Does your dojo have a curriculum?

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Does your dojo have a set curriculum?  Or are lessons left up to whatever the instructor wants to cover?

a curriculum (/kəˈrɪkləm/; plural: curricula /kəˈrɪklə/ or curriculums) is broadly defined as the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process.

At Elements of Self Defense, we have an extensive written curriculum.  Each student receives a copy of the curriculum for their own notes upon joining the dojo.  This curriculum is broken down by level, by month, and by week.  This way, you will always know what material will be taught on any given day.  This also means you know exactly what material is required at each level.  There is no guessing at what the instructors want to see you have learned before earning a new belt.  It also allows you to “self instruct” on days that you cannot make it to the dojo.

Having a written curriculum in your dojo, rather than just something in your instructor’s head, eliminates student instructor conflict.  It means that there is little chance of missing material because the instructor didn’t think to teach it or didn’t “feel like doing that tonight.”  Our curriculum has detailed, step-by-step, breakdowns of the material.  This shows the correct method, without instructor embellishment.  Allowing our students to recognize the difference between what is required and what is instructor ego.

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