Funny you mention liking the environment Sentoguy- I have done a few sessions at different places, and really enjoyed and felt comfortable at the Magda Institute introductory JKD class. I can’t help but thinking now though that this is because I wasn’t really taken out of my comfort zone. On the other hand the boxing gyms I have been to scare the hell out of me, but thats probably a good thing- it would take a real effort to get the motivation up to get myself there, but I reckon it would be more worthwhile.[/quote]
What I meant was that you have to be willing to keep going back (therefore you have to like the training environment). Not all people are fighters (anyone can be trained in the fighting arts and improve in terms of skill, but not everyone has the fighters mentality), and really only the ones who are will enjoy a serious combat oriented environment.
But, a good teacher should be able to recognize a student’s natural personality and what they are, and aren’t, ready to do and structure the student’s training around these things. Lysak calls this the “ABC’s” (Appropriated Battle Concepts) of training.
For instance if you take a 100 lb woman who is just looking to learn some simple self defense and try to make her train like a full on MMA fighter preparing for a fight, she’s not going to be your student for very long.
On the other hand if you have someone who is truly gung ho about getting into MMA and never have them do any MMA sparring or MMA specific training and conditioning, again they’re probably going to get bored/frustrated and go somewhere else.
That’s why I also stated that you have to know what you want to get out of the training and look into which school best fits your desired goals.
Calilaw makes a good point about training partners as well. If you’re training at a BJJ school, there should be some black belts there (besides the instructor). If you’re training at a boxing/kickboxing school there should be some accomplished fighters there (or at least the instructor should have a lineage to someone who was successful and/or trained successful fighters).