Training live and keeping people..

I've been training with Ron Kosakowski for about five and half years.Over and over throughout the years I see people come and go becuase of injuries that might effect there jobs.

I was just wondering if some of you out there experience the same problem with keeping students.

I think this is why McDojos make so much money.Becuase alot of people dont wanna fight they rather just go too there Karate Class train for a whomping 60 minutes and then leave feeling good about themselves.

You may be right... some people are happier living in the matrix:)

Excluding those people though, students quit training for many
reasons. If a lot of people are getting hurt though, the question I would
be asking is "how/why is this happening?" A large part of the coaches
job is to ensure a safe training environment.



When most people start BJJ, they realize that they can't really fight, at least not on the ground. The exceptions are people like wrestlers, judokas, insanely strong guys, but most people are surprised at how tough grappling can be. This sort of reality check either gets people to stay and explore this thing further, or to do some other type of martial art that looks better and makes you "feel" like a better fighter when you actually aren't. They can't take the fact that you have to be beaten before you can beat others. And you don't have to be injured at all by grappling, as we SBG guys say.

In my modest opinion

In the first instance people will always leave and most of the time it has nothing to do with the class. Life circumstances, other interests, blah blah.

From previous experience, I have realised this. I used to share a mixed venue with other stylists. One of my friends always said to me "too much iron fist, not enough iron penny". I ignored this because I didn't want to compromise my values and truly believed in what I was doing.


This is what has happened. The classes in the non-alive environment have huge enrolments but very little retention. Most of the beginners would leave within a few months.

Alternatively, I kept to my alive approach, using the principle of progressive resistance. Now, in this scenario, fewer people join (at the moment) but the intermediate/advanced class numbers-wise (and skill-wise of course) is on a continual upward spiral.

The methods of retention used in the non-alive environment are certificates, badges, uniforms, hierarchical position etc - note ALL methods of validation outside of the self. Therefore always need topping up by an external source. This becomes tedious.

It is my belief that the students in the alive environment themselves access the best form of intrinsic motivation - VALIDATION FROM SELF. When that guy travels home at night and asks himself if what he's doing works, he knows. This is the healthiest form of meta-motivation available.

Injuries will happen in any sporting environment. Prevention rather than cure - which can be achieved via heightening awareness of
(a) self (including individual conditioning)
(b) partner (communication and consideration)
(c) environment (risks and hazards)
(d) training methods

If you look closely enough these issues are dealt with via the I-method, progressive resistance, athletic conditioning and good old common sense.

lots of love

A friend of mine, who'd been attending my savate classes on and and off, apologized to me recently about attendance, but that he'd be back really soon.

I told him that he's welcome to come back, but I ALSO told him...

Martial arts, the real arts, it's hard. You'll sweat, you'll bleed, you'll throw up, you'll feel fear, you'll feel aggression, a lot of things that people don't normally associate with a good time.

Unless this is something that you love, unless this is something that is a PART of who you are, don't waste your time doing this.

Because at some point, while you're skipping rope, or grappling with an aggressive opponent, or eating a SOLID fouette figure to the head, the thought will cross your mind "why am I DOING this?" And unless you love this, unless your soul NEEDS won't have an answer to that question. And that's when you quit. But if you LOVE this and can't live without this, none of the "pain", will bother you. You won't enjoy all the time, but you will most of the time. THINK about this, before you come back to class. Know what you're doing, and why you're doing it.

I've found that the students that stay in these arts (not necessarily the ones that stay with me) are the ones who feel that the arts have a deeper meaning for them that they can't always articulate.

For those who just want to be fit or lose weight, or are attracted by the novelty, they're the ones that usually have "life events" get in the way of training.

I feel that i personally am able to keep people BECAUSE the training i do is Alive, and while the great news is that its getting to be a more common thing ... the reason the SBGi is different than most is because it makes a sincere & concious effort to provide EVERY-BODY a safe and productive environment to develop these functional skills. Our gyms simply have great demographics!

"Don't confuse the message of Aliveness with brutality" Matt Thornton (FJKD Series2)

thats a great guidelines for all the coaches out there.

Nice post 4 ranges. When I first started I was getting my ass handed to me all the time. I used to ask myself those "why" questions. And I quit for a while. But I came back and I am loving training more than ever. Still getting my ass handed to me, but my attitude has changed.

One's health is not solely measured through the body.

That stated, though any practice loved works on all levels to integrate our being, what we do should also be designed for the whole and its well being.

Training should not be detrimental to the longevity of one's participation in that training. Period.

So much of youth is spent testing out and pushing the boundaries of its body and its senses at the expense of them. Part of this is perfectly normal and natural, part of it can become quite pathological.

Be careful of any gym that continues to sell only to the adding of temporal things at the expense of your lasting enjoyment of them. What is sold and can be bought as a good time isn't always what is good in any lasting sense.

A gym should be available for every one to train and not only for a one and sole reason either. What do you think happens when you have collected all sorts of stuff (in mind and with body)and both built and broken your self in doing so? Yes, hopefully you learn that there comes a time for putting them down and letting them go.

No one needs to prove themselves at an open and rewarding gym. They only have to practice and hopefully perfect aspects of themselves. Measurement is fine but is not the sole "measure" of quality or progress for anything as complex as life and the living.

You can train alive and retain the "living" if the quality of that aliveness matches or is available to all aspects of those you wish to share your self and experiences with.


"Still getting my ass handed to me, but my attitude has changed."....great words. One can CHOOSE to train alive, experience defeat, learn and improve OR train in non-alive environments, wonder if the "stuff" really works(I think alot of us have been there) and never have their ego's or backside' bruised. Ego's being what they are and all.......

4 Ranges: exactly. I used to train for "self-defense," until Adam & Rory introduced me to alive training about 5 years ago. I got discouraged and burned out, and I realized that I had very little need for advanced self-defense skills in the lifestyle I led. I reached the "Why am I doing this?" point and dropped out.

Several years later, I realized I seriously missed training -- I longed for the practical skills, the workout, the technical difficulties of a good guard pass, etc. I started back training at a BJJ school. I had a different attitude this time -- "You don't need to kill yourself. Give your best and have fun." I recently moved away from any schools. I have two options for formal training in this town: shotokan and a (non-alive) ninjutsu school. I chose option 3: I found a guy who was a former high school wrestler to help me work on my no-gi grappling skills.

Take care,


CBK is correct some people rather live in the Matrix.Safety is definetly a plus at PSDTC no body wants to bring a student to the Emegencyroom,and then bring them to their wife or even worst their parents.

"If a lot of people are getting hurt though, the question I would be asking is "how/why is this happening?"

Great question and great thread!

Living in the Matrix is cool! You can do like all these Kung-Fu moves that you can't pull off in real life.

I don't care what they say. Its ALLLLLL about the image ;)

Can I have another red pill please?

"You take the blue pill, the story ends and you wake up believing
whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in
wonderland and I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes."