Safety and Courtesy – 16 Keys to Enhance your Learning Experience
Safety and Courtesy — 16 keys to enhance your learning experience (on-line or in-person):
- Be real (authentic) and courteous with your self, your classmates and your instructor: keep your training realistic, honest, safe, and fun. Respect and honor yourself, your instructor, your classmates, and the generations of practitioners before you that poured their blood, sweat and tears into cultivating this wellspring of wisdom that you are now a part of. Appreciate what you’re learning, and celebrate your growth and accomplishments!
- Stay focused and present during lessons, and solo practice: pay attention to how you feel, think about what you’re learning, and what the movements mean — it is a path of discovery!
- Be Careful and Courteous during training: be mindful and respectful with yourself, your instructors and classmates — we are all here to learn and grow. Be mindful that self defense training is designed to injure an attacker, and we must take special care in this training environment not to injure ourselves or our classmates. When a classmate taps at their limit of a joint lock, choke or throw, carefully and safely release pressure. Respect and respond to each of your classmates’ limits and boundaries, and be mindful that these are different for everyone, and change for each person for various reasons over time and in different situations. Each one of us is individually responsible for maintaining a safe learning environment for everyone.
- Commit to practicing at home at least 30-60 minutes a day what you’re learning in class: you’ll be surprised how fast you improve. If you practice only during classes, then you’ll waste class time trying to remember, instead of learning and progressing – take initiative for your growth! Use class time to refine your skills and learn new information. Mastery is a path, not a destination.
- Be mindful of how the art you’re learning relates to all aspects of your life: Consider you are practicing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — constantly learning and growing, and discover how this art can apply to and enhance all aspects of your life.
- Stay humble and curious: check your ego at the door. Remain inquisitive. The classroom is for learning — not a place for competition or to dominate others. What you’re learning can make you healthy, as well as powerful — but that power doesn’t entitle you to intimidate, manipulate, bully, or try out new skills on others that aren’t capable classmates — that’s what the classroom is for! Like the saying goes: “with great power comes great responsibility.” Martial Arts is about nurturing one’s self, and protecting the sanctity of life. Remember, stay curious and keep a beginners mind — because there is always potential to grow!
- Take off street shoes, jewelry and watches during class: wearing jewelry and watches can be distracting and potentially entangle or injure yourself or a classmate while training. Bare feet, Socks, or soft-sole low-profile training shoes are acceptable while on the mats, but must be clean, in good repair and for indoor training only. This is for sanitary and safety reasons, and also to maintain the Wǔ Guǎn (武馆 martial training hall). If training outdoors, be sure to wear clean shoes that are appropriate for training (low profile athletic, martial arts or wrestling shoes).
- Practice good hygiene: your body, hands and hair should be washed clean and groomed, to avoid spreading disease and infection; mild deodorant is welcome but avoid strong perfume or cologne as some classmates could have allergies — strong body odors, perfumes and colognes are distracting and inappropriate for training, and will make others avoid wanting to train with you. Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed to avoid scratching or cutting yourself and training partners. Long hair should be tied back to keep clear vision, avoid distractions and entanglement. Wash your hands after using the restroom, before interacting with others. Your training clothes or uniform should be neat, clean and in good repair, loose fitting and durable, and appropriate for training.
- Maintain space, Avoid interruption, Be Considerate: while we like to cultivate a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in our Wǔ Guǎn, be mindful of your instructor and classmates. Avoid talking over anyone or invading someone’s space in an inappropriate manner without their permission or out of context with training exercises, as this is disruptive and potentially dangerous, especially in training.
- Private Classes can include more than just yourself: a) invite up to 2 other people to join your private lesson, get feedback while training with each other, and split the tuition of $80 per hour. b) If you can get 3 or more people to join you during your private class, you can create your own weekly group class, at group class tuition – this is a win-win situation, because it’s cheaper for you and your classmates, more beneficial for your instructor, and you get more opportunities to learn and grow with classmates!
- Try to join Group Classes: if the group class you want to attend is full, or you live too far away to attend, or you are taking private lessons, try to join one of the regularly scheduled group classes remotely, so you can see others train and get more feedback and learning opportunities.
- Ask questions! Be thoughtful about your training, if there’s something you’re unsure about, don’t hesitate to ask — this is for your growth, and as your instructor, I’m here to help you! Questions and curiosity are opportunities for learning — your question could help your classmates learn something valuable as well!
- Take notes after your lessons: This helps you remember material covered during class so you can practice on your own outside of class. Get a notebook dedicated to your martial arts classes, so you have your own convenient reference as you progress. Avoid taking notes during class if it is disruptive to flow, unless the instructor has the group set aside time during class for everyone to do so.
- Invite family or friends to join us, if you think they’d benefit from and enjoy the training. If you’re learning remotely, a) Sponsor your instructor for a workshop where you live, or b) schedule times when you can come train in person with your instructor to get the hands on training you need to progress. Our goal is to pass on this art, it’s healing benefits and skill development to good people that will also enjoy walking this path.
- Advise and confirm attendance: students please advise which classes you plan to attend in person, or remotely, and if there are any delays or if something comes up that you can’t attend. As space is limited for in-person group classes, this is helpful for others who wish to attend and also for the instructors to plan class material and topics. Instructors will also advise as far in advance as possible if there are any delays, changes in time or venue, or cancellations of scheduled classes, whether they be group classes, private lessons or workshops.
- Be respectful of the Wǔ Guǎn and your instructor’s home: the Wǔ Guǎn (武馆 Martial Arts Training Hall) is a sacred space where we temper our mind, body and spirit, learn and train our art together. The Wǔ Guǎn is the representative home of our art, Bagua Zhang. Therefore we treat the space with respect, by extension also respect our martial ancestors who passed their teachings to us; bow or salute before entering or leaving the training space. Be careful and learn how to practice properly with the training equipment, weapons and mats so as not to damage them or be injured from recklessness. Keep the Wǔ Guǎn clean and organized, help to tidy up before and after class. Also be careful and respectful in your instructor’s home, where the WuGuan is located, only enter if invited. Remove street shoes before entering the Wǔ Guǎn and the instructors home. If you have to use the restroom, ask first, and wash your hands if you use the restroom, and tidy up after yourself. Respect and courtesy earns trust, and builds a safe environment to learn and grow in together, therefore treat our Wǔ Guǎn as a sanctuary, for each of us.
Bagua Zhang Classes are held on
- Saturdays 11am – 12:30pm PST
- Sundays 11am – 12:30pm PST
- Thursday evenings 7pm – 8pm PST