Perfect practice verse high repetition sculpting?

Steve

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Sometimes it's simply a bad instructor.
Sometimes people take longer to learn than others.
For what it's worth, I don't get hung up on how long it takes for people to learn things, outside of some professional milestones. I mean, if you have a job, you will probably need to become proficient in that job or you'll eventually be fired. Not everyone is a good fit for every job. But otherwise, if it takes 3 months for you to pick something up, it might take someone else 2 months... or 5 months. It's not a big deal.

That said, people overcome poor instructors all the time. A great instructor can definitely add value to the process. But not everyone is a great teacher, even if they have excellent skills. You can learn skills, even complex, practical skills, from very poor instructors. I'd consider YouTube to be an unreliable instructor, and I've accomplished all sorts of things learning from it. I had my clothes dryer completely dismantled, replaced the heating element, the bearings, and the belt in about 3 hours. Learned from instructor Google.

What you can't overcome, though, is a lack of experience. A poor instructor with a lot of experience can teach you skills you can learn and eventually apply yourself. A skilled instructor who is inexperienced may be teaching you a lot of stuff, but what you're learning might be completely impractical. There used to be a poster around here who fits that profile to a tee. All kinds of knowledge but limited practical experience. At least, I'm presuming he's a skilled instructor.

And as a student, you can't become an expert in something if you never do it.
 
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Jimmythebull

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For what it's worth, I don't get hung up on how long it takes for people to learn things, outside of some professional milestones. I mean, if you have a job, you will probably need to become proficient in that job or you'll eventually be fired. Not everyone is a good fit for every job. But otherwise, if it takes 3 months for you to pick something up, it might take someone else 2 months... or 5 months. It's not a big deal.

That said, people overcome poor instructors all the time. A great instructor can definitely add value to the process. But not everyone is a great teacher, even if they have excellent skills. You can learn skills, even complex, practical skills, from very poor instructors. I'd consider YouTube to be an unreliable instructor, and I've accomplished all sorts of things learning from it. I had my clothes dryer completely dismantled, replaced the heating element, the bearings, and the belt in about 3 hours. Learned from instructor Google.

What you can't overcome, though, is a lack of experience. A poor instructor with a lot of experience can teach you skills you can learn and eventually apply yourself. A skilled instructor who is inexperienced may be teaching you a lot of stuff, but what you're learning might be completely impractical. There used to be a poster around here who fits that profile to a tee. All kinds of knowledge but limited practical experience. At least, I'm presuming he's a skilled instructor.

And as a student, you can't become an expert in something if you never do it.
I think the worst "instructor" i met was a Shotokan Karate guy who i think was a 2nd Dan at the time. he really was an utter *******. His stories about beating tai boxers in tailand were the funniest ever.
If you didn織t lick his *** you were a dojo outcast.
 

Olde Phart

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I think a lot of us agree to the basic thought that demanding perfection from the first footstep on the mat is not the way to go; and, making little adjustments along the way allows the student to develop at their own pace. Our black belt class follows a beginner class in our dojang. Occasionally, I have stepped up to the edge of the mat and adjusted someone's hand position to more closely match what the instructor is demonstrating - - and then sit quietly until our class starts.

The instructor is right in front of them - - explaining it very clearly (at least, to me he is) - - and they still can't "see" what is being taught. I can only imagine the stuttering steps that would be accomplished in a class of many beginners if the instructor belabored their instruction on the very first move, striving for perfection. It would take months to get everyone thru the first kata!

As instructors, we are like parents teaching little children how to walk and talk, dress themselves and feed themselves. Instructors need the patience of a parent in order to prepare them for life. The proof of our teaching ability lies in the ability of our students to teach another. Pass it on in a permanent way.
 

jks9199

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Another thought...

We had a stretch where we focused so much on teaching perfectly and making sure that new students learned ALL the little things that we would maybe teach one or two punches or a punch and stance in a student's first night... It didn't work well; students got frustrated and progress was too slow.

We learned to fall back to what we started out -- teaching several things the first class, and then spending several more classes refining them before adding more. Students had more fun, and progressed more effectively.
 

Darren

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As a western trainer who has taught martial arts, firearms and tactics, my background is in getting people to practice skills perfectly the first time. So that they never build bad habits.

Then I moved to Thailand and began learning Muay Thai. I quickly figured out this was not how Muay Thai was taught here at all! In fact they were more than happy for me to do a vast amount of things wrong. Stance, balance, guard, elbow position, chin position all wrong. Every strike I did incorrectly at some level at first. Yet they smiled and let me have fun doing it wrong. Even giving me lots of thumbs up. I thought I was doing good because they were not correcting me. Wrong!! They knew I was doing it very wrong.

