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 Post subject: Rory Miller On Teaching
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:30 pm 
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This is an interesting read that makes us wonder how we are really seen as teachers
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Do not over coach. correct and explain to the minimum. One of the beauties of Operant Conditioning is that the world does your teaching and the student cannot argue with the world.

If you stay at it you will get good at Ukemi or breakfalls because all the wrong ways hurt.

One of the dangers is that if you coach, the student will start to think instead of respond, and your conditioning will magically turn to 'train' and 'fail' under pressure.

Any response that is even a slight improvement should be rewarded. That's as simple as saying 'a nice one'_

And saying 'good job' but it is wrong...do it this way, is a punishment. All corrections are punishments that send a mixed signal that makes the deeper part of the student's brain trust you less.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:43 pm 
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Then we have Rory's latest blog on teaching_ very sobering:

http://chirontraining.blogspot.com/

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During the drive to the airport, Kasey and I were talking about teaching, and teaching, and about people. In any field there are some people that just don't get "it." Whatever "it" is for that field.

Some people will never be fighters. I'm not talking about strength or speed, but there are some people that have essential elements of heart that are simply missing.

And some people will never be teachers. There is something missing and they can't command the respect to be listened to. You can force a hundred students to attend, give a simple and important subject and none of the students will make the connection, none of them will listen, none of them will learn.

Probably for reasons of insecurity, many of the people least fit to be cops or teachers want to be cops or teachers. They think the position will give them the respect they can't seem to get on their own. The people who can't fight want to be fighters, hoping the label will make their fear and insecurity go away.

Yes. Some people can't teach. And usually the honorable thing to do is to tell them that. And some will believe you and quit, and more will refuse to believe you and manage to get into a teaching position and ****** for their entire career.

Some people can't fight. And usually the honorable thing to do is to tell them that. And some will believe you and quit, and more will refuse to believe you and manage to get into a force profession and ****** for their entire career, and get other people and themselves hurt.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:46 pm 
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Fight smart. Efficiently. Stay alert to options, escape possibilities, unexpected threats... that's incredibly effective, but realistically, the ability to do that-- to deal with a potentially deadly threat and partition part of your brain to do something else-- requires immense experience. I couldn't do it for maybe the first hundred force incidents. I doubt I even considered the possibility before it happened.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:48 pm 
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No one is inherently special. No one deserves to be appreciated just because they happen to be born or they happen to be human. Your value as an entity is based entirely on your actual value to actual other entities. If you want to write fiction that you never share because it makes you happy, that's entirely cool. For you. But if that is ALL you do, you could be shot in the head today and it would not matter one iota to the world.

Right now, check yourself. Over 90% of the people reading this will be nodding in agreement because what I just wrote is simply freakin' obvious. If you are glitching, you need to take a good hard look at your life.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:49 pm 
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The one universal with overcommitment appears to be this, in my opinion: Never double down on stupid. Don't reinforce failure. When you catch yourself doing the wrong thing, don't let your monkey brain con you into doing the wrong thing harder. Always be humble enough to admit when you've screwed it up and change. And adapt. And win.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:52 pm 
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The thing is, though, that there are certain lessons that can only be learned by doing certain things. Dumb things. And the lessons are valuable. On an earlier post, "Agent Cbeppa" wrote:

I've been wondering about a seeming paradox for a while now.
You write a lot about how ordinary people who have had no experience with violence make up their own (largely false) stories and identities. When people go through a violent experience, they realise what is fact and what was fiction, which sounds like a handy thing to know about yourself.

Conversely, you also advise people to avoid violent situations as much as possible. It's the safest and most sensible thing to do.
Do you have any explanations that might clear this up for me? Or is there no right answer?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:54 pm 
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There's one other reason to preach avoidance. Maybe you get new truths through engagement. Maybe your illusions get shattered and you can get new insights or even enlightenment. But only if you live, and hopefully unshattered. I talk about dealing with knives and luck, but if I had been a tiny bit less lucky, I wouldn't be here to talk about it. It's very cool to imagine going to the bad places and learning the cool lessons, but not everyone comes back and of those who do, many are too damaged or adrenalized to remember what happened. Seeking safety, by its nature, is safer than seeking the alternative.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:57 pm 
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Survival and effectiveness works in a matrix of skill, tools and will. Have the right equipment, but a closet full of high-end toys means jack ##### if you don't know how to use them. And the best equipment in the world combined with the best training available also means squat if you don't have the will to access them under pressure.

Acquire the right equipment. Get the best training you can find. But forge and test your will.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:59 pm 
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Here's the deal: Understanding how much you don't know and can't predict gives you an incredible freedom if you aren't scared of it. It shifts training to simply getting better-- at anything and everything-- and away from trying to memorize one more solution to one more imaginary problem.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:04 pm 
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Things That Impress Beginners

Most people thinking about starting martial arts or self-defense are "naive consumers" which means that they have no way to tell good instruction from utter crap. What little information they have comes from TV or other entertainment sources, and the potential instructor who can talk closest to that fantasy baseline sounds the most credible.

