Have any of you ever trained just one student?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I'm not talking about private lessons. I'm not talking about where you start a school, and for the first few months there's only 1 or 2 students. I'm curious if anyone here has ever gone full-on Rule of Two, (like a Sith Lord or Mr. Miyagi), and only trained a single student in martial arts.
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes, but not like Jedi apprentice obligation-filled stuff. It just sort of fell together that way. We trained in my back yard for a few years. I loved it, he was more like a training partner.
     
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  3. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    How did this arrangement come to be? Was it a friend, a former student from a more formalized school?

    Did you plan lessons, or just say "I want to work on this today, so you're learning this today"?
     
  4. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    Yes. It was a friend.

    There was a planning, just in case, but must of the time the topic was consequence of something happening in training or from a previous training. With only one student is easy, an convenient, to change the plans and do what is most needed.

    What is hard for the instructor, when the programme is that flexible, is to deliver also the parts he does not enjoy that much (but this may be what the student needs).

    I was happy with the student progress, but not with myself. I mean, he became harder opponent in months than most people in years training, so I was feeling weaker and weaker. Or the training model was great or he learned all my tricks better than other people; or likely a mix of both.

    The down side is we always need a variety of opponents to progress. One can simulate a style, but it is limited. Even ‘harder’ to simulate faster and heavier people...
     
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  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I was the only student in my sifu's school studying White Crane, the rest were mostly taiji, bagua, and some other things. Whenever someone new came in and asked about white crane, he would turn them over to me and I would start running them through the basics. Nobody seemed to last more than a couple of classes. Maybe it was my charming personality, i dunno.

    Anyway, we had a few new people get interested and I worked with them for a while. These ones stuck around for a while. Gradually a couple of them drifted away, but two stuck it out. At this time I was becoming a student of my Sifu's Sifu (my Sigung) and I was no longer attending my old Sifu's classes. I suggested to the two remaining that we could just meet up at my place and work in the garage and back yard. So they started coming over. One moved away for graduate school, but I suspect he would have kept with us if he hadn't done that. The other just kept coming over for a couple years. We would just work on our stuff, it is kind of a natural progression.

    We would work on the fundamentals and basics, then work on forms and applications and work some use drills. I introduced new material whenever I felt it was appropriate. He was more interested in understanding the fundamentals, and less interested in learning a lot of forms, so after three empty-hand forms and one weapon, I didn't teach him any new forms. The forms are really tools for understanding the fundamentals and how they work, so he had plenty of material to do that. That is the important stuff anyways, that is what matters and what really gets used, so learning the rest of the forms that I knew wasn't all that important. We just worked until we felt we had enough, and then quit for the day. Our curriculum is less formalized than what it seems a lot of schools do. We are really pretty casual about it all. at any rate, it gave me a chance to try out some training ideas that I had, to see how they worked. I kept true to the method of our system, but creative ideas in training can always find a place in the process if the ideas are good.

    One time he told me that he attended a big kung fu tournament here in San Francisco, just as a spectator. He told me that I had kind of ruined the experience for him, since I focus a lot on the fundamentals of stances and power generation through stances. He said that as he watched all the competitors doing their forms, all he could see was the lousy stance work and poor power generation. It kind of ruined the spectator experience as he was no longer dazzled by flashy kicks and fast hands.

    after a while he moved to Hong Kong and other parts of China to teach English as a second language, and spent two years there. I encouraged him to train with anyone he found who he felt was worth training with. He never found anyone he felt that he wanted to really dedicate time with, but did work a little bit with a couple people.

    When he returned, he brought a girlfriend with him who became his wife. For two years they ended up living in an in-law apartment unit that we have in our house (this is a different house from where we used to live when we trained together). Unfortunately life was keeping us busy in different ways and we never really trained together while he was here.
     
