Nah, we’re getting it. We just don’t agree with your pedagogy. As a teacher myself, I can tell you that the surest way to get someone to learn is to light a fire, not force routine drills. This goes with math, history, English, sports, and… yoyos. If it’s fun, they’ll WANT to learn, and your job will be done.
Practicing a gravity pull ad nauseum isn’t necessarily that fire, although there ARE people out there that will just get a kick out of that one simple thing. But why take that chance? Or even better… go ahead and follow your method (it may work for him!) but be mindful of his interest level. And don’t be surprised if a few days (or weeks if you’re REALLY lucky) he finds excuses not to have his “lessons” anymore.
You can gravity pull and work on your throw using a YYJ Classic or a Velocity. You don’t need an Imperial shape to do that. But at the end of the “lesson”, you can show him something more advanced like a trapeze and he’ll have a yoyo with a chance for success for landing that trapeze.
“You advance by having a good throw. Everything comes from a good throw,” you reinforce to him. “But hey, this move is pretty fun… you can practice this in your spare time, too.”
Sorry to go on and on, but I’m pretty passionate about the teaching and learning process…but one more example…
You decide you want to play guitar because you saw someone doing it and it looked cool. You get a guitar and an amp, and go to a teacher who says “Don’t plug into the amp. We’re going to learn ‘three blind mice’ today, but we’re going to do it without plugging in.”
You reach the end of the lesson and go home. You’ve made advances… after all, fingering and plucking notes is a guitar fundamental.
In an alternate universe… same lesson, except after teaching you “three blind mice”, the teacher says, “OK, the main lesson’s over. Let’s have some fun. Here’s how to do a power chord.” The teacher shows you how to position your fingers (it’s not hard, btw!), lets you plug in, cranks up the amp and says, “Now hit those strings!”
KERRRANNNNGGGG!!! A mighty power chord erupts from the amp and you feel like a rock star. Unless you’re a particularly morose person, you probably have a big grin on your face.
Which lesson do you think was more successful? It’s a rhetorical question, of course… in the second one, the same fundamentals were learned, PLUS an additional “advanced” skill, PLUS it had fun factor and produced a positive feeling toward the lesson.
It’s important not to hold someone back, either. What if he “gets” gravity pull first lesson? It’s not rocket science! Why not let him learn breakaway (or even breakaway to trapeze) and leave it with him for “homework”? You always want a student to be pushing forward, not waiting for you to open up the next door.