"Think of this like we just showed you how to do a push-up. You're not done with push-ups. Go practice some push-ups on your own time and get really good at them. Make it something that you do from now on."
Here are a few of the biggest problems that I see with a one-time introductory class:
One and done! Not getting multiple sessions to build upon the mechanics- you see the movements one time and you practice them only the number of reps we show during the session. In my multiple session courses we build in tons of reps working fundamentals, variations, and add in stressors to push the students once they have shown some fundamental proficiency. I notice a significant increase in striking power and movement for individuals who work out regularly and do multiple training sessions.
My personal relation to this issue is when I train with experienced Crossfitter at the gym I go to, Danny Hale, which happens about once every 2-3 months. He works a skill-set that is difficult for me personally, the olympic lift, snatch. I improve throughout the practice time, but I can't expect to continue to improve and own those skills if I don't work them regularly and put in the hours of training after the initial session is over!
Information Overload & retention of information- we can show you a ton of stuff in a 3-4 hour session, but most people seem to have limits to what they can absorb and internalize in a single session unless they take good notes.
Partnering with another beginner- at a one-time training session for beginners you will likely pair up with someone who does not move aggressively and possibly not even athletically. At a beginner's intro seminar, most of the participants will be very unfamiliar with moving aggressively and therefore less capable of moving realistically replicate the attacks. A result of this can be the slowing down your learning curve and not getting a good mental model of what the attacks we are training for look for.Alternatively- you might get paired with an an energy level well-beyond your comfort zone (this isn't always a bad thing and it's easy to adjust this in real-time).
I had a girl in my last women's session come up after and say,
"Hey, this is great, but is there a way I can do this with more aggression and resistance, against a man as the attacker?"
The answer to that is, yes. Take a multiple session course, work the skills you learn on your own time, & look at this like a learning process rather than a destination. After years and years of training, I still approach the subject of self-defense training as a student eager to learn and integrate new ideas after we have questioned, tested, and decided where the new skills fit in.
Though these issues are present it's still worth getting started with an intro session. Everyone has to start somewhere and some training is better than none!
We want you to take the skills that work for you and practice them until you own them.
Train smart, stay safe, & keep learning,
NOVA Self Defense
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