At the senior student meeting on Sunday we discussed ways to get more adult students into the dojo. Since the children’s program ends at the end of the school year, our dojo space is under utilized in the summer months. What a great opportunity to spread the benefit of Martial arts training among adults.
Many people have some martial arts experience at some point in their fitness lives. The typical approach to martial arts training- the ‘copy me’ approach where the instructor demonstrates and the students copy ‘best you can’ is an exercise in frustration for many people who are not natural movers. After a few weeks of exhaustion, strain and injury the new white belt limps away. This approach has a long tradition and is designed to find the naturally talented students and weed out the rest.
SFMAI is a movement school with real movement experts capable of getting a beginner past the early challenges. With real expertise in anatomy, and movement sciences our instructors help students to identify and fire muscles that are essential to the successful execution of technique that many adults have never accessed. After many years of established movement preferences many adults have a narrow movement repertoire and many muscle groups go unrecognized.
The revelatory experience.
Adult students leave a SFMAI class or seminar with a profound new appreciation of a movement capability that they did not know they had simply because the instructor has sufficient knowledge, experience and willingness to help the student make the discovery of the existence of a set of muscles and how to fire them. Often these revelations are life altering experiences and are much more likely to bring the adult student back, than a ‘best you can’ class where the student is more likely to leave with a new strain or bruise.
If you are talking about your martial arts training and experience with other adults be sure to point out this critical difference between the SFMAI approach and traditional training.
The physical revelation may be even more important for more advanced adult students. Many adult students get in a year maybe two of training and reach a plateau that they cannot get past. That leads to frustration and injury and ultimately another student lost. The student has become stronger but cannot execute technique properly so is more prone to injury, slower and just doesn’t look right in the mirror.
Almost every physically active adult falls into one of these categories. Not only are they very good candidates for training at our dojo but if you can get them in, you might be responsible for helping them achieve a life altering experience.
Please talk up you own revelatory experiences with your friends and acquaintances. Everybody wants one, many have tried and failed to achieve one. Many are shy of and uncertain of their own movement capabilities. Our school is the best place for these folks to train.