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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:12 pm    Post subject: I Don't Teach One Day Self-Defense Classes!! Reply with quote

I don't teach self-defense in my dojo to the weekend warriors as a means to drive the bottom line financially, even though, that's a simple way to meet my dojo's P&L expectations.

I'm not speaking about the weekend seminar, on a plethora of topics, to fellow MAists, but about the layperson with very little or no MA background, who'll spend their hard earned money on a one time self-defense class.

Why??

It's a waste of time for that layperson to endeavor!! I don't, and will not, subscribe to the believe that some self-defense is better than nothing!! Nothing will never seriously benefit them in both the short and long term of it all by attending a Saturday on a one time self defense class.

To do so, builds only one thing for sure....the false security for that layperson!!

We speak loudly about the value of effectiveness in the MA, and that which must be in the MAist, as well. How it's achieved through rigorous years of training and sacrifice. How effectiveness, and in part, requires effective muscle memory and the execution of said technique.

After a few hours of training, that layperson might or might not remember one single thing that they were taught at a one day self-defense class. If they do, and my money's on that they won't, just how effective will they be against an attacker that's hell bent on destroying them on the streets outside of the safety and comfort of said school of the MA with only a few hours of training?!?!?

One of the reasons that it takes many years to become effectively proficient in the MA is that we train and practice for years in a very serious way, with resistant training, and not in a simple passing of time way, but dead serious time devoted to become that effective, to even have that better chance of surviving an attack.

I seriously doubt that the layperson devotes much time, if any, and if at all, on practicing seriously what they learned in that one self-defense class. Muscle memory will not be there, so that layperson will more than likely freeze from fear, and we all know that any simple pause will only benefit the attacker, and not the defender.

Even worse is what if they're attacked years after that one class of self-defense?!?! By the time they remember, if they do, what to do, it's all over, and they're now crumbled down lying on some street writhing in pain, or worse.

I cringe whenever I see and/or hear about people suggesting that they're loved one should take a self-defense class, no matter the good intent, because nothing positive can possibly come from it...no...not after attending one brief self-defense class.

I'll turn away prospective students fast who desire a one day self-defense class from me because I don't teach just self-defense classes outside and away from my normal daily curriculum. I mean, even then, just how effective are my students after years of rigorous training and all on my floor will that student of mine be?? Well, as far sight better than the weekend warrior having only done that one class, I assure.

To become proficient in anything requires many years of intense training!! That isn't, and won't be found in a one day self-defense class!!

Imho!!




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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1723

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the worth and benefit from attending a one-day one time only seminar on anything? From an instructor’s perspective it could help as a promotion device to get new students to start training. On the other hand anyone seriously interested in learning martial arts and self-defence (or anything) will not be satisfied with just one day or lesson. The amazing thing about such seminars is that when they think about it , people do understand that a one time course will probably not help them but....they are still willing to pay/attend because a sense of security and accomplishment is a buyable commodity. People will always want to feel good about themselves without too much effort and quick as possible.
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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 128
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Think of it as an introduction. Give a 1 day course that inspires people, they'll come back for more.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2431
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I get your reasoning and point, I can't say I completely agree. As an example, a friend of mine taught a womens' self defense seminar, and one of those women was attacked while jogging within weeks of that class. She very specifically used what she learned from my friend to fight against her attacker. It actually even became national news, and she became an outspoken advocate for good self defense training and having the right attitude to protect yourself. Did she learn how to fight well? No! Was she proficient? No! Would she have fared better and escaped in better condition if she had actual proper training? Yes! Even so, the seminar taught her about escape, the mentality one has to have to stay alive, and enough basic techniques to give her something to work with, and it made the difference between life and (most probably) death.

I won't say that "anything is better than nothing," because some of the "anything" you can find is absolutely terrible. I do think, however, that a class that heavily focuses on awareness, avoidance, and escape, along with the mentality you HAVE to have when defending yourself, and some basic grip releases and strikes, IS better than nothing. I will always recommend that people get proper, consistent training if they want to learn to protect themselves, because they will, of course, become much better at it the more they train! That said, I wouldn't tell someone NOT to attend a self defense seminar, unless I knew that the material was bad.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:

Quote:
What is the worth and benefit from attending a one-day one time only seminar on anything? From an instructor’s perspective it could help as a promotion device to get new students to start training. On the other hand anyone seriously interested in learning martial arts and self-defence (or anything) will not be satisfied with just one day or lesson. The amazing thing about such seminars is that when they think about it , people do understand that a one time course will probably not help them but....they are still willing to pay/attend because a sense of security and accomplishment is a buyable commodity. People will always want to feel good about themselves without too much effort and quick as possible.

That's just not my thing; teaching a one day self-defense class. Seminar...one day self-defense class, imho, are two different things in the sense that they teach far different concerns. For me, a Seminar targets specifics, more than wide range things, which for the most part, are what self-defense classes target.

Every time a relative and/or a friend asks me to teach them some self-defense, I tell them to join my dojo, and they'll learn some, but not in a happenstance environment. Even my nieces will ask me at BBQs to show them something, and I will, but only if they join my dojo.....I do not teach one or two day self-defense classes for the reasons already stated in my OP.

It's for others, but not for me!!

