Seminars--Best/worst experiences

Aikikitty

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 22, 2002
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
25
Location
Southern Louisiana
Hello all,

I'm excited about going to my first Aikido seminar in over 3 years in January.

For those who have gone to martial art seminars, what are your best and worst experiances? No names need be mentioned for the worst, lest it possibly turn into a bash-fest.

I've only been able to go to 4 seminars so far, but every one was an overall wonderful experience.

My best- I remember that for my first seminar, I traveled with my sensei and a bunch of guys to Florida to our "head dojo". It was maybe 2002. The other guys had neat t-shirts from seminars they've gone to and I was hoping to get one that time too (to feel part of the group). There were no T-shirts to buy and I was a little disappointed, but my sensei mentioned it to the head of our organization (and his good friend). The next morning, he (head of our organization) presented me with one of his own t-shirts from the organization that none of the other guys in my dojo had. I felt like the kid in the old tv commercial when his favorite football player tossed him his jersey. The next year, the man passed away so the t-shirt is even more special. I've heard many stories of how kind our former leader was and I can now share that and remember him too. I'm thankful I had the chance to meet him.

My worst--Toss up between

1) Having to be partnered up with a bully who was purposefully being extra rough and I narrowly escaped injury. The guy seemed to keep making a point to continue to partner up with me.

or

2) At another seminar, I, my sensei, and a couple of others from my dojo got into the very over-chlorinated hotel hot tub at the end of the first evening. We didn't realized until our skin started to burn and our swim suits were suddenly faded with bleach spots, that something was wrong. Needless to say, it was a painful nights sleep and 1,000 times worse on the second day of the seminar when people would grab our arms and sweat got on our skin. Yeeouch!

Merry Christmas!
Robyn
 

sgtmac_46

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Messages
4,753
Reaction score
188
The last seminar I went to was Dan Inosanto's back in August........wonderful time!
 

takadadojokeith

Orange Belt
Joined
Jan 13, 2004
Messages
87
Reaction score
3
Best was probably the with some Machado BJJ black belts in the early 90's. Worst was a kickboxing/full-contact karate champ's seminar that turned into a lesson on disrupting chi.
 

Big Don

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
10,551
Reaction score
189
Location
Sanger CA
Haven't had a bad experience at a seminar yet, so, no "worst" from me.
The BEST seminar I've been to:
We are in Sanger CA, roughly 20miles East of Fresno. We carpooled to Pasadena, checked in to a motel and went over to Mr Trejo's house and then out to dinner.
Saturday, we had a great seminar at Mr Trejo's followed by a barbecue and lots more fun. There were twelve of us on the trip and we had no problems, not even so much as an argument. I don't think we had dirty looks... Frank Trejo is very knowledgeable and a whole lot of fun to hang out with.
 

kuntawguro

Master Black Belt
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Messages
1,465
Reaction score
7
Location
Michigan
My worst seminar experience was flying down to Orlando Florida for a seminar- and it never happened. My best experience/s has been attending the Spring Gathering of the tribes in Grand Rapids Michigan- Lots of instructors who have left their egos at the door, BBQ, Camping out, a pot luck dinner afterwards- good times
 

terryl965

<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
41,259
Reaction score
338
Location
Grand Prairie Texas
I would say that our own Brian Vancise does an excellent job and really has a very thought out plan for the whole day. I also enjoy Rich Parson as well, these two does a fantastic job at explaining everything and making sure the whole group gets envolved.
 

Ken Morgan

Senior Master
MT Mentor
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,985
Reaction score
130
Location
Guelph

Im the same, Ive never had a bad seminar. Iaido & Jodo in Canada, and the Northern US are a small group of people and are at many times a very close knit. Generally we meet up at the May seminar my Sensei puts on here in town, http://www.uoguelph.ca/~iaido/iai.seminar.html Ive been working and training at the seminar for ten years now and Ive never heard of anything negative yet.

