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#265666 - 06/21/06 10:53 PM That can't be done!
ShikataGaNai Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Kali is the only art I have any experience teaching. I mix a lot of different styles and teach what I find effective, usually a combination of the basic 5 angles with techniques from Garimot and Modern Arnis, Inosanto Kali and even some BJJ. Most of the knife stuff I actually get from Paul Vunak vids, as I see him and the DB's as some of the very few responsible knife instructors. Anyway, there's a guy in my kali group who is at about an equal experience level, but he always is undermining techniques I try to teach with comments of "that won't work" or "you'll never pull that off in a real fight". The funny thing is I do it in sparring. I'm not a great escrimador or anything, but I have my moments and I've gotten ok at finding the ins on locks, throws, disarms etc. This is really starting to chap my hide, and I feel helpless because the dude is a better striker than me. Still, I feel like I have a higher aptitude for teaching and don't deserve all the doubt. Any ideas on how I should handle this?

Maybe I should have put this in the teaching and learning forum, but I wanted to hear the advice of other FMA people.

#265667 - 06/22/06 04:47 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: ShikataGaNai]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3403
Loc: MiddleEarth
Does your system have a recognised instructor programme?
ie do you have instructor training and certification and have you done it? If you havent I suggest you do it asap. That way you have the official documents and he does not.

You could also quietly have a word with your dojo head that what he is saying is undermining your teaching efforts. Hopefully you'll get some backup and they guy will be told to pull his head in.

Plus you could also have a word with this guy and tell him to butt out and that you are teaching the class and not him, and could he please leave his comments out and discuss them with you separately after class.

And I'd also suggest you get stuck in and increase your skill levels in other areas to balance yourself out. Sounds like you are on the right track and teaching will only help to improve your skills.

I wish we had a lot more time to devote to stick work, it is a minor part of our syllabus and there are so many other things I have to teach that it tends to get minimal attention whereas in reality we could have several months of just sticks only and not get through all the stuff I'd like to cover.
Sword maiden

#265668 - 06/22/06 05:05 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: Reiki]
ShikataGaNai Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
That's the interesting thing involved in this issue - you kind of come across kali by association here in chicago. The people who do it are spread out and disorganized and many of them keep to their own circles. We are in a group without a lead instructor right now, so the lack of formality could be partially blamed, although I sort of like it this way. I guess what I'm looking for is more along the lines of what skills should I concentrate on to "up my game" as far as stick skills and teaching them go. But now that you mention it, do you know of any organizations that are clean to get accredited through? I went through a few seminars with a certain group, but backed out before certification because they said I would be sent to other schools to challenge their students and "honor the master" once in a while. No way. I"m my own man and I don't do anyone's dirty work for them! Apparently, many FMA groups here have this unfortunate sense of rivalry

#265669 - 06/23/06 12:21 AM Re: That can't be done! [Re: ShikataGaNai]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3403
Loc: MiddleEarth
I am unfortunately on the other side of the world from you and my local knowledge of your area is almost zilch. I've been to Chicago a couple of times on business so roughly know my way around however I don't know any MA there.

I would try to see if you can join up with maybe a local DB based group or someone doing Modern Arnis.
Sword maiden

#265670 - 06/23/06 03:37 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: ShikataGaNai]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
If you work with Inosanto 'flavoured' Kali, have you considered looking at the MKG? our school here in the UK has Rick Faye over every year to give a weekend seminar, and I can vouch for the quality of his teaching and skill. If they offer affiliation or instructor certification I would think it worthwhile.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#265671 - 06/23/06 04:02 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: Cord]
ShikataGaNai Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Yeah! I wish I hadn't left Seattle right when I did - My introduction to Kali came from an MKG Sea. student but I didn't pursue it till later. I guess a trip to minnesota wouldn't be out of the way at all - especially with 8 dollar tickets from! Thanks, Cord. I can't believe I didn't think of that

#265672 - 09/13/06 12:39 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: Reiki]
mmatrainee Offline

Registered: 09/13/06
Posts: 2
Loc: England
"honor the master" once in a while
wot does that actually mean, ive never heard the phase before n to me it sounded a bit sick.
Please explain.

#265673 - 09/13/06 09:09 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: ShikataGaNai]
RonH Offline

Registered: 05/04/06
Posts: 19
While this seems to be an informal class, you are obviously taking some amount of a lead. I'd talk to him first and ask him why he's always riding you in front of others.

