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Himokiri Karate
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 325

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:43 pm    Post subject: Private training improvement vs class training improvement.. Reply with quote

For those who teach public and private. Do you see a great difference between private student vs public student?

One thing I love about private lesson is, the teacher gets to know me as a human being. Not just my name or character but my body type as well as psychology. I find this+ sparring sessions to be very useful but again, this is just me and I don't want to impose my personal experience as a universal fact.

So with that in mind, how do you feel about private students and big classes?
It begins with the knowledge that the severity of a strikes impact is amplified by a smaller surface area.
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15504
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're both vitally important to any MA school; not just for the student, but for the CI and the school itself. I've had them both ever since I opened my dojo back in the late 1970's; I've never looked back.

Schedules swim from this and that for all involved, and for so many different reason(s). For the fulltime MA school, private lesson are quite doable, however, for a part-time MA school, that can be quite challenging. Time is time and it can't be changed; either one has the time or one doesn't.

**Proof is on the floor!!!
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2284
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both are effective in what their designed for, and I encourage all my students to utilise both.

Also for me if the instructor canít or doesnít get to know you from a class setting then there is an issue.

The classes I teach, I ensure that there is low student to instructor groups. That way, we learn more about the student and same goes the other way round.

I would be failing my students, if I didnít know how Jimmy Works and Learns in comparison to Cassandra who does things completely differently.
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29040
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think both are effective, and important, to a person's training. The upside of private lessons are fairly obvious and straightforward; one-to-one ratios, with immediate feedback. No distractions from other students. The session is tailored to the student.

These same advantages can also be drawbacks. If you are the only student, and the teacher has gotten use to how you pick things up and learn things, and the teacher can possibly fall into a rut. So does the student, because he/she is always comfortable. This may sound contradictory, but allow me to expound a bit....

This is where I think the importance of the class setting comes into play. It is important, nay, necessary, that a teacher understand how each of his/her students learn best, as each will learn at least a little differently (some much differently), and be able to adjust teaching styles accordingly. However, I feel that students also benefit from seeing different teaching approaches, even if they do not feel they are learning from them. The exposure itself teaches something.

I'll provide an example from my own experiences as a student. The instructor walks around the class, stopping to help each student along the way, offering pointers or tips, or whatever. He walks by, offers me up a point, and I take it along my way. But, when he gives other students advise, I listen to them, too. I don't think to myself, "why didn't he tell me that?" but rather "that's a good point...I'll try it as well." I've had this happen countless times over the course of my MA career.

This is where I think the value of the bigger class settings comes into play. Therefore, both settings are beneficial to the student.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1872

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lesser number of students present at one time means that the instructor will notice more details and give more feedback. More time can be spent on getting something just right, focus the bulk of teaching on one or two things to improve.

In a group of 20 students if your off by an inch, youíre off by an inch. The instructor might not notice right away or have time to get to you because there 19 others. In a group of 5-10, if youíre off by an inch, youíre off by a mile.

The point is that there is an ideal number of people to teach at a time. When that number is exceeded, quality teaching decreases.
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The Pred
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 385

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As stated before, teaching one on one has it's advantages on say teaching kata. However, it can be a bit of a challenge (though still possible) for teaching self-defense. Now I've taught private lessons, to siblings which was great as now each student had a partner to do the drills with.
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 478
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on where you are on your journey and your goals, I think that an argument can be made that you need both.

Group classes are essential for a broad education. Working out, training, and sparring with people of various level of experience, body types, and fitness gives you are breadth of experience you need to grow. You can get tips and insights off your training partners, and people might think to ask questions you do not but find you needed the answer to. They are also the more accessible option, more often than not, regarding price.

The issue with classes, however, are two fold:

1. You are taught what the teacher desires to teach at any given time. Not necessarily what you as an individual need.
2. The instructor has to work on what he feels the majority need to work on, while balancing it with it being something everyone can participate in to some degree.

Group classes suffer from having to balance mechanisms that are of benefit to the teacher, and what is of benefit to the student. If you have a good coach the balance will not sacrifice much benefit to the student for the benefit of the teacher. That sacrifice still happens though in even the best classes.

Individual lessons to do not suffer from the above considerations. They provide depth and individuality: the teacher can coach you on your specific needs, give you a depth of knowledge they cannot express in a classroom setting, and ultimately focus the lesson on you. This gives incredible depth and feed back, but is terribly skewed by what you feel you need, and the teacher is judging you in a vacuum: they may not realise what you need because they are not seeing you in context of others. Hopefully, they have paid attention to you during class so they have seen you in that context, but memories are malleable and not objective in contrast to having it right before your eyes.

In an ideal situation you should have access to both, and take advantage of having access to both. Should engage in the group classes, but ultimately, when you have a goal to work on you should book a private lesson or two: perhaps a grading, you may be planning to enter a competition and need a sense of where to start, or you have something you want to work on as a personal goal like a particular form or technique.

I, unfortunately, have to do the majority of my grappling and weapons training through private lessons because of prohibitive distance or time restrictions. I usually try and pick up a few drills I can each session, and then pad it out by going through them on training aids like my grappling dummies and Makiwara, or going through them with my students in the interim. It is not ideal, and looking back at my time at University in the Judo clubs, and when I had a local Kobujutsu instructor I trained with weekly, I do feel class training is essential to real progress. That breadth of experience, and not always being in your comfort zone because you do not have a say in the lesson plan, is irreplaceable.
R. Keith Williams

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Miick 11
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 01 Jan 2021
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer to learn and teach , if not one on one, in groups of 3 . That way people can do a techniques ( do it to someone ) , bunkai , etc . Receive the technique ( have it done to you ), and watch two people do the technique . Sometimes its hard to learn a techniques when its being done to you .

Happened this morning ; Instructor is showing someone how to do it properly ... so he is trying to learn it , while he is getting 'beaten' . I suggested ; "Do it to me on me so he can see whats being done . "

One ( just one ) good thing about a class is , you have a wide variety of different people to practice with . There is a 'danger' in getting to used to training with two or three people.
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 12 Aug 2002
Posts: 1443
Location: Timisoara, Romania
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Private training would be ideal, as 20-30 ore more students in a class cannot warrant too much focus on each of them (it's impossible for a sensei, no matter how amazing, to focus on 30 people at a time, compared to 2-3 or just one). When I used to train back home we'd be 60 people in the dojo, with 2 senseis. Not too easy to get all the attention needed, so private or small classes would be indeed better.
World Shotokan Karate
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Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 408

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the method in your schools?

the karate school I went to just taught group class (no private lessons, unless you purchased them, they were seen as an optional extra few people opted into).

The kempo school has a private class model in which you get group classes and then a couple private ones too per month.

I thought this was A-W-E-S-O-M-E but turns out it does more harm than good. This means curriculum is relegated to said private lessons, and group classes become an exercise into appealing to the lowest common denominator. Kata? No, we can't do that, since we got some white belts. Kihon? Newbies will get bored. Kumite? Newbies will get scared. Let's do some warmup, drills and call it a day *rolls eyes*
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