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Thread: Class length

  1. #1
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    Default Class length

    I know that some martial art schools only teach for 45 minutes, because they say that most people don't have the time to put 2 hours into a class. What is your experience on class length and how many times a week a student can train?
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Wink Class time is all the time..................

    When I studied Kempo classes were about two hours long and you could attend class at two sites five days a week. We did alot(over and hour) of kihon and then kumite, hazushi, etc.

    Where I study now classes are an hour to 90 minutes depending on what you study(karate or jiujitsu). Classes are held six days aweek again depending on what you study. We have several "open deck" and private training rooms available most days of the week. Most of our people only train two to three days a week.
    Unless they have a key.

    R. Kite
    Budoka 34
    "Study hard and all things can be accomplished; give up and you will amount to nothing".

    -Yamaoka Tesshu

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    Over the years, as a student and later a teacher I've found about 2 hours to be the optimum amount of time. Less than 2 hours and it seems that there isn't quite enough time to cover the needed material in more than a superficial way. More than 2 hours and I think people's energy level and focus begins to wane.

    John Cole

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    I think the reason many schools teach a 45 minute class now is to make it the similar in length to a gym or aerobics workout. Also, it allows you to teach more classes. My classes are 1.5 to 2 hours in length btw. 45 minutes seems too short to me...
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Well to put my two cents in, the thing we do at our schools is 30 minute classes for little Ninja classes 3-5 years old. 45 minutes for 5-8 we call them Mighty Ninja and Youth 9-15 years old is also 45 minutes. Adult classes are all one hour each.

    I know that many people are still teaching classes for 2 hours or one and one half hours. This to many people is far to long. Plus, the longer the classes the less retention. The average class in a college is one hour. They do it that way for maximum retention for the benefit of the student. The martial arts should be no different. Also, students get a bit board after one hour. For children it is to leave them on a high note.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo

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    Two hours of formal class time is normal for my dojo. Generally we do a 5-15 min warmup and will cover two techniques in a general way [ie. with variants and related moves]. About half our sessions will include some sword work and our 10-12 min Iai kata. There's enough time to thoroughly practice a technique or two, but enough variety that we aren't bored with doing just one thing...
    David Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta


    "Swords are the rosary of Aikido"

    D. H. Skoyles Sensei 04/03/01

    Nakayamakai KoAikido dojo

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    45 minutes?? how the hell do they find the time to teach them anything? (for children this is usually different!!)

    About 10 minutes for the warming up
    About 5 minutes for the cooling down
    Leaves you with 30 minutes of teaching time, in which you need to first show them techniques which they will need to repeat several times.

    Most of our classes are 1 hour, which is mainly due to large amount of classes being taught. But people can take the next lesson as well (not many do by the way). We have some classes that last 1,5 hours, this is my preferred lesson time.

    1,5 hours leaves you with enough time for:

    - proper warming up
    - practicing the techniques
    - throwing in some condition work (pushups, situps.. you name it)
    - sparring
    - proper cooling down
    Rogier van der Peijl

    REAL SCOTSMEN WEAR KILTS because sheep can hear a zipper at 500 yards!

    Originally posted by Cady Goldfield
    Ah, what a cutie, Rogier. I'll bet a lot of ladies in Netherlands are mourning because you are out of circulation now!

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    During the week nights when every age class is together our class is 1.5 hours but on Saturdays we have an Adult class and it goes from 2.5 hours and up. Generally we pratice about 3 hours during our Saturday pratice. I really like the Saturday pratice and seem to learn a LOT more then, than I do during the week.
    Susie Forbes
    Alabama Shorinji Kempo

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    For adults, 1.5 hours is the minimum that I would recommend and around about 2 hours max. Anything less and you don't have time to warm up and practice techniques to any great degree. More than 2 hours and the concentration starts to go and people can get hurt.

    For children, an hour is probably enough for many kids but I would say that anything less than an hour is probably not worth it beyond a really superficial level. I know people, especially kids, have short attention spans but isn't a MA class a good place to train people to increase their attention spans?

    Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter because our society continues to pander to short attention spans rather than demanding that people sit down, shut up and get on with what ever work they are supposed to be doing. I would love to tell my boss that I can only work for 45 minutes because I get bored after that! Actually, I get bored after 5 minutes at work, but that is beside the point...If a student isn't interested in their subject for more than 45 minutes I wouldn't want to train with them.

