Note Taking 101

JD_Nelson

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I have written many techniques down that I am learning and thoughts I have had about them on paper. I normally keep each technique on a separate page and write down any new understandings down below description of execution. I try to include principles of how I was shown and what I think works well for me.

I am currently yellow and my notes are not as extensive as others, and my notes are not very extensive yet. I am concerned about organizing them in a manner that is efficient, yet comprehensible. Does any one have some ideas or suggestions about keeping a good book?

I have a couple of thoughts on a thesis for this later on, but I would like some other ideas to think about as well.

:asian:

~~~Salute~~~

Jeremy
 
One thing that I think would work real well for organization would be a set of computer files. If you have access to a computer, I would recommend setting up a main folder named "Techniques" or "Kenpo" or something like that, and then setting up sub-folders for each technique.

Even easier, do the same, but have each technique as a seperate document, and you can add information on as you get it. Keep it in diary form (i.e., date each entry), and you will have a pretty good record of progressions, revelations, insights, etc. That can be both rewarding and fun when looking back through your notes later.

If you are just writing things out longhand, I would suggest binders, perhaps organized by belt level, with the techniques seperated by tabbed dividers. Write out your notes with the dates, and organize 'em accordingly.

Each would be kind of time consuming, but very much worth it. Me, I just keep a diary. Unfortunately, I am not always good about entering in information......:rolleyes:

Peace--
 
JD,
Here is a suggestion: As you progress through the ranks, keep a notebook, much as you are doing now. When you get to the point you are teaching(assistant instructing/whatever), start a new notebook, with the same techniques but with the insights you pick up from teaching......:cool:
 
Originally posted by JD_Nelson

I have written many techniques down that I am learning and thoughts I have had about them on paper. I normally keep each technique on a separate page and write down any new understandings down below description of execution. I try to include principles of how I was shown and what I think works well for me.

I am currently yellow and my notes are not as extensive as others, and my notes are not very extensive yet. I am concerned about organizing them in a manner that is efficient, yet comprehensible. Does any one have some ideas or suggestions about keeping a good book?

Jeremy

Hey Jeremy,

The fact that you are making notes is great.

Don't worry that youe notes aren't as extensive as others, your notes are yours, theirs are theirs.

I encourage my students to make notes, and most seem to benefit from this.

Organising your notes is a difficult task, as there are so many aspects that cross refrence each other, like basics, family groupings, shared concepts and principles etc.

One thing I do is this: As I review and work with the material, I date each addition and ammendment to the notes, and then I can see when I made certain discoveries. I also make a refrence to the origin of the notes, i.e. in class, seminar with Mr ......, working at home, etc.

I started in Kenpo back in the mid-seventies, and I'm still adding to my notes on Delayed Sword. Maybe I'm just a slow learner :)

Keep making the notes, perhaps one day in the future they will be the basis for a great book about Kenpo.

Les
 
What I do:

I have a 3 ring binder notebook. the order is as follows

brown belt certificate (photocopy: original is framed)
brown belt requirements card
long form 3 breakdown (required for second brown)
long form 4 breakdown (required for third brown)
long form 5 breakdown (required for black)
my brown belt technique notes that I wrote myself
my teacher's printout of technique breakdowns

green belt certificate (original)
demo recognition certificate (received while Green belt)
long form 2 breakdown
green belt requirements card
my green belt technique notes
my teacher's printout of technique breakdowns

blue belt certificate
short form 3 breakdown
blue belt requirements card
my blue belt technique notes
my teacher's printout

purple belt certificate
long form 1 breakdown
purple belt requirements card
my purple belt technique notes
my teacher's printout

orange belt certificate
orange belt requirement card
short form 2 breakdown
my orange belt technique notes
my teacher's printout

yellow belt certificate
yellow belt requirement list
short form 1 breakdown
my notes
(no teacher printout at this level)

I work my way backwards because the stuff you'll need is the most current, so it makes sense to have it in the front. I actually used to get asked to leave my notebook at the studio, because when other students were practicing, they wanted to use it.


This is a lot of work. Its taken me thirteen years, and its a nice chronicle of my martial arts journey....kind of amusing to see the changes in my handwriting from age ten til now. LOL.

I also have a notebook that another instructor gave me that he put together that lists ALL of Mr. Parker's techniques (my teacher doesn't teach some of them til after black, but I got curious), all the forms and some of Mr. Parker's thoughts on things. I've only just glanced at it, but I really want to find time to read through it. It is also organized by belt level.

hope that helps. lemme know if you want photocopies of anything I have, and we can work something out...but other people's printouts are not a replacement for notes you take yourself, as your own words will jog your memory much better than reading over what someone else wrote.
 
I try to keep a notebook for techniques and forms, too. My notes for techniques follow this format:

1) Description of the attack
2) Description of the defense (what each hand & foot is doing, and what foot maneuvers are used)
3) Notes on things to remember (check the leg or arm, etc.)
4) Notes on anything in the technique giving me difficulty
5) Description of the "main" principles the technique teaches (Borrowed Force, Gravitational Marriage, etc.)

I know there are many, many more principles than I list, but I like to remember the "theme" for a technique (Borrowed Force in Mace of Aggression, for instance).

I like the idea of starting a new notebook from the "teacher's perspective" down the line, too.

Just my $0.02. Good luck! :)

Tad
 
Originally posted by JD_Nelson

I have written many techniques down that I am learning and thoughts I have had about them on paper. I normally keep each technique on a separate page and write down any new understandings down below description of execution. I try to include principles of how I was shown and what I think works well for me.

I am currently yellow and my notes are not as extensive as others, and my notes are not very extensive yet. I am concerned about organizing them in a manner that is efficient, yet comprehensible. Does any one have some ideas or suggestions about keeping a good book?

I have a couple of thoughts on a thesis for this later on, but I would like some other ideas to think about as well.

:asian:

