (as was expected), which has prompted me to learn from them and develop solutions to them. In theory, the Team System has been refined and improved, and I believe it will be more effective this semester at augmenting and improving the students' Martial Arts training.
7. Class Times will most likely remain unchanged from the past semester. The only factor I can think of that would result in different class times would be an extremely large White Belt class - large to the point I have to split it into two classes. If that's the case, I'll know it on Week One, and will inform every parent that night. Also, expect class times to be posted here, among other places.
8. There will be a Kata Retest on Week One. Any student who attempted a Kata at the kata testing and failed will be allowed to retest on that one kata. The test will be held immediately after the Yellow/Green/Blue/Purple/Orange class on Week One, which ends at 8:30. Expect the Kata Retest to be done by 9:00. Bear in mind, I am also fully capable of testing a student on their kata at any time in the semester upon request. Just ask!
9. I'd like any parent of a former white belt to send a text message containing the appropriate code listed below to the associated number to sign up for the Green and Up remind group. Aside from the cost of text messages (of which I used about twenty last semester), the service is completely free and very useful. If you're not already signed up, do so.
For Parents of White Belts: send @arrowheadw to 81010
For Parents of Yellow and Up: send @arrowheadk to 81010
10. Lastly, I'd like to personally ask any and every parent to send me an email with your personal feedback after the semester. I want everything you've got - I want positive feedback and I want negative feedback. It can be short or long, it can be paragraphs or a bulleted list, it can be on classes, kata, sparring, tournament... You can talk about the Team System, the Sign-In table, the Facility, other students (I promise complete confidentiality), my high-rank helpers... Whatever you want to say, however you want to say it, I would appreciate on a personal level any feedback you've got. Whether you're singing my praises or condemning everything I've ever done ever, I would be, personally, very grateful for whatever you have to say.
Cell Phone Number: (623) 853-7871 (texting OK)
Thank you very much for reading all that, I know it was a lot. Again, any questions, contact me. Here's to an awesome new semester!
-Sensei Riley Thompson-