    College classes are 1 hour for maximum retention by the students? Perhaps they are but then aren't students spending 4-8 hours per day in classes? You can't really compare a martial arts class and an average college class. Bit like comparing apples and oranges IMO.
    Hugh Wallace

    A humble wiseman once said, "Those who learn by the inch and talk by the yard should be kicked by the foot."

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    The only thing that I can say is that in our class environment and those of many martial arts schools across the world, the classes are at maximum one hour and at minimum 30 minutes.

  11. #11
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    I am sorry, some how I got kicked off. The more successful schools that have a large amount of students have tapped into things that others have not. It is not about commercialism, if that were the case I would not have so many successful, talented and capable traditional martial arts students. I have been attributed by many around the world as being able to bridge the gap between the traditional martial arts and not selling out and having one of the most successful schools in the country.

    My students learn in a 45 minute class and even the younger ones in one half hour. For adults one hour is ample time to teach them. Anything over that in my opinion is overkill. I have taught both ways some classes were 2 hours and others an hour and a half. By the end of the class everyone is board, and losing attention. I want them to stick around for a long time, I want them to leave wanting more.

    You ask how do I teach in a 45 minute class. Well we do the same thing, following warmups, warm downs and technique which we call Kyu level. Each class is different and everyone seems to get all that they want. We follow the three S's. Smiling, sweating and striving for more.

    Not to be antogonistic but you must ask yourself, how many students do you have. How many people are sticking around and how many people have quit. Then ask yourself why you think that is. Ask yourself the question if people are quitting what is the reason.

    For those of you that have classes that are longer, what is your student retention, what is your average student length of training?

    Then take a look first at your class length. There are many other factors but that could be one of them.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo

  12. #12
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    whoops... just reread my post and noted that I forgot to mention that concerning the times I was talking about adult classes.

    The childrens' classes at our school are 45 mins..
    Rogier van der Peijl

    REAL SCOTSMEN WEAR KILTS because sheep can hear a zipper at 500 yards!

    Originally posted by Cady Goldfield
    Ah, what a cutie, Rogier. I'll bet a lot of ladies in Netherlands are mourning because you are out of circulation now!

  13. #13
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    Sorry Allie, I wasn't trying to get on your case.

    If you want to run a large school then you do have to cater for what the consumer wants but for me, a martial arts school with lots of students holds no appeal. I would rather train with a small handfull fellow enthusiasts who are really into their art rather than a larger group who are just doing something for fun and recreation. I don't always achieve this goal but I haven't trained in a class with more than a dozen people in the last ten years. My best training at the moment is just my instructor and me, and we train for about two hours, two times a week (and we are looking to increase this to three times a week).

    My GF gained her Shotokan BB after 4-5 years training of training 1 hour per week. Her school had good standards and she certainly earned her grade as she worked hard (it was not a give a way) but...let's just say that her over all MA ability reflects that she practiced for one hour per week...

    Personally I don't see MA practice as a way of making me fit so you can quite happily get rid of the fitness aspect of training. You could even require that the students arrive 15 minutes early so that they can conduct their own warmup before class time so then you could make a class an hour long. But an hour really isn't much time and shouldn't be viewed a such.

    All the best,

    Hugh
    Hugh Wallace

    A humble wiseman once said, "Those who learn by the inch and talk by the yard should be kicked by the foot."

  14. #14
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    Default Does size matter?

    What about size? How large an adult class are you
    willing to take? 45 minutes is fine for a private,
    but more than 4 people could be difficult therefore
    a longer amount of class time is needed.

    Peace
    Ray Baldonade
    Chibana-ha Shorin-ryu

    "Love many, trust few and do wrong to none". Chan Yau-man

  15. #15
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    45 minutes at the dojo I go to is exhausting!! Nights when I do back to back classes leave me dragging the next day. They may be 45 minutes long, but those are 45 minutes of non-stop workout. My gi is usually soaked through and when I get home I end up drinking about a gallon of water.

    When I did Kenpo the classes were 1.5 to 2 hours long, but they were nowhere near as intense. And of course, there were far fewer classes and we didn't break it up into specialized training.

    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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