Teaching beginners lots of moves

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PhotonGuy

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From my experience, there should be no favorite technique. I want to learn all techniques equally well. If I choose to focus, it will be on a technique I don't feel I have mastered.
In my opinion the problem with that is you spread yourself too thin and you become a jack of all trades master of none in regard to techniques. Somebody who practices time and time again just a couple of techniques, after thousands or millions of times doing those techniques they will have honed them to a level that would go far beyond what somebody who tries to practice all the techniques equally will ever get them at. Look at Muai Thai and how strong the low round kick is for professional Thai fighters. They have really strong low round kicks because they practice that one technique day in and day out.
 

Tez3

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In my opinion the problem with that is you spread yourself too thin and you become a jack of all trades master of none in regard to techniques. Somebody who practices time and time again just a couple of techniques, after thousands or millions of times doing those techniques they will have honed them to a level that would go far beyond what somebody who tries to practice all the techniques equally will ever get them at. Look at Muai Thai and how strong the low round kick is for professional Thai fighters. They have really strong low round kicks because they practice that one technique day in and day out.

It depends on how many techniques he has in his style though, doesn't it? You are assuming he has a huge amount, he may not have many so the idea of doing all techniques well is perfectly feasible and practicable.
 
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PhotonGuy

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It depends on how many techniques he has in his style though, doesn't it? You are assuming he has a huge amount, he may not have many so the idea of doing all techniques well is perfectly feasible and practicable.

Sure if its a style such as Muai Thai. Most of the styles I know of do have a rather large arsenal of techniques. This is just me but I would say that its good to really focus on two or three techniques and to some extent to maybe train in another two or three so there's 5 or 6 techniques that you really focus on, some more than others. Some people might say that's too little but like I said, that's just my opinion.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I wonder if its a good idea to teach beginners lots of moves when they first start learning a martial art.
You can

- write a book with 200 techniques (you only need to take static pictures).
- put up a DVD with 100 techniques (you can remake your video until you are satisfied).
- teach a workshop with 50 techniques (you can teach your workshop in slow speed).
- demo in public with 25 techniques (your demo partner is not going to fight you back).
- fight with 5 techniques (you have to do everything in combat speed and you only have one chance).

The less that you have learned, the easier for you can master it. You don't need to learn 200 throws to be a good wrestler. If you can use single leg to take your opponent down, you don't need anything else.
 

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I wouldn't.

If the student comes to me to learn something, then it is my responsibility to decide what he learns and what he works on and when he is ready for more. Telling to student to decide what he wants to learn from me is piss-poor teaching. The student doesn't know enough to make such a decision, and telling him to focus on his favorites, after teaching him more than he is ready for when he is at a rudimentary level, will undermine the process.

I had a guitar teacher in college who did just that. "So what kind of things do you want to work on?" Um I want to learn to play guitar you idiot, where do I start, what is the progression? The whole semester was like that. Needless to say, I learned nothing from him.
That's a good analogy, though I think it also supports the idea of a "favorite technique", too. If a guitar student finds he really likes a certain style of music, it would be useful for the teacher to use that type of music as part of the exercises a bit more often. The same would go for me if I found a student had a preference for a type of response. I won't stop teaching the other areas, but I'll give them more exercises around that thing they like, and use lessons from it to help them learn other skills, too.

They'll still have to do the stuff they don't like, though. Why? Because I'm mean.
 

Flying Crane

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That's a good analogy, though I think it also supports the idea of a "favorite technique", too. If a guitar student finds he really likes a certain style of music, it would be useful for the teacher to use that type of music as part of the exercises a bit more often. The same would go for me if I found a student had a preference for a type of response. I won't stop teaching the other areas, but I'll give them more exercises around that thing they like, and use lessons from it to help them learn other skills, too.

They'll still have to do the stuff they don't like, though. Why? Because I'm mean.
Sure, and I wanted to learn rock electric guitar, so I would expect the lessons and exercises to support that. But he would just say, what do you want to do today? Well hell, I dunno, I'd like to play like David Gilmore, how do I go about that???
 

