Overcoming Nyumonshaphobia

Nyumonsha – White Belt.  Beginner.  One whose karate knowledge is like a blank page: ready to learn and full of potential.

Nyumonshaphobia – Fear of teaching White Belts.

Teaching the Beginner Class presents its own challenges because, unlike the higher ranks, White Belts do not have Kihon (Basics) yet.  Thus, the White Belt Class is structured differently than the higher classes.

The purpose of the White Belt Class is to help new students transition into the dojo.  They learn Kihon at their own pace, in small groups or even on-on-one.  They don’t feel like they have to struggle to keep up with higher belts, and they don’t feel like they are slowing the class down.  Our Beginner Program is designed to run for fifteen classes, at the end of which students are promoted to the level of Jukyu (Purple Belt) and moved up to the Novice Class.  The syllabus for this program is as follows:

White Belt Curriculum

Click to enlarge.

You should note that some techniques are taught out of order.  The teaching order has been set up so that techniques are presented in order of difficulty.  As new techniques are learned, these are then practiced in their proper order.

The general format of a Beginner class is as follows…

  1. Line Up & Bow In.
  2. Group Belt-Tying – until all students are able to tie their belts on their own.  At that point, this becomes a light warm-up.
  3. Review of previously taught techniques.  In later classes, this may be a partial review.  For example: on Day 10, we might review Strikes only, then teach Shuto, then go back and review Blocks at the end if time permits.
  4. Teaching of new techniques.
  5. Line Up & Bow Out.

It is important to remember that this is a White Belt class.  Their technique does not need to be perfect; it doesn’t even have to be all that good!  We are looking for them to have the general movement and a basic idea of what the movement is for.  There will be plenty of time to adjust and fine-tune their technique as they move through the Novice levels.  For perspective, the rank requirements look like this:

  • Jukyu (Purple Belt) – Awarded at the end of the Beginner Program.
  • Kukyu (Yellow Belt) – Students tested on Blocks & Strikes only.
  • Hachikyu (Orange Belt) – Students tested on Blocks, Strikes, Kicks, Walking in Stance, and the Kihonido for Sanchin Dachi.

Teaching Blocks

Teaching Strikes

Teaching Kicks

Course Assessment

  • The course assessment section is for those taking this course for teaching grade certification/recertification.  If you are auditing this course or using it as a reference, please feel free to skip this component.
  • This course is required for individuals pursuing Shidoin certification.
  • Instructors holding teaching titles must complete one Instructor Training course annually, in order to maintain their teaching certification.