Every martial arts instructor should know this.
We stand at the door of the greatest opportunity any business has ever had to make a difference.
Now, there is a bit of academic jargon coming your way but bear with me.
Firstly, check the quote in the latest Australian Educator (Issue 86 Winter 2015)
“Kamenetz writes that a 2014 study by MIT neuroscientists of nearly 1400 eighth graders found that standardised tests mostly assess crystallised intelligence or the application of memorised routines to familiar problems. The tests fail to assess students’ fluid intelligence.”
The writer explains that fluid intelligence involves reasoning in novel situations, speed of information processing and solving abstract problems.
Now, we all went to school. Not much news there you say.
But hang on. As martial arts instructors, that’s what we do! We teach this stuff.
We are constantly asking our students to think under pressure and to create solutions when struggling. And we sometimes inadvertently create a scenario where the student is faced with a threat where their skills have only partially prepared them.
For example, take a wrestle or spar. The opponent goes on the attack, to which the student knows the defence. Problem is the defence doesn’t make the opponent stop. Confidence evaporates and it replaced with anger or fear. This happens all the time in martial arts.
What do we do?
CHOICE 1 - The worst thing is to solve the problem by moving them to another partner. Problem avoided but no growth on the part of the student.
CHOICE 2 - The next step is coaching how to deal with that situation. Better solution but this means the student forever needs us for answers. Minimal growth on the part of the student.
We are still relying on memorised routines to familiar problems.
CHOICE 3 - Equip the learner with fluid intelligence. An ability to create answers from minimal information. An eagerness to drop our reactions in search of a better way. We explain that successful people look outside the box. They don’t necessarily break the rules but look to solutions without restraints.
Finally, here comes a clunker. Martial arts black belts are known to have huge mastery over familiar techniques. No doubt. Only problem is that things rarely go wrong for these people.
Except when their old faithful defence or attack makes no difference. Or even worse, enrages the opponent. They better hope their training has prepared them and they are used to changing direction mid-stream.
Where To Now?
My best advice is, 'Don't let your Martial Art Became Memorised Routines.'
Memorised reactions are fine unless that's all you do. The student must initially face compliant opponents who let them perform. This embeds the movement in the students memory banks. Then opponents must gradually become non-compliant. Put up a fight.
The trick is ... gradually.
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"It's taken me 35 years to get to the point where I can see the ultimate way to make a difference in the life of a child. This course is where it all starts. The techniques are not difficult but it takes constant vigilance to look for the opportunity to deliver the right message the right time. Using this video training system, I am 100% sure you will see a dramatic improvement in your quality level, whether you teach 40 or 400 students."
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