What basic fighting skills to teach

Cornfed

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As a hobby I'm teaching some teenagers some basic fighting skills. They don't have any background in knowing how to fight. So far we are covering the basics of boxing and judo, some self-defence tactics based on military CQB and some holds and restraints. What other things would be good to teach them?
 

Jared Traveler

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Developing lesson plans is a skill all by itself. I would consider writing out six month training goals regarding skills, then back track and write monthly goals, then week by week lesson plans to get you to your six month goals.

Is your goal for them to have basic self-defense skills? Of course your background is important to consider, regarding your knowledge on what to teach.
 

O'Malley

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Hi and welcome to MT. What's your training background?
 

Tony Dismukes

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Basic takedown defense, escaping bad positions on the ground and getting back to the feet safely. Clinch fighting concepts. Knowing when to fight and when to avoid it. Disengaging safely.
 

Flying Crane

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You teach what you know and dont try to teach what you dont know. Self-defense is not a complete set of skills. It is better to have a narrower band of skills with which one is competent, than to have a broader range of skills that are all mediocre or worse.

So I guess the question really is, what are the skill sets that you have, that you are competent to teach? What is the extent of your own training, that makes you a competent teacher?
 
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Cornfed

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Developing lesson plans is a skill all by itself. I would consider writing out six month training goals regarding skills, then back track and write monthly goals, then week by week lesson plans to get you to your six month goals.

Is your goal for them to have basic self-defense skills? Of course your background is important to consider, regarding your knowledge on what to teach.
This started out very informally, but since the class has grown I may try to do something like that. Right now I am working things out as I go. The goal is just to get them up to a stage where they have the skills men would take for granted if they grew up in more of a fighting culture.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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What is your background and your/their goals? That will change my recommendations a lot.

For instance: if the goal is that they live in a bad area and just want to be able to defend themselves: Learn what the laws are regarding self defense in your area (even if you already know them, learn them again to be sure). Then teach those. Situational awareness-not fighting, but if the goal is for them to be able to defend themselves, they should be aware of that. Along with the boxing and judo as normal activities, have them spar in specific situations (in a car, one against a wall or needing to get around the other person, 2 on 1 and escaping), and learn adaptability. Realistic weapon disarms. If weapons are allowed in your area, and you have training in weapons, teach them how to use said weapons.

If the goal is just they want to learn how to fight, my recommendations are different; if the goal is to help them control their anger, again different recs. And all of those are predicated on you knowing that information.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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The goal is just to get them up to a stage where they have the skills men would take for granted if they grew up in more of a fighting culture.
This doesn't really tell us much about what the goal is. What skills exactly are you referring to, and what is the purpose in them learning those skills?
 

Flying Crane

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I personally do not believe that goals are automatically necessary. If one has a set of skills that they wish to pass along to the next generation, that can be done without the greater context of a specific goal. The recipients of the instruction are free to interpret where those skills fit within their lifestyle. Martial arts can be viewed as a form of physical education, and specific goals such as self-defense or competition do not need to specifically be part of the process.

So then it comes back to my previous question: what skills does the OP possess that he is competent to teach?
 
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Cornfed

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This doesn't really tell us much about what the goal is. What skills exactly are you referring to, and what is the purpose in them learning those skills?
They are of Mennonite background, and traditionally Mennonites professed pacifism. That doesn't necessarily mean they were all pacifistic of course, but it does mean that they don't have a culture of training kids growing up how to fight. Now that they don't believe in pacifism any more, some of them want to be brought up to speed with what they would have learned in a more martial culture. As someone of a different background, I think this is something positive I can contribute to the community.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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They are of Mennonite background, and traditionally Mennonites professed pacifism. That doesn't necessarily mean they were all pacifistic of course, but it does mean that they don't have a culture of training kids growing up how to fight. Now that they don't believe in pacifism any more, some of them want to be brought up to speed with what they would have learned in a more martial culture. As someone of a different background, I think this is something positive I can contribute to the community.
Okay, cool. And what is your own background?
 