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I think devoting 30 minutes every class to introduce a new move/straregy isn't overwhelming at all. That's how it worked for me.
If each new move is fairly simple or highly related to something they already know, I'm okay with that. When I teach a new technique, students might or might not get more than one movement/use/application of that technique that class. Next class, they'll get another (and maybe a very related second one), then another the next class, until I think they're ready for the next technique.
 

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I haven't read this whole thread, but sort of bounced around in it. Interesting to see the different opinions and their reasoning.

From my experience, there should be no favorite technique. I want to learn all techniques equally well. If I choose to focus, it will be on a technique I don't feel I have mastered.

In the Hapkido I studied, when testing, one had to do a certain amount from each set of techniques taught. Each student was allowed to use whatever techniques he wished. I saw a lot of students practice and then pick easy techniques. I refused to do that. I didn't pick techniques. When my practice partner attacked, I used the technique that came to mind. I didn't try to think of it. I just reacted.

For me that was the only way I thought made sense. YMMV
Eventually, there actually should be favorites, IMO. Those should be the ones that work best, most reliably and most often, for that student. You still practice the others, and take time from time to time to focus on one you aren't particularly good at, but that bread-and-butter technique...mmmmm.
 

gpseymour

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Sure, and I wanted to learn rock electric guitar, so I would expect the lessons and exercises to support that. But he would just say, what do you want to do today? Well hell, I dunno, I'd like to play like David Gilmore, how do I go about that???
Yeah, that would be like someone coming into my dojo and me asking what drills they want to do. Eventually, that becomes a valid question (because I want them to have things they want to work on), but not with a beginner.
 

oftheherd1

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Eventually, there actually should be favorites, IMO. Those should be the ones that work best, most reliably and most often, for that student. You still practice the others, and take time from time to time to focus on one you aren't particularly good at, but that bread-and-butter technique...mmmmm.

To each his own. I just don't think that is the best way myself.
 

oftheherd1

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It depends on how many techniques he has in his style though, doesn't it? You are assuming he has a huge amount, he may not have many so the idea of doing all techniques well is perfectly feasible and practicable.

That is of course correct. But I think it raises an interesting question. How many "techniques" does a striking art have versus a grappling art?
 

gpseymour

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That is of course correct. But I think it raises an interesting question. How many "techniques" does a striking art have versus a grappling art?
I think counting "techniques" between two arts is difficult. JGW demonstrated that in his list of kicks. There are at least 3 Judo techniques that all fall under the "Leg Sweep" technique in Nihon Goshin Aikido. And there are at least three techniques in NGA that I could argue are actually the same single technique.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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There are at least 3 Judo techniques that all fall under the "Leg Sweep" technique in Nihon Goshin Aikido.
There are 35 different way to do a "leg sweep" in Chinese wrestling. The foot contact may be just ankle, instep, foot bottom, ... but the hands control can be front belt lift, back belt pull, upper collar pull, side lapel pull, sleeve pull, under shoulder lift, back neck push, side neck pull, head twist pull, shoulder pull, ...

But the principle is all the same - pull upper body down and sweep leg up.
 

oftheherd1

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I think counting "techniques" between two arts is difficult. JGW demonstrated that in his list of kicks. There are at least 3 Judo techniques that all fall under the "Leg Sweep" technique in Nihon Goshin Aikido. And there are at least three techniques in NGA that I could argue are actually the same single technique.

There are 35 different way to do a "leg sweep" in Chinese wrestling. The foot contact may be just ankle, instep, foot bottom, ... but the hands control can be front belt lift, back belt pull, upper collar pull, side lapel pull, sleeve pull, under shoulder lift, back neck push, side neck pull, head twist pull, shoulder pull, ...

But the principle is all the same - pull upper body down and sweep leg up.

