Periods of Intensive Study and Advancement

Makalakumu

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According to my seniors, many of the servicemen who trained in the 50's and early 60's had short periods of intensive study and earned dan ranking in the art of Tang Soo Do after a year of training.

I bring this up, because I have the opportunity to teach a summer course in Tang Soo Do. The students will have six weeks and will be in class from 8-12 each day. How much do you think the student can truly cover? Do you have any experience with teaching an intensive study course for your art? Can you rapidly build your skill level in an art through intensive study?
 

JT_the_Ninja

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Wow, sounds like something I could get into doing, if I didn't have that pesky thing called working for a living to do (I say this in all seriousness, lest any accuse me of sarcasm).

I'm willing to bet you could teach someone pretty well with that rigorous a training schedule, but I think you'd still lack something; if you let on that this six-week training period might be the equivalent of the four-five years of training most go through to earn the opportunity to test for dan rank...I think you can see where this is going. There is an element of discipline and patience training. I only train for an hour, three times a week (unless you count all the practicing I do at home), but in the process I've gained a greater sense of discipline and patience. I remember thinking three months to wait until I could test for yellow belt was a long time...now, I don't even think about my next test. I just think about getting better.

Like I said...I think it's a great experience, and I'm sure you'll turn out some great students in terms of technique, but TSD isn't just punch and kick; it's a way of life. I'd prefer to live a steady, constant way of life than a six-week cram-session way of life.

Tang Soo!
 

DavidCC

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I think the tempatation would be to cover too much material, as students get the techs and forms into their short-term memory they will want to move on to the next thing.

Many people will be able to get a lot of things into their short-term memory but how could you get the information and skills into long-term memory in that relatively short time? Ask Doc about Adrenal Stress Training, perhaps that would be one useful tool.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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Apparently, the Marines go through their close quarter training in eight hour sessions that last a month or so. I could be wrong on the time frame, but I spoke to a Marine a couple of weeks ago and this was what he said he did. Anyway, the interesting thing is that they didn't leave anything out. You were suppose to learn the material and be able to perform it.

Now I'm not saying I'm going to push a group of teenagers like Marines. What would I know about being a Marine anyway...lol! I am saying that I think you could cover a lot of material though.

Here's what I was thinking. Typically, it takes two classes per week for one year to get to green belt. If each class in 1 hour long, then you've got 104 hours of instruction to get to green belt. In six weeks, you'd have 30 meeting times. At four hours per meeting, we're looking at 120 hours of instruction.

Thus, I'm thinking that it might very well be possible to expect someone to be able to achieve green belt with an intensive six week course.
 

Flying Crane

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I suspect that for most people, there will be issues of burnout. Most people can't remain intensly focused on a topic like this for more than an hour, maybe two. So at some point they become physically worn out from the training, and their brain sort of shuts off and they need a break. Makes it really difficult to get the full potential out of the four-hour periods.

In addition, I think people simply need a longer period of time for the matierial and the skills to really sink in. Cramming it in during a short period of time, I suspect, would give people a lot of material that is incompletely understood and likely to be soon forgotten, or at least never well understood.

maybe the thing to do is to teach a limited amount of material, then really focus on getting the most mileage and creative use out of that material.
 

J Ellis

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You've also got the question of attention and maturity when dealing with teenagers. Yes, I can see adults focusing "full-time" on training for extended periods of time. The military does this regularly. But (most) teenagers lack the physical, mental, and emotional stamina to carry that type of a load for very long. Even if they absorb the material, they need time to let it sink in so they can truly understand and apply it. There is more to practicing martial arts than repeating physical skills.

That said, when I was fifteen I spent the summer focusing heavily on the martial arts. I took eight classes a week, six days a week, plus extra time on the mat after classes, and extra practice almost daily with a buddy who was studying at the same school.

Joel
 

MBuzzy

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My instructor in Korea made a business of training people to Black Belt in one year, which was our tour length. MOST didn't make it. He required at least 2 hours a day for 4-5 days a week to make it. I usually went about 3 hours a day 5-6 days a week and barely made it and that was with 3 years of TSD experience before I ever got there.

That is with adults who WANT to be there....if you have a bunch of kids who WANT to be there and are willing to learn, you can probably get them pretty far. But honestly, teenagers don't have an 8 hour attention span...plus working physically that long is going to be tough. You can probably get some history and theory in there too. I would say you could get them up to 4th gup or so.....as an estimate.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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My instructor in Korea made a business of training people to Black Belt in one year, which was our tour length. MOST didn't make it. He required at least 2 hours a day for 4-5 days a week to make it. I usually went about 3 hours a day 5-6 days a week and barely made it and that was with 3 years of TSD experience before I ever got there.

That is with adults who WANT to be there....if you have a bunch of kids who WANT to be there and are willing to learn, you can probably get them pretty far. But honestly, teenagers don't have an 8 hour attention span...plus working physically that long is going to be tough. You can probably get some history and theory in there too. I would say you could get them up to 4th gup or so.....as an estimate.

