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  1. jspeedy is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/16/2012 2:41pm


     Style: FMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    i'm thinking of starting an FMA club. advice?

    So i've been training Balintawak for about seven years now and have recently relocated to a new area. To my knowledge there are no Balintawak groups in the Orlando area. In october i'm hoping to test for completion of the art. Right now i'm a level 5 under Bobby Taboada, i'll be testing for level 6 of course. The highest rank in the system is level 7 but to reach 7 you have to bring a student up to level 6 in addition to developing a number of your own techniques. I've been ready to test for level 6 for some time but have been busy over the past year so october will be my first chance to test, I feel more than ready for it, to me it's more or less just going through the formalities and getting my rank.

    I want to start my own small club for a few reasons; I want to include more live sparring and hitting tires and I want to continue to develop my Balintawak game. The art I train is relatively simple; combat with a single stick. I want the focus of the club to be applying the art to actual live stickfighting and striking targets with power.

    I've never taught before aside from a couple of friends but nothing for more than a few months. I don't plan on charging anything to students and we'll probably just train in the park. I want to format the class like I imagine a kickboxing club works. A moderate to heavy calisthenic warmup. Lots of emphasis on bagwork with the sticks and making contact with tires. Surprisingly the groups i've trained with so far focus mainly on technique and little time in class is spent hitting things and even less time for sparring with sticks. A portion of class devoted to technique, drills ect. And some light to moderate sparring on a regular basis. For now i've found a sparring formula that works for me; a light weapon, fencing mask, gloves, elbow protection, knee pads, and cup.Power is medium but enough to make the opponent respect the stick. Example, if an opponent ignores or brushes off a few shots without trying to defend, up the power until the opponent feels they have to. This sparring formula results in plenty of bruises but is light enough to do frequently.

    I also, train with 2 local FMA groups and plan to keep training with them but I don't want to step on any toes. I've mentioned that I need to get a student to reach level 7 to one guy I'm training under who runs a group and he was optimistic, the other group doesn't really ask about my previous FMA training. I just don't know what to say. I don't want to say "hey xxx students i'm teaching now come train" but I also don't want them to feel they're not welcome to come train. I also see some akwardness when sparring with the group I already train with. One instructor sounds like he plans to get into sparring but i'm new to his group and so are most of his students. The other group doesn't spar that I see and I don't know what the instructors would think of me teaching their students to spar.

    Any advice to a newb starting a club would be appreciated. Where should I post flyers to find students? What should I include on the flyer? I want to keep a casual FMA club vibe. I'm not trying to make money or start a school.
  2. tim_stl is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/16/2012 5:27pm


     Style: fma

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't have any advice for finding students (I still have that problem), but when dealing with other instructors, I would be upfront and tell them exactly what you intend. It sounds like you could fill a free-sparring niche there, since no one is sparring. If one of the groups is thinking about starting, it sounds like it could be a good way to offer a venue for that, without them having to change their routine up too much, so long as your club accommodates other practitioners who want to spar but don't want to train Balintawak.
  3. jspeedy is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/16/2012 8:50pm


     Style: FMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by tim_stl View Post
    I don't have any advice for finding students (I still have that problem), but when dealing with other instructors, I would be upfront and tell them exactly what you intend. It sounds like you could fill a free-sparring niche there, since no one is sparring. If one of the groups is thinking about starting, it sounds like it could be a good way to offer a venue for that, without them having to change their routine up too much, so long as your club accommodates other practitioners who want to spar but don't want to train Balintawak.
    I was thinking of starting a sparring group before. As you mentioned it might be a good way to bring involve others interested in sparring. I think getting a Balintawak group together and including sparring open to other schools might be a fair way to do it. Before, I wasn't sure how an instructor would view a new guy coming in to the group and all of the sudden hosting sparring sessions.

    Edit: as far as finding students, I'll probably be lucky get one or two regulars. The groups T train with have some casual students that show up occasionally but dedicated students are limited to a small number. I hope by focusing on calisthenics and sparring I can get some students with a motivated personality who will show up regularly. I figure the casual group won't be into the workout or the sparring.

    I hope to post flyers at gyms and the college campus. I want my flyers to have an almost sarcastic vibe much like my personality. I've seen too many trainers with ads that take themselves too seriously. My view is this is stickfighting, it's not necessarily self defense, or combat training, or any of that other BS, I just want to train to hit people with sticks and be good at it.
    Last edited by jspeedy; 7/16/2012 9:01pm at .
  4. patfromlogan is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/16/2012 10:28pm

    supporting member
     Style: Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by jspeedy View Post
    I want to keep a casual FMA club vibe. I'm not trying to make money or start a school.
    You are the organizer/teacher. You might call it a club, but I think that you are actually looking to start a school. It may be small and not too formal, but you'll have students and I'd just bite the bullet and call it jspeedy's FMA or jspeedy's Balintawak school. And I'd charge some, not a lot, but enough to make the students appreciate your efforts. You, of course can take this advice and club it down to shreds!

    P.S. My current instructor in Pahoa HI is cert'd Filipino Stick Fighting (along with various Hawaiian Ke?po systems) and those darn routines are very hard for me to get down - we do single and doubles with partners and I'm so confused it feels like I'm smoking da kine!
    "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
  5. wikidbounce is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/17/2012 1:24am


     Style: Sticks & Jits & Fritz

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good luck to you. You may want to look at insurance options, either charging the students enough to cover against possible liability, having them sign a waiver, or both.
  6. DerAuslander is offline
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    Valiant Monk of Booze & War

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    Posted On:
    7/17/2012 7:13am

    supporting memberstaff
     Style: BJJ/C-JKD/KAAALIII!!!!!!!

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by jspeedy View Post
    Right now i'm a level 5 under Bobby Taboada, i'll be testing for level 6 of course.
    You're under Bobby? Ha! Nice!!!
  7. DerAuslander is offline
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    Valiant Monk of Booze & War

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    Posted On:
    7/17/2012 7:15am

    supporting memberstaff
     Style: BJJ/C-JKD/KAAALIII!!!!!!!

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by wikidbounce View Post
    Good luck to you. You may want to look at insurance options, either charging the students enough to cover against possible liability, having them sign a waiver, or both.
    Getting insurance for FMA in the USA can be a bitch.

    "You mean you hit each other with sticks?!? DENIED!!!"
  8. Permalost is offline
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    7/17/2012 11:01am

    supporting member
     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Maybe you should ask the Tres Espadas guy who was here- he had a weapon sparring group going that had minimal dues for gear upkeep, IIRC. Something something gabraith? Anyway you could search for him in a thread about Tres Espadas where a guy named Sean Michaels acts like a douche.
  9. tim_stl is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/17/2012 12:07pm


     Style: fma

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I recently moved to training in a fencing school, and had to pick up insurance. It's pretty affordable, with no limitations to practice or sparring. Same policy that a lot of HEMA groups use.
  10. jspeedy is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/17/2012 2:03pm


     Style: FMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Damn I hadn't even thought about insurance. In the past i've just signed a waiver with other FMA groups, I'll have to look into insurance. I think one of the groups I joined in Jan. had a fee that covered sticks and insurance. I'd rather not mess with that even if it is affordable if I can get away with guys signing just a waiver. I'll look up the guy Permalost mentioned and see what I can learn.
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