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Old 02-24-2006, 05:30 AM   #12
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Re: Article: Apples and Oranges; State Specific Learning by Lynn Seiser

When you say "form", I think "(related) patterns", and Dave would probably say "architectures", and Peter is probably thinking "context"...

The question Dave raised earlier, regarding reaching a certain point X - what is point X? And when does one know when that arbitrary point is reached before one can start to break down the "form", if one has been hitherto limited to a specific training paradigm?

You mention the issue of too narrow a training paradigm resulting in an inability to move outside the circle of one's (limited) knowledge. My question then is how does one make the paradigm shift required to think (and move) outside the "box", if the limit of experience is restricted to the confines of the box? How can one broaden their knowledge or expand their experiential horizons without ever escaping from the ingrained patterns or forms of movement? This, to me, suggests a "breaking from form".

See, I tend to see things as patterns of similarities. For me, identifying the points of similarities enables me to better see the subtle differences. And because the patterns form certain relationships, I can see the points of flexibility and adaptability. This is not necessarily something that is the domain of the naturally talented. I believe it is a learned skill. And I believe it can be fostered.

Having done TKD,.aikido, arnis, Okinawan karate, jujitsu and a smattering of taiji, I can see the commonalties and subtle differences in each art. The core commonality lies not only in the general similarities of techniques, but in the similarities of body mechanics, and adherence to the general laws of physics and motion in the execution of such techniques. Yes, the differences stand out in stark contrast, although some (like the internal arts) are more subtle than others.

The major problem I see with state specific learning is not necessarily the learning state, but in the naive imitation of another's mechanics. Such rote learning ingrains specific and habitual movement that later becomes hard to break. I feel that concurrent exposure to contextually similar movement modalities can help the student break through the movement forms quicker. The downside of this could be information overload, but at the same time it provides the student with a much broader perspective from which to begin building their own knowledge base and understanding.

To me, this is no different to high school, where a student may be engaging in as many as 10 different (and sometimes totally unrelated) subject matter, to varying degrees of proficiency. Or university where a student may be participating in 4 units and 2 electives at the same time. Yet, the education system expects the student to be able to excel in a number of subjects at once.

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