Teaching Combat to a New Person: An Outline of What to do When

corby's picture

I'll add other sections about the details of this. I intend this as an outline or checklist of what to do when in teaching a new fighter.

  • Demonstrate fighting

Before you go training people for a month, make sure they've seen what they're signing up for! But keep in mind that this may need some reinforcement--I once trained a guy for a couple weeks who just could not believe that he would need to wear a helmet.

  • Ask about any physical issues or previous experience.

You need to know if your student has a bad knee, a fused vertebra or RSI in their wrist. Conversely, if they played college baseball, come from Dagorhir or have black belts in Tai Chai Shouda-Wouda, you may be able to link their previous training to what they're about to start.

  • Explain the fighting style you intend to teach

What style do you teach? Why? What is that style best for? What body type, if any? Where can they go to read about it, or to see alternatives to it? Just because it works for you, it may not work for them. Be aware of the limitations of your style and more importantly, make your students aware of them.

  • Stance

Start with the feet. Demonstrate what you believe is the correct way to stand and explain why. From there, show how to use the body to generate the force necessary for armored combat.

Flat Snap

  • Offside/Rising Wrap

I list these together because it really doesn't matter which of these you teach in what order. The short students will get more use out of the rising wrap, and the tall ones get more out of the offside, but all students need both of these. The rising wrap is easier to throw.

Movement Basics



  • Wrap

Wraps are hard. Well, not rising wraps, which is why they're listed separately. To make things worse, many people teach wraps very very incorrectly. Wraps are not "return" blows. You do not pull your shoulder back as they hit. Or you shouldn't.

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