How To Learn

When I learned my martial arts in the 70’s and 80’s I went to lessons, took a notebook and took notes in my own way. When I went home the notebook went up on the mantelpiece and I worked from there, it was very personal and taught me how to learn. When I went back for my next lesson my instructor expected me to have practised and learned what we did last time. IMO it’s still the best way to progress.

Nowadays we produce the notes for the students and videos that can be used on any device, the problem is that some students seem to want us to go round their house and move their arms and legs for them as well!

If you want to progress in the martial arts you can’t shift all of the responsibility onto your instructor, you have to take some of it yourself. The more you take, the more you develop.

My advice is to make notes yourself, work from them and then make notes of what questions you need to ask next time. Nothing encourages an instructor more than a student with a list of good questions that has obviously arisen from their personal training and nothing demoralises them more than a student who just wants to blame them for their inability to take responsibility for their own studies.

Learning how to learn is an important aspect of being a good student and taking responsibility for your own studies is probably the most important decision you can make. Remember learning is a 2 way street, if your instructor has produced many good students in the past, any failure is probably on your part.

Finally, be polite. Offending your teacher is the fastest way to break a very important relationship, I know so many rude, inconsiderate people who went to my teachers and got nothing but with a little bit of respect, courtesy and gratitude for what I was taught meant I got so much more……

My advice is:
Turn up on time
Always pay whether you attend or not
Take notes
Practice what you’ve been taught
Come back with intelligent questions
Respect your instructor’s views
Always be polite and courteous

It’s not a lot to ask for….

One thought on “How To Learn

  1. Great article and fantastic advice – thank you! Many times I thought of making notes knowing that a big chunk of the valuable knowledge will be gone from my memory until it’s repeated again, but I thought that this is not done in martial arts; so thank you for proving me wrong 🙂


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