Most classes are 60 minutes in length. Typically, the first 20 minutes is a fast paced warm-up made up of aerobic and anaerobic exercises designed to strengthen the body for specific movements utilized in each respective system. The intensity and duration is dependent on you, it’s all about what’s comfortable.
After the warmup, we transition to reviewing concepts and then implementing techniques and applications. More often than not, you will be paired with a partner at a similar level to you. However, you can also expect to be paired with the instructor or an advanced student when you need more attention and refinement.
“The more comprehensive and realistic your training is, the better you will perform in actual combat because conditioned responses can help you counteract, or at least work through, the effects of adrenaline. Conversely, the more stressed you are through exertion, fear, or desperation, the harder it is to perform…” – Rory Miller
If you don’t apply you’re learned skills, you can not expect to pull them off in real-time, it’s as simple as that. Sparring and application are a necessity in becoming effective at self defense and combat. It serves as a laboratory to see what works and what doesn’t. It provides insight and some clarity to the nuances of violent encounters. Such as:
- What strikes and holds work against one body-type but not an other.
- How size/strength/age aren’t always the dominant variables in facing an opponent.
- Ranging/timing, figuring out how you strike and not get hit using multiple weapons with multiple reach lengths…
When first starting out, more often than not, you’re going to want to use the most amount of protection until you become more acclimated to contact and obtain more pain tolerance. Here is the recommended gear list for the novice practitioner:
- Fencing Mask
- Gloves (Hockey or Lacrosse variety)
- Elbow Pads (Lacrosse variety)
- Knee Pads (Lacrosse variety)
- Neck Guard (Hockey variety)