Over time, they slowly, slowly, slowly corrected my mistakes. Slowly fixing my foot placement, hand position, striking surface, movement, a 1000 little things.

At first I was secretly upset, thinking, "Why didn't you give me more specific instructions in the first place?! Why have you let me practice this incorrectly?! What else am I doing wrong that you are not telling me!?" I felt like they were waisting my time in some ways. But they didn't think of time the way I did. To them, they had time to fix me, and it was okay.

This so so radically different than how I was taught to teach people!!! But you know what, over time, they fixed so much! I can watch videos of me doing Muay Thai in the beginning and now, and it's clear I have gained a ton of skill.

How could this be? It flys in the face of western thinking regarding proper training. They literally gave me just enough info to do it wrong, let me do 1000s of reps incorrectly. But I can't argue with the results. My kids and I have all improved dramatically.

The best part is, because we were not trying to hit every detail from day 1, we were always relaxed and having fun. It has caused me to rethink traditional western wisdom regarding insisting on perfect practice.

Instead of perfect practice, the method here is water over a stone. Over a long period of time, continually poring water, the stone smooths out.

I now think that both methods work, but for the more relaxed approach, it takes high reputation instructions, and an experienced patient coach. But less talking meant a lot more reps.

But I definitely have enjoyed learning through a more relaxed mindset, with a slow approach to perfection. I feel like it has created a much more relaxed/effortless skillet.

There was nothing haphazard about it. But it was far different from wester instant gratification, expectations, and short term goals. A much slower, but more enjoyable progression of discovery, and skill development.

Thoughts on this? Your experience?
Always always and always practice slow until you get the techniques right, instructor said to do the techniques three times, I do them ten times each workout. When I test for my belt with my instructor I do it full speed then after I test for my belt I go back to doing the techniques slow. Dont know if its good or bad but even when I am sleeping I wake myself up, parrying, elbowing, kneeing, kicking, this one I know is bad dreamed one night this person grabbed my shoulder and elbowed my wife right in the face when I heard her cry out in pain I knew what I had done felt like a piece of dog doo doo!!!! Have to slow down on my training as I take care of a special needs son and sometimes he gets up and wants something to drink and I dont want to hurt him. But only for so long as I am back at it again!!!! Just like riding a motorcycle it gets in your blood!!!!!
 

Gyakuto

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I believe ones practise should be slightly awkward to progress. I bought my last house from a retired professional football player famous for heading the ball. We were talking about the 10,000 hour hypothesis and he said that as a child, hed spend hours in his bedroom heading the ball against the wall. Then hed hop on one leg and do the same. Then he headed it into the corner of the room so the bounce back was a bit less predictable. Then hed close his eyes after heading it and try heading it back using experiential instinct etc etc. He said progressive repetition was the key to expertise.
 

Jimmythebull

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He said progressive repetition was the key to expertise.
maybe for some people but i remember in 1985 we had a guy like Private Pyle (Full metal Jacket). Being honest here & no BS. he was exactly like the charachter in the 1987 film. Apart from terrible fitness he just could not learn how to do drill /march. the Training staff spent hours on him as he was keen but it was no use. sometimes people just don織t have the Mind muscle connection like we talk about in bodybuilding.
 

tkdroamer

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As a western trainer who has taught martial arts, firearms and tactics, my background is in getting people to practice skills perfectly the first time. So that they never build bad habits.

Then I moved to Thailand and began learning Muay Thai. I quickly figured out this was not how Muay Thai was taught here at all! In fact they were more than happy for me to do a vast amount of things wrong. Stance, balance, guard, elbow position, chin position all wrong. Every strike I did incorrectly at some level at first. Yet they smiled and let me have fun doing it wrong. Even giving me lots of thumbs up. I thought I was doing good because they were not correcting me. Wrong!! They knew I was doing it very wrong.

Over time, they slowly, slowly, slowly corrected my mistakes. Slowly fixing my foot placement, hand position, striking surface, movement, a 1000 little things.

At first I was secretly upset, thinking, "Why didn't you give me more specific instructions in the first place?! Why have you let me practice this incorrectly?! What else am I doing wrong that you are not telling me!?" I felt like they were waisting my time in some ways. But they didn't think of time the way I did. To them, they had time to fix me, and it was okay.

This so so radically different than how I was taught to teach people!!! But you know what, over time, they fixed so much! I can watch videos of me doing Muay Thai in the beginning and now, and it's clear I have gained a ton of skill.

