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Thread: choosing a kwoon

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    When you join a new school, the teacher will ask his senior students to spar with you. There are 2 reasons for this. To convince you that there are something worthwhile to learn there, also the teacher wants to check out your potential. From your feeling after sparring with those senior students, it won't be difficult for you to decide which school that you will like to attend.
    This is only true if you have some skills going into the Kwoon. An adult with no Martial Arts experience has no idea how to spar, fight. They have no gear or even know what sparring gear is.

    How can a person with no experience what so ever, even know what to do? If it is a friendly match, will that beginner know how to hold back? Will they get injured because they have no clue what to do, Probably yes?

    YouKnowWho, you using an old school way and thinking the student already has some experience. I would not recemmend this for the average beginner with MA experience.

    ginosifu

  2. #17
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    I agree that for beginners it has everything to do with where you feel comfortable with the people.

    Doesn't mean the workout will be will not be uncomfortable.

    Good coaching advice for any individual to take who is going to get into some physical development: "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable".
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  3. #18
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    If someone has martial arts experience there is nothing wrong with them sparring right away, but that is a judgement call the instructor makes. Throwing someone with no MA experience in with a senior student I find wreckless and foolish. Let someone take a class and than determine what they can do. I can watch someone go through one class and know if they have trained before or are blowing smoke. My two cents.
    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". -Cus D'Amato

  4. #19
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    I think that in the beginning just choose a place that you can afford and show up to consistently. With all the other demands on a person's you may not be able to afford an hour commute to training.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by -N- View Post
    Go with the one whose teaching style gets the best results from you.

    Go with the one whose students demonstrate the higher level of results.
    This is good -

    Also remember to ask yourself what it is you're looking to achieve. Define the results first. Use that as a barometer for when you judge the class.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron_Eagle_76 View Post
    Throwing someone with no MA experience in with a senior student I find wreckless and foolish.
    In the style of Chinese wrestling, the new student has to wrestle old student on day one was an ancient tradition. It's very difficult for any beginner to get hurt in wrestling. Some old students can even execute a hip throw and end with holding his opponent in his arms like holding a baby without even letting his opponent's body to touch the ground.

    In the kick/punch sparring, it won't be full contack but control sparring. Old students all know how to control their punches.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    If a new student can beat the senior student, that school will have nothing to offer to that new student. If the senior student can beat the new student, it will give that new student confidence to stay. It also gives that senior student a chance to test his skill against a complete "stranger" (full resisted opponent). It's a win-win situation for everybody.
    I've got to disagree with this "old school" attitude. Sometimes this approach might work with young (teen-age to twenty-something) athletic men who's objective for training is to learn fighting. But I just came back from a large seminar at our head school in Austin. I met with students of all ages and levels of ability. Your recommended approach would only apply to one limited group... certainly not to kids or the older students (many in their 60s and above) the disabled and so forth. Yet these less athletic and combative students students all gained much of value from their training.

    And to the point you made earlier stating that you can't learn anything from somebody unless they can beat you... that makes no sense at all. I've learned tons from older instructors who couldn't still compete at a high level. Or to give a more directly related example, my first WC sifu was fortunate enough to have trained with Grandmaster Ip Man close to the end of his life. Of course my instructor could have defeated the sick and dying grandmaster in combat, but that didn't diminish the knowledge that Grandmaster Ip had to impart.

    Even with young instructors, like myself (barely turning 56 next week) ability to kick butt isn't the ultimate concern. My current VC instructor can easily kick my butt empty handed, but I teach him eskrima... in fact he recently appointed me the head instructor for Eskrima in his association. Combat skill is important, but there are so many other factors that need to be considered in choosing a school that meets your needs.
    "No contaban con mi astucia!" --el Chapulin Colorado

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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumblegeezer View Post
    I've got to disagree with this "old school" attitude. Sometimes this approach might work with young (teen-age to twenty-something) athletic men who's objective for training is to learn fighting...
    It depends on whether you are looking for the long term goal or short term goal.

    My teacher told me that when some young new students went to his teacher, his teacher would ask his old student to test that new student. After the testing, his teacher might say, "I don't think my school will fit you. I'll suggest you to try another school."

    When my teacher's teacher tested my teacher, his teaher was so please about him. His teacher said, "This boy just like a bouncing ball with no fear. He will have great future in my style of Chinese wrestling". His teacher's prediction was right. My teacher turned out to be the best student that his teacher ever had.

    Some teacher only wants to teach a certain kind of students. In the old day, if the teacher didn't have to live on teaching (my teacher's teacher owned a bean paste factory), that teacher would have a lot of freedom. Even if that teacher may have to live on teaching, a non-suitable student may cause more trouble in the long run.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 07-18-2011 at 03:15 PM.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumblegeezer View Post
    I've got to disagree with this "old school" attitude. Sometimes this approach might work with young (teen-age to twenty-something) athletic men who's objective for training is to learn fighting. But I just came back from a large seminar at our head school in Austin. I met with students of all ages and levels of ability. Your recommended approach would only apply to one limited group... certainly not to kids or the older students (many in their 60s and above) the disabled and so forth. Yet these less athletic and combative students students all gained much of value from their training.

    And to the point you made earlier stating that you can't learn anything from somebody unless they can beat you... that makes no sense at all. I've learned tons from older instructors who couldn't still compete at a high level. Or to give a more directly related example, my first WC sifu was fortunate enough to have trained with Grandmaster Ip Man close to the end of his life. Of course my instructor could have defeated the sick and dying grandmaster in combat, but that didn't diminish the knowledge that Grandmaster Ip had to impart.

