I thought I'd share some training exercises I tried out in class tonight with my beginners. First, I introduced them to "exponential kata" practice. Move 1, back to ready; moves 1-2, back to ready; moves 1-3, back to ready; moves 1-4, back to ready; all the way through the kata. Exhausting, challenging, and fun! You really get to know that kata. Also, we talked about fighting through the exhaustion, accepting errors w/out beating yourself up, resolving to not commit the same error on the next progressive cycle even though you are more tired than the previous cycle, and recognizing how the body becomes harder to control when tired and full of adrenalin but still trying to execute the techniques properly.
Then, we practiced what I like to call bunkai count. Instead of counting the moves by number, I call out the bunkai associated with the sequence (clear guard, step punch) and we perform that portion of the kata (opening two moves to Fukyugata 1). Then, I call out the next bunkai sequence (strike the back of the head, pull head tight to chest, takedown and punch) and perform that sequence (pivot, low block, step punch)...all the way through the kata. That helps us visualize the applications and connect the movements to the applications more deliberately.
The students and I really had an intense and productive class!