Guy's Blog

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Learning

“You remember that which you are ready to learn.”

I say this a lot.

I was teaching a one-off intro class last night which included a very basic cutting drill (donna destra-longa-zenghiaro-longa-donna; i.e. mandritto fendente, roverso sottano) and having established the pattern of movement, then drew their attention to various aspects of it: first initiating with the sword; then the line of the blows; then edge alignment. This lead me to say “learning a new drill is not practice. Using a drill you can remember to develop a specific skill is.” (or words to that effect.) This struck me as something that bears repeating, not least because for most of my students most of the time, learning new stuff feels like learning, and practising stuff you already know doesn't. When really, it's the other way round. Assuming, that is, you've been taught how to use the drills you know.

 

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