Time and Money

Time & Money

What are the two things that almost everyone wants more of? Time and money. Of the two time is the one resource that is truly finite. As a Martial Artist how are you going to spend your time?

Did you know there are only 4 basic punches that boxers use? Have you ever watched how effective boxers are at fighting? It’s because they have a small tool set that they master. Boxers fight on a regular basis and not just aspiring fighters, but all students. The vast majority of Martial Artists fail even the most basic mastery of simple skills. I ask each of you, at what point do you have enough techniques? 1st degree Black Belt? 2nd, 3rd or 4th?



Boxers Spending Time Sparring


How Much Time Do You Actually Train?

I challenge you to think about how you spend you time in class. Let’s take a look at some numbers:

Most schools run hour long classes that look something like this:
– 5 min on announcements
-15 min on warmups
– 40 minutes for training

What are you doing in those 40 minutes? Are you focused on mastery of a smaller set of important skills or are you always chasing something new? How much time do you spend sparring? If you are not working mastery and fighting then you are wasting time and money.  Don’t believe me?


What the Research Shows

Based on an ongoing research project, I have discovered that most of what people need for self defense is a pretty small set of skills.  As a result of this has driven me to introspect on my personal training and teaching. The result has lead me to refine the criteria I use for my personal training and teaching.

Refinement Criteria

1. Does the technique/training address a modern self defense situation?
2. Does the technique/training have a high probability of success?
3. Does the technique/training fulfill a knowledge gap.
4. Does the technique/training work under stress?
5. Eliminate anything that is unnatural for a human being

The Rationale for Sensei Emary’s Criteria.

1. Does the technique/training address a modern combat situation? Lets take a simple example. Should I learn the shuko? The flat reality is that the likelihood of you having to fight someone using a sword is virtually non-existent. Having to scale walls is an equally non-existent scenario. For me the answer is a clear no. That time would be better spent refining my shooting skills.



Is Training with shuko’s worth your time?


2. Does the technique have a high probability of success? There are a couple of important parts to this. First and foremost is the fact that adrenaline will reduce your ability to use your fine motor skills. Thus techniques that involve fine motor skills need to reduced out of the set of skills you train. Secondly techniques that involve multiple chained techniques for success are likely to fail in actual combat, thus they need to be eliminated.

3. I trained Traditional Wing Chun for almost a decade. The style is amazing for it’s striking and speed of strikes. However there are almost no throws and no ground fighting whatsoever. For that system those two areas would represent gaps that would need to be filled by training from other systems.

4. Test the skills under duress. Execute whatever the technique is, while under real stress. If you cannot execute it repeatedly and reliably then it’s a candidate for removal from your training.

5. Eliminate anything that is unnatural for a human being. I trained Seven Star preying Mantis for some time. The system was developed around someone observing the way a Preying Mantis dispatched its prey. I had great fun and learned some interesting concepts, however I’m a human not a Preying Mantis. These techniques are out of the set of skills I would spend time on.

All of these lead Sensei Emary to develop his approach to teaching Martial Arts called the Standardized Combat Curriculum.

You Might Be Wondering…

My readers are highly intelligent and some might be thinking, “Why do schools have 2nd, 3rd, 10th degree black belt ranks then?” That material must be important otherwise why would they be teaching it?

There are two answers. The first is that over time various schools have continued to add more material. As students progress they learn new material and it is taught in a structured way using rank. Understand though that this material is not better, it’s just more material. Think of it this way. An artist starts out learning drawing with a pencil. After they have fully explored the subject they might then move on to water color. One is not necessarily more advanced or better, it’s just different.  The core skills they learned with a pencil are unchanged.

It costs less to keep a customer than to get a new one. Martial Arts schools are highly competitive so keeping students around as long as possible is really important. Let’s say that I decide to teach enough material for a 2nd degree black belt and that typically takes 6 years. What happens at the end of 6 years? I have nothing more to offer my students so if they decide to continue to train then they will move to another school. So what do I do? I offer more material to keep you around.

Contrast that with a boxing school. No belts, no new stuff, just mastery of the basics. You either want to get better or you don’t. While it is incumbent on an instructor to challenge and motivate his students, it is unethical to keep adding material just to keep students around!

To know ten thousand things, know one well – Miyamoto Musashi

Here at Sun Mountain Dojo Sensei Emary has built the curriculum around solid research and analysis.  This means that you will not be burdened with training and techniques that are not singularly focused on maximizing their time, effectiveness and and ultimately giving you the best value for your money.  Please call for information and to schedule your free trial.