Kinesthetic Learning: Just Do It!

Luis Preto gave a wonderful analogy in the instructor section of his Jogo do Pau level 1 instructor seminar where he compared how we teach martial arts to how we teach someone to catch a ball. The typical martial arts approach to teaching catch: Demonstrate the catching motion. Have the student practice catching as a solo …

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Strategies for Auditory Learning

At the end of a workshop delivered by Guy Windsor recently, Guy asked all of his students “Did you have every opportunity to get what you wanted from today’s session?” This was a subtle shift from a question I had heard him ask two year’s prior “Did you get what you wanted from today’s workshop?” …

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Strategies for Visual Learning

Understanding your strongest and weakest learning styles can be a useful and illuminating tool for becoming a more engaged and effective student. This week we examine effective strategies for maximizing visual learning and retention. Check out the DTV Livestream on Effective Learning to hear a discussion on this same subject. Visual learning is the process of learning a …

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Being an Empowered Learner: Know Your Learning Style

Your learning is only based partly on the effectiveness of your teacher. It is largely based on your own personal effectiveness as a learner. Good teachers should certainly help you on this journey, but the more you can help yourself, the more you stand to gain in each of the learning situations of your life. …

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The Pursuit of Learning Should Not Be Partisan

It is easy to fall into the idea that there are right approaches and wrong approaches, true paths and false paths. If your group does things one way, if you’ve invested your time in one path, it can be difficult to allow that those who practice a different system, approach, or have invested in a different strategy, …

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What Have You Failed At Today?

“What have you failed at today?” This question is one that a friend’s father used to ask her and her brother every day at dinner. I found the story inspiring. This question, as well as her father’s warm approach in how he asked it, contained so many positive questions and affirmations: What did you try today? …

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Giving Yourself an Idiot Mark

We’ve all got one. That self-inflicted bump on your head, scrape on your arm, or a knick on your cheek. We’ve all had that moment. The moment when you made a bad parry and deflected your sword into your own face. That time when you were making a circular flourish with a stick and clipped the side of …

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Unsolicited Help isn’t Help–It’s Harm

When you’re working with a partner and you see them making an error it can seem like the right thing to give them a correction in order to help them improve. However, unsolicited help is often not help at all, it’s harm. The Problems with Unsolicited Help It’s disempowering 90% of learning happens in absence …

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What Happened: Three Games to Help You Develop Fighting Awareness

Merriam-Webster defines “awareness” as: Knowing that something (such as a situation, condition, or problem) exists Feeling, experiencing, or noticing something (such as a sound, sensation, or emotion) Knowing and understanding a lot about what is happening in the world or around you Awareness is an essential part of martial performance and learning. It allows you …

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Good Fighting Is Not An Excuse For Bad Behaviour

There is a camaraderie that forms when you fence with someone and enjoy the experience. I’ve seen this in wrestling, sword fighting, and other martial arts. There is an intimacy to that kind of visceral connection that forges bonds. These types of bonds are not often formed in other places. This is especially true for …

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