Sunday, January 10, 2016

Seminars versus Curricula

Learning martial arts does not start with techniques.  Learning martial arts begins with learning respect.  Learning martial arts begins with building a foundation, building strength, and learning the basics.  That is how one evolves their training.

Children and adults learn very differently.  Children are like sponges, they soak it all in and just perform.  Adults take their time, ask questions, etc.  Let's use a candy bar to give a visual representation of how adults versus children learn.  If you hand a candy bar to a child, they just eat it.  If you hand a candy bar to an adult, they read the ingredients, wonder about the calories, the sugar, if they should/should not eat it, etc...

How does this relate to my topic of Seminars vs. Curricula?

If adults ask so many questions in one class, exactly what can be retained in a 1 to 2 hour seminar?

Let's take a 2 hours seminar and break it down.

10 minutes:  Introduction
15-30 minutes:  explain and practice technique #1
15-30 minutes:  explain and practice technique #2 (usually techniques relate)
15-30 minutes:  explain and practice technique #3 (usually techniques relate)

If no time is left, last bit of the seminar is to spar.

If time is left,

15-30 minutes:  explain and practice technique #4 (usually techniques relate)
15-30 minutes:  explain and practice technique #5 (usually techniques relate)

After this point, depending on the dynamic of the participants, another technique may be taught or sparring rounds will begin.  What happens to the questions?  Some may be answered but not all.  How much will be remembered and how about all the details.  Maybe 1 or 2 techniques, sometimes 3?

Now, some may video record the seminar, if allowed.  Others may hand-write notes.  But, the understanding and perfection of a technique requires repetition under an Instructor who is present to consistently correct.  Why?

As adults,

1.  We have questions....
2.  Techniques evolve based on your opponent and what they are giving.   IE:  is the kick low or high, is the top position low or high, is the wrist grab downward, sideways, or upward?

With #1 and #2, where do we go to ask our questions if the techniques are learned at a seminar?

Why do we go to seminars?  Because we keep seeking to grow and learn.  We need and desire more to expand our knowledge and that is AWESOME!  But, we also need guidance-this is how curricula differs.

Curricula allows for a foundation in learning.  Curricula has continuity- there is always more information to help a student grow.  How?  Curricula has already been developed to address the needs of beginner students, intermediate students, advanced students, Instructors, and Masters.

Seminars are not needed when curricula is present, because everything that is needed and desired is in the curricula.  Plus, it addresses questions and individual student needs.  A class will not teach 4-5 techniques.  A class will incorporate trusting each other, respecting each other, creating a safe environment, building strength, and learning 1 to 2 techniques such that you understand them.  If it needs to be repeated, so be it, repeat it-this is how one learns, but the point being, it must be learned through the guidance of an Instructor who has also gone through the curricula at its highest levels.

In Life and in Martial Arts:

Remember, if you choose to cut the paths to reach the destination, the growth is NOT 100%

When you take the time to repeat what you learn multiple times, grow stronger, and learn with patience the growth is not 100%   it is 110%

Practice does not make perfect.  Perfect and patient practice makes perfect.

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