Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A question for y'all...

When you go to a practice session of your martial art, which do you want more - a great workout or a great lesson?
I realize both are necessary, but which do you prefer in your normal practices?


  1. Lesson primarily, though I do like to be breathing hard by the time class is over.

    I'd rather the instructor use their time teaching techniques, and let randori and drills do the workout part.

  2. Well, you're hard pressed to beat a great lesson, especially the kind that translates into everyday living.

    I can get a great workout in my home gym or playing with my kids. Still, a good class isn't complete without some sweat.

  3. We go to class to learn and to have an opportunity to practice on other human beings (and to give them the same opportunity, of course); workouts are at home.

  4. I think it depends on the instructor. If I know my instructor has a lot of experience and insight, screw the workout, just sit down and start teaching - pull up a blackboard, whatever. It's so rare to get really good instructors in the martial arts, that I'd rather sit on my butt and learn until I'm ready to take a break and put this stuff into practice.

    If the instructor is light on the teacherly/actual-life-experience side, then definitely, let's not even pretend. We'll all get sweaty and lose weight, and at least we won't run out of breath the next time we're accidentally committing a felony by defending ourselves. :-)

    My current instructor is a pretty boastful old guy, so everybody that walks in, regardless of past experience, is an instant white belt. It's sort of embarrassing.

    Nobody's going to sit this guy down and ask him to teach them, because his teaching style throws out too much of the student's baby with the bathwater. "You're doing it all wrong, that way sucks, your diet sucks; back in my day..." etc.

    However, we get a great workout and it's easy to trick him into teaching you new technique - you just say things like, "I'll bet you can't do X from the Y position though, right...?" :-)

  5. A great lesson. The time we spend with our teachers is very small compared to the time we must train on our own.

  6. I would say that more important then either, I like it best when class is fun.

  7. I'd rather have a great lesson than a great many of the other commentors have said--I make myself responsible for getting a workout in if we don't have a good one in class.

  8. I don't aim to get a workout during aikido. I want to learn.

    When I'm on the receiving end of techniques is when I'm most likely to get a good workout. Falling down and getting up is a lot of hard work.

  9. Wow! great comments, guys. I figured the response would be more divided. I sorta thought I might be nearly alone in the "lesson insead of workout" camp.

    Struggler, good to see you. You must be too busy these days. What is it that makes a class fun for you?


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