Exercise techniques in MA classes

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Jedmus, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Jedmus

    Jedmus Orange Belt

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    I'm currently having some issues in class. The more that I am taking part of fitness outside of Martial Arts, the more I'm noticing issues with technique when fellow students are taking part in fitness and warm ups at my club. I'm not sure what to do as this is quite difficult for me, knowing that some of the people in my class could be shown a much better way of doing certain exercises. For example, I see a lot of people (especially junior's) bending their back when doing squats or throwing their arms forward with sit ups and straining their necks. Not sure what I should in regards to this, whether to speak up or just let it carry on rather than come across as patronising?
     
  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It depends upon the school as to what's appropriate. When I was one of the instructors at my instructor's school, I'd correct anything I saw that needed correcting, even in another instructor's class (unless the instructor was there overseeing it). But that's just how things were there, and I was one of the senior people.

    If you're not sure, talk to your instructor about it.
     
  3. Jedmus

    Jedmus Orange Belt

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    That's the issue, my instructor is very approachable but I am unsure as to whether it could be seen as disrespectful. I am only Blue Belt in TaeKwon-do (four belts off of black belt) and I wouldn't want anyone to think I was trying to insult their knowledge. Could this be something to ask one of the Assistant Instructors about first?
     
  4. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    not really your problem to be honest, tell the lads they are doing it wrong, then when they ignore you, as they most likely will leave them to it
     
  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have a good relationship with one, that would be a good idea. In some schools, that's actually the right etiquette.
     
  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Helping each other in our training is one of the things that makes MA worth doing. I'm not big on the "not my problem" approach. I want to help all of my training partners succeed and excel. I can even be totally selfish about it: I then have better training partners.
     
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  7. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Part of training well is preventing injury, whether doing MA techniques or calisthenics. But is it your place to instruct and correct? Are you certified or qualified to offer that correction, or are you just looking to pass on what other coaches have told you? Plenty of people think they know how to teach and how to do exercises, but often do them very wrong. Or don't really know the keys and points to instruct tnem. For example, you mentioned swinging arms in sit ups, but do you know how to fix it and what points to emphasize to correct them?

    You might work with the instructor to bring in someone qualifed to offer that particular instruction periodically, or offer it through the instructor if you are qualified yourself.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  8. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    I said to advise them, after that there is not much you can do, if they chose to carry on the same way. A lot of people will not be told or helped and so have to learn from the process.
     
  9. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    What it really comes down to is martial artists will cry foul at the top of their lungs if someone they don't feel is qualified is teaching martial arts, even if it's a fitness kickboxing class. Yet most have no problem teaching fitness with no background whatsoever in it.

    If you have a fitness background tell the instructor, and tell him you have some suggestions on how to improve that portion of the class. If they take it as a insult that's a problem in them, not you.
     
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  10. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    You need to make a distinction between an exercise done in an ineffective way, and an exercise done in an unsafe way. When you see the other people in the class doing the exercises, are they doing it wrong to the point where the exercise is ineffective, or to the point where they are likely to injure themselves? If they are likely to injure themselves by doing the technique then I would say you have grounds to speak up about it. However, if the technique they are doing is safe, but ineffective, then I wouldn't worry. Remember some people have injuries or limitations to the things they can do, meaning they struggle to do some exercises the "correct" way.
     
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  11. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Martial arts isn't an exercise class. The instructors are trained in martial arts they're not personal trainers as long as it's not done in a very dangerous way then it doesn't matter
     
  12. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Well that's an interesting discussion point, should a Martial Arts instructor know about good body conditioning and stretching? In my opinion, body conditioning, warm-up and stretching are integral to good Martial Arts training, so an instructor should know how to do this. I coach springboard diving and we do a lot of work in the gym, so I'm expected to be able to know how to properly warm-up and stretch out my divers so they don't injure themselves. Any kind of sports or exercise instructor should know at least the basics.
     
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  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    My CI knows my athletic training (sports medicine) background. The warmup and stretching we do to start class isn't exactly the best way, scientifically speaking.

    I haven't tried to change anything. Why? Because it's not my dojo. I'm not the CI. If my CI or other instructor asked me what we should be doing, I'd tell him. Then he'd either implement all or part of it, or disregard it. If he did great; if not, no big deal.

    If people were getting hurt, that would be a different story. I'd tell him privately why I think people are getting hurt. Again, his dojo, his prerogative to accept or reject the advice. My prerogative to stay or leave.
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It may not be terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it does matter. If the instructor is using the exercises to create some struggle, then the outcome isn't important (as you said, as long as it's not something dangerous). But if the instructor, like me, uses them to help increase the fitness level of his students in a specific area, then the effectiveness of the exercise matters quite a bit. I'm lucky that I've had some bits of training in fitness, and one of my students is a physical therapist (so she can help me avoid form that invites injury).

    I think the comment someone make earlier about getting a trainer involved isn't a bad idea. If we know what we're doing just enough to bring in some decent exercises (that's about where I am), then it isn't a necessity. However, it is a good idea. Maybe find a personal trainer and work with them a bit to find a few exercises you really like (speaking here to the folks who actually run programs or are in a position to choose exercises). Then, maybe even bring that person in once a year to teach those exercises, tweak the form, give some advice on adapting to body style, etc. Give me a few more students, and I'd consider added an annual "keeping fit for self-defense" oriented extra class/workshop.
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If you were in my program, I'd ask. I know a bit, but I prefer to lean on those with more knowledge. That said, I also appreciate when my students offer their expertise. So, maybe toss it out there to your CI that you'd be happy to offer some suggestions on exercises and adaptations if he ever decides he wants to change anything. Or maybe even offer to do a small program occasionally, to help students learn to do things for outside class.
     
  16. Jedmus

    Jedmus Orange Belt

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    Thanks for all the replies! All of you have brought some good points to me, I'm going to ask on of my assistant instructors what they think I should do. I haven't had any formal certification on this but I am looking to in the near future so I may wait until then to talk to my assistant instructor so I atleast have something to back me up rather than just my own experience and the word of friends who are personal trainers.
     
  17. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    I'd say the majority of adult students get into martial arts for at least partially fitness reasons.

    I mean even that story about monks learning kung fu is because they needed to get in shape. There are a fair number of things done in "traditional arts" that make little sense from a practical POV, but framed in a health and fitness context do make more sense.

    S&C should be a part of any physically demanding activity. It lets you perform at a higher level and with less chance of injury.123
     
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