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  1. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 10:54pm

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     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Lol@ Alex for his vehement reaction and his saying he'd report me if I were in his neighborhood.

    :seppuku:

    Seriously, I might just have to agree that I'm maybe not a good teacher. I've never been employed as one, and I don't have any sort of teaching certification; what I'm doing is more of an exercise/hobby thing and I'm certainly not charging anyone. So, I suppose that it actually was quite helpful for me to read this thread and gain some teaching input. For example, I didn't know that the rule of thumb was to use positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement.

    In my personal experience, I've had a lot of instructors give me negative reinforcement. I can remember way back as a teenager having one instructor (who I like a lot and revere to this day) tell me my technique "sucked", or another time that it was "wimpy". I'm used to sucking all over again every time I change training venues (go to a different club, do a different art, etc.). So, it just never really occurred to me that negative reinforcement should be so carefully avoided.

    I remember a discussion that occurred earlier here on bullshido.net. The discussion had to do with the slogan, "WE ARE A BLACK BELT SCHOOL". As I recall, there was some marketing service or business consultant on the internet who talked about how while in times past MA schools had really high standards and only a small minority of the students would hang around long enough and be good enough to get a black belt but how today it was important from a business perspective that everyone be able to get a black belt, hence the slogan. For some reason, that particular discussion really stuck in my mind, and whenever I've tried to teach someone something MA related I've always been afraid of going too easy on them and making their training worthless.


    EDIT: By the way, I should add that the student I talked about who stuck with me but who still turned his back with too much pressure didn't ONLY turn his back. As long as he felt like he was in control of the situation, he actually had developed a decent bob. Although in the beginning I would always catch him with a jab he eventually developed a pretty solid bob and counterpunch response and I would never get him anymore with the first jab. So he *did* improve. It's just that when he felt overwhelmed he'd still occasionally turn and run.
    Last edited by Wounded Ronin; 10/09/2006 11:00pm at .
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Th...%28attorney%29
  2. alex is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 11:03pm

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     Style: Muay Thai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin
    Lol@ Alex for his vehement reaction and his saying he'd report me if I were in his neighborhood.

    :seppuku:
    if you were aware of the damage this has the ptoential to cause and why its banned in most combat sports you wouldn't be surprised by my reaction.

    I remember a discussion that occurred earlier here on bullshido.net. The discussion had to do with the slogan, "WE ARE A BLACK BELT SCHOOL". As I recall, there was some marketing service or business consultant on the internet who talked about how while in times past MA schools had really high standards and only a small minority of the students would hang around long enough and be good enough to get a black belt but how today it was important from a business perspective that everyone be able to get a black belt, hence the slogan. For some reason, that particular discussion really stuck in my mind, and whenever I've tried to teach someone something MA related I've always been afraid of going too easy on them and making their training worthless.
    too much praise can be bad too. after a while it will stop having any kind of meaning and won't really be a motivator.

    going easy on someone and providing encouragement are two totally different things. no relation at all. you dont have to be mr military school badass to motivate your students, in fact thats one of the shittier ways to do it.
  3. Khun Kao is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/10/2006 12:25pm


     Style: MuayThai

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex
    going easy on someone and providing encouragement are two totally different things. no relation at all. you dont have to be mr military school badass to motivate your students, in fact thats one of the shittier ways to do it.
    Couldn't agree more. Even though I am an instructor and head coach of my own team, I still go train on a semi-regular basis by going to another successful local MMA gym that is run by one of my best friends. I sit in and watch them run their private sessions, classes, and fight training to learn their approach to improve my own game.

    I was SPECIFICALLY watching him work with a n00b on head motion drills. He told the student what he was throwing before he did it, then threw the punch slowly enough for his student to react to it. If the student did it wrong, he simply pointed out the mistake and made him do it again. When the student did something right, he complimented him and encouraged the guy to keep going. He never hit the student once throughout the entire workout, and towards the end of the training session, the student was moving his head correctly with less and less verbal cues from my friend.

