With the new semester of Ready-Set-Kiai for (3-4 year-olds) and Jiu-jitsu Tykes for (5-7 year-olds) classes in full swing, lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading on effective teaching methods for children. While the books I’ve been reading are oriented to children’s teaching, for the most part, the suggestions offered are good advice for teaching any age student. In particular, I read about how to offering praise and criticism that motivates them to learn and helps them improve. (*The book I learned this info is featured at the bottom of this post. Be sure to check it out.) (more…)
I was reading a fascinating book about skill development called “The Talent Code,” which delves deeply into the psychology and physiology that helps people to do this effectively. One of the most interesting chapters talks about the difference between the teaching styles of a soccer coach vs. a music teacher. The author claims that an effective soccer coach sits back and stays silient, allowing players to learn through open play, giving feedback in between sessions of play. Meanwhile, the effective music teacher interjects and instructs frequently to produce the specific results that constitute good playing. I believe this is only half the story. (more…)
Did you ever see that episode of Seinfeld in which George manages to curry favour at his office and in his life by saying something during a meeting that gets a good reaction then leaving the room immediately after? The theory was that if he stayed around long enough he might say something stupid that counteracts the earlier effect, which then leaves a bad lingering impression of him. I’ve taken the liberty of providing a clip from that show below. While taken to a ridiculous extreme, there is research in psychology to support this theory.
The truth is that the way something ends is more likely to be remembered, even if the entire experience the whole way through gave an opposite impression. There is a great TED talk (see below) that goes into more detail about this. This concept is important for martial arts instructors to remember. (more…)
I just finished reading a great book, Slowing Down To The Speed Of Life. I found it had really useful tips for helping to establish a more peaceful, simpler, happier life. It also gave me some great insights that apply for martial arts training, which I’d like to share. The main premise behind the book is that we spend all our time in one of two mental modes, the analytical/processing mode or the free-flowing mode. Both modes have their purposes, and this is apparent when you consider their usage in martial arts training and application.
This mode is most useful for learning new skills and concepts. It allows you to deliberately think through each step and consciously learn a physical technique. When you first learn a joint lock, throw, or other martial arts technique, the instructor breaks it down into steps to make it easier to follow along, and offers corrections along the way for you to process and analyze, so you better understand the fundamentals of the technique. As you practice in this mode, you’ll often find that the technique feels slow and chunky, especially ones requiring fine motor skills. This could also be thought of as the conscious mind. (more…)