1. how to step while striking
2. how to shift balance forward, backward, and inside and outside
3. how to twist the waste for power
4. strikes number 1-6, but emphasize strike #1
5. help them to appreciate having a strong wrist hands and forearm
6. watch while someone strikes at him (teachs him to dont blink)
7. where he should strike with his stick
8. how to hold the stick (in the back hand or the front hand and why) and his stance
he should strike at least 300 to 400 strikes on the first day, because we dont want him to become lazy. you know how they say first impressions.
the retracting strike, the slash hit, and the target.
target means you stop at the target. do this when you want to meet the opponents hand, or you want him to have a successful block.
slash strike is a follow through hit. it can be for power or for drawing. you use it when you want to draw your opponent hand to the area you just hit, and you want to follow up from another direction.
the retracting strike can be use for faking, or you want to do a double hit. since your first strike is almost always gonna get blocked, you can double hit, to the same place. when you spar, your opponent blocks and then retract his block. when he retract his block, your strike is already coming back out.
I like to define the basic concepts first of zoning, triangle stepping, defanging, ranges, angles, types of strikes so when the student starts doing some of the motor skills and drills, they have an understanding of why. As far as motor skills, its footwork first. For example, you cant show the alive (check) hand without teaching the footwork that will get you in medio. Or defanging without using footwork to get you in largo. After that, its pretty much all the basics all at once early on. They all blend into each other, its hard to define one thing and not another. I think its because the FMA is very indivudualized compared to other arts. Students are encouraged to find there own way and develop there own style within the system, and it is easier for them to do this if they have more tools early on, even if they are not perfected before moving on. Alot of it is dependent on the student to be a sponge as water is thrown on him. Its not for everybody, especially those who like being spoon fed.
Or, we could do forms for 4 years to get a blackbelt, then learn weapons
"I think its because the FMA is very indivudualized compared to other arts. Students are encouraged to find there own way and develop there own style within the system"
this is true. i say it for any style. when a man is just doing what his teacher told him, he's like a boy who tells you "what my daddy told to me". but when he can tell you in his own way, he really did learn what daddy told to him.
in my school i give two levels of the "black belt", expert and instructor. but there is a third level that i cant really give. and that is a master. see, the expert is good at what he does and he has experience also, so he is better--way better than average. my student cannot be "okay" and move up. if any of you know me, none of my students you will ever see are just "okay". for the expert to be "okay" is embarrassing for the style and the school and the teacher. do you really want to study for six years and just be "OKAY"?
the instructor comes when your tournament days are over. i am a teacher but i still compete, only because of hobby. but i dont drive through the circuit like when i was 20. you cant teach unless you "been there done that". and you either do it on the street or in matches. plus, it takes almost another 2 years to learn how to teach.
the last level, is given to you by everyone around you. some people call me "guro" some people say master. but i cant say i am a master until everyone recognize me as one. you see in the philippines respect is earned, even if they dont like you, they know that you know yor stuff. when you see a guy who only has 15 or 20 years (i have 22) in the art, and he calles himself master already something is wrong. because a 20 years old boy can have 15 years. that is not even enough time to retire from any job. master is where you are better than and wiser than 95% of the teachers out there. the average teacher has 15 years. masters cant be average.
but for experience, you have to have your own way. not just make up your own way, but you been doing your own way for longer than most people been studying, that is what makes a believeable master. if you still do it the same way you are taught, you dont have enough experience and time, because you dont have prefernce and habits.
your own way is not something for the unexperienced. a teenage kids cant say to the parents "dad, i dont want to do it like that. this how i want to live." no you are too ignorant and young and unexperience to know whats best for you. do it my way, and when you are old enough, you can choose your own way. i think more perents should control there own kids like this to.