The Purpose of Training Manuals in Martial Arts

"Foundations" for younger karate students.
“Foundations” for younger karate students.

What is a requirements manual?

Does your school have one?

What is new & improved on NWSMA’s newest manual?

Read on to find out the answers!

Before I go any further, let me say, importantly:

You cannot solely rely on a manual to learn martial arts.

You need the guidance of trained, competent instructors who help you form good habits, and find & correct bad habits. You also will find that the community of students in your school will support you in your training.

In my mind, the purpose of manuals is four-fold:

  1. To clearly communicate expectations to YOU (students & parents);
  2. To provide a “road map” and “memory aid” for your training;
  3. To put the material in easy-to-digest chunks which progress from basic to more advanced;
  4. To give you a copy of extra, but important, information like vocabulary, history, physical requirements, school rules, etc.

Basically, the idea is to make sure that you know what’s going on at each and every belt level.

To that end, we’ve recently revised created an entirely new manual for our young karate students (5-12, under purple belt)! Here’s what’s so cool about them:

  • They are all in English, with a basic Japanese vocab section at the end.
  • They contain fewer words than previous sheets. They are cleaner and much easier to read.
  • They have MENTAL requirements!!!
  • Partner drills have been better broken up to allow us to lay a foundation, and then build on it.
  • Advanced yellow, orange, and blue sheets now exist. The kata required for each level are clearly communicated.
  • This manual takes you all the way to purple belt. Beyond purple, you will work from the full manual.

The new manuals will be passed out to the students who need them for free. Future youth students will get one bundled with the enrollment package. Adult students will still receive a full “adult” manual with their enrollment.

So to those of you who have been waiting, wait no more! (And thanks for your patience while we have updated the system!)

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