Re: Learning How to Learn Aikido
I try to focus all my teaching on learning how to learn-i.e., I try to give my students the skills to steal techniques from everyone. Although I've never really sat down and said here's what I should be doing, I think the following are somehwhat used by me regularly.
1. Extremely heavy focus on kihon and tai sabaki movements.
2. Multi-sensory approach-as the NLP informed people have pointed out I tend to vak it (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). Visual: multiple demonstrations at different angles and different speeds), Auditory-I talk to damn much but I talk my way through the technique and discuss what I'm feeling and how I'm doing things. Kinesthetic-I frequently go around the room and demonstrate the technique on everyone. I also implore them to get feedback from their ukes and ask: how does it feel compared to the way it feels when sensei does it?
3. I am also very big on the use of "shaping". I don't let people build a strong neurological trace memory by repeatedly doing things wrong over and over. I correct early and often and then give positive feedback when it is done right. Sometimes the correction is one on one or if a predominant problem among the group I will show the problem to the group. I like to do it incorrectly and then correctly and ask them to pick out what is different or what I'm doing wrong.
4. Another ploy I like to use is to ask the class to come up with a way of doing a certain technique (usually advanced) off a certain attack. I want them to think and apply kihon and tai sabaki.
5. I also periodically use a sequence of tai sabaki, kihon, henka, and oyo waza. I do this even with beginners. Interestingly, it seems to make their tai sabaki and kihon better when I have them do henka or oyo waza.