How We Learn New Things

There’s a huge difference between some martial arts schools and teachers and others.


Professionalism is number one.  Second are tested, proven methods to get the desired result.  


Techniques are demonstrated, explained and mimicked.  In this way, we communicate using verbal, visual and kinesthetic methods of instruction.  

Doing repetitions of movements is important in developing new and correct responses.  During the repetition process, the student is corrected using demonstration, explanation, and then asked to perform the correction.  The result is a more effective method of learning.

A student’s learning is a progressive step-by-step process.  First, a student learns a technique, principle or tactic in a static form.  In other words, they practice doing the movements by themselves, either in the mirror or against a person or training equipment.  Secondly, they apply the movement against a person in a structured drill where the attack or the defense is a constant or known.  Thirdly, the timing rhythm, speed and power are all added making the execution of the technique more reactive.


Students are recommended to have a notebook and take notes in class.  These notes reinforce what the student has just learned by writing it down.  Students are randomly questioned about the reasons for using particular techniques or explaining the theory behind certain movements or tactic.  

The emotional part is the most overlooked area of training.  All training of any new skill or drill is done at an exaggerated slow speed.  The purpose of this is to allow the student time to think through the exercise and make corrections without the presence of stress.  The largest inhibitor of developing your proper response and execution of technique is the threat of harm.   By training very slowly there is a minimal expectation of danger and less tension and stress.  This makes it more likely that a student will apply what they are being taught.

The students will spar with minimal force and speed to keep the stress level and negative response to a minimum.  This is generally when the student’s personality will come out.  Some students will become passive, some aggressive.  The drills will start to speed up as a normal response.  It is up to the teacher to talk the students through this stage of training and keep the speed and power to a minimum and remind the students to keep emotional control.

Further explanation is given to students on the negative effects of being controlled by emotions and the inability to problem solve in an emotional state.  As the students increase in experience, the speed and force used increases. 


One of the reasons for pushing students is to teach that physical limitations are sometimes only mental or emotional limitations.  

An example of this is to have a student sit in a stance for a long time without moving or standing.  The student will want to give up before they have to.  It is important to teach the student to not quit until they physically fail.  This will teach the student how to have more control of their body.  The ability to override the body’s desire to quit or stop under pressure, stress or trauma.

Iron Mantis Martial Arts is a proven step by step system to take you from white belt to black belt.  Our 4 year Black Belt program will get you in the best shape of your life while learning real martial arts.  A combination of old school values and new school training methods. 

One key objective for us is to make learning at a high level attainable to anyone willing to do the work – not just to those with ability or with a propensity towards fighting arts.

Train hard, train smart, finish healthy

Sifu Hughes