I am responding to a question by one of our beginners as to why we don't study any kicks sooner as beginners, as opposed to other schools where they study a lot of kicks (and presumably other hand techniques). My initial answer was because we follow a syllabus, and the syllabus follows the progression of patterns, and that there are few techniques in the first two forms and only a front kick in the third form. This response is also driven off by the following blog entry ...
How you train is how you react
There are two opposing issues when studying martial arts and 'self defence'. That is that the martial arts take a lifetime to learn. The second is that self defence (typically as provided in a course) attempts to pack in 'some' value so that the participant learns something of worth that can protect his/her life.
This is the main problem I see with martial arts schools, and one that I want to resolve in mine. It is that beginners are sold an idea that they cannot be effective for the next however-many-years, and this affects all other expectations of beginners . My objective however was to ensure that beginners know how to use four main techniques against any aggressor ... and to do them so that sufficient power will be generated to create a good deal of respect.
The two main striking techniques are: front lunge punch and reverse snap punch.
The two main blocking techniques are: lower block and middle block.
There are obviously other techniques that are taught in the first few kyu ranks and many drills. But these four techniques are an 'acid test' I use for grading and I'd like if my beginners obssess themselves with the effectiveness of these techniques. When push comes to shove and you need to pull a rabbit out of your hat - what are you going to use? You are going to use one of these striking techniques and you will not hold back nor doubt yourself nor falter in your committment. Read the corresponding blog entry. There're some good tips there.
ps. The picture above is not one of me.
The Jon Alster Front Lunge Punch