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#404507 - 08/19/08 05:51 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: harleyt26]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Quote:

Puffadder,not in my opinion. Because you have many years experience in Kung Fu or I having years of experience in Ryu Kyu Kobudo does not in my opinion mean we could gain the necessary information from a book or video to do,for example,Savate,Kapoera,Arnis or any other art we have no foundation in to the point we could be effective in it. For our own pleasure maybe, but not to a effective level to be able to claim knowlege in it.

As it would be for a brass musician to play a string instument. The same music but a different knowlege is required along with proper training to be effective.Again you could self train for your own pleasure but to be effective you need good teachers.

Tom Hodges




Tom
I didn't say it would be easy, just easier for you or I than for a complete novice as we already have core abilities of coordination, balance, timing etc. Hence we could probably gain more from a DVD than a complete beginner could both in the physical practice and also using our experience to analyse the way different skills are put together - seeing weak points and strong points that a beginner would miss. Certainly we wouldn't be able to claim any level of expertise or in depth knowledge in it but such study could potentially add to our existing knowledge-base.

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#404508 - 08/19/08 06:59 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: puffadder]
harleyt26 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Summerfield,Florida U.S.A.
Maybe I could emulate what I see on a Kung Fu video or what I interpret from a Kung Fu book. I have never had a single class on any Chinese arts. I have a feeling there are basic sublties that cannot be conveyed by anything but person to person observation. Now if I were viewing a video then recording my interpretation for your criticism that might eventually be a way to learn Kung Fu in a very long term fashion. But for me to practice my own interpretation only would only be Tom Fu. And would be an insult to you to then say I was performing your Kung Fu as taught by you. But I do agree that with many years of experience I could learn to do it incorrectly much faster but probably with a little better insight than a beginner.

Tom Hodges
_________________________
Thomas Hodges, train 100 practice 1000

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#404509 - 08/19/08 08:07 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: harleyt26]
xMentalxLintx Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 19
So it still comes back to the point that yes, a teacher is preferred. A teacher is not the ONLY way to "learn anything," and it is an untrue statement that "you can't learn anything at all from a DVD or book," which is the statement frequently made on these forums to which I was originally responding.

Different people have different expectations. It is just as elitist to believe that anyone who's not as "into it" as you is just some hack that should give up. That'd be like saying anyone who's not aiming for Olympic Gold should never touch the pole vault.

If someone has an interest, BUILD ON THAT INTEREST. If the interest is currently, "Hey, I don't have a teacher but want to try to learn SOMETHING," then point them toward the best video/book that you know of. Maybe it's "Hey, it's too expensive to start, so I'd like to look at a few things first to see if it's right for me before I commit $150 a month" (Yeah, it's pricier in some places).

If that's where they are, then point them toward something that reaches them where they are AND can entice them down a better path if one is available. You were ALL beginners at one point, and every single one of you first got into it because SOMETHING about it just plain looked fun and cool.

I'm not saying "Tell them a video is just as good as a teacher." I'm just saying, if that's what they're looking for, why not point them toward the best that you know of, so that maybe that encouragement will help them find the "right" path?

Or is it really just about making sure that only people with your connections and your income can be called "real" martial artists, so you can always feel more important?

If it's about helping, then help them where they are--you don't throw someone a life preserver by dropping it at your feet and demanding them come to it. You throw it to THEM, so that maybe they have a SHOT at making it to where you are.

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#404510 - 08/20/08 07:14 AM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: xMentalxLintx]
harleyt26 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Summerfield,Florida U.S.A.
So then what video or book is it that you would point them to? I don't know of any that would be any more than a demo of the teachers style or abilities. The ones I have seen that are sold as "instructional" only show a portion of the material and are designed to bring the student to the teacher. How can you point a person interested in a martial art to a less than adequate representation.That may turn them off as well as on to that art.

Tom Hodges
_________________________
Thomas Hodges, train 100 practice 1000

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#404511 - 08/20/08 07:31 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: harleyt26]
xMentalxLintx Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 19
So, if I am to understand... someone who doesn't have access to a teacher, whose only option is a video, is going to be TURNED OFF of martial arts by pointing him toward the best resource he may have access to?

Well, what do you think telling him "Videos are dumb, you have to have a teacher or you're dumb" will do? First, it tells him that we're a bunch of pricks. Then it tells him that he has no hope. That's not apt to get him pumped up.

There are plenty of bad videos, or at least "bad for beginners." There are other video/book combinations that can go a long way toward helping someone, as well as the old "trial and error" that is still a great way to learn some things.

