Saturday, February 23, 2008

Please correct me. If you are my friend.

I like to learn and get better.

My school leans towards lots of energetic repetition to build muscle memory with lots of encouragement and positive feedback. They correct us less than I personally would like. Sometimes, after months of an exercise, I realize that I'm doing it wrong and have been for months.

Now before anyone thinks that I'm criticizing my dojo, let me point out that I'm totally into emphasizing the positive. But, my desire for critical feedback is real too. It is a long-standing pattern with me.

I used to live in Paris and I remember once getting angry when someone corrected my use of a word. Not because of the correction (which I appreciated) but because I had been using it wrong for over a year and none of my *friends* had corrected me.

I asked my *friends* about their failure to correct me and they (my French friends) answered that: "you sounded so cute and we could understand it so whats the big deal?" ("tu etais tellement mignon et alors, ce n'est pas tres important"). To me, its a big deal. I want to be getting better.

I found new friends. I want the straight scoop.

So, if you're my friend, correct me. Not just my karate moves, but even my spelling (bbm - thanks. I now know that the stick is a bo, not a bow. )



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5 comments:

Nick said...

Sounds great that you are doing Karate! I am doind tae kwon do for some time and i'm really enjoying it. I found out though that extra working out is needed so as to be stronger and devolop bigger muscles. Being stronger meant more effectiveness at the martial art. Have a look at my blogspot i think ti will be of help.

I must say that you are doing some really serious work here! Keep it up. Friends of mine were going through similar stages.
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Anonymous said...

hey dad, i think u spelled "injury" rong on ur home page, just thot u should now
hee hee, im looking 4 ideas for my non fiction essay and thot it mite be on karate, so i looked online and wat do i c...? lol
luv ya

Anonymous said...

u spelled injury injugy by accident, just thot u should kno dad, lol

Anonymous said...

Very true, you absolutely have the right attitude towards training. If you let your ego get in the way you won't learn and improve or at least at a much slower pace. I found sometimes you actually learn the most from the lower belts (even beginners), especially when you're a teacher. However you must know your customers so to speak and how to best break it to people: some immidiately accept corrections while others either get annoyed with you (hey, if you want to continue making the same mistake over and over be my guest) or they blame themselves and get frustrated (don't constantly knock yourself but learn from the experience and move on).

The attitude towards this problem varies immensly between dojo's: in my old dojo the first few years the higher belts almost never corrected you and you were basically left to fend for yourself unless you asked yourself (very respectfully and even then the answer usually was 'keep practising, you'll get it'), in my current dojo sensei takes a lot of time to explain (sometimes too much) and I as his assistent take time out of my own training to check up on people and correct them if needed. Most of the time this is appreciated (I always try to be respectful and constructive), these people have the right attitude and will most likely flourish. A minority finds this annoying and don't like the attention (for the reasons stated above), too bad for them but it's already obvious they don't learn as fast as the others and will likely quit sooner or later.

My attitude towards training can be summed up perfectly in your words: "I like to learn and get better". Couldn't have said it better myself. You have an interesting blog, I might visit it once in a while.

BBat50 said...

Anonymous, thanks for the comment. There's a related post which doesn't make the Best List since I feel it starts with a good question which I haven't been able to really answer:

Saturday morning, teaching the candidates class, Kyoshi made a comment which has stuck with me: You come to the dojo to learn discipline. Not to be disciplined.

I've been thinking about this since then. It's a distinction that intrigues me and which I wish I fully understood.


I think this relates to coming to the dojo to learn and our openness to being corrected. Again, my thoughts are vague...

Learning Discipline vs Being Disciplined