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Thread: Martial Arts Professional

  1. #41
    Senior Member jjefferies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Evans View Post
    I'm very concerned at your question.
    Consider 45 minutes of a coaches time, which is roughly two lessons, at, say, 30 dollars a lesson:
    2 x 30 = $60
    Now consider the same 45 minutes with a class of 15 people who are paying $150 a month for an 8 session class. Each session, then, makes about $18.75 per person for the coach. (150 / 8 = $18.75 ):
    15 x 18.75 = $281.25
    For the same 45 minutes of work. You'd have to charge about $140 a lesson to make the same amount of money teaching privately.
    Of course, there is an initial outlay of equipment for classes, but those costs are spread out over several years of use (if you're properly depreciating your equipment).
    Apologies for squishing your comments up. The difference in our views is that you are saying "or" and I'm saying "and". The model our club follows is that the coach provides a group warmup and footwork session. This the fencer gets as part of his membership. The footwork will include lunging, fleching, advances, retreats, and occasionally blade work. After half an hour to fourty five minutes we have open floor. During open floor the coach will provide private lessons tailored to the individual fencer. In off hours, i.e. times when the larger body of fencers can't get together the coach also provides private lessons to those who can work it into their schedule. Prime time lessons (i.e. during open floor) last 15-20 minutes. The off hour private lessons will go 20-45 minutes. And I can assure you 45 minutes (actually two sessions back to back) is demanding. But the coach and fencer can work out some fine details. Personally a 15-20 minute session leaves me gasping.

    So the difference in views it seems to me is that you assume that all times are equal in value and are available for only one type of activity. Whereas the model we're following is that time slots are of different value and it is possible to accomodate private lessons when group activitiy, open floor, is going on.
    J Jefferies

  2. #42
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    Speaking as a scholar who studies medieval religion and spirituality, I think you're oversimplifying things. The use of "spirituality" can be practical - think Zen and combat psychology or religious processions showing a community's hierarchy - or it can be to foster a community of belief. The latter has obvious marketing advantages: "We are the true spiritual heirs of Guru X." Part of it also is that any martial art is embedded in a sociocultural context, which will include religion or some other belief system.

    Fencing indeed has its own sociocultural context and belief system. What this context is has changed since the 19th century. (For what it was, see Nye, Masculinity and male codes of honor in modern France.) Part of what classical fencing aims to do is to make reference to this system. (We can't live it, nor would I want to; we're modern people.) This need not be "spiritual." In fact, I'd argue that it could be downright atheistic.

  3. #43
    Senior Member jjefferies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Mondschein View Post
    Speaking as a scholar who studies medieval religion and spirituality, I think you're oversimplifying things. The use of "spirituality" can be practical - think Zen and combat psychology or religious processions showing a community's hierarchy - or it can be to foster a community of belief. The latter has obvious marketing advantages: "We are the true spiritual heirs of Guru X." Part of it also is that any martial art is embedded in a sociocultural context, which will include religion or some other belief system.

    Fencing indeed has its own sociocultural context and belief system. What this context is has changed since the 19th century. (For what it was, see Nye, Masculinity and male codes of honor in modern France.) Part of what classical fencing aims to do is to make reference to this system. (We can't live it, nor would I want to; we're modern people.) This need not be "spiritual." In fact, I'd argue that it could be downright atheistic.
    Hello Ken, I'm not sure who you are responding to, myself or one of the other posters. But I definitely see your argument and can't really fault it. And your statement that "classical fencing aims to do is to make reference to this system" makes sense. What I'm seeing today, in mine and most fencing clubs that I'm aware of, is a distillation of all that history with recent modifications to the point that fencing is only an athletic endeavor (with an occasional sideways acknowledgement of our history i.e. saluting). Reading "Epee 2.0" one sees the classical approach to the question of form being deprecated (in the computer science sense) in favor of emphasizing timing and distance. I can't see arguing against what works. But my sense of what is important argues that we may have narrowed our focus too much, such that the game itself is the end all be all. On one hand that's what some feel it should be. On the other not everyone is an Olympian and if that is the only thing of importance then the game and the sport are very limited.