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#404512 - 08/27/08 04:25 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: xMentalxLintx]
Vennificus Offline
Member

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 206
Loc: The frozen realms of Kah-Nah-D...
((due to controversy, I'm including brain-translations in my posts, to show what I'm reading and how it's being conveyed))

It's odd. The title is circular logic,
and so far the argument is just going in circles.
So after reading it I've gotten this message:

a)Having a teacher is a good way to go, you're likely to have a fair bit of sucsess, but the downside being finding a place to go with it if you surpass your teacher.

b)You can learn from a book or video, but it's not a sure-fire as a teacher, without contact, it is less likely to get the fine points and is dangerous.

c)Every now and then, someone who has fleshed it out for themselves can become good. It is much more dangerous, and less likely that you will be sucsessful, but you CAN potentially learn from it.

d)people need to lighten up. Not everyone is doing it for the same reason, some for mixed reasons. There is no need to get angry at someone for wanting to have fun or add a bit of spice to their life by trying to learn with limited options.


and now for my own added thought.
Message received, so, Why do people get so angry? are they trying to protect the new kids from learning? It feels like they're either caring, or trying to assert dominance. ((before you get angry at me, ask yourself if you are. Do not reply with the answer to that, Just do the introspection thing and ponder on it))

POST:
So maybe you (I'd say 'we', but I'm on the other side of the wall) can try and help those of limited options somehow. We all know there are kids who want to be superior fast, a kinda "lookit me mama" approach to life, there's not much you can do about them, except try and teach them. In the end this train of thought leads off to the side and into philosiphy, with "what are we teaching them anyway. Are we teaching them violence, oh dear, I seem to be a bad person blah blah blah" but If you cut it off before that and somehow rationalize it, you get a quest for the unattainable perfection, something you can find everywhere. Music, martial arts, hula-hooping, Etc. It's something that is built into us as humans, and you all know this. So teach them, and learn from our (because it applies to the learner as well) mistakes, much in the way, martial arts originated.

Post-post post:
I found the music argument a good one. I (like many people who live on this rock of an island) play accordion, and, again, with limited options I've begun to learn by ear, learning songs like "through the fire and the flames" and "bed of razors." In this process I had to learn scales, fingering, timing, etc., and yet I know that still have need to learn (chords are my main enemy). It all applies to what's been said already. (see beginning of post)
_________________________
Livestrong Johnnyboxcutter!!

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#404513 - 08/28/08 12:59 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: xMentalxLintx]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
xMental

So in effect you want to take the statment "you can't learn anything from a book/DVD etc as a LITTERAL, ABSOLUTE statement that can "disproved" by showing that in effect that if one can learn "something"--even if there are MUCH better ways to learn it the statment is "false."

That assumes the statement is be taken LITTERALLY instead of the simple, to the point and blunt advice that it is.

Perhaps we should look at some of YOUR aguments and view THEM ALL thu such a narrow LITTERAL lens....hmmmmm

Another question is why anyone should care much for someones level of "interst."

As far as I'm concerend anyone that is unwilling to put in the time and effort to get proper training should be DISCOURGED as much as possibe from doing it....in my experience well intentioned people often get hurt or worse hurt others quite often.
I rock climb as hobby--someone is "interested" in learning to climb I suggest a good book AND INSIST that they go to a good class....if they are not interested enough to get real training...I don't suggest the book at all.
That is all I need some yahoo thinking they can learn to climb from a book and killing themselevs of OTHERS.
Somebody wants to learn to shoot a gun.....again, I can suggets many books--but most the GOOD ones mean little without some practical "hands on" expereince......its a bad idea IMO to let simply "interest" dictate and decide what and how people take potentially dangerous activites....such as swinging a heavy oak bo or sharp kama around.

IMO you don't really know if something is REALLY of interest until you actually do it---reading about or watching it on the TV is a a kinda of 3td person thing that tells you pretty much nothing about if its PRACTICE would really interest you at all....you might very well love the way the guy does the kata and wish you could do that too...but you might very well HATE the hard grind of the training needed to get there.

One famous aritist was put thu the wringer by his father whom insisted that he master all sorts of things about prspective and shading etc before he was allowed to even pick up a brush---THEN he was put thu a vastly techniqual education on how to paint etc.

Years later he was asked if such a ridged and unyeailding course of study might have killed his budding genius?

His answer?

"If it kills it it ought to be killed...if its not strong enough to take the gaff of real training then its not worth much anyway."

Just from food for thought from another perspective.

I activly DISCOURGE people from taking martial arts--esp at young ages.....many times they have unresonable expectations about an art....unresonable expectations that they have picked up from reading too many books or spending too much time on the internet without actually TRAINING.
They often end up spending a LOT of money and way to much TIME--time that could be better spent in doing something they enjoy.

