We’re going to follow up on the principle of piecing it all together by looking at the technique equation from a different angle. So let’s start by restating that equation:
Technique = Concept + Movement
It’s a simple equation, and that’s why it’s useful as an intuitive framework for understanding how technique is learned and mastered. If you read the other post though, you’ll notice that I switched the equation around here.
The purpose was to highlight where the focus would. So let’s begin.
What do you focus on when you feel that you can’t perform a technique the right way?
I know that there are all types of ways to respond to such a situation, but we’ll going to focus on how to learn despite that early perception.
Let’s start with a simple scenario.
We’ll assume that that you’re being taught a technique and you’re having a lot of trouble. What makes it even worst is that your partner is performing it like it’s nothing. Man, he even started training later than you.
In that situation, there’s a reason that you’re having trouble. You may not know exactly what it is, but there’s a method that can be used to help with that. Let’s call it troubleshooting, just to play on computer repair concepts and terminology.
When you troubleshoot, you isolate a problem by eliminating possibilities that can’t be the cause of the issue. So let’s apply that method to the situation of learning a technique.
We’ll begin by looking at the situation through the framework of the technique equation. By doing that, the isolation process has already begun since we now know that the problem lies in either the concept or the movement.
For clarity sake, I’m going to clearly define these categories.
- Concept: The concept is all about the question of why. Why does it work? So when you have a conceptual issue with a technique it’s because you aren’t doing something like gripping in a certain place, moving in the right direction, etc. Basically, you aren’t doing the technique as you were taught.
- Movement: The movement focuses on how. How do you make it work? So when you have an issue with movement it lies in the actual mechanics. For example, you’re trying to learn how to do an inverted guard triangle, but you just can’t do the granby roll. In your mind, you can see all the steps exactly right, but when you try something always goes wrong.
Now it’s quite possible that you may have more than one issue, and they may be in both categories. But the first thing you should focus on is isolating and addressing all issues in the concept.
Consider that to be the path of least resistance because conceptual issues are easier to address. It’s possible to address those issues immediately in some cases, so it’s always a good course to take.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to shift to movement issues if they exist. The thing with movement is that more often than not, issues there can’t be addressed immediately. It takes time and focused effort but it all starts with identifying the problem.
I’ll give you a quick example of this.
When I was a white belt, there were some inverted attacks that I wanted to learn. Every time I tried to granby though it was not pretty. I would try and I would try, but it never worked out right. The sticky point of the movement for me was that last portion of it.
At the time, I had access to a great instructional on the position and drills for developing it, so I focused on those drills. I spent time working on them outside of class, and I even created a drill of my own to really focus on that sticky point.
The result was that within a period of a few weeks, I learned how to granby roll. With that, all those techniques became accessible.
The Creative Process
How do you create technique?
It all starts with understanding the idea that inspiration is built upon the foundation of previous experience. So the creative process is less about creation and more about association and combination.
Anyway, let’s go back to the technique equation.
Concepts and movements are two categories for the components of a technique. So the more time you spend identifying the unique concepts and movements of any particular technique, the easier it will be to take those components and apply them elsewhere and in new ways.
Personally, teaching has helped me a lot with this because when you have to explain things it really focuses your mind on details.