In the post about visiting another martial arts school, we looked at some do’s and don’ts for just that. Now let’s take the next step and see what happens once you enroll or start training at a new martial arts school. We’ll make a couple assumptions:
- You only visited the school once or twice.
- You talked to the teacher a bit and perhaps to some of the other students.
- Other than that, your knowledge of that school is pretty limited.
This last bullet is the key point: you step into the new school with very limited information of how it works. Sure, there’s what the teacher and perhaps a couple others told you but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What lies beneath the surface is all the things you actually need to know; the social dynamics and “rules of the land”. No teacher walks up to you in your first class to tell you that such and such is a good black belt but he has a tendency to crank on joint locks way too hard. Or that he absolutely hates it when students try to show off and lets them sweat it out afterwards.
Yet this is crucial information as you enter the school: You have a martial arts background, you have training, which means you’re accustomed to the dynamics of your own school. You know how to handle these things within your own environment. You learned it either the hard way (getting thumped on the head) or by observing your fellow students. But now you’re in another place where things are different. There are too many opportunities for somebody to hurt you, so you have to figure out how things work in this school.
Here are a couple things you can do to avoid these situations: [Read more…]