Monday, January 29, 2007
Learning by looking forward, and backward...
I was debating whether to edit this out but then this blog wouldn't really be my thoughts as I truly see them. I've had this growing theory of how things get taught and it consists of two parts. First off, people much better than me having an insight into inner workings of movement I can't fathom yet so I just do as they tell me or I see them doing hoping to understand or finding understanding in it, at least partially. Secondly, the people who teach me, looking towards the people that taught them the same way. I wonder if they see something they don't understand and just attempt to find meaning in it too. For instance, when I was asking about the getting behind the arm in Nijusan, I was wondering if Karl or Henry said to do that for all of the movements or if that was extrapolated by the mid ranks and being taught that way because that's how they saw it. Later, the upper echelons looking at the mid ranks and seeing what they're doing and deciding "well if they want to get behind the arm ALL the time, the lets concentrate on teaching them that" and the mid ranks looking forward, seeing more taught on getting behind the arm and being validated. I'm getting at a cycle. While things can and are learned greatly from this, does misinformation travel that way too? Pat once told me bad Judo came from Japanese purposefully teaching bad Judo to Americans. Later Japanese kids wanted to be like Americans so they mimicked our culture and with it our bad Judo. Then, when America looked back at Japan we saw those kids doing bad Judo and therefore thought we were doing it right. There are only so many hours one can teach, so what determines when something old gets thrown out in favor of something new? I think occasionally Pat finds such a deep understanding of something that it's lost in translation when he tries to teach it to lower belts...I know a few were on me :) I think there needs to be a bridge to span the gap of old an new. For instance, we don't teach the three steps anymore in Honasu and Junana (now Nijusan) in favor of fluidity. I know I couldn't do it fluidly if I didn't learn it in those steps in the first place. I know Pat and them learned in steps initially and now that it's not taught anymore it occasionally brings up interesting situations when I try to discuss a certain step with Andy. I'll call out which step, and he's asking which chain it comes from. After talking about this with Bryce, we came up with the idea that maybe they should both still be in the curriculum somewhere. Teach Honasu the steps way to white belts. Then at yellow teach the fluid way of Honasu, and 1-5 of Junana the linear way. At green, 6-10 of Junana the linear way, 1-5 of Nijusan the fluid way. This way students get both, younger students come into class, looking ahead at higher belts they see how fluid it'll become but it's in a language easier to grasp initially for them. Opinions?
Posted by John Wood at 10:05 AM