And lets be honest----if your argueing books and DVD's--what if what they teach you does not match the class itself?
There are many teaches of the same art--some dude spends lords knows how much time learning Seisan from a DVD and finds out that how he is doing is totoally "wrong" from how we teach it.....what have they really achived?..And you know its going to [censored] them off when I tell them "sorry, but that is not how we do it here"...or worse "sorry but that sucks"......what do you think that is going to do to someones "interest" level??????

Sure one can make an argument on almost anything......but being able to advance an argument is a world away from it being a valid one.


Edited by cxt (08/28/08 01:17 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#404514 - 08/28/08 01:47 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: cxt]
Chatan1979 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 338
Loc: Mahomet , Illinois
Quote:

xMental

So in effect you want to take the statment "you can't learn anything from a book/DVD etc as a LITTERAL, ABSOLUTE statement that can "disproved" by showing that in effect that if one can learn "something"--even if there are MUCH better ways to learn it the statment is "false."

That assumes the statement is be taken LITTERALLY instead of the simple, to the point and blunt advice that it is.

Perhaps we should look at some of YOUR aguments and view THEM ALL thu such a narrow LITTERAL lens....hmmmmm

Another question is why anyone should care much for someones level of "interst."

As far as I'm concerend anyone that is unwilling to put in the time and effort to get proper training should be DISCOURGED as much as possibe from doing it....in my experience well intentioned people often get hurt or worse hurt others quite often.
I rock climb as hobby--someone is "interested" in learning to climb I suggest a good book AND INSIST that they go to a good class....if they are not interested enough to get real training...I don't suggest the book at all.
That is all I need some yahoo thinking they can learn to climb from a book and killing themselevs of OTHERS.
Somebody wants to learn to shoot a gun.....again, I can suggets many books--but most the GOOD ones mean little without some practical "hands on" expereince......its a bad idea IMO to let simply "interest" dictate and decide what and how people take potentially dangerous activites....such as swinging a heavy oak bo or sharp kama around.

IMO you don't really know if something is REALLY of interest until you actually do it---reading about or watching it on the TV is a a kinda of 3td person thing that tells you pretty much nothing about if its PRACTICE would really interest you at all....you might very well love the way the guy does the kata and wish you could do that too...but you might very well HATE the hard grind of the training needed to get there.

One famous aritist was put thu the wringer by his father whom insisted that he master all sorts of things about prspective and shading etc before he was allowed to even pick up a brush---THEN he was put thu a vastly techniqual education on how to paint etc.

Years later he was asked if such a ridged and unyeailding course of study might have killed his budding genius?

His answer?

"If it kills it it ought to be killed...if its not strong enough to take the gaff of real training then its not worth much anyway."

Just from food for thought from another perspective.

I activly DISCOURGE people from taking martial arts--esp at young ages.....many times they have unresonable expectations about an art....unresonable expectations that they have picked up from reading too many books or spending too much time on the internet without actually TRAINING.
They often end up spending a LOT of money and way to much TIME--time that could be better spent in doing something they enjoy.

And lets be honest----if your argueing books and DVD's--what if what they teach you does not match the class itself?
There are many teaches of the same art--some dude spends lords knows how much time learning Seisan from a DVD and finds out that how he is doing is totoally "wrong" from how we teach it.....what have they really achived?..And you know its going to [censored] them off when I tell them "sorry, but that is not how we do it here"...or worse "sorry but that sucks"......what do you think that is going to do to someones "interest" level??????

Sure one can make an argument on almost anything......but being able to advance an argument is a world away from it being a valid one.





Completely agree with all you've said. I think that a lot times, at least at my dojo, we get students who come in , as you said, with unrealistic expectations about our art. They've either read a book, watched a movie or saw something on YouTube. They expect to learn all the cool stuff they saw in the book or DVD, but then are extremely discouraged when they realize that they have a LONG way to go before any of that happens.

What can one honestly expect from soley book learning? IMO thats like the typical rape prevention class, where women take an hour class on rape defense and then expect to be able to defend themselves from that ONE class.

As I have always said. I have no problem with books as a supplement to supervised instruction. But not as a sole means to learning.


CXT, it was funny you mentioned the example of someone learning Seisan from a DVD only to find out its the wrong version. I had a student do this very thing very recently. He went on Youtube and started teaching himself pinian yondan and then proceeded to show it to me. He was rather distraught when I told him it was not the version we do. We practice the Heian kata.
_________________________
There is always someone who knows more, and noone who knows it all....

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#404515 - 08/28/08 01:49 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: xMentalxLintx]
janxspirit Offline
Member

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 132
Quote:

...naysayers.

It is often said that trying to learn via instructional books or DVDs is a fool's errand, and will yield no fruit. When someone cites that they are effective with a weapon they learned by one of these means, they are told they are wrong--they are, in fact, very bad with it, and must be lying to us or themselves.