One time we rented a van and 6 or 7 of us drove out to Montreal to train with the guys out there. Had a great time, no problems, many great and obscure conversations in the van but man, could one of our guys talk, it was like on of those dolls you pull the string on!! I drove there and back, and I swear I had to tell him to shut the F*** up two dozen times. All in good fun, but sometimes..:shock:
 

fyn5000

Blue Belt
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
203
Reaction score
1
Location
Olympia
I've been to seven seminars over the years and have never had any bad experiences. The only "bad" moment was from a seminar by Nathan Menaged (one of Master William CC Chen's top students) when a person in our carpool kept complaining about Nathan Menaged not being very mystical. The guy was very disappointed and thought the seminar was worthless. From my experience, I thought Nathan Menaged put on a great seminar.

I suppose if I went to more seminars I could run into a bad experience.

fyn
 

HG1

Blue Belt
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
234
Reaction score
6
Location
USA
The best seminars are the ones given by my SiGung Frank Yee (Yee Chi Wai). He has amazing martial skill and truly cares that you 'get' what he is teaching.

The worst was a BaGua seminar I attended with a strained knee - it was torturous.
 

IcemanSK

El Conquistador nim!
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
6,482
Reaction score
180
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I've been to a few seminars that were good memories. Bill Wallace in 1991 or '92 was a great time. He had us all laughing so hard that we really didn't care that he stretched the day lights out of us.

I went to a Kathy Long seminar in the mid 90's, she was great. The only odd part was that it was a rival school & I was the lone person at the seminar from an outside school. Good times, though.

The Kukkiwon Foreign Instructors Course in Chicago this October was good. The poomsae instructor & meeting some of my fellow MTer's was worth the trip.
 

khand50

Orange Belt
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
74
Reaction score
2
Location
illinois
ive been to approximately ten or so seminars over the years. most of them were favorable. one of my favorites was the tim tackett seminar i went to in 2000 hosted by the school i was training at, jkd extreme, out of west palm beach florida. one of the things i liked about the seminar was the amount of material we worked on. it was not a mass of techniques thrown at us but more like a class one would take if training under tim. i felt i got more out of that because i was able to retain more of the information then.
in 1984 i attended a filipino kali seminar hosted by the degerberg academy in chicago, given by dan inosanto. chris kent was in attendance as well. while the seminar was really good, i was dissapointed with the person i was stuck with for the first day. the two or three people i had to partner up with didnt seem interested in the material, so i didnt get as much out of it as i had hoped for. the second day i partnered up with a friend from the school i was attending and we both got more out of the training. having a willing and interested partner makes a big difference.
in 1991 the school i attended, sdma academy, run by the late ed pagan in west palm beach as well, hosted several filipino seminars. we also had one seminar with richard bustillo, ed's instructor. it was a really good seminar as well. the filipino seminars, one hosted by tuhan chris sayoc and his father bo, was great. grandmaster d. canete and guro dong cuesta gave a couple other seminars also.
all in all, my seminar experiences have been positive. i did attend another inosanto seminar hosted by dwight woods in 1991 as well. he concentrated on silat and kali. i wish i had more exposure to silat. it seems to be a very interesting art.
 

Tensei85

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
31
Location
Michigan
My worst seminar experience was flying down to Orlando Florida for a seminar- and it never happened. My best experience/s has been attending the Spring Gathering of the tribes in Grand Rapids Michigan- Lots of instructors who have left their egos at the door, BBQ, Camping out, a pot luck dinner afterwards- good times

When does that take place? I would like to check it out sometime...
 

Tensei85

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
31
Location
Michigan
I've been to quite a few seminars over the years some on:
Northern Mantis, Wing Chun, Bei Shaolin, Arnis, Taiji, MMA, Bagua.

They were all fun, the only problem was a certain workshop would host a certain Instructor, I would attend & then it would be the same exact material I went over the last year with that Instructor so the only difference was I paid more money for the samething.

But it was still a good time.
 

Franc0

Purple Belt
Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
334
Reaction score
17
Location
Las Vegas, NV. USA
Most every seminar I've attended was a good one as long as I learned at least one thing that was new or different. The only negative seminar I went to was when I already knew everything being taught and ended up helping the instructors, which was total waste of money for me.

