So often in life it’s it seems we don’t get the answer we were expecting, it’s more that we asked the wrong question. Again when it comes to self-defense we often seek out the best teacher/instructor. Without really considering “self.”
Regardless how knowledgeable, skillful, or wise the “instructor” is- none of it matters if you don’t listen, watch and apply yourself. It is important to remember that it is possible that the person you were hoping to learn from can’t express the information in a manner that you can understand.
Some of the greatest athletes in their field have not become the best coaches. Granted their skills can be mimicked to a certain extent. The ability to share some of the primary aspects can be accomplished. However, those aspects that made them unique and special are almost impossible to share. It’s not because of them. They can’t fully express the nuances that they understand and accomplish.
In reality it is not the teacher that should be totally considered. It’s the student. It has been determined that there are seven different learning styles:
Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.
Your learning styles have more influence than you may realize. Your preferred styles guide the way you learn. They also change the way you internally represent experiences, the way you recall information, and even the words you choose. Remember your instructor also has a learning style and it has highly influenced his/her teaching style.
Now the interesting thing is that research shows us that each learning style uses different parts of the brain. By involving more of the brain during learning, we remember more of what we learn. Researchers using brain-imaging technologies have been able to find out the key areas of the brain responsible for each learning style. Many people recognize that each person prefers different learning styles and techniques. Learning styles group common ways that people learn. Everyone has a mix of learning styles. Some people may find that they have a dominant style of learning, with far less use of the other styles. Others may find that they use different styles in different circumstances. There is no right mix. Nor are your styles fixed. You can develop ability in less dominant styles, as well as further develop styles that you already use well.
This is one of the values of Martial Arts training regardless of the instructor. The activities involved can address all parts of the brain can be activated through the primary visual, auditory, kinesthetic as well as being social and solitary. The way we train at Attitude First we are always addressing the logical aspects of why we do the things we do.
Because of this it now gets back to the original concern- without a doubt the more versed and capable the instructor is the better the experience of training can be but ultimately, it is up to the student to learn. Each must be motivated to put in the “work.” Spend time connecting what the brain understands to what the body can do. Then applying the principles and concepts to the action and interactions involved. In addition the student must be patient allowing for the internalization of the process. The internalization is when the mind and body have connected and flow as one. A point many refer to as extemporaneous.
Although again we can’t fully train without a network of people, we truly are our own teachers gathering the information and experiences, processing them through our own learning styles and developing our own “self” defense style.