How could this be? It flys in the face of western thinking regarding proper training. They literally gave me just enough info to do it wrong, let me do 1000s of reps incorrectly. But I can't argue with the results. My kids and I have all improved dramatically.

The best part is, because we were not trying to hit every detail from day 1, we were always relaxed and having fun. It has caused me to rethink traditional western wisdom regarding insisting on perfect practice.

Instead of perfect practice, the method here is water over a stone. Over a long period of time, continually poring water, the stone smooths out.

I now think that both methods work, but for the more relaxed approach, it takes high reputation instructions, and an experienced patient coach. But less talking meant a lot more reps.

But I definitely have enjoyed learning through a more relaxed mindset, with a slow approach to perfection. I feel like it has created a much more relaxed/effortless skillet.

There was nothing haphazard about it. But it was far different from wester instant gratification, expectations, and short term goals. A much slower, but more enjoyable progression of discovery, and skill development.

Thoughts on this? Your experience?
I don't feel it is possible teach everything 'right' from the beginning. Just too much information overload. And I think the same can be said for picking up 'bad habits'. They take time as well.
So, immersing yourself in the training, picking up things as you go, getting corrected by the instructors, and honing your skills is the more natural way to learn.
 

Olde Phart

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To add to my previous thoughts, I remember learning Spanish when we were missionaries in Mexico many years ago. We were planning on working with another, more veteran, missionary. He wasn't paying attention when he, himself, learned Spanish and he "heard" many words wrong and, therefore, pronounced them wrong, though he thought he was right. The Mexicans tried to correct him time and time again but after awhile, when he no longer accepted their correction, they just left it alone and accepted his efforts as-is. They could infer from the sentence what it was that he was saying and just ran with it. Privately, they would comment "that's just him." It's possible that the MA instructor can give up on an unteachable student and just has to give them a "passing grade" for the student's effort.
 

tkdroamer

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For what it's worth, I don't get hung up on how long it takes for people to learn things, outside of some professional milestones. I mean, if you have a job, you will probably need to become proficient in that job or you'll eventually be fired. Not everyone is a good fit for every job. But otherwise, if it takes 3 months for you to pick something up, it might take someone else 2 months... or 5 months. It's not a big deal.

That said, people overcome poor instructors all the time. A great instructor can definitely add value to the process. But not everyone is a great teacher, even if they have excellent skills. You can learn skills, even complex, practical skills, from very poor instructors. I'd consider YouTube to be an unreliable instructor, and I've accomplished all sorts of things learning from it. I had my clothes dryer completely dismantled, replaced the heating element, the bearings, and the belt in about 3 hours. Learned from instructor Google.

What you can't overcome, though, is a lack of experience. A poor instructor with a lot of experience can teach you skills you can learn and eventually apply yourself. A skilled instructor who is inexperienced may be teaching you a lot of stuff, but what you're learning might be completely impractical. There used to be a poster around here who fits that profile to a tee. All kinds of knowledge but limited practical experience. At least, I'm presuming he's a skilled instructor.

And as a student, you can't become an expert in something if you never do it.
Google & Youtube are powerful learning tools. However, I apply a 6-8 factor of error. If I need to see how to do something (especially technical), I watch 6-8 videos because four of them will be completely wrong. You can then glean what is correct from the others.
The difference comes in when you are trying to learn something completely new or have zero background yourself. If you cannot discern that half the videos are wrong in the first place, that creates a completely different, and downright dangerous environment.
The same can be said of learning a martial art. If you do not know what the basis of a good, solid, program or instructor is, it can make for a rough and unproductive start.
 

Darren

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maybe for some people but i remember in 1985 we had a guy like Private Pyle (Full metal Jacket). Being honest here & no BS. he was exactly like the charachter in the 1987 film. Apart from terrible fitness he just could not learn how to do drill /march. the Training staff spent hours on him as he was keen but it was no use. sometimes people just don織t have the Mind muscle connection like we talk about in bodybuilding.
If I may ask why does a marine get in your face and do the war face? Thank you.
 

punisher73

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Another point of view from a MARTIAL ARTS perspective and the eastern culture...

Sometimes, they don't correct you because you haven't earned it yet. Sometimes, they want to see your dedication first and THEN they will start to invest more into you and correct you.
 

Jimmythebull

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Another point of view from a MARTIAL ARTS perspective and the eastern culture...

Sometimes, they don't correct you because you haven't earned it yet. Sometimes, they want to see your dedication first and THEN they will start to invest more into you and correct you.
truth in this... i remember going to a Karate group (Wado Ryu) & they just sort of showed you a few little things & let you practice. Wasn織t until i was there about 3 months training regularly that i really got the teaching.
 
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