    Another thread that has been going through my head is why do we limit ourselves to only the history and traditions of Europe? In truth we should be the inheritors of all the traditions and knowledge of swords/fencing. No they aren't all transferable to the piste. But much of the core, it is my feeling, is if properly examined and put in context. Certainly Bruce Lee had no qualms about openly borrowing from fencing as seen in his acknowledgements. Nor do I think we modern Olympic fencers should have any qualms about borrowing from traditions other than those of Europe, i.e. Musashi Miyamoto (Book of Five Rings), Takuan Soho (The Unfettered Mind). Of course these are both Japanese and the easiest to cite. And perhaps also because the name most often given to their expression of their art was "fencing".

    The point I'm working around, actually doing this now trying out the concepts, is that we should be looking forward in terms of pulling many traditions together and to what we want our sport to be. The Olympic game is most obviously at the core. But to balance out that single core is the game as a metaphor of life with man/woman as the scale and the blade as a metric.

    Sorry if I'm being fuzzy here. It's a bit late and I'm still recovering from thanksgiving dinner, wine. Holiday greetings to all.
    J Jefferies

  4. #44
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    this thread started as a way to market fencing using martial arts as a model and then got deep talking about the spiritual aspects behind it. for me, fencing cannot be marketed until it's image changes. having done many martial arts and fencing for the last 13 years in both the US and Europe I believe that fencing is seen as a weak or sissy sport. the general population accepts this and the same kind of people dont come to our sport as martial arts. I have competed and won in both and when i win in MA and they find out i am a saber fencer they are usually curious but in a rather demeaning sort of way. the point being that we dont get thugs in our sport because MA has the market cornered on learning bad ass moves to fight with. If we want this element in our clubs as it exists in MA for the sake of making money or prostituting out or sport then we should take on the other sword groups kendo, wushu, kali/eskrima, SCA, ARMA groups as what they truly are for us; an opponent a rival. We need to basically win back what fencing had before, control of the market for bladed combat. Nobody would ever say he is a fencer be careful dont mess with him. Yet with MA this exists. I personally have never lost in challenge matches and or tournament with practictioners of eskrima and sca rapier fencing. After i beat them i always tell them i like their rules but my trainning (fencing). i hope to see fencing get back what it really is about and that it demonstrates (by the sword) that it is a respected part of the MA's of the world.

  5. #45
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    That's because fencing doesn't have badass moves for fighting with, and really, most skills you are ever going to learn you learn within the first two years. Sure, you'll refine what you're doing, maybe pick up a trick or two, but look at a two year fencer and a world class athlete and you'll see the same actions, just one can combine them into stronger actions and has mastered them techniquely and combatively.

    We're not am MA, we're a sport, and need to look for acceptance in that community.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by esgrima View Post
    this thread started as a way to market fencing using martial arts as a model and then got deep talking about the spiritual aspects behind it. for me, fencing cannot be marketed until it's image changes. having done many martial arts and fencing for the last 13 years in both the US and Europe I believe that fencing is seen as a weak or sissy sport. the general population accepts this and the same kind of people dont come to our sport as martial arts. I have competed and won in both and when i win in MA and they find out i am a saber fencer they are usually curious but in a rather demeaning sort of way. the point being that we dont get thugs in our sport because MA has the market cornered on learning bad ass moves to fight with. If we want this element in our clubs as it exists in MA for the sake of making money or prostituting out or sport then we should take on the other sword groups kendo, wushu, kali/eskrima, SCA, ARMA groups as what they truly are for us; an opponent a rival. We need to basically win back what fencing had before, control of the market for bladed combat. Nobody would ever say he is a fencer be careful dont mess with him. Yet with MA this exists. I personally have never lost in challenge matches and or tournament with practictioners of eskrima and sca rapier fencing. After i beat them i always tell them i like their rules but my trainning (fencing). i hope to see fencing get back what it really is about and that it demonstrates (by the sword) that it is a respected part of the MA's of the world.
    this isn't an image problem, this is reality. if your goals are to be able to defend yourself in a street fight or do some cool flips for your friends, you won't get that in fencing. to state or imply such will only damage our image.

    you don't do tennis to learn cool moves and fight people.

    p.s. i've also trained, competed, and won in both.

  7. #47
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    Disagrees.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Mondschein View Post


    Disagrees.

    agrees

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