- Mar 27, 2012
- Reaction score
- Hendersonville, NC
My post may have been unclear. The primary issue I was referring to is related to principles, but the principle needn’t be spelled out. But it must be contained in the correction.For a beginner, learning to control position of their limb is a priority. To be able to do just this is sufficient reason to simply correct - principle behind it not needed. You are right in that how the limb gets there is important. In fact, the path the limb takes is just as important, if not more, as the end position. This is what gives the move function.
As for the instructor repeating the same ineffective rote correction to the struggling student - the instructor is simply unskilled. In this situation, it seems he is unable to recognize the problem's cause and/or teach that critical bridge that allows the technique to be done correctly (in accordance with principles). But knowing the principle without that bridge allowing it to be utilized is useless. They need to know how to move and what that feels like more than the underlying principle. Their body will understand the principle, even if the mind does not at this stage.
I hope I am expressing well enough to make this perhaps abstract, but IMO, important and valid point. Consider an eight year old gymnastics student doing a technique. Do they mentally understand the biophysical principles involved? They learn by doing, their coach refining their dismount technique, not with explanation of the various forces at work, but with suggestions like, "Cross your arms sooner" or, "Raise your right hand like you're scratching your head as you twist." The coach recognizing these more subtle points being the key, fulcrum or "pressure point" of the technique will allow the student to better execute. Of course, the coach's corrections are based on physical principles, but the eight year old doesn't know that, doesn't care and doesn't need to know them. They just enjoy the feeling of spinning correctly and sticking the landing. They feel how to do it correctly.
To more fully quote Parker, "To hear is to misunderstand, to feel is to know."
Here’s a simple example. I’ve seen an instructor correct a stand-up grappling technique by saying “that foot should be over here.” That leaves the student (beginner or otherwise) struggling to make it end up there. In my opinion, there are two elements missing: what likely caused the foot to end up in the wrong place (usually an incorrect weight shift), and why the placement matters (usually for structural or movement purposes). So the student moves the foot (after the technique is completed) with no understanding. The technique does contain important principles, but not the way the student is practicing it.