    Even though he "held the guys hand" through the instruction of technique, he pushed the guy harder and harder through the workout. He made the guy really EARN his praise. After the session, the student was profusely thanking my friend for the great workout!
  4. WhiteShark is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/10/2006 12:52pm

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     Style: BJJ/Shidokan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    That article and this thread are both too long. Here is all the advice you need:

    Get hit enough so you learn not to flinch. AKA "Don't be a *****."
  5. Happycrow is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/10/2006 1:18pm


     Style: savate

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hi. Ronin, your teach-fu sucks. I've taken girls who were paralyzed with fear, and gotten them to where they could kick some ass... but not by beating them in the back of their head whenever they got "bug-out fever." Your method doesn't work: you've said so yourself. Why you'd defend it is beyond me.

    I flinch. Happens whenever I haven't been sparring in a while. It ain't cuz I'm a ***** (now, I *am* a *****, but that's a different point). It's because I got the crap knocked out of me on a regular basis as a kid, and somewhere deep down there's a reflex I don't realize I've developed unless I see myself on tape and realize I'm flinching even as I'm going in and winning the round. Then I gotta get somebody to feed me punches for a few nights while I work my slipping until it goes away again.

    Getting hit a lot is definitely the cure... but you should be getting hit *with a purpose*. Learning to bob and weave. Learning to counter and cross. That way most of the hits that somebody is putting on the noob (or the problem case like yours truly) are relatively grazing hits that don't stop you from working out, and which actually provide their own positive feedback. AKA "he grazed me, but I got him" or "heh: yeah, I'll take that trade."

    Contrary to Despair.com and the uber-macho set, getting KTFO'd is not a learning tool. And WTF purpose does hitting somebody in the back of the head serve, except to reinforce the exact same thing you're trying to get rid of? The MA world already has a **** success rate when it comes to teaching... let's not make it worse with all the testosterone poisoning.
  6. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/10/2006 6:09pm

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     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Happycrow
    Hi. Ronin, your teach-fu sucks. I've taken girls who were paralyzed with fear, and gotten them to where they could kick some ass... but not by beating them in the back of their head whenever they got "bug-out fever." Your method doesn't work: you've said so yourself. Why you'd defend it is beyond me.
    Well, I certainly hope that I don't come across as trying to *defend* it, since I said earlier on this thread in my last post that I'm not really a good teacher.

    My question to you, then, is how you got the paralyzed with fear girls to actually be able to kick some ass. What exactly did you do and how did you teach them? How long did it take, and how much ass could they kick? The reason I ask is that it would seem to be germaine to the questions raised by this thread (how to improve the success of real MA training) and plus I'm also just very curious.
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Th...%28attorney%29
  7. WhiteShark is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/11/2006 8:08am

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     Style: BJJ/Shidokan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Protective gear. Sparring gloves and headgear is a good start. You can let smaller newbs sock each other for a while before either one gets hurt if they are wearing good gear.

    If you are working with someone that is just not at your level you can target the forehead instead of the eyes or nose. That way they can get tagged but not have to stop everytime.

    Reduce the padding over time until you are all sparring with no headgear and whatever size gloves you feel is the most appropriate for your application.

    Once you are all sparring safely and not running from every shot you can turn the power up a little. Now you are hitting harder than when you started and (hopefully) not flinching.

    The last step is to put the padding back on and be able to really go at it.
  8. Happycrow is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/11/2006 9:51am


     Style: savate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Wounded, Whiteshark's all over it, and what I mentioned about getting hit *purposefully* is part of it. I don't train anybody for the ring, so the amount of ass-kicking is your call, but in a ramped-up round, would a 120lb girl breaking three ribs through her partner's padding count? (Besides counting as bad control, for which she was well and truly made to suffer humiliation.)

    [Clarification Edit: I am *not* anti-ring by any stretch... just haven't had anybody who wanted that level of training and was willing to compensate me for the marital hit I'd be taking training somebody six nights a week. That's a lot of chocolate and flowers.]

