How to learn any kind of technique
We have already pointed out the best way to learn a technique (related to fighting, strategy, etc.) in the article The best way to study technique: 10 tips, now we want to go forward and propose a practical and functional scheme for acquiring theoretical knowledge and transform it into practice.
Some premises before starting:
- This methodology is, in general, valid for (almost) any kind of martial concept (eg. for Chin Na, read Chin Na)
- The technique we want to learn must be consistently evaluated as real, practicable without danger and above all, not the result of fake / illusionism
- In order to do not repeat ourselves, we will do not repropose all that has already been said in the article mentioned above
The learning steps
Here are the steps to follow (nothing paradoxical, it’s simply the right way to achieve a good result):
- Undergoing the technique – First of all, let’s see the technique execution by our training partners and / or by our instructor (both with us as victims both on others)
- Is it clear? – Let’s ask ourselves if there is something we did not understand (theory or practice); if the technique is complex or long, let’s write down our doubts (on a paper or on a digital device)
- Change the point of view – If we have any difficulties about the practice we have to see the technique again and again (from different angles, slowing down and with the mind open to different points of view)
- Fill the gaps with the study – If we have doubts about the theory (everything behind the technique) we must focus on unclear parts and fill our knowledge gaps (through books, questions to experts, etc.); after that, we have to review the technique again
- Is our body / mind the limit? When we are certain that we have understood at least the general theory, we have to ask ourselves if we have the psycho-physical skills necessary for its execution
- Plan a path – If we realize that we are currently unable to execute it, we must (in agreement with an expert) split the technique into multiple phases / elements and establish the necessary psycho-physical training for each of them
- Start trying the technique – When we are certain that we have all the requirements we can finally go for the first-person practice but in a simplified context (no partner’s resistance, slow pace, etc.)
- Are there problems? – If we find theoretical difficulties during the practice (which we had previously not imagined) we must go back to step 4; if we find troubles in applying theory to practice, we must go back to step 6; filming ourselves is very useful for this task, this way we can confront us with more expert practitioners or instructors and see errors that we have even not imagined
- Increase the difficulty – When we can easily apply the technique in a simplified context, we must gradually increase the difficulty (different partners, non-collaborative, obstacles in the scenario, application during sparring, etc.)
- Is it working? – If we can not make the technique working effectively in this “more realistic” context we just have to go back to step 6
- Technique acquired – When we can instinctively apply the technique even in complex contexts the knowledge is acquired (by our mind and our body) but our work is far from finished
- Optimization – The last stage (the longest) is the customization one, we must go with tests, constant training, increasing difficulties (etc.) to endlessly optimize the technique through experience
The point is that:
- Acquiring a technique does not mean seeing it once on a video, on a book or on an internship
- Acquiring a technique means studying it, de-engineering it, applying it, and deploying it in depth
- All the others methods are pure illusions
At this address we can download the PDF file that contains the logic schema just described:
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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