Training in full view of the public

girlbug2

Master of Arts
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
1,543
Reaction score
70
Location
Southern Cal.
Do you and/or your school ever train in a public place outside? I'm thinking of places like parks and such where you would be in full view of pedestrians or even vehicles passing by on major streets.

If so, have you ever been stopped by local law enforcement?

It would be interesting to compare the reactions we've all gotten to our training :).

On Saturday morning our sensei had us jog outside to a little open space near the roadside to practice choke scenario techniques. We stood in a circle with the "defender" in the middle while "attackers" would step in randomly from all around to attack. This went on for about 20 minutes or so, then everybody had had a turn so we jogged single file back to the studio. Just as we entered the parking lot a police car pulled up and asked sensei if everything was okay; no less than 8 people driving by had called in about it supposing it was a real attack or maybe some kind of gang thing, I don't know, LOL. We're all a little older than typical gang age ;).

At any rate it was comforting to realize the citizens of Huntington Beach are so alert. In my neighborhood I doubt anybody would have noticed, much less called.

Thoughts?
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
Since we use sticks and (training) swords, there's a need to train outside for space but we have been questioned on occasion. If you explain it's training weapons only then in my experience most LEOs get it! Leave teh realistic-looking trainers at home.
 

terryl965

<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
41,259
Reaction score
340
Location
Grand Prairie Texas
We habe trained outside and for the most part no LEO's have ever really stopped us.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,330
Reaction score
9,480
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
Do you and/or your school ever train in a public place outside? I'm thinking of places like parks and such where you would be in full view of pedestrians or even vehicles passing by on major streets.

My first sifu held classes outside form time to time and from time to time there where a few hecklers and on occasion an audience.

My Sanda sifu loves training outside and the only thing that has happened is someone asked if we were training taiji

I have trained outside in my backyard and I have never had any problems.

If so, have you ever been stopped by local law enforcement?

Well not me but my Sanda sifu had the State Police tell him once to stop hitting the trees
 

IcemanSK

El Conquistador nim!
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
6,482
Reaction score
181
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I've trained with schools in the Chicago area that ran bare foot in the snow & others that trained in parks in uniform with no problems.

Down there in Huntington Beach, maybe folks are a bit jumpy. :) Up here in Santa Clarita, no one would blink....unless we took over a soccer field. Then there'd be a riot.:uhyeah:

Sorry you had that problem.
 

grydth

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
2,464
Reaction score
150
Location
Upstate New York.
My wife and I will do Tai Chi forms in a local park; I sometimes take my daughters for long walks there by the lake and they do karate forms while I try some Tai Chi/Qi Gong.
 

Gordon Nore

Senior Master
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
I took Capoeira for about a year back in the 90s. Occasionally, we moved the class outside. No problems with the law; however, it does draw a crowd.
 

Aikikitty

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 22, 2002
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
25
Location
Southern Louisiana
There have been a few times where we couldn't use our dojo so we trained in a gazebo in a nearby park. The way the park was laid out, many people had to walk through the gazebo to get from point A to point B. We'd stop and move aside when people got too close. Most people would just give a greeting and move on. A few would stick around a few minutes and ask questions about what we were doing. One guy tried to show off that he "knew something", but then soon left when he realized we weren't going to pay much attention to his boasting of his 6 months of practice 5 years ago that made him tough. :rolleyes:

Robyn
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,608
Reaction score
4,901
Location
England
The sun shined once a couple of years ago so I took the children outside for their lesson, it was fun but generally no we don't get outside much. It's no coincidence we Brits talk about the weather so much....it's awful!
When in the South of France though I get up early and do my katas on the beach, a wonderful way to start the day.
 

Andy Moynihan

Senior Master
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
3,692
Reaction score
176
Location
People's Banana Republic of Massachusettstan, Disu
Don't wanna be the wet blanket but I'm of the belief that no one should be able to see the training who is not a participant in it, there's too much that can go wrong, and besides the whole point is the general public doesn't know about your training or else what advantage do you really have?
 

Gordon Nore

Senior Master
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
The other problem I have with practicing outside is that I prefer to train in bare feet. In a public park, where dogs have been passing through, it's not a terribly good idea. If the ground isn't even, it's easy to get hurt.
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
Don't wanna be the wet blanket but I'm of the belief that no one should be able to see the training who is not a participant in it, there's too much that can go wrong, and besides the whole point is the general public doesn't know about your training or else what advantage do you really have?

On the one hand, yes...OTOH, it can be a good draw for your club to do it on occasion. It's advertising.
 

dewey

White Belt
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
Messages
10
Reaction score
5
Location
St. Louis, MO
A while back, I trained in Jodo for awhile. During the late Spring, Summer and early Fall, we'd train in a local park...wearing our "samurai costumes" (Kendo keikogi & hakama) and armed with wooden swords & staffs. We'd get curious looks at times, even some spectators who'd watch until boredom set in (usually 10 to 20 minutes). Otherwise, we were largely left alone by the "regulars" of the park (e.g. elderly on the morning walks, dog walkers, dedicated joggers, etc.). We became a Saturday morning fixture. Precisely because we trained on Saturday mornings, the only other people in the park were the above-mentioned "regulars." As many of you know, "regulars" of any sort have a mutual respect for each other. I think that's what makes the difference: what day and at what time of day you train.

My experience of it was as follows: at first, you feel awkward and self-conscious. Then, you get used to the "fishbowl effect" and then begin to tune out the rest of world and even forget that there's passersby gawking at you.