    Even with young instructors, like myself (barely turning 56 next week) ability to kick butt isn't the ultimate concern. My current VC instructor can easily kick my butt empty handed, but I teach him eskrima... in fact he recently appointed me the head instructor for Eskrima in his association. Combat skill is important, but there are so many other factors that need to be considered in choosing a school that meets your needs.
    I think a moderate stance is necessary. While a class might involve people with various limitations and people without, one can neither expect those with to train like those without, or vice versa.

    If someone is limited, safe pushing of their limits is good. For those without, the same treatment is only fair.

    So, provided those with experience practice care toward less experienced people they train with, I think both the able and those with serious limitations can benefit.

    If the techniques I teach are valid, they should work on me.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by shaolin_allan View Post
    when you are looking to continue kung fu and you find two schools with similar rates, sifus are equal quality, and you don't really have a style preference, what are some other factors you can or should base your decisions on? thanks in advance.
    how the teacher and the student approaching or solving the fighting problems, senarios?

    styles are less of a concern for me.

    but how to approach a fighting solution

    means nite and day for me.

    so ask or present some common fighting situations

    and see how the teacher and the students solve them?

    you decide which approach you like better or prefer more?

    ---


  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPJ View Post

    so ask or present some common fighting situations

    and see how the teacher and the students solve them?

    you decide which approach you like better or prefer more?
    That makes a lot of sense to me. Between seeing the skill of the senior students, how many there are etc.. and how they approach these fighting situations you do get a good idea of where to stick it out.

  12. #27
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    Having a new or prospectous student to spar with senior students of the school is a no no. Because it is foolish and impolite. Let me quote a story from a gone MA web forum to illustrate my point. An MA instructor's wife went to another school to take up class. She was told to do sparring exercise with the instructor there in the first class session. She was injured during the exercise. Her husband went to the said kwoon, and whacked the crap out of the responsible instructor there. All these need not happen. As for why I said it is impolite to do so. Arranging a new student to do sparring with current students of a school can be motivated by malicious intent. It can also a challenge. To me, using challenge as a way to find out if a kwoon fits our bill is impolite. And it is a no no.



    Regards,

    KC
    Hong Kong

  13. #28
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    too many people read Martial Arts novels and watch movies.
    If someone came in and challenged me, and I thrashed him, and then he bowed and asked me to teach him, I'd say, "Are you out of your freakin mind? Why the h3ll would I teach someone like you? Now, go home and slap your mother for being stupid enough to breed."


    or something like that....
    "My Gung-Fu may not be Your Gung-Fu.
    Gwok-Si, Gwok-Faht"

    "I will not be part of the generation
    that killed Kung-Fu."

    ....step.

  14. #29
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    Generally speaking, people interested in learning kung fu fall on the spectrum somewhere between wanting to learn to fight competitively (or for self defense) and wanting to learn the more dramatic (some would say LARPer or movie style) elaborate moves. Some others want a bit of the philosophical or spiritual parts as well.

    Figure out what is more important to you. Each is an acceptable reason, or maybe more accurately, focus in martial arts. Chinese martial arts, in my mind (albeit somewhat influenced by wu shu rather than TCMA), is far more of a beautiful and varied art than some of the more, shall we say, direct arts (rather than call them "simple").

    The idea of someone "controlled sparring" a newcomer is kinda stupid, in my opinion. First of all, if someone only does controlled sparring, they learn to focus on speed alone, and you can't tell if those individual "hits" they "landed" would have done any damage or had any real "stopping power". In contrast, fighting full contact with pads and 14 ounce gloves over emphasizes conditioning to some extent. Full contact without protective gear is absurd since you couldn't do it on a regular basis.

    Figure out to some extent what you want. If you wanted to learn after seeing movies (and realistically, a lot of us did), find a school that has a high volume of forms or sets to learn. If you are an aspiring competitive fighter, look for a school that throws on the protective gear and actively spars. Some are in the middle and do some light/no contact sparring.

    If you are a beginner and are young, I'd suggest finding a school that has some of both.

    I'm a believer that the direct translation of Kung Fu is "energy" and "time". People get out of it what they put into it. To a large extent, your own work ethic will be 98% of the results you see. In my opinion, its hard to be a bad martial arts instructor: if you have the basic skill sets (i.e. can teach a variety of kicks and punches) and give an opportunity to learn from trial and error (oftentimes from sparring or other competition) the practitioner himself/herself really governs what they learn. As a result, I'd echo the suggestions of some of the members of the forum: look for a group of students that you feel comfortable with. If you enjoy something, you'll be more motivated. Also, teachers tend to retain students who are like-minded. If you have a bunch of rash-guard, Ed Hardy wearing MMA enthusiasts in a class, you've probably got an instructor who teaches for competitive (at some level) fighting, probably full contact. If you have a bunch of guys who like anime and wear sashes, you've probably got a more forms oriented class.
    Sith Legal Kung Fu is unstoppable.

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by shaolin_allan View Post
    when you are looking to continue kung fu and you find two schools with similar rates, sifus are equal quality, and you don't really have a style preference, what are some other factors you can or should base your decisions on? thanks in advance.

    maaaaan, are you still having trouble deciding? didnt you first post about it over a year ago?

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