Monday, January 28, 2013

That Went Swimmingly

The new seminar format went really, really well. Some old acquaintances, and some new that felt like we'd known each other for a long time.  A roomful of brilliant thinkers, varied experience and everyone was cool with not being spoonfed.

The big test was whether, given some background information and after reasoning out aspects of the problem the class would recreate a list of Principles and Concepts that would match mine.  Thirty years of martial arts and twenty of (mostly, usually, on my end) unarmed encounters with violent criminals, I have my list.  There are more-or-less precisely:

Eleven principles that make all techniques either work or fail

Sixteen thought processes or concepts that experienced people have that are unfamiliar to many civilians

About twenty classes of physical skills that fighters need

That's my list.  That doesn't make it exhaustive and it sure doesn't make it right.  But it is mine and it does make a good framework and it is transmissible, so that's all good.  And I'm not going to share them here.  Nope, not hiding information to be a dick.  The handful of you that really care and really get this are already making personal lists in your head.  I don't want my list polluting yours.  Happy to share when you are done, but people have this weird tendency to quit thinking for themselves as soon as they see a list of answers.

So, it took a little steering (but not much) and of the eleven principles, the students identified eight.  Two of the others are kind of esoteric (so broad that they are almost metaphors) and the third was so obvious it was probably just assumed.  So I'm happy with the ratio.

Nine of sixteen concepts. Two of the ones missed are actually really specific to law enforcement.  And one, I realized in the after-action this morning was right there, a perfect teaching moment, but I missed it too.

In two days we touched on some of the building blocks (classes of skills), but only as a way to show how skills could be taught separate from technique and improvised immediately or as they came up in the specific solutions.

In two days, this group of people got a huge chunk of what took 20+ years of trial and error to learn.
THAT is what teaching is all about.
Very, very good weekend.

9 comments:

Vaughn said...

Is everyone waiting until they have created their lists to comment?

Toby said...

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!! This is SUCH a great teaching step! Glad it worked so well :)

Josh K. said...

:-)

Josh K. said...

This peaked my curiosity, "Sixteen thought processes or concepts that experienced people have that are unfamiliar to many civilians"

And, isn't this, "Happy to share when you are done, but people have this weird tendency to quit thinking for themselves as soon as they see a list of answers.", a dander with all teaching? Again, No Cult of Rory.

;-)

Why? Really? Why? Questions we should never stop asking.

:-)
Josh

RXian said...

Ok, I have to admit that I'm stuck on the principles aspect. Maybe I'm overthinking it. Are we defining technique as something as simple as a jab? Or more specific, like a jab to the throat? Am I even close?

On the surface, im thinking along the lines of appropriateness of technique in context (can it do what you want it to?), speed, precision, force requirements, range, and a few others I'm stewing over.

Rory said...

RXian-
I'll give you two. Leverage. Good leverage is always better than poor leverage. Good leverage makes things work, poor leverage is a common reason for failure.

And the second, because you distinguished a jab from a jab to the throat. Targeting is a principle. Good targeting makes things work, poor targeting makes things fail.
Keep it simple.

RXian said...

Thank ya. That clears up the framework I needed.

RXian said...

1. Balance
2. Gravity
3. Leverage
4. Range
5. Force
6. Targeting
7. Timing
8. Speed
9. Structure
10. Commitment
11. Luck

Rory said...

RXian- E-mail me and I'll send you my list.