Handouts are not required, but I have always received them where I have trained (I still have the handouts I received in my first karate class in the 1960’s) and I have always prepared handouts for my students. A martial art instructor’s job is to teach students about the art and how to perform it. Class time is when students learn techniques and practice them under the critical eye of the instructor; there is little time to learn much about the martial art itself. That is where handouts come in; they allow students to learn the intricacies of the martial art while they are not in class and they permit students to review at home what they learned in class.
There is a high turnover rate in martial arts classes. Out of a typical beginning class, half will be gone in few week or months, and only a very few will remain after a year. This means, to keep the classes fresh, instructors continually have to do things to bring in new students. When surveyed about what they like best about their martial art classes, most students say that it is the physical workout combined with a social atmosphere. The more people in a class (within reason) the more enjoyable the class. The fewer the students in a class, the more the class feels like work instead of fun.In addition, some instructors teach better in large classes, some better in small classes, and some do well in both. My instructor has always done well at both, but I generally need 8 or more students for me to get motivated.
When teaching a new form, if students are picking up the movements quickly, I tend to teach them more of the movements. My instructor is always telling me only to cover a few techniques each night, no matter how fast the students seem to be learning the techniques. He stresses that when movements are taught a few at a time, they are better retained by the mind and body of the students. The point of teaching a form is not to just teach the form, it is to insure each student knows and understands the form and is able to perform the form. No matter the teaching style, if the student cannot perform the form properly, the instructor has failed.