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  6. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Yes. He started training with me at a more formal dojo that I was teaching at but did not own. When I stopped teaching there, he became a personal student. Trained for about 4 years before he moved away. I've tried out many personal students most don't last more than 1 or 2 classes. If they were really looking to train they would have joined a dojo somewhere.
    I don't plan classes. I look at the student and how they are developing and give a lesson. Somewhat like a doctor giving a prescription.
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Off and on, yes. Most significantly, at the old school, we had a student join who'd trained at another NGA school. I was the senior brown belt, and my instructor asked me to take the new guy through the whole curriculum (he was at a point where he'd have received all of it at the other school) and get him up to speed on our approach. I had a lot of fun with that.

    I also had long periods where certain classes were only one student - one of the classes was created for that student. Not exactly the same as private lessons, but close.

    I know one instructor who taught someone NGA private lessons all the way to shodan (which I don't actually approve of - not enough variety to challenge them properly).
     
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  8. Buka

    Buka MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, many times over the years. Most were children of close friends. Not young children, most high school and college age. Not anything close to a complete Martial Art, just how to fight,

    Also taught the basics of ground fighting to a lot of Martial Arts instructors who did very good stand up fighting but little to nothing on the ground.
     
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  9. thanson02

    thanson02 Blue Belt

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    As an official rule, no. As a consequence of circumstance, yes.

    People need diversity of people to work with. Not everyone approaches training the same way and it is important for people to get the exposure they need to handle various situations when they come up. Hard to do that when you are only working with one person.

    On the flip side though, you will get to know each others moves so well that you can end up having attack combo exchanges in full sparring that look like you choreographed it a head of time. It can be fun, but not very practical. :)
     
  10. Finlay

    Finlay Green Belt

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    Have been taught and have taught in that way.

    One thing that I found when teaching larger groups is that it really cut into my training time. With the one on one situation it is less of a problem
     
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  11. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    That last bit is interesting. One of our local high judo dan grades, 7th dan Ray Richards, would occasionally go visit stand-up dojos in the area and teach a 2-hour seminar he called How to Survive the Ground. Very fundamental stuff. How not to freak out if someone gets on top of you, or is on your back, and very simple, if not easy, tactics to evade to get back up.

    The stand-up folks wwere (are) always so surprised at how difficult it can be to get away from someone on the ground who has a hold of you.
     
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  12. Buka

    Buka MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, they were. But then, when they learn it's actually possible, especially in a progression that makes sense to them, man, do their eyes go wide.

    What I've found about teaching a lone individual, at least in the context of defending one self, is it's been a different teaching process for each person I've trained.

    I believe teaching self defense, especially with a sole individual, must consist of striking, dealing with striking, dealing with wild swinging, bull rushes, grappling and submissions, grappling with heavy striking, intimidation, psychology, the law, weapons, escape and possible consequences. I believe it takes the better part of a year, maybe two, training several times a week one on one.

    It also deals with taking the individual to a dojo or two at various intervals to meet others, and rock and roll with them, so it's just not you they are fighting with.

    I've found that every student is different and pick things up at a different pace. But what I think is important is to wow them at the onset. And what I mean by wow them is to show them something that they can do quickly, that they had no idea they could do before. It's the "hook" that gets them and won't let them go. They want to train once they have the hook in them. They get the "hey, I can actually do this!"

    Maybe it's the various escapes from mount. Maybe it's throwing a powerful punch that never knew they could do. Maybe it's jamming somebody, maybe it has to do with psychology and how to recognize the monkey dance and bs.

    I've found it's different with each person, at least in the order that you expose them to things and how they learn to actually do them against resistance.
     
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  13. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    @Buka... you said monkey dance....


    Love that phrase. First time I ever heard anything like that was from my initial security/bouncer job, old dude named Leon taught me about that stuff. Odd how that stuff never made it into any of my formal, traditional MA training.
     
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  14. Azulx

    Azulx Black Belt

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    Yes, and also the fact that in my club I have two students that never miss so out of a club of 7-10 people. There are a good portion of classes were it's just the two of them, been like that for two years. If you follow my posts, I'm sure you've seen them lol.
     
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  15. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Purple Belt

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    Yeap sure did and its great one on one i train kids and adult one on one
     

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