Saturday, May 26, 2012


Mike Ball said, "I think I should teach self-defense the way I teach maths.  I start with an overview of the syllabus so that the students know where this is going to go..."

Mike's going to write a paper on that, so I won't get into it, but that one sentence pinged.  Hard.  If I were to write down what I wanted a student to become, where this was all supposed to go...

I don't most times because I get hung up on filling holes ("Those are great body mechanics, but the require more space that you can get under assault.") or the big mysteries ("Flipping the switch is the most important thing, can it really, truly be taught?")

So lets bring it down a notch.  Or up.  Where is this all supposed to go?

I want the students to be able to recover from shock, to deal with being outmatched physically.  I want them under anything but the most extreme circumstances to be able to pull a 'Bill the Electrician' and say, "Yeah, I seen this kinda thing before." (Very obscure reference).  To not just know the tools, but to understand them (and you can know an awful lot and understand nothing.)  And to understand the problem.

I want taking care of oneself to be recognized as one of the most natural things in the world and to be approached and understood and done with the minimum of artificial monkey-level bullshit gumming up the works.

It may be challenging.  It may be scary and dangerous and doomed.  But survival isn't difficult or complicated, not until we make it so...and then the complications make it less survivable.

Need to work on it, cleaning it up, defining terms, drawing a clear and specific mental picture... but this is the right question at this time.  Thanks, Mike.


Anonymous said...

The conversation was rather one-sided at times that day, so I'm glad to have been able to contribute something - especially as I got so much out of the day (and your writing in general) Thanks again!

BTW I have just become privy to some info that you may be interested in (think Campfire Tales-type stuff) - when I finish my article and drop you an email I'll tell you more.


Josh Kruschke said...

This something I have been working on and is my central theme, effective vs mastery.

I want to learn the basics, or mabe the *principles of* is a better word choice, of SD before even think about trying to master them.

I have this fear that I am going to waist my time learning something and then waist even more time unlearning it.

Curently reading "The Habit Factor" and one of the quotes by William James lead me to this paper on a lecture seires he gave to Harvard in 1892:

Cultivating good habits I feel could be added to your list of Super Powers, Rory. Another, I feel you have, is the gift to brake things down in away the the uninitiated/beginners can understand.

I'm not looking for a short cut; I'm just looking to plot the most direct path to my goal, and to descover of my destination/goal is where I want to be.

(Some of that was to get my thoughts clear in my head and some was to pass on some FYI that you might or might not already be aware of .)


Jake said...

One of the first things I learned when studying formal teaching was that you need to start out by defining what your goals are for a particular lesson, unit, year, etc.

It's a lesson that served me really well as a teacher. It's also really disappointing to me that more people who train and teach the martial arts don't get that.

Jake said...

Also "filling up holes" could be a perfectly valid endstate. I can think of a lot worse goals.

killshot80 said...

I got the "Bill" reference :-)