I've been training in traditional martial arts for over 20 years, in which repetition of techniques is a foundational element of training. I recently tried to start a karate club on the college campus where I teach, and the students just were not interested in traditional martial arts. The students want to hit stuff, spar, and grapple immediately without enduring the supposed drudgery of basics. Students came to my classes, but then dropped out after one or two sessions. Then, a student who took a few krav maga weekend instructor seminars started her own group and got several students. I'm the faculty adviser for the martial arts groups on campus, and so she discussed her ideas with me. She actually sat in my office and lectured me on the limitations and impracticalities of traditional martial arts, even though I've been training longer than she has been alive! Her presumption and arrogance aside, I tried to explain to her the why we hikite, for example, and other such things. I explained the function of kata, bunkai, and the relationship of kata to practical self-defense. Nothing registered for her. It was all impractical in her mind and not worthy of her consideration. Frustrating.
Thus, I moved my club to the local YMCA, and I have a small group of regulars, but it's still challenging to get them to appreciate repetitive training. The challenge of teaching and training basics persists. It's like this generation of people want immediate gratification. They see highly trained fighters in the UFC doing amazing things, and they want to do those same things, right now. They don't understand that they need to learn the dynamics of a punch and then practice those dynamics repetitively for a long time before they can punch well.
I've been developing some teaching/training practices to help these kinds of students develop strong basics w/out boring them with traditional kihon training. For example, when teaching "high block," I show them the move, and then I provide one possible application of that move (defense against a lapel grab and forearm strike to the throat, or reversing a wrist grab and striking upward against their straightened elbow joint). Then, I have them work that with partners striking target mitts. Then, I have them work it up and down the floor a bit. Then, back to partner training on the target mitts. That's how I'm teaching basics, and it seems to be working out well.
Has anyone else noticed this challenge in the younger generation, how they don't want to do the "boring" work of repetition yet want to have excellent technique and power immediately? How do you address this issue in your own teaching?