Can you give us an example of what he thinks is not capable of being done that you think is? This could give us a better idea of his view of fighting. There are some out there that are cult leader types and have a variety of thoughts of 'what can't be done' in a fight. I ran into this type for a leathal weapon certification class from my state in the US. Blighter came down on what I knew after just me saying one martial name and didn't even try to learn the extent of my knowledge (I have a certain amount of blending of certain forms, including FMA, though I wouldn't really call it a MMA style) and even wanted to figuratively dominate me through a sparring partner (and it wasn't successful with my previous training and don't get me started on how incomplete it was with very important target openings that weren't even covered that should have been brought up). Also, are the other people in the class beginners, more immediate or "advanced" types or is it just a mixture?

#265674 - 09/25/06 12:53 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: ShikataGaNai]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
You mentioned that the guy is (more-or-less) a peer. It's possible he comes from a different school of thought/system. The "it won't work" statements come from either inexperienced people who don't have a competent grasp of the art or very experienced people who can see that YOU don't have a competent grasp of the art.

Since you're not a real instructor (sounds like a training group leader), I'm assuming the he isn't either. Therefore neither of you are experts w/ a monopoly on skill.

What you need to do is either have a full contact stick fight for supremacy or get together & teach your skills to each other to get a better framework of what should be taught in the classes/practice sessions. Above all, it's very impolite to openly criticize in front of students unless you're the acknowledged Instructor.

Work together & agree who takes the lead & when; you'll both (& the students) benefit.


#265675 - 10/03/06 02:46 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: hedkikr]
kroh Offline

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
One of the things to remember is that most FMA as it is taught in the Philipines is done on a peer basis or within a family / community. There are certified instructors and headmasters but they are not falling out all over the place as the average person in the Philipines doens't even know what Arnis de Mano is.

That aside, You are the person showing the group the info. Like some one else said, pull the guy aside and tell him that if he doesn't like what is being taught he has three options. One: You are the boss despite what is going on... Either shut up or get out. Two: Fight him to prove what you do is the real deal. Throw on a fencing mask, some hockey gloves, and don't forget to throw nickles at his mask to distract him during the match so you can tune the brother up. Guys like Leo Gaje or Chris Sayoc wouldn't tolerate such things, why should you. Three: Give him his chance to show what he thinks will work in that situation on a nite that you don't feel like teaching, you feel like playing. Most loud mouths who can't keep it to themselves faulter when the light gets turned on them.

In any case you are the top dog in the group if you are the one in front barking. If he feels like barking that much, let the group decide who they want to listen to and what they want to learn.

In the end, you will definately come out on top if you maintain a professional disciplined attitude ( or you tune the brother up...don't forget the nickels).

Regards, Walt
Fight the Good Fight

#265676 - 12/26/06 10:33 PM Re: That can't be done! [Re: kroh]
mike-a Offline

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 35
Loc: auckland, new zealand
Certification and ranking isn't really a traditional thing in FMA, especially in the Philippines. Often there wasn't a whole bunch to learn, just basic defence and counters and a few "secret" tactics to hit the other guy with something he hadn't seen before. It's a recent thing to develop a huge system where students cover vast ammounts of material. In the past it was taught quick so you could use it straight away. The yardstick was being able to use it pratically - hence folks advise to gear up and go at it.

If this guy just wants to make noise, and you don't want to fight him, don't teach him. If it's your class - chuck him out! If he starts to make noises about qualification, you could be in a bit of grief though, as you've mixed a whole bunch of bits together. The tempting, and all-to-common thing is to call it your own system. But the only one who recognises it is you. Basically if there are folks who want to learn what you have to show them, and you're honest about the source, no worries.

Don't get so hung up on his comments. A lot of FMA stuff can't be used in combat. Does that mean it's useless? No way. A bunch of styles teach huge numbers of disarms (for example) most of which you'll never pull off in a pressure situation. But what'll happen is a few of them will work for you - consistantly (usually he simple ones). The other ones are actually helping develop your attributes, timing, contact reflexes, recognising openings etc. The hard part is recognising what drills have value - and how you can apply them or the principles they give you.

The more I train in FMA, the more things I see from different styles that are similar, and the more cluses I get to the application of all the stuff. Takes a while, and a bit of thought.

Marc Denny (of the Dog Brothers) often quotes a saying of Dan Inosanto's about different training being for different periods of your life. Quickly usable stuff for the short term, more complex stuff for the long term, when you are a bit older and can't muscle it out with the young ones any more.

Sounds like your guy is looking at the short term end of things...
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