I know that adults are unique individuals in many ways, with their own habits and value systems firmly established. People learn best when they are in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. That is why in CCFB I do not emphasize on philosophies or ideas. Classes are conducted professionally, in a friendly manner, focusing on the skills you will need to learn.
Learning how to deal with a knife nowadays is a vital skillset. As much as you think you are trained, a hidden knife can change the entire outcome of the engagement. Even if you are armed with a gun, you may not be safe during such an attack. In close distance the knife almost always outweighs the gun! Strike before someone hits you, recognise the signs of an imminent knife attack, close the distance as fast as possible and attack during his preparation.
I teach self-protection and offence tactics to civilians and professionals, beginners or not. The goal is one: to survive with the fewest possible losses. Besides knife I also teach other weapons such as: short / long stick - bullwhip - combat archery - tactical baton - tomahawk - sword etc.
Students learn both the defensive and offensive aspects of empty-hand self-protection (panantukan). The four aspects of fighting (kicking, punching, trapping/seizing, and grappling) are explored. The empty-hand curriculum is derived from Chinese Gung Fu, Western Boxing, Panantukan (the empty-hand part of Filipino martial arts), Chi'Na (Locking and Seizing), Shaolin Boxing and Eagle Claw. The weapons curriculum comes primarily from the Filipino martial arts of Kali, Escrima and Arnis.
Weapon-training greatly enhances students' speed, timing and hand-eye coordination. In addition, this element of the curriculum sensitizes the student to the need for defensive skills against impact and edged weapons.
When a new student comes to class, even with no experience at all, he or she will start sparring at the first lesson! With soft stick or knife. Sparring always comes first as it is the only way to test your skills in many areas (i.e. timing, distancing ranges, routines, footwork, body mechanics etc). Otherwise, the person can develop very bad habits for years before actually trying the art out.
The art is empirical, meaning that each person must experience the fight for him or her. The technique itself is useless without the sparring time to develop the proper attributes to be able to actually apply the techniques in a real situation. So, each individual must develop the ability to use the technique under real-life fighting pressure. That is also the difference between knowledge and skill.
From personal experience and lots of injuries, I will never advise anyone to spar without protective gear.
Classes are highly technical and designed to improve coordination and reaction skills through proficient use of stick-type weapons.