Monday, May 30, 2011

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Attention to detail

Now this is something that lies at the very heart of my own martial arts teaching and practice. It is something I have also tried to instill in all of the instructors I have taught. As human beings we do have a tendency to adopt behaviors and technologies that have proven to be successful without analyzing our thinking about them all that much. In short, if it works, we don’t feel a need to think about it too much – we just use it.
I like to think about what makes things work, what makes a behavior successful, what causes this or that effect? I guess this is a scientific approach – although strangely enough, I didn’t do to well at science whilst in school. But I love doing the science of the martial arts; I want to understand what makes a technique work (or fail); I love detail, just can’t get enough of it in fact.
In my view, paying close attention to the underlying detail of a technique or strategy and then walking others through that same exact process goes right to the heart of what teaching is all about. I really get huge satisfaction from seeing other people realize there is much more to the study and understanding of the martial arts than they may have first thought possible.
There is depth in everything – anyone can do ‘breadth’ – but depth is something else again …
JBW

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2 Comments

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Rowan 1:33 pm

Great post..so many questions.

1) "anyone can do ‘breadth’ – but depth is something else again". Does this imply that not everyone can do depth? Or are you saying that breadth comes easy but depth you have to work for?

2) Does there come a point where your depth of knowledge in one area crosses into similar areas? If so does the overlap happen naturally or can/do you need to hunt it out?

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Rowan ,
no - everyone can do 'depth' - it just takes time. Like doing an arts degree at Uni (breadth) and then a masters in something (depth). Depth and real understanding in one area - can absolutely cross-ver into some other areas, As Miyamoto Musashi (revered Japanese sword startgeist) said ' to know one thing is to know 10,000 things'.
Deep and profound understanding of one thing can allow us to extrapolate and see how the principles therein may then be found to exist in other (seemingly unrelated) areas.
Best wishes
JBW

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