I remember you telling everyone about your instructor in Korea. I bet it was hard work to get to dan in a year, but men like Master Seiberlich and other servicemen in the 50's did just that. They brought home the system and continued to train by connecting with other servicemen as well as training on their own.

I'm not thinking to get the students all of the way to 4th. Maybe 6th or 7th gup at the most. Five days a week for four hours a day for six weeks ends up to be about a years worth of instructional time (see my post above).

Anyway, the kids I have in mind would all be choosing to do this class. I've been very up front with them with saying that it would be hard and that they would be very tired, but they would get in really good shape. Also, my TSD isn't like most TSD. We work a lot more stuff.
 

JT_the_Ninja

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7th or 6th gup I could see...just depends, as MBuzzy said, on the dedication...and the teacher, but I'm sure that's not a concern :D

Good luck! Tang Soo!
 

jks9199

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My suggestion would be to focus on developing strong skills, drilling the basics in deep and well.

Starting from scratch, I'd say you have a decent chance to move them up 2 to 3 grades. A few exceptional students might move up further.
 

DavidCC

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While that is equivalent of a year's class time, how much indivudal prcatice time is also done outside of class? That would be missing or at least much less over 6 weeks.

I think it's a great idea and it's something I would do if my circumstances allowed. I would focus on depth, not breadth, of material. 2,3,4 belts seems reasonable I think. I would pressure test the hell out of them, cups and mouthpieces required every class.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I would not go in with the idea that their is a belt goal to reach but instead go in with the idea that they will receive intensive training and in the end if their skill warrants it then maybe you award them with a rank commensurate to that skill level.
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MBuzzy

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While that is equivalent of a year's class time, how much indivudal prcatice time is also done outside of class? That would be missing or at least much less over 6 weeks.

I think it's a great idea and it's something I would do if my circumstances allowed. I would focus on depth, not breadth, of material. 2,3,4 belts seems reasonable I think. I would pressure test the hell out of them, cups and mouthpieces required every class.

If you have constant GUIDED practice, the individual practice time isn't as important. It is required to build muscle memory, but if all of your practice is under the eyes of an instructor, you are sure to not have any BAD habits build up.

Still VERY important though....the time requirement MIGHT be diminished though.
 

thesandman

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Every summer my school holds a 5day camp for all ages where we sequester ourselves somewhere and train between 8 and 14 hours per day (depending on age and rank). It's rule of thumb that most people attending the camp will test for their next rank at the conclusion of the week. We do not however allow people to test for black belt. The week is considered to be roughly equivalent to 6months of training for most people.

Everyone though gets different things out of the experience. For instance I run an extra late night workout for the black belts where I help them with their black belt training. This is a unique opportunity for them to be really challenged. The camp also provides them with plenty of time to work on their teaching abilities as we allow all ranks and ages to attend the camp.

Honestly, I LOVE our camps. I live the whole year looking forward to it.
 

astrobiologist

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I would not go in with the idea that their is a belt goal to reach but instead go in with the idea that they will receive intensive training and in the end if their skill warrants it then maybe you award them with a rank commensurate to that skill level.
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Agreed! I am personally against the idea that a person is granted the right to advancement through ranking by measures of time. Or in other words, just because another three months have passed by doesn't mean a student is prepared to be pushed along further. I think one reason why there are so many higher ranking students who lack a depth of knowledge in the martial arts is because of this emphasis on quantity rather than quality. Some people really need to advance slower. Some people can really move along a little faster. There may be some who are very able bodied and execute techniques properly, yet their ego and their lack of discipline almost require that they be held back a little.

Personally, I think your summer program sounds awesome! If I were you, I would focus more on the basics and fundamentals. There is so much to learn when it comes to the martial arts, a person really needs to develop their body as well as their mind in a gradual/progressive manner rather than in sharp jumps.

My two cents :whip1:

Graham
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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Lots of good comments, thanks to everyone who has replied. The positive thing about this class is that the group of teenagers will self select for it. Meaning, they register for it as part of their summer program. If not enough kids sign up, then it doesn't run. I'm perfectly okay with that and I'm perfectly okay with telling the kids that they will be working VERY hard if they sign up for this class.
 

GINGERNINJA

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I think its its a excellent idea and total agree with
astrobiologist , why should some be given the opportunity to advanced in any martial arts based on length of time , if you feel as an instructor that your students have earned the right to advance a belt or 2 or 3 ! based on their skill level n understanding of what you have taught, then why not ? I think being graded every 3 months is a right put off ! I think maybe some martial arts masters may be put off by this simply because quicker a student advances quicker that students check may leave !

I really do wish you and your students all the best !
I think you may have times wrong with regards to time ratio master/student , under normal training conditions with a class of 1 hour in length of time with 10 students in it , you can only spend maximum 6 minutes with each student , so if only 3 hrs training in a week thats only 18mins per student ! so in 1 month only 72 mins training !
GO FOR IT ! I think it maybe the way to rejuvenate teenagers interested in the martial arts !
 

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