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Beginner Classes vs. Jumping in

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  • Poop Loops
    replied
    Well, in my past 2 MA schools, the classes consisted of 3-10 (rarely 10) people, so being together wasn't so bad. In my MT school, ~6-10 is average, so the noobies are put with the noobies, and the psycho advanced students who just want to kill shit are put with the psycho advanced students who just want to kill shit. Since MT doesn't that complicated techniques or anything *d43dly* (I mean, if it was really deadly, we wouldn't spar with those techniques, right? :tongue3: ), so generally the instructor just walks around checking if people have the rythm of the drill down, and instructing the n00bs what the hell he wants us to do. :)

    PL

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  • Onecardshort
    replied
    We use a 5 week beginners course to give people the time to see if they actually want to continue with us and also give ourselves time to see how they will fit in the dojo. Following that, everyone generally trains together but we do split up one of the classes to ensure the more advanced students get to play.

    I think it's essential that everyone training is both stretched by their training and kept relatively safe in their training. Beating up beginners is a strange concept, I don't see what it proves on either side, other than someone needs to get laid more often to reduce their yang.

    However, I admit that one of our main problem with new students is normally a lack of any aggressive qualities whatsoever and bringing this level up while retaining them is difficult and can be time consuming - not a problem I think a lot of the judo/bjj dojos face as there's almost a "hard-man" filter in place from the outset.

    My main focus with beginners is to improve general confidence, movement and instill a degree of reality in them about what they are doing, how they need to train and what their strengths and weaknesses are. For this, you do need to split the newer students from the more advanced, but giving advanced students the responsibility for a newbie is equally important as they're invaluble for introducing a random factor to the advanced students training.

    rambling now.. shuting up

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  • Can Chaser
    replied
    Piz, that was so friggin perfect, there. If I could rep you, I would. :icon_mrgr


    Originally posted by Lohff
    I believe there is something to be said for the toughness and sense of belonging you get after getting worked by the older guys for a few months. I think alot of martial artists tend to overlook mental toughness as a vital part of the game that must be conditioned along with the body. Taking my lumps when I first started training was good for me, it drove the I'll never get hurt ninja turtle mentality out of my head. Besides, helping new guys with basic techniques keeps my fundamentals tight as well.
    Yeah, getting one's fair share of lumps is part of the game. It happens, and you're nowhere if you can't take it. Judo last night, I made a girl cry. She even, was older than me by a few years, and has been training a couple months longer than me- and with the fact that I started MA <1 month ago, that's saying a bit. I broke her nail. I'm dead serious. She either needs to cowboy up, or go home.

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  • Lohff
    replied
    I believe there is something to be said for the toughness and sense of belonging you get after getting worked by the older guys for a few months. I think alot of martial artists tend to overlook mental toughness as a vital part of the game that must be conditioned along with the body. Taking my lumps when I first started training was good for me, it drove the I'll never get hurt ninja turtle mentality out of my head. Besides, helping new guys with basic techniques keeps my fundamentals tight as well.

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  • PizDoff
    replied
    Originally posted by j416to
    My wife laughs about me training with guys like this.

    There's one fighter at our gym, a really excellent guy, both technically and personally. I like him a lot. He's always been really patient, generous, and kind with his instruction. In short, a saint, a gentleman among men. Once during a brief conversation, when I asked him why he moved to Toronto, he told me that it was because it was easier for him to find work in Toronto, after he got out of prison.

    http://www.stus.com/sv/images/020807.gif

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  • Thaiboxerken
    replied
    While the "jumping in" method can benefit beginners, sometimes I just want to fucking train instead of teaching the newbie how to kick, punch or even hold thai pads. I would prefer beginner classes with the mixed-level classes once or twice a week.

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  • Xango
    replied
    At Choi's school there are no divisions; beginners are in the front, advanced in the rear. Sometimes a more advanced student is put with the beginners, other times, not. People are often paired off for an entire class.

    At Judo, we have two classes. The fundamentals class, which I'm soon to graduate from, emphasizes breakfalling, conditioning, instruction, and drills, with a little randori to keep it savory. Then there's the Seniors class, which is randori, randori, some conditioning and randori. That's for after they check that you can get slammed without concussing.

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  • Trueblood
    replied
    Originally posted by can chaser
    There seem to be two basic schools of thought regarding getting a noob started. Firstly, put them in a special beginner class with fellow noobs, and they essentially learn primarily from the instructor. They all know about the same stuff and feel like they're learning because they're not getting pwned by sparring with somebody who knows more than them. That, however, brings up the other method - having mixed classes, probably larger with a bit less one-on-one time with the instructor. However, it seems to me that both the more advanced students and the beginners benefit from it. The noobs obviously benefit by being taught things and and being asswhipped by the experienced folks, who also learn from coaching the beginners and having to break the things down that they know, in order to teach them, and whatnot.


    Thoughts?
    We used to put beginners in with the rest so that more advanced students could get in some time teaching, which is a requirement for advancement with us. Lately, the beginners class has skewed towards school age, and the after-work students aren't available when the after-school students are. C'est la vie.

    Personally, I think it's better for noobs to spar with seniors as long as the seniors can set their egos aside and concentrate on helping the noob work on technique. I spar with lower ranks all the time, but I'm mostly there for feedback. It helps that I can cleanly defend myself from their flailing as they try to get something working, as opposed to another noob, who might get hurt.

