Sunday, December 15, 2013

The value of Keeping Notes on Training


About 1980 I started training in other style schools. I came to several realizations I needed to enhance my ability to learn more quickly and accurately, I also realized there were often unique one time opportunities to learn new material,, and I had to find a way to retain what I had learned.

To enhance learning new forms and applications of techniques I realized most were governed by what the eyes saw first, being the upper body and the arms. But I saw there was less retention doing this. What I found more critical was watching and duplication of the manner of stepping and movement. By first knowing where to place the feet, it was then easier to learn the upper body movements.

When in clinic setting try and grasp the movements involved and then help someone else learn it. By trying to teach it you enter another layer of learning.

Retaining the knowledge is another thing altogether. I found it best to take notes, either hours later or the next day what you couldn’t retain that long you really didn’t understand.

Recently I’ve been reviewing those notes along with later notes. I developed a short hand description methedology from Mr. Lewis’s Isshinryu chart descriptions. Frankly with this shorthand the notes mean little to others.

But to me I saved those precious movements and techniques to study In the future.

1.       I discovered that you rarely saw the depth of any system of training by watching tournament performance, and certainly not the full range of a systems training.
2.       Study of any system was decades of work to be able to know where that training led.

The further I went the more there was to see.

For the most part those studies I shifted to my developing program I worked on each one 5 or more years, the only exceptions were when they were taught to my students by those instructors.

Over about 30 years I accumulated about 2,000 studies. More than a program needed. Decades of training choices for decades of training and development. As Ernest Rothrock put it “It isn’t about what you can do,  it’s what you have learned in the process.”

Over the years my shorthand descriptions came more accurate for me. And O’ the primary technique studies.
1.       Tai Chi Chaun
2.       Northern Shaolin, Tai Tong Long, Pai Lum studies
3.       Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai study
4.       Sutrisno Shotokan studies
5.       Sutrisno Aidido studies
6.       Sutrisno Tjimande studies
7.       Harrill Isshinryu applications
8.       Kerker Issnhinryu Isshinryu applications
9.       My own Isshinryu applications

Together they represent over 2,000 studies, at least 2/3 are from Isshinryu. They represent a wealth that I draw upon. More interesting they often cross disciplines in potentials. By way of some examples. I can find Eagle Claw in Seisan Kata. Or I can see Aikido, and Tjimande within Chinto Kata and so forth. By far the greatest depth came from time spent with Sherman Harrill and then with John Kerker..

Of course this represents more applications than anyone needs. And on the whole I have made choices to the system I teach, but I am currently working on how I can preserve some of this for the instructors I have trained to use in their future study. I see the instructor besides working on their own system as needing a pool of other studies they can choose to draw upon.

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