10 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
1) First, realize that you're in a place where the instructors and students all remember what it was like to walk into a new environment. It's okay to feel a little nervous and uncomfortable, but it doesn't last long.
2) Be willing. It's not only our sole requirement for training, it's the path to success in just about anything we do in life. And it's based in humility. Just be willing. Get up and come to class when it's raining, or hot out, or cold out, or when you just don't feel like it. Challenge yourself to practice more, to volunteer in class to demonstrate a technique. Comfort zones are great, but nothing much grows there. Be willing.
3) Have fun. We're serious when it's time to be serious; after all, this is martial art and self defense. But we also have fun. If you're not having fun doing it, why do it?
4) Have goals, but the fun and learning occur along the way. It's great to want to get a black belt, but it's simply the first major milestone. The real learning, the enjoyment of overcoming yourself and pushing your limits and learning new things all occurs along the way. The goals are important, but focus on the process. Do the little things well and the big things will come.
5) Take care of yourself. We're also all about training and building character and leadership, and one of the first rules in leadership is taking care of yourself. Get good rest, drink plenty of water, eat well, keep yourself groomed properly, keep your uniform clean. Leaders set examples for others.
6) Ask questions. We love questions. If you're not sure about something, or it's not making sense to you, just ask. Everyone has their own learning style and we'll get to know yours, too. But always feel open to asking questions. Questions are the beginning of knowledge and understanding.
7) Practice. Learning anything well requires practice. Lots of it. There are no shortcuts in our system. But we can tell you this: the person who practices three times per week--and it doesn't need to be for a long time--will advance much more rapidly than the person who only comes to class without practicing.
8) Report injuries or any health issues to the instructor. Your safety is our first concern, always. We care about you. When you show up to class and you've got some soreness or pain from soccer practice or work, let an instructor know immediately. We'll ask a few more questions to determine if you can safely practice that day. Usually we can work around the issue. Also report any soreness or cuts during class so that we can address it. You will not be allowed to train with open cuts, bacterial or fungal infections like athletes foot; fortunately these are easily treated, but we ask that you not train until they are, as some infections spread easily and some can be quite dangerous.
Our instructors are First Aid/CPR certified. A First Aid kit is maintained in the dojo at all times.
9) Don't be a meathead. We don't use foul language, we don't let anger or a temper flare up get the best of us, we don't try to "one-up" the other guy. If you're acting like a meathead, you'll be asked to leave immediately. We train with respect for each other in a spirit of humility and cooperation and serving others.
10) Fellowship. This is a place where you can create and develop new relationships. You'll be welcomed with a respectful bow and a handshake and a bunch of questions so we can get to know you. Being a Christian ministry we'll also pray for each other so don't hesitate to share prayer requests if you're comfortable doing so. We're just trying to reflect the love of Jesus and his joy in what we do. That means serving others in love, building relationships, being accountable, and using the gifts we've been given to share with others. And we like doing it.