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.
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