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Cornfed

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Okay, cool. And what is your own background?
I've just dappled in various martial arts, was taught informally to fight by older relatives and worked in security for a few years. I make it clear to students that I am not an expert in anything and if they wanted to excel in a particular art, say boxing, then they would need to join the appropriate club after perhaps learning the basics from me.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I've just dappled in various martial arts, was taught informally to fight by older relatives and worked in security for a few years. I make it clear to students that I am not an expert in anything and if they wanted to excel in a particular art, say boxing, then they would need to join the appropriate club after perhaps learning the basics from me.
Then I would say don't go past the fundamentals that you're already teaching. If any of them do try to learn further, going too in depth and potentially teaching them incorrectly would just make it more difficult for them in the long run.
 

hoshin1600

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Let them wrestle on the ground with whatever comes naturally to them. If they missed out on the development of rough and tumble play then they need to experiment.
 

JowGaWolf

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As a hobby I'm teaching some teenagers some basic fighting skills. They don't have any background in knowing how to fight. So far we are covering the basics of boxing and judo, some self-defence tactics based on military CQB and some holds and restraints. What other things would be good to teach them?
Escapes. This is the most underestimated skill set in self defense.
 

skribs

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I've just dappled in various martial arts, was taught informally to fight by older relatives and worked in security for a few years. I make it clear to students that I am not an expert in anything and if they wanted to excel in a particular art, say boxing, then they would need to join the appropriate club after perhaps learning the basics from me.
There is a common phrase "the blind leading the blind."

If you don't have the training yourself, it's very difficult to impart meaningful training onto someone else. There's a big difference between someone who has a black belt in Judo and dabbled in a bunch of other arts, or someone who has trained several arts for a few years each, and someone who has just dabbled here and there and then spent time on their own.

It's been widely discussed that it's very difficult to learn martial arts outside of formal classes. I ran video classes for TKD during COVID lockdowns, and it was very difficult to teach the details over video chat. It was impossible for me to give students the feel of the technique when I wasn't with them. BJJ black belt Chewjitsu had a similar experience as the student. He and his wrestling buddies watched UFC fights and tried to learn BJJ from them, but had a very different experience when they went to class and felt an experienced BJJ fighter do the same moves on them.

Formal training also helps prepare you for teaching, because you have some idea of where to start and how to build fundamentals. This is true of the things you like and the things you didn't like. For example, I like what my Taekwondo Master taught me about how to teach beginners, and that's something I learned the right process for under him. I did not like how he approached the more advanced levels, and I would teach my advanced students very differently. This was over the course of several years of seeing what teaching style worked and what didn't, both as a student and an instructor.

Now that they don't believe in pacifism any more, some of them want to be brought up to speed with what they would have learned in a more martial culture. As someone of a different background, I think this is something positive I can contribute to the community.

I get that you want to contribute, but if you're honest with yourself - how much is there for you to contribute?

I'm not saying that your experience isn't a benefit. But if your goal is to introduce people to a martial culture, your best bet may be to introduce them to someone with a stronger foundation in a martial art.
 

Holmejr

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Good character, wisdom, grace, de-escalation, restraint, avoidance.

Love your neighbor as your yourself.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Defense first, then offense if needed. A well trained individual often has the ball in their court. It becomes their decision what to do with their talents.
 
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Cornfed

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There is a common phrase "the blind leading the blind."

If you don't have the training yourself, it's very difficult to impart meaningful training onto someone else.
Just as I would feel qualified to teach someone how to ride a bike despite never having been a competitive cyclist, I feel qualified to teach people the basics of how to fight. In fact, I am probably a bit better suited to that than many martial arts instructors given that that is not their focus and many of them have never been in a fight, worked security or whatever and if they have they don't necessarily even use the techniques they teach.
 

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