Introductory Lessons

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by MJS, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I've been to some schools, where a new student will be given a 30min intro. lesson, prior to their actually joining in a regular class. These lessons are usually designed to give the new student, a basic idea of some of the blocks, punches, kicks, stances, etc., that they'll encounter, during their martial arts journey.

    Once the student has completed this, they're usually in a beginner class, so usually everyone in the class, even if somene has been there for a week or month longer than the newbie, everyone is pretty much on the same page.

    I've also been to some schools, where its more of a revolving door. Where ever the newbie enters, is where they enter. Whatever is being worked on, is what they work on as well. The student in this case is usually paired up with a more senior student to assist with the learning process. I would imagine this approach would or could have the potential to be very frustrating, as the newbie might feel overwhelmed. Of course, if the student is an experienced martial artist, but just new to that particular art, it will probably be easier for them to adapt, vs. someone with no prior background.

    So, what does everyone else think? Do you prefer intro lessons or just putting the new student right into the mix?
     
  2. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    To answer my own question, either way works for me. I was brought up with the intro lesson theory, however, if we think about it, how coordinated is a student going to be after one lesson anyway? Its not like after 30min, the student is going to be remotely capable of doing anything too complicated, and even basic things will most likely take some time for them to get.
     
  3. Hawke

    Hawke Master Black Belt

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    I experienced both as a student.

    From a student perspective I prefer the introductory lessons and being teamed up with someone at my level if I am learning a new art.

    When I had to play catch up in FMA/Silat I felt bad that I was slowing down the class with my questions.

    Now if the art is something I am familiar with I like to jump in and join them.
     
  4. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    I have always liked the introductory lessons, it is a way for the student to feel OK when doing techs. One other thing is for the first couple of weeks we have a senior student being there workout buddy until they feel comfiyable with doing classes, they help them with stretching, basic kicking drills and the correct way of throwing a proper kick so they do not hurt themselfs.
     
  5. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    We generally teach all belt ranks together. Depending on what's going on, new students may be broken out into a separate group and taught basic drills, or work in with the rest of the class. Often, it's some of both... They'll warm up with everyone, split out for a bit of a lesson, and come together for other parts of class.
     
  6. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    For me, it depends on the number of new students I have coming into class. If it is 1 or 2 new students, I put My Wife with them or myself, with the other leading the class. I restrict the number of things they work on in any given class. Which I actually do with the rest of the class. I have a handful of techniques I focus on during each month. We lightly cover other techniques, but we have some that are the heavy focus. By the end of the student's first week, they tend to slide into the rhythm a bit better. I try to have a whole new set of classes every few months for anyone that is wanting to get started. When this happens, we move the former beginners to the intermediate class and give one entire class time slot to the incoming students.

    It doesn't always happen, but this is what we try to do.
     
  7. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    I do a one hour intro, it gives me longer to introduce the prospective student to what I teach and it gives me longer to figure out if I want them to join. Toward the end of the lesson I run some basic contact drills to see what their attitude is about learning and about working with others. I have brought students into the group lessons, but I prefer not to.

    My old kenpo school had enough black belt instructors in the group class that we ran a not-really-private private on the side for the new students. A nice luxury, but worked equally well.
     
  8. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    In our dojo, the new students are paired with a more experienced person for the first 2 or 3 lessons. Whenever someone new starts, the class for those days revolves around a number of generic exercises that are representative of the basics of the art minus break falls / rolls etc.

    After a couple of lessons, the normal training structure resumes and they are expected to rotate in the group like everyone else for the basics / drill part of the class. The grade specific practice is always with people of your own grade.
     
  9. Msby

    Msby Orange Belt

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    When I was a white belt, one of the black belts would work with me on basics in a separate group from the rest of the class. We did this for awhile until I got to a level where I could join a larger group and that suited me just fine. :) Having the senior students help me out made me feel more comfortable there, and now the school holds that family atmosphere for me.
     
  10. just2kicku

    just2kicku Black Belt

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    In our school, our instructor will give 3 half hour introductory/private lessons before rotating them in with the group lesson. If someone has previous experience, he'll let them join in with the group right away.
     
  11. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    When I first started Sensei gave a private 1/2 hr lesson to give the prospective student a taste of what was to come..Now at CGSD when a new student comes in they will do the warm-ups with the class and afterwards Master Steve will assign them to me or one of the others if I am needed on the mat...
     
  12. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Generally, I am in favor of beginners being in the beginner class, with or without an intro lesson. By beginner, I mean white through green belt (or its equivalent in non belting arts). Generally, nothing from white to green belt is over the top for a beginner and the range of students is such that some time should be available for the new student to get some individual attention.

    Daniel
     
  13. cdunn

    cdunn 2nd Black Belt

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    We give up to six introductory lessons when a new student starts classes - This helps them get over the confusion barrier, lets us teach the formal etiquitte behind the curtain so to speak, etc.

    However, once the intro classes are concluded, they join the 'all levels' classes - there are no 'beginner' classes. It is preferred that junior belts work with the most senior student available when doing partner work - learn from the source with the most to teach you.
     
  14. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    In my class, everybody goes at the same time since the material worked on is the same for every student, regardless of skill. Everybody works on basics, stances, drills, etc...

    The only time people are broken apart is when it gets past the basics. Once we get into partner drills, sets, conditioning routines, etc... then newbies are separated off.

    Otherwise, everybody in the pool...
     
  15. chaos1551

    chaos1551 Blue Belt

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    I love the way my school is set up:

    After the looky loo introduction (a few short private classes) we pay for private lessons, typically one half-hour lesson per week.

    When the instructor feels any one of us is ready, he will invite us to group lessons held two nights of the week. We can go to both or none. In my case (which I feel is typical) I was invited to these groups pretty much right after looky loo. Private lessons continue and are staple.

    Again, when the instructor invites any one of us to sparring class (currently held one night of the week) we are allowed to join that group as well. This invitation is not as forthcoming, as the instructor doesn't want novice-caused injuries. For me, it took a several weeks. Private lessons continue.

    We are strongly encouraged to attend at least one group class per week (group or sparring). We are invited to attend all three group classes per week. Group classes, regardless of quantity attended, are included in the private lesson tuition.

    My instructor has a day job and likely barely covers school costs with tuition. I will be enrolled in my school for a very, very long time.
     
  16. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    Funny you should bring this aspect up. How many times do we let new students join and wish we had told them to hit the road. At the Kenpo school I train at, the instructor makes pospective students pass several non-physical obstacles before a student can come and join the class.Just something for us all to ponder.
     
  17. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    I've thought about that before as well. I let the training take care of that. I'll give a couple of weeks to "feel them out" so to speak. Then I'll actually begin to train them.

    The choices are man up or move on. It's up to them but I give them no encouragement either way.

    Still even after that, the training will motivate them to move on & suffer through to become "better" all the way around or will motorvate them out the door.
     
  18. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    I think the feeling them out in the old days was all of the crazy hard manual labor that many had to undergo, before they were allowed to train.

    Maybe we should go back to that.
     
  19. chaos1551

    chaos1551 Blue Belt

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    Oh, yeah. That reminds me. I was also given a memory test (by an assistant) before my instructor even spoke with me. Makes it seem like a long time ago.

    edit: Ironic I wouldn't remember a memory test.. even more ironic that I passed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  20. Guardian

    Guardian Black Belt

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    We use to have one of us who had been with the group the longest go off to the side and basically give a couple of hours of private beginner type instruction classes and go over what we were all about at the same time so they would get a good basis for what they were getting into. Then our instructor would take some time go over the basics with them also.123
     

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