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#428279 - 07/13/10 09:50 PM First time teacher
formless Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 72
Hello all,
Been awhile, I've been busy with school and clinical hours. No one remember me? Oh well. Not what im here for.

My state college has recently opened up a MMA club, and i have been selected, after an interview, to teach the standup portion of the club. Stand up and ground fighting are on different days, and we have qualified MMA fighters, strikers and ground fighters to teach.

Um. I had thought volunteering would be a great way to view the other side of martial arts, and im sure in teaching i will be able to view my Muay Thai in a whole new light. There are many Pro's to volunteering my time, and few cons.

But, one of the cons is.... Its a university club, not a gym. We are not allowed to spar, i cannot teach elbow strikes, and equipment is what the instructors feel like bringing. I fear... that striking can only go so far, before you actually have to start sparring and taking hits. Eventually, to be a better fighter, you HAVE to spar. Application of techniques is critical to completely understand how to use them.

Another thing i am unsure of, is what will i make the pre lesson workout be like? I have belonged to a very good gym for a long time, but it was filled with competing fighters, people who wanted to learn so they may better their record in the ring. I was told i will have students that are eager to learn, but are fresh and clueless. Which is fine. But i already have a student with several fused discs in his back (yea, i know) and some students that are severely out of shape.

Any suggestions on pre lesson workouts? Keep lack of equipment in mind, we basically have an empty dance studio. i have thai pads and focus mitts, But i may have between 30-45 students a class. I dont want to spread instruction thin, and kind of bore people while i help those who do not learn as quickly.

Seems i have bit off quite a bit. I CAN and will teach the basics of boxing, such as stances, avoidance, footwork and strikes first. Then i will teach different stances to optimize kicks, several kicks, and how to use kicks if they must have a heavy reliance on kicks. I can teach clinch and knees, and they are allowed to clinch and throw "mock" knees.

I suppose im asking, how do i keep all occupied while i help those who fall behind? and some workout routines can be very effective with no equipment at all, pushup situps burpees spidermen running etcetc.

ANY suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated. Anything you veteran teachers are willing to give, ill gladly take.

Thanks for reading,
Rob





Edited by formless (07/13/10 10:04 PM)
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#428283 - 07/13/10 10:30 PM Re: First time teacher [Re: formless]
hope Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Hi Rob --

I'm a 25year teacher (of other stuff)and an MA student (brown belt). A couple of thoughts which may be of use:
* To keep all occupied while you help people who need it, give them something to do in pairs or threes, and tell them to switch partners whenever you yell "switch". Then, you pick a partner (if the person is already paired, either teach both of them or send one off to do burpees). Give a few necessary pointers. Yell "switch" after a couple of minutes and pick someone else. Work your way through as much of the class as you wish until you judge they need another activity. Don't ONLY choose the neediest people to pair with, or they'll quickly think of your attention as criticism.

* Re people who are out of shape: Ensure that people know they are only competing with themselves, to monitor their bodies and to stop when they need to stop. Their goal is to do more / faster / longer than they did the last time, not to compare themselves to other people.

* Re limited techniques and no sparring: Tell them what you said above: "Eventually, to be a better fighter, you HAVE to spar. Application of techniques is critical to completely understand how to use them.", and then the ones who want to become better fighters will join a gym where they can spar.

The experienced MA instructors will doubtless have more specific advice...
_________________________
God grant me a good sword and no use for it. -- Polish proverb

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#428309 - 07/14/10 03:44 PM Re: First time teacher [Re: formless]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Rob

Hope makes an excellent point/s......make sure you go over the limitations imposed by the circumstances/gear etc so the students know exactly where and why their training might....MIGHTbe less than ideal....and some steps they might take to address it.

Don't know the size of the uni or the prior turn-out but 30+ students sounds like a lot.
My guess is that you'll get many more folks "dropping out" in a college class than even in a "normal" school---could be way off base on that...but you might have far fewer students than you might think.

Also guessing that attendence might be equally infrequent--college kids have a lot of demands on their time (and some them are even school related wink )

Good Luck.

Would be so kind as to tell eveyone how it goes??? I'm just curious.


Edited by cxt (07/14/10 03:51 PM)
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I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#428316 - 07/14/10 06:55 PM Re: First time teacher [Re: cxt]
formless Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 72
Sure, let you know in a few weeks when school is back in session and i start teaching. If it is as big as i think itll be, i may enlist some help with standup, if i can find someone i have confidence in. Thanks for the advice Hope. Ill be sure to mention it. So far, Looks like a very large interest in it.
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Serve no master.

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#428350 - 07/16/10 03:56 PM Re: First time teacher [Re: formless]
formless Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 72
Anyone Else? Suggestions or experiences?
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Serve no master.

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#430619 - 10/23/10 11:55 AM Re: First time teacher [Re: formless]
hope Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
So, how are your classes going?
_________________________
God grant me a good sword and no use for it. -- Polish proverb

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#430670 - 10/25/10 06:34 PM Re: First time teacher [Re: hope]
WarblyDoo Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 24
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Hi Formless

I just saw your post for the first time and thought I might have something to add. I teach at a university here in a Canada and have faced many of the same problems you have. Though the school I teach at has never handcuffed me so far as to tell me I am not allowed to spar in my classes and I might be inclined to walk away from any institution that wanted me to teach fighting without allowing people to spar in a controlled environment. That's like teaching your someone to drive by showing them how and then sending them to drive around the block by themselves.

Firstly Hope had some very good ideas as to how to help students. When I am doing warmup/drills I move around the room providing input to individuals to help them improve their technique but I am always sure to spend time with the more advanced students as well. This prevents the newer students from feeling singled out and the older students from feeling left out. If in moving around the class I find myself giving the same advice to 2 or 3 people that usually indicates that my initial description lacked something and I take that opportunity to stop the whole class and explain that point better.

Another thing I have done is that even though our class is blocked out for a two hour period I run the "official" class for only an hour and a half. Since you are teaching at a uni you will find that there are students who need to leave to study or catch a bus etc so people who need to leave after this time can. I encourage all students to stay though as I use that last thirty minutes for question period. This is the time when people can ask me additional questions about things which were not clear enough during class, or some of the inevitable "what ifs" that always come with drills, or even ask about things we haven't done in a while which they want to work on. I can also use this time to seek out any students for which I had additional feedback and provide it to them then in a situation where they don't feel like they are getting public criticism.

I have found that this works fairly well for me as the students who really need or really want additional attention remain behind and those who are less inclined or really need to go do not feel stuck there.

I hope this helps.

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