As you train for your first month, here are few things to expect.
On Your First Day
What to expect when you arrive: Try to arrive about 15-20 minutes earlier than your scheduled time. If this is your first trip to the school, you’ll fill out a few forms to describe your background and express your mental and physical learning goals. Your instructor may walk through this form with you to clarify certain goals, learn more about past injuries or other issues that may be relevant to the movements you will initially learn, and perhaps not learn.
What to wear: If you have not already received your uniform, wear some loose-fitting clothing: something that you will be comfortable moving around in like athletic pants and a T-shirt. You do not need to wear athletic shoes because you will remove your shoes altogether for the lesson (this is a traditional custom to keep dirt or soil out of the practice area.)
Your lesson: Your instructor may teach you some school protocol. Unlike most gyms, a traditional martial arts school is a formal learning environment, and certain practices are followed to make sure the environment is safe, and you get the most out of your practice time.
You will go through some movements, typically starting with some deep breathing to warm up your heart and lungs and promote circulation to prime your body for movement.
You will then go through a warm up, which will increase your range of motion, increase your heart rate, and prepare you mentally and physically to be able to do your best during the lesson.
After warming up, you’ll learn some form or movements that will help you achieve your goals directly, or help you build a foundation for achieving our goals. Traditional martial arts forms develop not only coordination, control, muscle strength, and flexibility, but also develop your joints, ligaments, and tendons, and increase circulation
Lastly, you will go through self-defense movements. Some students have a primary goal of learning self-defense, and others do not.
However, it is important for two main reasons.
Learning self-defense gives you a mental image of how to apply the form and movement you learn, you will get more out of learning forms if you understand its application.
We all need to know how to defend ourselves. Hopefully, you never have to use it, but if you need movements to defend yourself or a family member, and you have not learned the techniques to do so, it’s too late. It is much better to be prepared for whatever situations life puts in front of you.
So that gives you a general outline of what to expect on day one. At the end of your lesson, you may feel challenged, but you will likely also feel energized, and uplifted.
During Your First Month
Your instructor will cover in more detail what you will undergo during your first month, and you’ll have access to numerous explanations and readings once you are a student in a school. But here are a few things to keep in mind.
Attend lessons several times per week. Depending upon the program you are on, and your schedule, your attendance may vary. But in general, as an adult beginning training, try to attend classes frequently. We recommend at least 3-4 classes per week. One of the goals of the first month of training is to see what you can gain – invest yourself and see what you can achieve.
Learning 8 Martial Arts may feel like a lot, but it’s an effective way to achieve your goals. Oom Yung Doe teachers 8 Complete Martial Arts. By learning the 8 styles we teach, you learn movements that can help balance your entire condition – upper and lower body, right and left sides, internal and external, mental and physical for complete development. This kind of development is essential if you want to reach your potential.
You will likely learn movements from 6-7 of the arts in your first month. At first, everything is new so it may feel like a lot to learn, and perhaps at times, too much. However, learning in this way is one of the fastest ways to gain an understanding of how your mind and body work, and work together. After a few months, what you are learning will come together and you’ll be much further ahead.
Try to meet the Master Level Team and higher-level instructors. One of the unique aspects of Oom Yung Doe is that students of all ages and ability levels have an opportunity to learn directly from a Master. This is unheard of in East Asia – one normally has to dedicate many years to his or her practice, and achieve certain mental and physical skills as a prerequisite. But if you can learn from a Master early in your training, the kinds of forms you will learn, and the way those forms will be tailored to your body type and condition will greatly accelerate your learning.
The Master Level Team travels to the Boston area about 5-6 times per year, so they may not be visiting during your first month, but if they are, try to meet the team!
While the Master Level Team is in Boston every other month or so, the Regional Team of instructors, and the National Team, are in schools more often. As your instructor about these schedules and say hello. All instructor teams play an important role in each student’s development, and enjoy meeting everyone!