Seminar learning scene

Discussion in 'General' started by lonecoyote, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. lonecoyote

    lonecoyote New Member

    I don't live close to any FMA schools or practitioners, but I am very interested in learning. I've noticed that there are some seminars within my long distance travel range ( the kind where the wife and I would stay for a couple of days, see relatives, etc. ) and I would like to know what to expect from an FMA seminar? How much experience do I need to have to get anything out of it? Could I learn enough to take back with me and practice with some training partners? What are some good seminar experiences you have had? Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. JPR

    JPR New Member

    Difficult to answer.


    Your question is a tough one to answer, because seminars are all so different. However, in general, the more you know before you go, the more you will get out of the seminar. Especially if you know the basics of what ever system you are working with. That way you will not get hung up on the foundation material and will get more time and exposure to more advance drills / techniques / etc.

    Taking a training partner with you can be a good idea as well. Seminars tend to give you a lot of information in a very short period of time, and having another person there to compare notes / memories with can be very helpful when you try to recreate the drill or technique later.

    Take good notes, review them quickly, and rewrite them. I am just now learning how helpful it is to do the review / rewrite early (like in the evening after each session of the seminar) because of "brain leakage".

    During the first Inosanto seminar I attended I thought my brain was going to explode because of the amount of information that was presented. There were moments when I wondered what I was doing there because I was struggling so much. I just couldn't keep up and I found that my retention of the material was spotty. I remember thinking that I had made a mistake and this was the only seminar I would ever attend. It was disturbing, but I had a couple of excelent training partners that helped me. They worked with me on the material but also reassured me that many / most suffer this initial "seminar shock syndrome". It gets better the more you go.

    Hope this helps some.

  3. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    I think that JPR has made some good suggestions! What I would ad is to show someone afterwards. The late GM Remy Presas was my teacher and he always told us to teach someone as soon as we got home. This concept has greatly helped my training.

  4. Nanalo74

    Nanalo74 New Member

    Absolutely right. By teaching someone else, you actually teach yourself. You are forced to break things down, thereby making them clearer not only to the person you are teaching but also to yourself.

    Good luck!

  5. MJS

    MJS Junior Member

    I agree!! JRP made some excellent points. Taking notes is a big help. In addition to the notes, make sure you stay on top of the practice. There have been times when I'd write something quick, only to go back to the notes looking at them thinking, "OK, What is this?" The most important thing is to go and have a good time. You'll have the chance to work with a wide variety of people. Its going to be hard to remember every single thing, but even if you walk away with a handfull of material, chances are, you may end up seeing something similar at a future seminar.

  6. pesilat

    pesilat Junior Member

    I still attend seminars pretty regularly - both as a student and as an instructor at the seminar. But I used to attend seminars much more frequently than I do now. Consequently, I've attended *a lot* of seminars over the years.

    The biggest thing I learned about seminars in general is this bit of advice I offer to everyone when they start attending seminars.

    Seminars can be very useful as supplemental training. Don't expect to reach a lot of depth from seminars, though, because the instructor generally has to cater to the average level of the seminar - find a place where the advanced students still gain something but where the newbies aren't completely lost. It's a hard thing to find. But since that's how seminars, in general, run, the more advanced you get, the less material you get from the seminars.

    That doesn't mean that seminars aren't for advanced people. There's always something to be learned. These days, for instance, I often attend seminars where I'm already familiar with 99% (or more) of the physical material presented so I pick up very little in that regard. But now I'm also watching how the instructor teaches the material and learning more about teaching to become a better teacher myself. So there's *always* something.

    But I've gotten ahead of myself - or, more specifically, ahead of where you are.

    For seminar newbies, my advice is based on something Dan Inosanto says about seminars. "Seminars should be like drinking from a firehose. You can quench your thirst but if you try to drink all of the water, you'll drown."

    At seminars, don't worry about getting all the material presented. Don't even worry about getting most of it. Just let the material wash by. When something sticks to you ... i.e.: you really like it or it really seems to suit you ... hold on to it. Whenever you get a break, revisit that technique - ideally with a partner but at least in your mind - and jot notes about that technique. Don't try to take notes on everything ... you'll never keep up and you may end up missing something that would have stuck.

    Keep in mind that the goal (of training in MA in general and specifically of the seminar) is to have fun. If you're all hung up on retaining everything and stressing because you're not then you won't be having much fun. If you have fun and retain nothing, then the money still won't have been wasted because you had fun. If you retain something, so much the better.

    Over time, though, you'll find that a lot more stuff stuck unconsciously than you realized at the time. You'll see something done later (when you're ready to learn it) and it'll click into place even quicker because you've already seen it and worked it some at that seminar.

  7. lonecoyote

    lonecoyote New Member

    Thanks pesilat, MJS, Nanalo74, Tim Hartman, and JPR for the great replies. I appreciate it.
  8. sames

    sames New Member

    In addition to the previously mentioned retention tips (notes, review, teaching) I would add pictures and video tape. Don't do this during the seminar its very rude and distracting, especially without prior permission (and its probably annoying to the instructors if everyone asks for permission... if its not announced OK, just don't do it). As soon as the seminar is over get together with a couple of people and tape everything you can remember. Video is fairly cheap these days and is a good way to help a small group remember a lot more. One seminar of video will give your study group WEEKS of training material to practice and experiment with. A number of seminars will also sell videos of the seminar. Worthwhile purchase in many cases.

    You definately want to track down a local training partner or two. Makes a world of difference.

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