FoundationsJanuary 3 2011 at 10:32 PM
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Response to The Complexity of Basics
Basics should be wired into the curriculum from the very beginning and, like a foundation, build upon one another. To that point I think that the structure of the curriculum has to take into consideration a few things.
1) Attention Spans - yes, people will get bored.
2) What have they learned previously? This lends itself to solving #1. If the material builds, slowly, at each belt level, the complexity of the set, form, or technique, then you are not only reenforcing previous basics, but layering in new movement. Einstein said, "We learn on the edge of what we know." This is very true both physically and mentally.
3) Separation of platforms. Learn the hands and feet separately then tie them together later. Allow the student the time to focus on each platform (upper and lower) until the movements become fluid, then start coordinating the movements together.
4) How does the curriculum put the body in contact with itself? The simplest way to learn a physical movement is to find ways to give the body as much sensory input as possible. We call it BAMing, PAMing, etc... When something is done wrong, stop. Don't continue. Start over. Especially if it's a fundamental. Every time you perform a bad basic, you reenforce it.
I believe that the structure of the Motion Kenpo curriculum is not ideal given what we know about science today. That may be a controversial statement, but simply put, the techniques are too complex at the early stages. They don't allow for repetition of the simplistic basics and students tend to get lost in this see of motion. Too many options. Too much to know. And if you don't start teaching the "fun stuff" quickly, then you lose the students. It's a double edged sword.
Teaching basics requires the basics to be hardwired at the early stages through repetitive movements that are encountered in varying drills, sets, and techniques. I don't see this much in the Martial Arts world, but maybe I don't get out enough.