One of the odd side effects of this, is that many of the things that impress beginners are the exact same things that are red flags to people who have been around for a while.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:06 pm 
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Uniformity. Maybe this is just me, but TV always shows lines of people doing things in perfect unison, and that strikes me as dangerous. Tall people and short people should move different. If everyone's head is level throughout the kata, they aren't being taught how to drop step or use weight for power. An over-emphasis on visual measures of effectiveness is one of my red flags. But to the naive, consistency and conformity are almost always interpreted as signs quality.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:38 pm 
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"Instructor Development Course." So a book on how to teach. Finished it today. Or, at least, thought I did. Then realized I needed to add a new section.


This should be an interesting book to study.
Quote:
Section 1.6 You are Teaching Students, not Subject Matter

Section 2: Subject Matter Expertise

Section 2.1 Knowledge of the Problem

Section 3 The Ability to Teach

Section 3.1 Adult Learning

Section 3.2 Assessment

Section 3.2.1 Reading Students

Section 3.2.1.1 Creating Student Profiles

Section 3.2.1.2 Troubleshooting Difficult Students

Section 3.2.2 Reading a Class

Section 3.2.3 Assessing Sources of Information

Section 3.2.4 Assessing Drills

Section 3.2.5 Assessing Techniques

Section 3.3 The Transfer of Information

Section 4: Principles-Based Teaching

Section 4.1 Background Concepts of Principles-Based Teaching

Section 4.1.1 Building Blocks

Section 4.1.2 Principles

Section 4.1.3 Concepts

Section 4.2 The Process of Principles-Based Teaching

Section 4.3 The Flaws of Principles-Based Teaching

Section 5.3.2 Preparation

Section 5.3.3 Class Format

Section 5.3.4 Deciding What to Teach

Section 5.3.5 Setting up the Class

Section 5.3.6 Presentation

Section 5.3.7 Troubleshooting

Section 5.4 After the Class

Section 6: Instructor Ethics

Section 6.1 Ethics

Section 6.2 Student Empowerment

Section 6.3 Assumptions and Biases

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:25 pm 
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Like all Rory's stuff I will be first in line to get a hold of it. :)

He's back up in Edmonton March 12th and 13th - I am already registered.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:20 am 
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With Rory, the more the better is always the case, good for you Rick_ you represent the mark of a good teacher_ always open and learning.

This thread really is a cold bucket of water on most of us when we think about some of the things we might say and do in a class before a group of students simply because it is taken for granted out of rote work and mushin, without any real experience, the kind of what Rory talks about.
Quote:
Uniformity. Maybe this is just me, but TV always shows lines of people doing things in perfect unison, and that strikes me as dangerous. Tall people and short people should move different. If everyone's head is level throughout the kata, they aren't being taught how to drop step or use weight for power. An over-emphasis on visual measures of effectiveness is one of my red flags. But to the naive, consistency and conformity are almost always interpreted as signs quality.


Think of this and how many times we have heard it with all kinds of rationalizations.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:25 pm 
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When reading what Rory writes, and when honestly thinking about it, we come to the realization that as practitioners we don't have any real exposure to violence other than in abstract. This is hard for us to accept after years of training, tournament fighting, and even after some half ass scuffles with half ass opponents.

Be honest with yourself, and this does not mean that what we do in a dojo is useless, real violence is ugly and brutal. Keep going back to that black belt tournament champion who died a screaming death in the dark stair well when set upon by the Jamaican gangbanger who almost cur his head off.

We all, more or less, have a tendency to think of martial arts and fighting as being more or less synonymous. And we all believe that what we work on in the dojo creates attributes that will guarantee success no matter what we end up facing in the street.

But be careful, as Rory points out in so many of his writings, because most martial artists don't fight and their training isn't directly based on what happens in a fight.

To make up for the lack of fighting, martial arts typically focus on displays of fake combat that illustrate the combative moves that have been passed down through history.

They may have non-contact or light contact fighting, but this only tests your ability to touch the other person with the techniques you have been taught--not your ability to hurt them for real much less take a beating yourself.

Rory points out that the mechanics of an assault, as our decapitated black belt found out in a moment of utter chaos and horror, are entirely different than the mechanics of a duel or sparring match.

As teachers we must be careful of what we 'brainwash' a typical student with.

What real experience do we offer with ugly violence, the kind a student might be up against[like the one who spent two weeks in the hospital believing his 'sanchin could not be violated' while taking a beating from multiple assailants ] on the street?

Rory talks about experience:

Experience in the dojo_is experience in the dojo_
Experience in a ring, is Experience in a ring_
But have nothing to teach to a person who is being dragged to a second crime scene.

He talks about hard conditioning as being mostly a myth because you cannot condition the face, you can't make the belly impervious to blades.
Quote:
What do we sell the students and the self that the 'martial mistakes' we make on the floor are not really mistakes?

What do we tell ourselves to pretend that they aren't really mistakes? What is the narrative that allows you to something you know is wrong? And how do you justify passing it on to your students?


An interesting read.

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