Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Visitors Training at your Club

Martial artists who wish to cross train in order to become more complete fighters will at some stage have to visit other clubs, spar with different people and learn new ways of performing techniques. To some this can be very daunting and takes a lot of courage to do so. To the clubs that give visited however, the people training at them can sometimes feel uncomfortable around visitors and may give there club a bad impression.

Below are a few suggestions in which visitors can be made to feel more welcome.

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Make them feel welcome as you would if you had visitors to your own home. A lot of times, visitors training at other clubs are not even spoken too. For whatever reason this is, it can not only make the visitor feel uncomfortable but can also give your club a bad reputation as an unfriendly place. Introduce yourself and others to the visitors, ask them if they have any questions about the people, training, club etc.

Allow them to train in there own gi/clothes as they are only visiting. I once visited a gym where I was told that I had to wear the same clothing as everyone else to take part. They were only some Kickboxing trousers but I did not have them and was told that I had to pay for a pair and they where not cheap. Even after explaining how I was just visiting the school to see what it was like they would not budge in there decision. I ended up walking out. Allow visitors to train wearing what ever clothing they have. Obviously if there clothing is not appropriate for the type of training and they have to wear something else, LEND them something, rather than insisting that they must pay.

During technique training, try not to correct them even if you know they are wrong in something they are doing. No two people perform techniques in the exact same way, even if they train at the same place with the same coach. Chances are the visitor will be performing techniques different to you, but if it works for them, allow them to continue. Let them do them the way they know. Remember, they are only visiting your club. If they start training regularly with at your club wanting to learn, then, corrections can be made.

When sparring with someone you do not know it can be easy to let pride get in the way of learning. Sparring can become fighting and injuries can occur. Although you know nothing about this visitor to your club, try and keep the sparring an exercise. If you get hit, use it as a way of telling you to fight better rather than a sign that you must also hit them back. Don’t let the sparring get out of control.

These are just a few suggestions in which you can make visitors feel more at ease when training with you. It is important for the reputation of the club that they are felt welcome and pleased with there time training. It also shows that you care about your clubs standards and that you wish for it to constantly flourish.


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Krista de Castella said...

Interesting points. I think however, it's equally important for visitors to train with an open mind. And to be respectful towards the seniors, customs and etiquette inside the respective dojos.

Visitors can have a tendency to disrupt the flow of training and it's worth bearing this in mind if you're given the opportunity to train in other clubs.

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