Personal Dilemma

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by TonyMc, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. TonyMc

    TonyMc Valued Member

    Hello all

    I need some help.

    Where I live is totally barren of FMA schools, but it's a style of combat that I have always wanted to study. A member of this site kindly suggested an instructor (who teaches Lacoste) who lives 'out in the sticks' that had started a new school. I promptly went along and started training there, however over time I am starting to get a bad feeling of 'should I be doing this?' And here's why;

    The class is once a week and is 45 minutes long. I have asked if the class would be made longer at any time - but was told no as it is a village hall that really is in the middle of nowhere, and it has to be closed at a certain time.

    The class is a 60 mile round trip, so if I know I could be 10 minutes late, there is no point in going as the class is strictly 45 minutes long. I also have a sizeable fuel bill as a consequence of the distance each month.

    Also due to the class length I am concerned at what standard I would be at the classes black belt level. I am concerned that 45 minutes is too short to take much information in and get dextrious at the drills.

    However on the flipside I do like the instructor and I am keen to learn FMA and the only other class (who does teach longer classes in Warriors Eskrima) is a 70 mile round trip. So it appears that it's this or nothing; which is really frustrating me.

    So if you was me what would you do?

    Stick with it?
    Or just look for a good instructor closer - even if it's a different style of martial arts?
  2. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    A 70-mile round trip. That actually doesn't sound that bad. Only about 35 miles each way. I've done longer than that once or twice a week. Hell, I've had daily commutes for work that were longer than that.

    Could you do both?
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I have to use the stale old reply of, "It depends if it's worth it to you." If you really want to train in that particular art and that's the closest place, the that's our best choice.

    That said, you may wish to augment it by making friends with a classmate and seeing if he (or she) wants to meet up a couple of nights a week somewhere closer and go through drills/review/practice. That would aid in practice time.

    If you just can't deal with the distance, find a good instructor in an art that is close and focus on that (and maybe attend the FMA one sometimes to cross train). To me instructor always outweighed style but it doesn't hurt to try to get both.
  4. TonyMc

    TonyMc Valued Member

    That's another thing I forgot to mention; there is only 2 students - including myself.
  5. geezer

    geezer Valued Member

    Semi private lessons? Not bad. Now find a training partner closer to home so you can practice.
  6. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    60 or 70 mile round trip. Not bad. I would travel to different countries just to get a chance to train with quality instructors.

    One of my guys does as 120 mile round trip every week to train at my club. When he gets back to base he gets a couple of friends to practice on.

    But like is being said.
    Do you value the training?
    Do you feel it's worth it?
    Is it what you want to do?

    If the answer is yes. Keep going.

    Best regards

  7. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    And the fact that there are only two other students is a bonus. You get more personal time with the instructor.

    Packed classes does not nessisarily mean a good instructor. It just shows he's good at marketing his school. Some of the best instructors all to often have small classes.
  8. Ular Sawa

    Ular Sawa Valued Member

    Have you thought about getting together with the other students to practice?
  9. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    And if you check out this Warrior Eskrima club, that'll be another set of interested folks who might be willing to practice outside of club meetings. Perhaps even some in your backyard.
  10. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    Stick with it. I used to commute to another city just to train.
  11. Manila-X

    Manila-X OSU!

    As long as it's worth it and it doesn't take your time especially with other activities.

    I believe in the phrase "So near yet so far". I had that in LA where my Shoushu school was close if you travel by car.

    But I didn't have a car in LA nor a California drivers license and had to take the bus most of the time. At least Culver City buses run frequent especially to Marina Del Ray where my dojo was.
  12. Peter Lewis

    Peter Lewis Matira Matibay

    Hi Tony

    It's been a while since you last contacted me...I think 2011 if memory serves me right! I'm a little surprised that you are still searching for somewhere to train and really, much will depend on your personal drive and commitment to study your chosen art.

    I am sure that there are many here that have even travelled to another country to learn their chosen art. I know that Pat has frequently flown to Cebu to further his study of Doce Pares and San Miguel and other arts from the respected Grandmasters and Masters there. Likewise, I had to visit to the Philippines to learn Bahad Zu'Bu from GM Yuli Romo and to the USA to further my development in Bakbakan Kali Ilustrisimo. Basically, a few minutes or a few miles are nothing compared with the potential rewards that such dedicated effort can yield!

    Good luck in your ongoing search

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  13. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    This is a very American response, which I understand because I've driven in both places. Realistically on UK country roads this journey is probably taking him just under an hour each way and costing nearly $10 in gas, for a 45 minute class. I'm sure if it was a 90 minute class he'd be more positive. Also remember this is likely on top of his daily commute.
  14. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I live 10 minutes outside of Washington DC. We officially have the worst traffic in the country. Believe me, a drive of that distance could take every part of an hour and more. And I've still done it frequently for a 45-minute class.

    I'm not saying "man up and stop whinging." If, in his analysis, it isn't worth it, then it isn't worth it. But he should consider that the value of that trip is more than just the 45-minute session itself. It's 1) material to continue practicing on his own and 2) access to the community.

    Driving on UK country backroads would be a dream come true for many people in this area, I'm afraid.
  15. TonyMc

    TonyMc Valued Member

    That's pretty much how it is Ben. It's 55 minutes each way to study for 45 minutes. So, for a months training (which is only 3 hours in total) and fuel costs it calculates at £70 a month - which would be $109 in US currency. And as Ben quite rightly points out - it does not include my daily working commute. This is just one of the factors that is making my enthusiasm wane.

    I have asked the instructor for some video references for lone practice because the class is very short - I was advised to search youtube.

    I have asked if the classes will be extended at any time- I was told no. But I was offered an hours private training to supplement the short lessons at £35 an hour. But the instructor lives in the same village as the class - so there is still the issue of the ever increasing fuel costs. And I do have a young family to consider.

    The other student lives 10 miles in the opposite direction and doesn't drive - he gets 'dropped off' at the class by his grandfather. And as this is the nearest class to me, there is no chance of getting a training partner.

    However I enjoy FMA, and as Ben suggests, if the classes were longer - it would be a 'no brainer' for me. But there are too many growing negatives to consider.

    So my options are; try Warriors Eskrima that teaches for longer, albiet at a longer distance. Or just forget the focus on FMA and look for a good instructor that may teach another art that's closer.

    Thanks for the input everyone..
  16. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    I know a good TCMA teacher ;)
  17. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    If you want video resources for Lacoste Rick Faye's MKG stuff is very good and really (like $25) cheap.
  18. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Sounds like you have tried to make it worth your while. Check out the warrior eskrima. Even if you only make once a month, that keeps your access to information and potential training partners.
  19. Peter Lewis

    Peter Lewis Matira Matibay


    Another possibility is that I am only one hour away from you and would be prepared to offer private training at a lower rate than you have been offered. I'm sure you will still have my contact details from our previous communications in 2011! It could be time to start training!!!


  20. Janno

    Janno Valued Member

    Financially speaking, i think that you'd get more bang for your buck out of a 2-hour fortnightly private class, plus you could tailor the training to be bespoke to your needs. If you have a mate who's willing to travel with you, and your teacher is willing to do a 2-on-1 session (many teachers are), then you can cut your fuel bills and tuition bills in half.

    That's my proposed solution anyway.

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