Seeing is believing. It’s also a huge part of learning effectively.
Think about the last time you attended a martial arts/self-defense class or seminar. If it followed the typical form, the instructor and his demonstration assistant got up at the front of the room and “taught” the technique—explaining it and demonstrating it several times. You and everyone else stood back at a respectful distance and followed along the best you could. When the “instruction” was done, everyone nodded, turned to their partners and asked “Did you get that?” In many cases, the honest answer was “no,” so you did your best to fumble through something that looked vaguely like the instructor’s technique, all the while hoping he would see that you were lost and come over to help.
If you were lucky enough to get that help—and if your instructor was doing his job—he would have taken advantage of the opportunity to not only teach the technique again, but to show it to you from the vantage points that allowed you to see and understand what he was doing. If you weren’t that lucky—or if your instructor wasn’t trying hard enough—you’re probably still struggling with that technique.
In order to replicate an instructor’s technique and really learn something, you need to be able to understand the dynamics of his movement in three dimensions. You must be able to relate left and right sides, as well as depth and both angles and vectors of motion. And the best way to do that is to see the technique up close and from perspectives that really let you see the action. In general, the closer you get to a “first-person” point of view, the better off you’ll be.
When I teach seminars, I try to overcome the large-group issues by encouraging students to move in close as I teach. I change angles to show them the technique from the most educational perspectives and sometimes demonstrate from a kneeling position to give them an overhead view that clearly shows how my arms move in relation to my centerline. Invariably, they “get it” quicker and understand the concepts and techniques more clearly than if I use a traditional teaching approach.
Several years ago, I went a step further by using live video in conjunction with my seminar teaching. In addition to seeing me “in the flesh,” I set up a video camera linked to a projector or a big-screen TV to show the details and the perspectives that students couldn’t see as a group. Much like a “Jumbo-tron” at sporting events, it gives you a view you could never get as an ordinary member of the audience. The results have been amazing. Students who would normally struggle with detailed or complex movements began learning them more easily and quickly than ever before. I knew I was on to something.
I get e-mails literally every day from people asking when I will be doing an MBC seminar in their area. Although I actively teach seminars all over the world and have a number of certified instructors supporting my efforts, there’s no way I can be everywhere. After giving this issue a lot of thought, I decided to build on the success of my video-enhanced approach to learning by creating instructional materials that truly captured that up-close, in-person perspective. The result is the MBC Distance Learning Program (DLP).
The DLP is an online video-based program that provides short, easily understood “private lessons” on specific aspects of the MBC system and other topics. Unlike seminars and traditional martial arts instructional videos, the DLP gives you a first-person view of the skills being taught and is true instruction, not just a demonstration of technique. Like all of my current instructional videos from Stay Safe Media, DLP lessons are shot and edited by Michael Rigg, who is not only an exceptional videographer but is also a fully certified instructor in MBC. As such, he knows what students need to see to learn each technique. Most DLP segments are also taught and shot in my home office or garage where I can constantly monitor the camerawork as its shot to ensure that it represents my mind’s-eye view of what students need to see.
To give you an idea of what I mean, take a look at this video from the DLP curriculum, which teaches you MBC’s core defenses against an angle 2 (high backhand) attack.
As you can see, the videos in the DLP program enable you to see exactly what you’d see if you were training privately with me and exactly what you need to see to really learn effectively. They also illustrate the type of detailed, logical, step-by-step instruction that makes MBC so special. With the videos in the DLP, it’s possible for you to learn reliable personal-defense skills no matter where you are.
“Private lesson” MBC videos are the core of the DLP, but I didn’t want to stop there. The DLP library also includes information on the other personal-defense systems I’ve developed, including step-by-step instruction in Sobadiwan Eskrima—my eclectic approach to stick fighting, unarmed combatives, and advanced methods of solo training using my MBC training dummy (which I also teach you how to build). The DLP video library currently includes more than 12 hours of detailed instruction, with new videos being added every month.
As many of you know, I write actively for a number of different personal-defense magazines. I am also frequently frustrated when the editors of some of these magazines take my thorough, detailed, how-to articles and pare them down to superficial topic overviews. It’s even more infuriating when the original photos I shoot with trained MBC practitioners are re-shot with untrained models who don’t have a clue about personal-defense skills. To overcome these problems and really share information with the MBC community, I also include unedited or expanded versions of my articles and a monthly newsletter in the DLP. In fact, here is a list of everything students get with enrollment in the DLP program:
- A one-year subscription to the MBC online Distance Learning Program library, including free updates, archival videos, and bonus materials.
- Access to exclusive non-video instructional materials, including MBC training guides and expanded versions of many of my published articles. This access alone can save you hundreds of dollars at the newsstand.
- Online access to the complete Martial Blade Concepts video series—a $180.00 value.
- A one-year subscription to the official MBC e-mail newsletter, The Plan.
- Permanent access to the MBC internet forum and the MBC training community. This closed forum is reserved only for serious students of MBC and was previously restricted only to those who had personally trained with me. It is a tremendous resource for asking questions, establishing training networks, and exchanging information.
- The right to request the production of videos on specific topics for inclusion in the DLP library.
- A personalized video review of your MBC skills. You shoot and submit a video of you demonstrating your MBC skills and I will personally review and critique them, providing specific feedback to help you refine your technique and training goals.
- A $150.00 discount off tuition to Martial Blade Camp—the premier MBC training event of the year.
- Special discount offers on the purchase of items from Stay Safe Media, available exclusively to members of the DLP.
The combined value of all these materials and benefits is well over $1,000. With the MBC Distance Learning Program, you can get it all for only $500.
If you’ve been wanting to learn MBC but don’t have an instructor near you or haven’t been able to travel to a seminar, the DLP is your answer. All you need is a computer and internet access and you can start your MBC education today. Just click on this link to order.
If you’re not interested in the DLP, but enjoy reading my blog, please remember that seeing properly is critical to learning effectively. The next time you’re in a class or a seminar, don’t be content to stand back and struggle. Get up close where you need to be to truly learn. Be respectful and ask the instructor’s permission if necessary, but don’t settle for a lousy view. Don’t let “not seeing” be an excuse for “not learning.”