“Budo as a garden”

So I’m sure many of you are wondering why I’m posting so many pictures of plants. Tbh, because the dojo is closed, I don’t have anyone to nurture except for my plants. I also am very limited with what I can do in my house during the stay-at-home order, so yes, plants seem to be the only thing fulfilling my life right now instead of budo, shopping, and nice cafes to work LOL.

However, during my time away from the dojo, I have been able to notice some similarities between plants and #budo (more specifically in regards to #teaching); each plant has its own medium, watering, sunlight, and nutrient requirements in order to thrive well, just like how each individual student has their unique requirements for nurturing, teaching explanations, etc.. in order to perform well. Some plants require more sunlight to grow, some burn, just like how some students need more attention from the teacher, while others need more independence and space because too much individualized attention can make them stressed out. Some plants are naturally more finicky than others, just like how some students are harder to get your point across to than others. Some plant species are easy to grow for some growers, while for some others, it’s considered temperamental and not easy to care for—it honestly sounds just like different teachers exchanging information about their experiences about one particular student at the #dojo . Most importantly, you cannot assume that one type of medium will work for ALL plants; I do not use #leca for my phalaenopsis orchids nor my succulents, however, I use them for my aroids. The equivalent in teaching is to NOT use the SAME explanation of a #waza or concept and expect all students to get it. That’s not how it works. Some students may also need more repetitions than others in order to master a technique, while others, using only your explanation and method, may need less to get it.

I honestly felt like smacking myself in the head that it took me until NOW to fully sink in what #Kliebard (1972) said about the curriculum metaphor, “Curriculum as a Garden.” Kliebard said that when you are developing a curriculum for students, you want to envision a garden where many different species of plants, each with their own specific needs and attributes, and provide a unique, nurturing environment for each plant. No two plants are alike, so with this care, you are able to grow each individual plant to its full potential. This is how students should be viewed when you are teaching. Kliebard also mentioned how gardens can be fun for everyone as well. I can now see his metaphor and also realized how difficult it is for people in competitive #martialarts to be able to nurture others. You definitely cannot be successful without the ability to nurture.

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