Good points. And to be honest, there are techniques in the Hapkido I learned that are extensions of prior techniques learned. Sometimes the differences are quite minor. If we aren't trying to inflate the number of techniques we want to say we have learned, how many are really different techniques? Granted there are reasons we may want to use one variation over another. I'm not trying to deflect this thread by the way. I think it is a valid part of the discussin.
 

gpseymour

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Good points. And to be honest, there are techniques in the Hapkido I learned that are extensions of prior techniques learned. Sometimes the differences are quite minor. If we aren't trying to inflate the number of techniques we want to say we have learned, how many are really different techniques? Granted there are reasons we may want to use one variation over another. I'm not trying to deflect this thread by the way. I think it is a valid part of the discussin.
It's much a matter of how you want to define the boundaries of a "technique". I'm used to the boundaries in NGA, yet if I were asked to draw them (not knowing what they are now), there would be fewer "techniques" and more "variations". Note that I'm not saying there's anything amiss in the way they're divided now, rather that I don't see the same divisions in my mind. For instance, there are 3 basic wrist locks that are separate techniques. Two of them are so close in my viewpoint that I actually teach them together most of the time. The third one I see as a variation of the other two. So, to me, they are all the "basic wrist lock" technique.

Now, just to make things more complicated, there are "applications" of techniques that I can reasonably classify in at least two different "techniques" (using the traditional definition of that term). The grey areas aren't as visible to new students, so the classification works for them for a while. To me, they are too obvious to ignore.
 

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The less that you have learned, the easier for you can master it. You don't need to learn 200 throws to be a good wrestler. If you can use single leg to take your opponent down, you don't need anything else.
What do you do with your opponent once you've successfully taken him down with that single leg?

I fully agree with less is more. But you need a few more things than just a single leg takedown. You can win many wrestling matches only using a single leg takedown - 2 points for the takedown, 1 point for the opponent getting back up, over and over again until time runs out. I actually beat the same opponent twice exactly that way. I couldn't keep him down, so I shot takedowns over and over again both times we wrestled. I won by technical fall both times (being ahead by 15? points). If that was a fight, the result wouldn't have been the same.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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What do you do with your opponent once you've successfully taken him down with that single leg?
The "single leg" that I'm taking about is to use

- one hand to pull your opponent's leading leg.
- another hand to push his neck/shoulder/face.

There are many ways to finish with a "single leg" take down. You can:

- smash the back of his head on the ground.
- drop your forearm across his neck.
- drop elbow straight down on his heart area.
- drop your knee into his groin area.
- ...

You can also:

- hold on your opponent's leading leg.
- use leg to hook his rooting leg off the ground.

Since he will have no leg on the ground, he will fall with head on the ground first.

 
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KenpoMaster805

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in our karate school we teach 2 technique every day like for example on monday you do 1and 2 if you dont go on monday it will be the same on Tuesday 1 and 2 then wed 3 and 4 if you dont go on wed in will be the same on thursday and like friday it will be 5and 6 if you dont go it will be the same n saturday thats what we do so we dont teach lot in 1 day in yellow we have 10 tech but in orange to black we have 24 techniques and we teach the basics too depensing which basic is assign that day
 

oftheherd1

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in our karate school we teach 2 technique every day like for example on monday you do 1and 2 if you dont go on monday it will be the same on Tuesday 1 and 2 then wed 3 and 4 if you dont go on wed in will be the same on thursday and like friday it will be 5and 6 if you dont go it will be the same n saturday thats what we do so we dont teach lot in 1 day in yellow we have 10 tech but in orange to black we have 24 techniques and we teach the basics too depensing which basic is assign that day

When you say techniques are you referring forms or techniques like "... this is strike defense 2, grab his ..."?
 

JR 137

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The "single leg" that I'm taking about is to use

- one hand to pull your opponent's leading leg.
- another hand to push his neck/shoulder/face.

There are many ways to finish with a "single leg" take down. You can:

- smash the back of his head on the ground.
- drop your forearm across his neck.
- drop elbow straight down on his heart area.
- drop your knee into his groin area.
- ...

You can also:

- hold on your opponent's leading leg.
- use leg to hook his rooting leg off the ground.

Since he will have no leg on the ground, he will fall with head on the ground first.


I understand what you're saying. And there's plenty more that can be done after successfully taking the opponent down.

You're doing other things after the takedown. Those must be trained too. Saying all you need to know is the takedown itself isn't accurate; you need to know how to follow it up so that the opponent doesn't get back up or beat you up while you're on the ground.

You need more than that one technique, obviously.
 

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