Do I offer introduction classes?? Sure!! But that one day intro class is specific targeted. If after they decide to not join, then there's not much I can do for them beyond what I targeted. Besides, even in a targeted environment, that intro class has its drawbacks because of its limitations of knowledge and experience.

JazzKicker wrote:

Quote:
Think of it as an introduction. Give a 1 day course that inspires people, they'll come back for more.

Yes, I offer that intro class, and it's a specific targeted, as all classes are in my dojo!! Intro classes are teamed up either with myself, and'or with one of my instructors, in that kind of one on one within a group setting. Sempai's are all over the classes assisting pretty much everyone.

Wastelander wrote:

Quote:
While I get your reasoning and point, I can't say I completely agree. As an example, a friend of mine taught a womens' self defense seminar, and one of those women was attacked while jogging within weeks of that class. She very specifically used what she learned from my friend to fight against her attacker. It actually even became national news, and she became an outspoken advocate for good self defense training and having the right attitude to protect yourself. Did she learn how to fight well? No! Was she proficient? No! Would she have fared better and escaped in better condition if she had actual proper training? Yes! Even so, the seminar taught her about escape, the mentality one has to have to stay alive, and enough basic techniques to give her something to work with, and it made the difference between life and (most probably) death.

I won't say that "anything is better than nothing," because some of the "anything" you can find is absolutely terrible. I do think, however, that a class that heavily focuses on awareness, avoidance, and escape, along with the mentality you HAVE to have when defending yourself, and some basic grip releases and strikes, IS better than nothing. I will always recommend that people get proper, consistent training if they want to learn to protect themselves, because they will, of course, become much better at it the more they train! That said, I wouldn't tell someone NOT to attend a self defense seminar, unless I knew that the material was bad.


Before I even thought of posting this topic, I already knew that many here wouldn't agree with my mindset. That's totally cool because we can't always agree with everything.

I find it quite refreshing when you talk about your friend being able to bring to bear that which she learned from a one day self-defense seminar, and what she began to advocate from her experiences; I bow to her across the board. I'd say that she's a gem from the ruff; a rarity because application with effectiveness from a one day class is something, well, quite lucky and fortunate. But, her one day was targeted specific, and that too, is a rarity in the MA world because many self-defense classes are more glossed over with ineffective tones. I bow to her for being that effective with such little knowledge and experience!!

Still, I just won't be that proponent for one day self-defense classes for the reason(s) I've already stated; primarily it just gnaws at me of that high risk of false security one gets...even if the worlds greatest instructor was teaching said one day self-defense class, it's just one day!! Just not my cup of tea, and I DO NOT judge those that do teach one day self-defense classes.




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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6148
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it depends on what you intend to cover during the course and what expectations you set.

Is a one day First Aid course the same as going to Medical school? No but at the very least you might have a basic awareness of what's going on and how to seek further help. A one day self defence course is not going to teach you how to fight off several attackers but it's perfectly reasonable to teach people how to be more observant and some basic defensive strategies e.g the fence.

And of course its a low commitment way to see if the student likes your teaching and introduces them to your school.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
I think it depends on what you intend to cover during the course and what expectations you set.

Is a one day First Aid course the same as going to Medical school? No but at the very least you might have a basic awareness of what's going on and how to seek further help. A one day self defence course is not going to teach you how to fight off several attackers but it's perfectly reasonable to teach people how to be more observant and some basic defensive strategies e.g the fence.

And of course its a low commitment way to see if the student likes your teaching and introduces them to your school.

Solid post!!

Each of you have presented solid arguments against my mindset across the board, and whatever you're doing, it works very well for you. Thank you!!



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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27760
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are pros and cons to this approach. I think that overall, one-day self-defense classes can be very beneficial, depending on what the curriculum is, and how it is presented.

Our Defensive Tactics club puts on several of these kinds of seminars each year, mostly as women's self-defense courses. The curriculum is minimal, and it's presented in such a way to allow for lots of reps to be completed in the training day.

I'd say that overall, the courses are very beneficial for introducing self-defense concepts to those that need them. And every now and then, you'll end up finding one that sticks, and joins your school, because they see the value in continued, focused training.

I can understand not wanting to use these classes to not drive up the bottom line. In that case, do them for free!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference from a one day self-defense class and a focus targeted seminar are night and day. Forget about the bottom line because that bottom line isn't, and shouldn't be, the focus of any MA school. The focus is misdirected away from what is being taught MA wise. Financial security is necessary for the MA school, but it must never be the primary concern.

Imho!!



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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2206


PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I missing the point but isn't martial arts an integral part of self defence?

From the first class to the last class and every thing in between is about self defence in one aspect or another?

Packaging and selling a one day self defence class directed at recruiting new students is a marketing strategy; which to my mind has an ulterior motive, tricking by trying and trapping.

Perhaps being absolutely fair to new student's and giving a good self defence course that involves 48 hours of hands on experience is more worthwhile, that involves a wider perspective than, the one on one techniques, that realistically takes time to master.

By doing so, not only gaining the respect of new recruits but also being realistic and real up front from the beginning.

However holding "the first class is free self defence class" is fair enough as they will be your walking talking advertising ambassadors, to their friends, family and work colleagues if satisfied.

A first day Wing chun class could start off with developing, Blading defensive skills.
https://youtu.be/6fglw2Nu3xI

Oops edited the wrong post!!!


Last edited by Alan Armstrong on Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:58 pm; edited 3 times in total
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