TIMES HAVE CHANGED
by Sensei Andy
It is safe to say that times have changed. I started training at the age of 5 in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.
That was back in 1987. A long time ago for some who will read this, not that long ago for others. But In the last 30 years everything has changed. It has to, it must…. But not always for the better.
When it comes to Martial Arts Training, it is especially true. Gone are the days of 2 hour classes and travelling 6+ miles to get to your dojo to train…..
The way we teach, train and grow have changed….. but at the same time people’s expectations have not.
When I was training it was seen as the right thing to train 2 hours a session with an average of twice a week. So 4 hours of training a week and then you would still be looking at around 4 years to get a Black Belt and even then it was tough. For me personally I was training around 6 – 8 hours a week…. and I still had a social life, still played video games, still had other hobbies.
Now through development and growth we now understand that 2 hour lessons are not actually that beneficial to technical development. Attention spans and muscle fatigue kick in and actually for the most part, classes will be just….well…. “Filler”. Many instructors and some of the best int he world have realised that it’s the quality of what is taught in the time and not the duration that is important. That we can and still do develop amazing students by reducing the class times and allowing a mental and physical rest.
Actually a lot of schools have found that the 45 minute class is optimal in providing a great level of training but provides the “I still want more” concept that we want from students.
But with all these changes, people’s expectations have not changed along with them. What would have been 4 hours a week, 208 hours a year, 832 hours over 4 years has now reduced for many to 1.5 hours a week. This means that a student trains just 78 hours a year and just 312 over 4 years…… but people expect the same outcome as the 832 hours.
Is it possible, well now that’s a question… yes in theory, with good solid training, with home practice and with clear goals, yes it can be….. but at what cost.
When people join my school, the amount of people who seem insulted at the concept of “commitment” and that what we do should be “just a hobby”. I totally agree it should be a hobby, but like most peoples hobbies, they become something we add out passion to, our commitment and our time and it becomes part of us. Even those who do things for a “hobby” wish to excel at what they do, to get better, to become more than they were. This does and must involve a level of commitment.
So, do you think that personal expectations have changed, or do people now want more results for less work? You decide. Until then, I’ll see you in the dojo training, because that’s were Martial Artists go when they want to get better.
Sensei Andrew Banks – 22/12/2022