Tracy's Instruction Style

Discussion in 'Tracy's Kenpo' started by Spartan, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    Concerning the Tracy's studios in my area, all of them specialize in private instruction. Is it like this for the entire organization?

    I get the idea behind this, in that students learn better/quicker when it's one-on-one lessons. To me the only problem w/this is the pricing fees. For the short time I studied kenpo, I was paying $40 a week. While you can attend as many group classes outside of your private lessons as you wish, $40 a week is a pretty hefty base price for me (particularly because I'm a poor college kid).

    What do you guys have to say?

    Spartan
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I know that Tracy's does tend to recommend private lessons in addition to groups, but in my own experience with two different schools, this was not the reality. My schools have always had rather small groups tho, so you definitely could get private, or almost private instruction from the teacher during the training sessions.

    I suppose pricing would be somewhat dependent on the economy in the region. Some people are willing and capable of paying a premium for something and others are not, and just where that threshold lies can vary quite a lot.

    Are you happy with the school and the instructor and the material? If so, are you capable of paying the fees, even if it's difficult?

    If the answer to the first question is "no", then look for someone else.

    If the answer to the first question is "yes", but the second is "no", then perhaps discuss it with your teacher and see if some reasonable middle ground can be reached. If not, you might just be out of luck.

    Finances suck, especially when it stands in the way of doing something you are passionate about...
     
  3. stone_dragone

    stone_dragone Senior Master

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    There have been other threads discussing cost of classes and cost/benefit ratios. From discussions with other areas, it seems that between $100-$150 a month is about average these days. While $160/month is higher than average, you must calculate the quality of the private instruction.

    To me with a family, student loans, two car payments and a house note, $160 a month is just a bit more than I can personally spare in my budget.

    Regarding the Tracy style of teaching, though...I can't comment...no experience in that realm.
     
  4. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    You may learn the motion better in private, but it takes a group(villiage) to experience and master application.
    Sean
     
  5. KenpoDave

    KenpoDave 2nd Black Belt

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    I would ask about the possibility of taking a private every other week, and continue coming to groups. Mr. Tracy was suggesting that some of his busier schools follow that model a few years back.
     
  6. I always benifitted from the private instruction as well as my group classes,but I agree sometimes $40 a week is steep
     
  7. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    While it might take me longer to progress w/ just 2 privates a month, I could be just as good of a martial artists in the long run, right?

    How many lessons a week do you guys go to on average?
     
  8. Karatedrifter7

    Karatedrifter7 Purple Belt

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    My instructor is loosely associated with Tracy's, and he also does private instruction for 100$ an hour.
    But the class itself does not cost, outside of gym membership. I think that is left up to the instructor.
    Incidently, I noticed you did Jeet Kune do prior to Tracy's, or you still are studying it? Do you think Kenpo, and Jeet Kune do are compatible?
     
  9. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    Karatedrifter7,
    I'm still studying jkd. Most of my training is actually in the grappling arts (bjj/sambo), so right now I'm trying to hone my stand-up skills. The place I study jkd at has very thorough instruction (they works us hard), and it only cost $55 a month for 4 times a week. While I prefer kenpo, it's better than not having any stand-up skills at all.

    Concerning compatibility, I'm not sure. The techniques that we learn are mostly boxing/muay thai, with a little Filipino work. To be honest, I think it would be easier for a kenpo guy to go into jkd, than the reverse. From what I've seen, kenpo provides a stuctural versatility that allows its practitoners to easily employ other techniques. Jkd shools, while philosophically progressive, seem to use a very limited amount of techniques. Guys who really seem to flourish, are those who have trained traditional styles and, after advancing, begin to employ the philosophies.

    Spartan
     
  10. KenpoDave

    KenpoDave 2nd Black Belt

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    I always took one private each week and attended typically 10 group classes. Of course, I was obsessed. Most do one private and two groups each week.
     
  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Of course! Do what you can, practice outside of class, and you will progress. There is no set minimum that you need to attend in order to make progress. Everyone is different. One person might need a lot of attention from the instructor, while another might do just as well or even better by comparison, even tho he has less attention from the instructor.

    Generally, the more you train, both in class and outside class, the faster you will develop. But like most of us, you gotta find time in a busy life, so nothing's perfect.

    Typically, I generally meet with my instructors only 1-2 times a week, and it's been like that for me from the beginning. We generally have small groups so it can almost be like getting a private lesson. But I also train outside of class a lot, often two and even three times a day. Practice your basics, your kata, work your techniques even if it is only in the air, train on the heavy bag to develop power in your techniques.

    When I suggest the heavy bag, I do not mean dance around and spar with the bag. Don't work the bag like a boxer. Work it like a martial artist. Develop your individual strikes and kicks on the bag, keeping good form and good technique and good stance. And take your self defense techs and work them on the bag. It's not the same as on a person, but take the striking sequences and combinations that are in your SD techs, and work those on the bag, again paying attention to proper stance and postioning and such. Sometimes when we work a tech on a live partner, or in the air, we don't realize what it is like to strike something full force. It feels different and often does not flow quite the same, so it's good to play with this stuff on something like a bag that you can strike without causing injury to a training partner.

    Do what you can and you can get a lot out of your training, even if you are not able to attend sessions as often as others can. Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Just train and grow.
     
  12. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    Flying Crane,
    Very deep insight. Thanks.
     
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    You are welcome. It's a very personally journey my friend, and everyone needs to find the path that works for them. Nobody is on quite the same road as the next guy.
     
  14. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    I know there's no set limit, but what's the average amount of time it takes most people to get to 1st degree black?

    How long did it take you guys to get your black belt?
     
  15. KenpoDave

    KenpoDave 2nd Black Belt

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    I got mine in 1 year and 10 months. But, I was teaching at the studio and attending about 10 classes a week.

    The average is about 3 1/2 - 5 years. I have found that those who take longer than 4 typically don't ever make it at all.
     
  16. Brian Jones

    Brian Jones Blue Belt

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    I like how our school did it. Your fees, and it's been a long time ago so I can't remember the exact cost, got you one half hour private class, and as many group classes as you chose to attend.

    Brian Jones
     
  17. donald

    donald Black Belt

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    When one of my former instructors belonged to the Tracy Kenpo organization our privates were included in our program. We were charged a flat monthly fee with 3 groups, and 1 private class per week. I started out(apprx"84") paying just 12.00 bucks US per week! One of the things I sorely missed when my school went EPAK were those weekly privates. Like the song says,"you don't know what ya got till its gone".

    1stJohn1:9
     
  18. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    Donald,
    Coming from a Tracy's background, how did you like going to EPAK? While I know the instruction style was different, were there any noticible differences in the style for you?
     
  19. Spartan

    Spartan Green Belt

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    When people talk about Chinese kenpo, they're most of the time talking about the Tracy's system, right?
     
  20. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    It generally refers to a period of Ed Parker's system(s) development, and that was about the time when the Tracy's split off. That said, it is a pretty generic term, and there are plenty of people using the terminology, such as the IKCA naming their system "Chinese Kenpo." I'm pretty certain that Sigung LaBounty at one point founded an org called the National Chinese Kenpo Karate Association.

    Lamont
     

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