Had a great couple of days at the seminar with the Blue River Martial Arts Club in KC. I love sharing the material, but as usual the thing I like most is the people. Eric Parsons, the host and head instructor at the club, has a wonderful group of people…down to earth, fun, great training attitudes, hungry for new information. I just had a blast.
Craig and I have been working for some time to systemize all the material we’ve picked up over the years. Things from multiple instructors and disciplines, ideas, concepts – almost all of which is useful but not necessarily coordinated or easily translated to a curriculum. I am NOT claiming we’ve come up with our own style, only saying we’ve been working to teach the ideas more efficiently and effectively. Hopefully, it will save people some of the years of trial and error that we’ve gone through! I think we’ve finally come up with a good set of principles that cover most of it.
I set out to share these principles, how to build them into daily practice, and of course a few of the practical fighting applications. I actually did a Power Point presentation to help reinforce the ideas, which is saying something about the importance of the material, given how much I loathe Power Point! I think it worked out pretty well – and if nothing else I didn’t expose anyone to my illegible white-board chicken-scratch (as NWMA students can attest). It also made a handy packet to share with folks; perhaps it will be helpful in retaining the information.
Day one, from my perspective at least, was a little dry. This material is necessary and fundamental though, and it takes a lot of time to lay the groundwork before you can even get to the juicier bits. I think most appreciated it though, and hopefully they didn’t get too bored. We did some fun applications but before I knew it our time was already up. I also felt bad because other than lunch, I really didn’t give the guys a break…and before I knew it, our time was already up. Sorry guys!
There were more than a few bruised knuckles thanks to the telephone books. Guys – buy this stuff, it works.
Day two was more fun. I still don’t think that we had enough time to cover everything (barely had time to adequately cover two of the four principles), but there’s only so much time in the day. I think we laid a good foundation given the short time, and folks seemed to really have fun with some of the applications we practiced.
Most important to me was that the applications all illustrated the principles, rather than just a bunch of completely unrelated techniques. I also wanted to drive home the point that even when techniques that look very different, they may actually have a lot more in common…and it’s these underlying principles that make everything work better.
Seeing someone’s eyes light up when they “get it” is just incredibly satisfying. It’s even better than a good glass of scotch…though afterwards we had a few of those too, just to be sure.