As I mentioned in "The Joy of Newbies", our school starts out with what we call "Zero Level", and that hasn't changed (although some of the content IS changing). The idea is that it should take about a week to get a new student up to speed enough to participate in class with the other students. It also gives the new student some time to evaluate what we do and are showing them and to make sure it's for them before they buy sticks or our class uniform.
Given that our art has "contact" pretty early in training, I'm glad that we have this zero level, to ease new students in, and for safety's sake.
Sometimes, coaching brand new students is left to lower level classmates, where "high rank" people and instructors don't bother and focus on the "higher level" stuff. I think that's a serious mistake, because not only does the new student lose out on connecting with a higher-ranked person or instructor in the school (a must, I believe, for new students), but also because of what the teacher loses as a result.
I really like working in the zero level - I often volunteer for it - because of all I get out of it, as well as the pleasure of introducing somebody new to my art. I love what I do, and getting new people acclimated to it is a very rewarding experience.
|The Purple Knuckles Club.|
Each student is unique and a gift to their instructors, because when you teach, you learn, and you learn something different with just about every new student you work with. Something is always there to be discovered - new ways to communicate, learning how to connect with different style learners, and always, new reactions to what you are doing that you wouldn't have expected (especially if the new student has very little to no martial arts training).
I think the education in the unexpected is especially valuable as we tend to tell ourselves narratives about how untrained people will react to what we do, and that narrative is blown up every time you work with a new student.
|Wait, what? That's... huh!|
As long as I do Arnis, I plan to be a volunteer to work with the newbies as much as I can, so they can be "onboarded" properly by someone who wants to do it, and for my own growth.
I'm the Mayor of Newbietown.
|My monocle is on order.|
Image found here.