I run a club that is part of a traditional Shotokan organization, and our students are tested currently only on kihon, solo kata, and kumite. I've taught for 10+ years now, and I'm comfortable with the progression of what I need to teach to get students ready in that system. However, over the past few years, we've been trying to incorporate more practical karate skills into the curriculum (bunkai, awareness, escape & evasion, deescalation, ground fighting, locking, throwing, legal, HAOV, impact, combative fitness, etc.). I am primarily struggling with a few things:
1) How to fit everything into class. With limited dojo time, how do we cover everything and fit it in? I always felt crunched enough for time doing just kihon, solo kata, and kumite - and now I feel like I don't have time to fit everything.
2) I have a good idea of progression and what's expected in the traditional syllabus, but I don't have a great idea of a progression and what is expected of students with the new skills.
3) I struggle with how to evaluate students and give them good feedback with the new skills. I think so much of it should be evaluated based on effects, so it seems like a shift in the teacher-student relationship where instead of telling them what to do and what they did wrong, to helping them feel it. I feel like I'm ok with that shift, but students seem to struggle without getting the same kind of feedback.
4) There are some things that I have to do in training now purely because students get tested on it (one good example is 3 step sparring). I try to make it clear to my students what context we're training for and why it's important to work on the things we do in class. But when we're working on certain things, if I want to be honest with my students, I feel like I need to tell them that "this isn't helping you technically or practically, but you will be tested on it." But at this point, I don't feel like I'm ready to leave the organization, and I want students to succeed on their exams, so I feel like we need to cover these things. I just hate wasting that training time.
So, it's been a struggle trying to make the transition. I love Shotokan karate, and I think that the skills we need are there if we look at it the right way. I'd love to hear any ideas or advice from anyone who is either going through or who has successfully made this transition.