Optimize Your Training
I recently started taking lessons with an excellent new oud/music teacher, and what he has been having me do in our lessons has reminded me yet again how important teaching and learning with an optimal curriculum is. The difference in the quality and speed at which you can learn from an optimal curriculum compared to a poor one is incredible. I recently played for a friend of mine who has played the oud since he was a kid, and he remarked that in the last three months I’ve made seven years of progress. That’s probably an exaggeration, but the point is solid. The same goes for martial arts/self defense, or anything else you may be learning.
Unfortunately, in my experience most teaching is far from ideal, and most students really don’t know how to practice to get the best results. Even when you do know how to practice optimally, the natural temptation is to do what seems easier or what you feel you may enjoy more, and it’s easy to get off course. Two years ago I wrote a post titled 5 Tricks to Learn Better and Faster. Two of the most important tips in that post were to master one small thing at a time and to practice just beyond your ability rather than attempting to go too far beyond it. Even though I wrote that post myself, in my music practice I’ve still tended to practice playing entire compositions rather than breaking them into small/difficult parts in order to improve, and I’ve often practiced material that was far beyond my ability. I got very little benefit from such practice, and a good bit of frustration.
I see the same thing in martial arts practice all the time. Click to see the original article