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Author Topic: Class Structure  (Read 8756 times)


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Class Structure
« on: 2016-08-03, 03:16:11 »
I was wanting to get thoughts concerning class structure and programming. There has been a lot of differing opinions concerning the value of varying class structures on the WMA Reddit group. Some have proposed class structures such as:

1 hour class:

10 minutes warm-up
15 minutes footwork (no weapons, just moving+lundging in different combination)
20 minutes working with weapon (technique+drills)
5min free/technical sparring
10min strength or stretching

2 hour class:

5 minutes housekeeping
20 minutes warmup + strength exercise/stretching
10 minutes talking about today's drills + water
30 minutes drills/sparring games (restricted action sparring to make people do new stuff)
30 minutes free sparring (emphasising trying to work on what we learned today)
25 minutes individual focus + Q&A

These sessions were proposed structures from two separate individuals. I don't think there is a lot of value in a simple 1 hour class but even less so in the particular session structure as presented. 5 minutes of sparring? Why even bother? I understand that some clubs drill most of the class time and don't emphasize sparring but my objection to this is that without sparring you will never learn to effectively use your techniques. Drilling with a complicit and cooperative partner is very different than trying to apply the same technique against an aggressive and unpredictable opponent. What we have done is drill technique, then drill the technique with your partner moving around and being a bit less predictable, and then finally sparring. I have seen many fencers at tournaments who never apply any of their techniques in competition even when given the prime opportunity to do so. Rather they simply resort to a basic: cut, thrust & parry. I think the problem here is that they haven't sufficiently sparred and in the frenzy of competition they are at a loss as to how to apply their techniques.

The two hour session is not too objectionable IMO. However, I'm not sure what 5 minutes of housekeeping is all about and 25 minutes to answer questions seems like a waste of good time. We don't have a large group BUT most answers can be answered in the course of the class session when the drilling and practicing is actually taking place. In fact there is a total of 35 minutes of just talking scheduled here. That seems like a big waste of time IMO.

I would like to know how you all (who attend classes) have your time scheduled. How long is your class, how many times a week and how's the session broken up? I'm trying to learn in order to improve our own thing here. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

I prefer:

* 10 minutes of warm ups
* 10 minutes of explanation
* 30 minutes of technique drills
* 10 minutes for Break
* 15-20 minutes for specialized drills
* 30 minutes of sparring

The above structure is over an hour but could run 2 hours or possibly less depending on the lesson plan.
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Joshua Santana

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Re: Class Structure
« Reply #1 on: 2016-09-07, 02:04:45 »
This is a good lesson layout.  My thing though is that when you have a class full of newbies; the first thing they must learn and internalize are the basics/fundamentals. 

I have good hopes for you.  Keep up the good work!
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