Friday, May 30, 2014

Working with Others

 As an instructor I want to give my students every opportunity to grow and train in the martial arts.  I believe strongly in having my students cross train in other arts or with other students and schools outside of my classes. I believe also that it is my responsibility to reach out to other schools and other instructors to not only set up training opportunities for them but for me as well.  I believe no instructor is an island and we all some added input to help us become students again.

My daughter Em. and I demoing and instructing double stick combative responses during the MAPA seminar.

Recently on May 3rd we (my students and I) hosted a cross training event at the Roanoke Rec. Center for my arnis students.  While we held it on May 3rd of 2013, the idea came about in September of 2013 when at an Iain Abernethy seminar; I was approached by an old Modern Arnis seminar buddy Guro Abel Martinez.  Over several discussions we were trying to set aside time to get our Modern Arnis classes together to cross train.  Then my assistant instructors (Jackie and Kevin) reached out to Guro David Beck about also getting our classes together and in time MAPA was born.

Guro John Bain instructing on finger locks with Kevin
The Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance (MAPA) was formed with the intent of setting up cross training events with other Filipino martial artists, and others martial artists who are open minded to learn and work with each other.  While it was a lot of hard work to arrange and then to put on it was a big success overall with over 20 people showing up from 10 year old kids to adults from several different martial art styles.  We hope to set up another seminar this summer in August.

Double stick training during the MAPA seminar

Right after the seminar I had to travel to Houston for work, and while I was there I met three other Modern Arnis instructors and trained with them.  On Monday night I worked out with Master Ed Kwan and his students, then Tuesday morning bright and early (like 6:00am) I trained with John and his students, and then Tuesday night Master Earl Tullis was gracious enough to set aside time for me to train with him.

Empty hand drills
Master Kwan instructing
A week later Master Ed contacted me and told me that he was coming to Dallas on business and asked if he could visit my classes.  The only problem was he was visiting on my Tae Kwon Do nights.  However seeing a cross training opportunity for my students I invited him to work with my students on empty hand drills.  Master Ed showed up early and worked with my Modern Arnis students and then taught my advanced Tae Kwon Do class empty hand tapi flow drills and applications.
Class photo with Master Kwan

 Lately on Wednesday nights after my Modern Arnis class I travel to another martial arts school in Hurst for a JKD Kali/Pekiti Tirsa class.  This class is a lot of fun for me since I can be a student again and just sit back and relax with the sole intent on learning.  No pressure to formulate lesson plans, no need to jump in and correct etc. etc.  I just have the pressure that I put on myself to keep up with the other students and to adapt to their drills and techniques.

In future posts I’ll discuss more about how each one of these training opportunities affects my teaching, my training and learning.

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