Although it's a public park, our sensei made the effort to "ask" the local Parks Dept. if it was alright, speaking directly with the park ranger in charge of that specific park. Not really necessary, but it shows respect but also earns you brownie points as well as someone watching your back when you need it.
 

Korppi76

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 9, 2005
Messages
115
Reaction score
3
Location
Kerava Finland
We used to train outside at park at summer in my old dojo.
We had bokken and jo practices on local park.
Some passerby might ask something but others maybe just watched a little while.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
430
Location
Cromwell,CT
Do you and/or your school ever train in a public place outside? I'm thinking of places like parks and such where you would be in full view of pedestrians or even vehicles passing by on major streets.

If so, have you ever been stopped by local law enforcement?

It would be interesting to compare the reactions we've all gotten to our training :).

On Saturday morning our sensei had us jog outside to a little open space near the roadside to practice choke scenario techniques. We stood in a circle with the "defender" in the middle while "attackers" would step in randomly from all around to attack. This went on for about 20 minutes or so, then everybody had had a turn so we jogged single file back to the studio. Just as we entered the parking lot a police car pulled up and asked sensei if everything was okay; no less than 8 people driving by had called in about it supposing it was a real attack or maybe some kind of gang thing, I don't know, LOL. We're all a little older than typical gang age ;).

At any rate it was comforting to realize the citizens of Huntington Beach are so alert. In my neighborhood I doubt anybody would have noticed, much less called.

Thoughts?

I've trained in the front yard of a friends house and anothers condo. People have glanced over, but nobody ever called the police. IMO, theres nothing like an outdoor workout. You not only get the chance to work in something other than a gi, but you also have the chance to work on various surfaces, other than what is typically in the dojo. :)
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
430
Location
Cromwell,CT
Don't wanna be the wet blanket but I'm of the belief that no one should be able to see the training who is not a participant in it, there's too much that can go wrong, and besides the whole point is the general public doesn't know about your training or else what advantage do you really have?

Yup, thats the downside. Its bad enough that we often have people we know ask the usual suspect questions and make the numerous Bruce Lee imitations..lol...but when its people you don't know, that could be worse.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,506
Reaction score
3,851
Location
Northern VA
Depending on various circumstances, I train outside in parks a lot. About once a year, I'll take our young kids out hiking, stopping at various points to train. We use parks a lot for training, as well, 'cause they're cheap. (Like, typically, free.)

My advice if you're worried about the police is simple. If and when they show up, explain what's going on. You'll find some cops who'll stay and watch as long as they can (I'd probably be one of them!), and others who'll simply go "OK..." and go on their way. At most, unless in your training you're breaking a law (like having a firearm in a park), they'll simply tell you that you're causing a disturbance and can you please go somewhere else...
 

Rich Parsons

A Student of Martial Arts
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
16,849
Reaction score
1,084
Location
Michigan
Do you and/or your school ever train in a public place outside? I'm thinking of places like parks and such where you would be in full view of pedestrians or even vehicles passing by on major streets.

I have in the past trained in parks, at beaches, in my yard, in the common areas of apartment houses, i.e. basketball courts and many other places.

If so, have you ever been stopped by local law enforcement?

Yes and no.

No one has called the police. But if one was around I have had them stop by. In particular, when one is using live blades. No one was really ever around when I had any out. But, if they drove by or walked by, sometimes they would stop and ask me questions. I never found this to be an issue.

One of the funniest was I was walking back to the building and I had turned the blade(sword in sheath) to be reverse grip and it was across my back. There was a shady looking guy driving up and watching the building, and not me. He actually stopped right in front of me while I walking. He freaked out when he turned and I was standing there. He actually jumped. He then asked where an apartment was and I gave him direction. He had a police scanner in his car that I heard. I went up stairs to call it in. I was talking to the local dispatch. I called them (the Police) directly. She (the dispatch) was not concerned about it until she heard an officer call in a freaky guy with a sword. She asked for my description. I told her. She then laughed and asked me to describe the guy I saw. I did she then called it into the officer and I heard him laugh over his radio. He also said, any guy with a sword who is not afraid to call it in on the guy with a police scanner in an unmarked car is not to be worried about. I asked them if I needed to leave, even though the apartment was a different floor but next stair well over? They said no, just stay inside, and do not recognize him in the future. I laughed and said ok.

** You see under cover cops looking for drug buys can get spooked as well and also have a sense of humor. **

It would be interesting to compare the reactions we've all gotten to our training :).

If you have cool stories, always tell them. :)

On Saturday morning our sensei had us jog outside to a little open space near the roadside to practice choke scenario techniques. We stood in a circle with the "defender" in the middle while "attackers" would step in randomly from all around to attack. This went on for about 20 minutes or so, then everybody had had a turn so we jogged single file back to the studio. Just as we entered the parking lot a police car pulled up and asked sensei if everything was okay; no less than 8 people driving by had called in about it supposing it was a real attack or maybe some kind of gang thing, I don't know, LOL. We're all a little older than typical gang age ;).

What I found from persional experience is that if there is one then it is just a freaky guy. If it is two it could be a fight or an assault. If it is six guys with sticks or bokens or all doing take downs and throws, then people see it as some form of class.

At any rate it was comforting to realize the citizens of Huntington Beach are so alert. In my neighborhood I doubt anybody would have noticed, much less called.

You never know. ;)

Thoughts?

Propose it to your instructor to try it in your neighborhood to see if they get a reaction. Maybe inform the locals that you would be there for a class.
 

Latest Discussions

Top