Franco
 

stickarts

Senior Master
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
3,902
Reaction score
59
Location
middletown, CT USA
Among my best experiences were the first time the Grand Master called me up to help him demonstrate something, and also a great experience as a promoter in one seminar I had over 100 people in attendance!
Every experience I have had I have learned from so I can't really give a worst experience.
 

Flea

Beating you all over those fries!
MT Mentor
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
2,005
Reaction score
96
I've only been to one seminar, and it was a fantastic experience. My favorite aspect, I think, was that most of the people there were instructors and everyone was incredibly patient and encouraging to me as a novice. I really wasn't sure what to expect on that front.

After everything broke up, one of the guys invited me out to lunch. Turns out he was mostly interested in having me for dessert. :rolleyes: That doesn't have anything to do with the seminar itself though.
 

Ken Morgan

Senior Master
MT Mentor
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,985
Reaction score
130
Location
Guelph
To side track the thread a wee bit, (well someone had too!!) BTW Flea, how was lunch??!:)

I mentioned this in another thread over on the sword side of things.

Why do people pay good money for a seminar, then hide in the back rows? There should be a fight to get in the front in my opinion, and generally, the front rows are quite sparse. Why would you be afraid to be out front and centre? If Sensei picks on you, great, let him rip you apart, that&#8217;s what you&#8217;re paying for! At Seminars I have always tried to be in the front, I want to hear and see what is going on, and if Sensei decides to show the class how crappy my sword work is, so be it, there is no other way to get better then to have someone tell you that you&#8217;re doing it all wrong.

If I am working the seminar, I stay in the back, so I can make a discrete exit if I have to go get lunches, or what have you, and I won&#8217;t disturb the class. If I&#8217;m not working, I try to be in the front row.

Anyone else notice this trend?
 

sgtmac_46

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Messages
4,753
Reaction score
188
To side track the thread a wee bit, (well someone had too!!) BTW Flea, how was lunch??!:)

I mentioned this in another thread over on the sword side of things.

Why do people pay good money for a seminar, then hide in the back rows? There should be a fight to get in the front in my opinion, and generally, the front rows are quite sparse. Why would you be afraid to be out front and centre? If Sensei picks on you, great, let him rip you apart, thats what youre paying for! At Seminars I have always tried to be in the front, I want to hear and see what is going on, and if Sensei decides to show the class how crappy my sword work is, so be it, there is no other way to get better then to have someone tell you that youre doing it all wrong.

If I am working the seminar, I stay in the back, so I can make a discrete exit if I have to go get lunches, or what have you, and I wont disturb the class. If Im not working, I try to be in the front row.

Anyone else notice this trend?

Absolutely right......I had the privilege of hosting a two day seminar for local LEO's with Dan Severn.........nice guy, and a fountain of information on grappling.

Anyway, eating lunch with Dan was almost as educational as the seminar itself, as he had great stories, and answered lots of questions......one misses out if one doesn't take advantage of those kind of opportunities to really interact with folks.
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,460
Reaction score
732
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
I give a few examples of some bad ones:

Back in the 80s I was at one that had breaking init. If one got close enough to the patio blocks you could see where they had been heavily scored. When it came time for one young lady to break her gi hit the block and it broke before she could make contact with it with her arm/hand
I went to another where the instructor would only work with people in his system. If he did a demo about certain stances and how to move out of them or if he said you could not move out of them with out doing something he made sure he had one of his top students doing the tech. On this one I saw more than one person not of that school/system do the tech without all the mumble jumble the instructor was sprouting.
 

ppko

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
1,266
Reaction score
34
Location
Rose Barracks Vilseck,Germany
I
Absolutely right......I had the privilege of hosting a two day seminar for local LEO's with Dan Severn.........nice guy, and a fountain of information on grappling.

Anyway, eating lunch with Dan was almost as educational as the seminar itself, as he had great stories, and answered lots of questions......one misses out if one doesn't take advantage of those kind of opportunities to really interact with folks.

I too have hosted Dan he is a great guy you didn't take him to a buffet did you cause man he can eat
 
Top