    What did I do? I punched them in the face. Gently. And in the forehead a lot, just as WS says. And then I fixed their guard for them, and explained why the guard exists. Then we tried it again. Rinse, repeat. There are a very small number of human beings who DON'T hate getting their nose accordioned. I don't know any. But mostly, I had them work on form, and I had them dishing out a lot of damage, and putting them sparring with somebody who wasn't suffering from an ego trip and would make them move around until they actually got to where they'd *land* a blow, instead of just hinting at it. And from there, slowly slowly slowly ramping it up. Girls in general have a different psychology from guys -- ask any coach. You can scream and bitch at guys about how their hooks suck, and as long as they know that you're critiquing their form (and backing it up with good corrections, and praise where it's earned), you're fine. Most gals hear the same thing, and it translates as "you suck and are worthless." Totally counterproductive.

    The other part is being human to your training partners, and realizing that especially newer students are going to simply have their moments when out of frustration, or freaking out, or the fact that they can't bend a certain way and that inflexibility is the "straw that broke the camel's back" on a really shitty day... whatEVER reason, you may have to give folks breathing space, or hold a gal's hand while she blubbers. I flinch. Somewhere deep inside me is still that curled-up eight-y.o. who got drop-kicked across the room and doesn't know why, and the lingering damage from that has to be put to bed nicely before it will let my forebrain retake control over the reflexes and not screw my form. I've had one gal who went from the world's worst breakfall (try breaking both your wrists your first night training by slipping on the floor) to taking a really HARD sidefall (she knew what the move was, but not that I was going to do it full-bore). It was AFTER she hit, bounced off the mat, and rolled back onto her feet in guard listening to the rest of us scream "GREAT BREAKFALL!" that she realized what she'd done, that she had to take five minutes off to cry. But she took the fall, was back up, and was ready to dish it.

    Alex and I may not agree on an awful lot, but he's dead-center on this one. Just because you're not being abusive, doesn't mean that you're going easy on them.
    Last edited by Happycrow; 10/11/2006 9:57am at .
  9. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/12/2006 5:32pm

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     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hmm. Thanks for your insights, people.

    Whiteshark: Actually, gear issues is one of my problems. I haven't been able to find any websites which will deliver to the FSM. I've had friends in the US order sparring gloves and shin guards from ringside.com and then ship it themselves to me, but for the foreseeable future that's all the gear I'll really have access to.

    Happycrow: Thanks for the info on female psychology. Not something that I've seen discussed so much regarding teaching methodologies. Although in the past when I was in a certain MA club in the US I saw a particular female go and do the five minute cry break thing I didn't realize that this was actually some kind of psychological trait or trend.

    I guess I should add that I actually did (or tried to do) some of the things you're suggesting regarding getting people ready for sparring. Beforehand I told them about the guard and we did some focus mitts drills where I would tell them to keep the guard up. Then we progressed to mitts where you duck and keep your guard up after a short combination, and I started slapping with the mitts when the guard started to drop. Also, when people started sparring, I defnitely started with less contact.

    It's actually rather humorous. In the US, people are socially conditioned (usually) not to hit other people so in order to get someone used to boxing with you you must often spend a few sessions where you just stand there and let them punch you so they get used to hitting another human being. Out here in the FSM that social conditioning doesn't exist and people were all to eager to hit me real hard. WHAM WHAM WHAM, right from the start. At that time I didn't even have sparring gloves yet but just really thin bag gloves, so I took a real beating from everyone that night.

    In any case, I only did the punch in the back of the head thing after the person seemed to be reasonably comfortable with full contact and at the same time they were turning their back. Just a clarification so you don't have the mental image of me Hulk-smashing petrified newbies who have no clue about what they theoretically should be doing.

    I guess that in the future, and certainly in a place like the US, I'll just have to be extra careful not to overwhelm people if I ever end up being asked to teach someone. I should remember that if somebody seems to be doing really well, but then at a certain critical point still does something bad like turns their back, it may not be a good idea to try and punish them for that by turning up the heat even more, because negative reinforcement is considered sub-optimal teaching. Instead, it may actually be a better idea to turn the heat DOWN, and just tell them not to turn and run, and instead praise them when they are keeping their guard up.
    Last edited by Wounded Ronin; 10/12/2006 5:37pm at .
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Th...%28attorney%29
  10. SimonBelmont is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/12/2006 5:49pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Absolutely right here in the US we're not conditioned to hit people at all. We shoot them instead.
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