I'm rethinking the whole seminar format. Some time ago, a friend said I was trying to do too much. I understood, but I had two defenses:
1) It all ties together. If I leave one of the big pieces out, the picture becomes incomplete.
2) It's all intuitive. There's a lot of material but there is almost nothing to remember. Just stuff to feel, things put in different places in your brain.
For those who haven't been to one, a typical one-day seminar flows like this:
- Safety Briefing and teaching philosophy
- Intro to the One-Step drill
- There are a bunch of things that come out in even a short application of the One-Step, but the ideal is for the students to notice them and bring them to light. It usually works.
- Violence Demo, if necessary
- Specific One-Step Lessons
- First Long Talk: The Context of Violence
- Blindfolded Infighting
- Leverage and Leverage Points
- (Sometimes an extra building block class, if requested)
- Second Long Talk: Self-Defense Law
- Power Generation
- Last Long Talk: Violence Dynamics
That's a lot, but it all integrates and the physical stuff is experiential, not technique driven. The Counter-Ambush is the only thing that comes close to being a technique and it's really about designing your own technique and the training method, straight Operant Conditioning.
The second day in a two day is the one I'm thinking about redoing. I'm thinking about dropping scenarios. Scenarios are a blast and they are important. Judgement and physical skills have to be trained and tested together. Good decisions have to be backed up by good articulation. Scenarios are the place for that.
But doing scenarios well and safely is time consuming and takes a lot of detail work. I'm reluctant to be both the primary threat and the safety officer. I'm equally reluctant to use untrained, inexperienced people in either of those roles. And, self-serving sniveler that I am, I don't heal like I used to. I can take care of myself and the armor is good, but being a bad guy for twenty scenarios in an afternoon (even if most of them are targeted at judgement and don't go to force) is still a lot of kinetic energy to absorb.
In addition, I'm adding new material. The Plastic Mind exercises are cited a lot in the AADs as very useful and the violence dynamics section keeps expanding.
The old Second Day used to go:
- Safety Briefing, Safety check
- One-Step refamiliarization
- Ground Movement series
- Ethics and Application of Pain
- Dynamic Fighting
- Wall Fighting
- Environmental Fighting
- Mass Brawl
- Detailed, specific scenario safety briefing
- Scenario Briefing
- Area Check and Pat Down
- Scenarios (each debriefed on the spot)
- Class Debriefing
- Clean up
Just adding Plastic Mind and removing all of the scenario stuff still nicely fills two eight-hour days. We can even take a short lunch break. (I usually forget to eat and just have any hungry students eat during the lecture parts of Day One and while setting up for scenarios on Day Two.)
So this is what I'm thinking. Four Programs:
- Basics- The Day One by itself or both days above, but without the scenarios and with Plastic Mind.
- Conflict Communications
- Logic of Violence
- Scenarios, basically just offer them as a special training to specific individuals.
Just thinking out loud, here. Any thoughts?