Modern Teaching methods

I once had a traditional instructor show a take-down technique against a downward attack. He showed us once and told us to practice it. My partner and I asked a higher belt rank to show the technique again (it was against protocol for a lower belt rank to ask questions of the instructor, so you had to ask a higher belt rank). He didn’t know what the instructor had done either so indicated to him that we needed his help. The instructor stepped over and I asked him politely if he could show us he technique again, as we feel we missed some nuance of the drill.

He replied with a condescending sneer, “No, I cannot. If you attack me the same way, I might do the same technique, but I might do something different. It is a reaction to the attack.” He turned and walked away. My partner and I watched the others enough to eventually figure it out, but then we practiced that technique the same exact way for an hour. I don’t mind that kind of tedium, but it was my training partner’s last night, he never came back and probably has a pretty low opinion of martial arts schools because of his experience.

So this goes against nearly everything I ever learned in college (Bachelor’s in Education) about how to teach and how to capitalize on how your students learn. How we do it:

  1. Show the technique, do it several times from several different angles so the visual learners can get it.
  2. Describe the steps of the technique so the auditory learners can get it
  3. Do the technique along with the class several times so the kinesthetic learners can get it
  4. Use hands-on to help the more tactile learners get the technique
  5. Drill 10-20 times one way, drill 10-20 times another way and drill 10-20 times another way so we defeat tedium but still get the necessary repetition.

Perhaps this is why our students do so well.

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