Dojo curriculum

Wednesday, May 17 2006 @ 01:18 PM PDT

Contributed by: Admin

Styles that don't have much else in common will still have similar aspects to their curriculum.

(A work in progress)

The curriculum tends to fall into certain catagories: Warm-ups, stationary basics, moving basics, kata, pre-arranged sparring, freestyle sparring.

Styles sometimes differ in the formality of instruction -- for instance, Uechi-Ryu has highly ritualized warmups and stationary techniques, where in other styles this part of the curriculum may be entirely up to the instructor.

Junbi-undo, warm-ups
hojo-undo, (mostly) stationary techniques
Shorin Ryu Zenshin Kotai
Hyong, kata, kobudo
Kyu- and Dan-Kumite, 1 step and 3 step sparring

What's effective?

We should first make clear that we're talking about the effectiveness of instruction in teaching a curriculum, and not comparing the effectiveness of martial arts styles, which would be a completely different and much longer article.

When you're in an actual altercation, or even just sparring at anything over tai-chi speed, there just isn't enough time to intellectualize a response. You may stratigize with your forebrain, but the actual techniques and responses are delivered by reflex.

An important goal of training is the "hard-wiring" of techniques and responses, usually by repetition. It's not enough for one to "know" the technique, one must also be able to do it correctly by reflex.

A key word here is "correctly". There is an old adage that "if you practice it wrong, you'll do it wrong". Practicing good technique slowly is much more effective than practicing bad technique at speed.

Training should therefore involve enough repetition to hard-wire reflexes. But there is a "right kind" and a "wrong kind" of repetition. (More here...)

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