~~~Salute~~~

Jeremy

I keep mine in a Word file, that way, every time Phil comes up and tells me all the stuff I'm doing wrong I can just edit the file and re-print it, which saves me having notes that are tippexed or scribbled in.

Or I can print one bit, then cut it out and stick it over the top of the old one.

This also allows me to easily colour code the notes (targets are in red, stances in green and so forth).

Also, I export it as a HTML file and upload it to my website, which means I can read through it at work when it's quiet ;)

If anyone wants to see the file they're quite welcome:

www.satans.barber.btinternet.co.uk/files/kentechs03.doc

Ian.
 
I like the ideas of keeping a notebook for the belt levels. I had not thought of that and it seems very obvious now. I do keep some notes in a digital format as well. It makes sharing and copying the notes much easier. I have thoguht about taking the laptop to class to keep the notes their, but have not done it because i fear it would be a distraction. I also really do not take the notebook to class. If I were to do so I am afraid I would be taking more time to write down the data than learning with the hands on approach.

I would also like to ask the instructors how they deal with note taking during class. Is it a distraction? I can see how it would not be much of a distraction in privates, but what about in a group setting?

I agree completely with keeping a date record for the new discoveries. I am not good at this because most of my discoveries happen out of the blue. I will walk down the hall thinking about kenpo and a new thought or principle application comes to mind. My note book is not always handy, but I do try to email myself a message.

Thanks for some of the ideas.

~~~Salute~~~

Jeremy
 
Originally posted by Goldendragon7

What about notes taken off the web?

The internet is, of course, a great pool of information, but it can also be a cesspool :) (It MUST be true, I read it on the internet!)

The problem I see with taking info from the web is that one has no way of knowing that it is accurate information.

Sort of "URL's show, but they are no proof that you know"

Also, copying other peoples notes isn't really stimulating your own thought processes as much as working things out for yourself. However, on the other side of the coin, someone elses notes can kickstart your own thinking.

Of course, one can easily mis-understand what is written, or be mis-led by a simple typing error. (Try Dance of Death as written out in the IKKA Orange Journal, assuming you didn't know it first)

The bottom line? Sometimes it can help, sometimes not:confused:

Les
 
Originally posted by Les
The internet is, of course, a great cesspool :)
Les

A Cesspool.......... :moon: A CESSPOOL.......

THATS IT!! YOU THINK OUR POSTS ARE A CESSPOOL.......

WHY I otta.......

:flammad:
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.:rofl: :asian: Just kidding hee hee
 
Originally posted by Goldendragon7



A Cesspool.......... :moon: A CESSPOOL.......

THATS IT!! YOU THINK OUR POSTS ARE A CESSPOOL.......

WHY I otta.......


:jediduel: Whoops, looks like it's time I logged off. :)

Anyway, you know what I meant :asian:

Les
 
Hey, they're a *tool*, just like anything else.

I have downloaded/printed off notes from various styles and techniques from the 'net. My figuring is, I will print off the notes, review them, try them out, and keep what is valuable to me. The rest, I will put away and try later. If it is valuable then, I will use it, if not, back to the files it goes.

Notes from anyone, anywhere, can be pointless and useless. It all depends on who's offering them and who's taking them. Notes that I have may be total crap to anyone else reading them, and they may see my "insights" as waaay off.

Anyway, I say get notes from all the sources you can. Even if something is not accurate, it will prompt you to think--and with Kenpo being a science, thinking is a very good quality......

Peace--
 
For an example of what is essentially a huge notebook of American Kenpo material (also Tracy's stuff) see www.kenponet.com under "The Flame". Josh Merideth (the webmaster) has listed the material out by belt and type of attack, with cross-references of grafting opportunities, under his curriculum link. Also, there's about a jillion tons of other stuff there.

For online American Kenpo resources, I think Kenponet (under the Flame) has the most comprehensive and in-depth info on the web. I use it to cross-reference what I've learned, though some of the techniques are written out a touch differently than what I learned. The Flame is worth a long browse (and will take days to read).

Peace,
Scott
 

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