    For my part, I'm basically crap for grappling, but I still prefer to roll with experts; they help me see where my opportunities are.

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  • Kayne
    replied
    Originally posted by CrimsonTiger
    Yeah, real bright. There's a reason many of the "old school" people I know from dojos, gyms, etc. are real assholes of questionable character. i don't expect people to be saints, but when many of them fled the country or have records with the police? Yeah, just the type of people I want to hang with.
    Fair enough. Apparently my intructor's sensei was a bit of a psycho anyway. Quick to fight. On the other hand, my instructor is quite a centred and amiable person. I think it was more of a way to introduce people who'd done martial arts before, and might be inclined to give it the old, "oh, but in my old martial art we would do it this way". On retrospect maybe isn't the wisest thing to do, but I guess that was just the way he ran his classes.

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  • DCS
    replied
    Originally posted by NextGuard
    What about the growth of the senior students? Not everyone is focused on becoming an instructor and even if they are the constant introduction of new students who have to learn the basics can really slow things down, that is if everyone is being sensitive to the needs of the newbies.
    You never have excesive training of basics.
    Senior students need to train the basics even more than the newbs, and get used to the strange things the rookies do.

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  • Shuma-Gorath
    replied
    At my school the student pool and space are so small that everyone is lumped in together. There is a joint adult/children Karate class once a week, but otherwise you are either in the under-18 class or the 18+ class. BJJ was just broken up into three divisions with the addition of a 13-17 year old class.

    My first two months of BJJ were essentially me getting tapped over and over until I learned what I was doing wrong. It forced me to develop very good submission defence and escapes from bad positions. Rolling with other white belts was rare, and even when there were a few of us in the class we were usually separated for the first few rounds of rolling because if we rolled fresh we'd be gooning everything.

    The Shotokan Karate class is over half black belts (6-10 people on a given night) and occasionally one of the pros will put on his white belt and kill everyone. This makes for some tough lower-belt students. We do the same thing for the "modern" Karate class and people who have spent a few months there were already hard for me to handle when I brought my black belt over from a mcdojo.

    "Sink or swim" tends to retain the adaptable and mentally tough and let the quitters do exactly that. I know I have become very independant and self-reliant in my training, as well as more persistant. Above all, it taught me not to fear losing in class.



    I should mention that yes, we do show basic techniques to new people. The Karate classes are usually a long skipping/shadowboxing warmup, 60% basics with a partner and some pads, then 40% sparring. BJJ is mostly non-stop rolling of 6-10 minute rounds for 90-120min total, but on weekends the class sometimes goes on to three hours so we do more technical stuff. Usually techniques are shown by higher belts to lower belts on request during rolling. Most of the really good guys will go easy on you for awhile and let you learn, then tap you 3+ times inside of the last minute.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 11/17/2004 9:45pm, .

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  • j416to
    replied
    We have three levels of instruction. Beginner's classes, Mixed beginner/intermediate classes, and Advanced fighters classes.

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  • j416to
    replied
    Originally posted by CrimsonTiger
    So wait...

    ....Yeah, real bright. There's a reason many of the "old school" people I know from dojos, gyms, etc. are real assholes of questionable character. i don't expect people to be saints, but when many of them fled the country or have records with the police? Yeah, just the type of people I want to hang with......
    My wife laughs about me training with guys like this.

    There's one fighter at our gym, a really excellent guy, both technically and personally. I like him a lot. He's always been really patient, generous, and kind with his instruction. In short, a saint, a gentleman among men. Once during a brief conversation, when I asked him why he moved to Toronto, he told me that it was because it was easier for him to find work in Toronto, after he got out of prison.

    Leave a comment:


  • PizDoff
    replied
    I agree with Crimson Tiger.
    Techniques have varying levels of difficulty.


    Originally posted by NextGuard
    What about the growth of the senior students? Not everyone is focused on becoming an instructor and even if they are the constant introduction of new students who have to learn the basics can really slow things down, that is if everyone is being sensitive to the needs of the newbies.
    What about the growth of senior students indeed? One thing that helps the growth of a more senior student, is being able to explain and communicate the principles and purpose behind a technique. Whether or not you 'want' to become and instructor at the time you should still be involved in helping the beginners, this will help your communication skills and test you to see if you really understand the technique. (Which you should before teaching.)


    The introduction of beginners to the dojo will be a constant thing, which you SHOULD hope for, if you want your gym to survive. I feel the senior belts, likely some possibly teaching assitants should be checking with the newbs. You cannot have an isolated of senior guys that avoid the beginners. Did I miss anything?

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  • CrimsonTiger
    replied
    I disagree. I think certain basics become less important to drill after a while. You dont' ignore them, but I don't need to throw hundreds of jabs or hundreds of guard passes when I'm at a level well above "beginner". I don't need as much practice as them, and what really defines a senior from a junior isn't technique, it's strategy. It's HOW they blend their techniques and how adaptive they can be "on the fly". Seniors are good because they know their techniques, but they also know how to employ them in various ways.

    In order to develop this, you need the freedom to experiment and the guidance to evaluate performance. You don't get that with juniors around.

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