The reasoning is usually that anyone who created the book or DVD has obviously studied with a teacher, and thus studying with a teacher is really the only genuine way to learn. And those teachers studied with teachers, and those teachers, and... wait...

That's right. If you go back far enough with ANYTHING--weapons, musical instruments, automobiles, folding paper airplanes, whatever--you find that it was originally hashed out by one guy trying stuff. He may have used other existing and similar devices as models, but in the end he had to just try stuff.

Then he taught some buddies, and some of them tried new stuff and refined old stuff. Then they taught buddies. Then buddies started writing it down.

Instruction is not magical, and having a good teacher will not make you any better than anyone else on its own. Instruction in all things is simply a shortcut to save you, the learner, a lot of trial and error--or at least make sure the "error" part is less frequent than it could be. But it is not the sole means.

Even as a music educator, I can admit that there are plenty of self-taught musicians that are phenomenal, world-class performers. Does that mean my job is unnecessary? Of course not--not everyone has the time or desire to self-teach, and some people want to be part of a larger community of musicians and should thus learn the standardized language. Does it mean that my students are bad musicians because they "needed" a teacher and this other guy didn't? Not at all.

But THAT is usually what happens here. Someone with years of instruction is INSULTED that someone else wants to take the "shortcut," or (let's be honest) simply doesn't have the option (time, money, availability) of true instruction.

Is the would-be learner here to insult them? Not in the least. He's here because he has no option, but he wants to learn (and being a conscientious learner is just as important as having an expert teacher), his options are slim, and he wants opinions on the best way HE can do it. And let's face it, a book or DVD =is= better than no help at all.

What's more, some people (through study of dance, gymnastics, or martial arts) have a better awareness of body, and some of the more subtle nuances they MIGHT just pick up instinctively. Or they'll get them through trial and error, like millions of people have done before them.

Teaching isn't about "making you learn the way I learned." It's about showing someone how to learn. EVERY, and I mean EVERY good teacher has a goal of eventually empowering their students to TEACH THEMSELVES--we are the only job who hopes to make ourselves obsolete.

And all we, as teachers, do is provide a model and then troubleshoot while you try to imitate the model. That's it. We show you how it's done, then watch you try to do it, help you find your mistakes and fix them. A book and video can provide you a model, and as you learn, you'll be able to go back and find mistakes and fix them--and discussion with other people via the internet will help, too.

So, yes, you CAN teach yourself. ANYTHING. If you're willing to devote the time and bruises, you can learn it. It's simply a question of 1) will and 2) goals:

When it comes to the will to learn: Are you able to admit your mistakes, and LEARN from them rather than COMPLAIN about them or get discouraged? Are you willing to experiment and be wrong MANY times before finally getting it right?

When it comes to goals, remember that no goal is inherently "wrong." Is your goal to learn just one form so you can look and feel cool? GOOD! Do it! Your goal isn't to use it for combat, so knowing the intricacies of application isn't necessary for your goal--and you can always learn that later if you find your goals change. Is your goal to be able to scare off prowlers with a few choice moves? Learn them and leave the rest--you don't OWE anything to the arts, as the arts exist to serve man and not the other way around (be careful that you don't take advantage of PEOPLE, though).

The bottom line is: Don't be a student elitist. Just because someone is self-taught doesn't mean they're worse than you, nor does it mean they think they're better. It's no different than a student that learns quickly and one that takes a few more tries--both can get it equally right, and the only difference is time.




I agree.

We have a small fight club in St. Louis Missouri and our guys grow tougher every month. We have lots of people come in and work with us, but when there is no one to teach we work from DVD's.

People who think you absolutely need a teacher are incorrect. If a person is willing to spar and work in an alive environment then that very environment will serve as a teacher.

Teachers do greatly ACCELERATE the process, so long as they are good teacher of a functional art form.

Some people will never be able to accept this. They require a teacher and they want lots of certificates and belts and whatnot.

It doesn't make it any less true.
_________________________
St. Louis MMA Boxing Grappling

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#404516 - 08/28/08 07:07 PM Re: The Circular Logic of Self Instruction... [Re: cxt]
xMentalxLintx Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 19
Quote:

Perhaps we should look at some of YOUR aguments and view THEM ALL thu such a narrow LITTERAL lens....hmmmmm




Go right ahead. I literally believe that people can learn something from DVDs, such that it is, in fact, better than elitists telling them to shove off.

Quote:

As far as I'm concerend anyone that is unwilling to put in the time and effort to get proper training should be DISCOURGED as much as possibe from doing it....in my experience well intentioned people often get hurt or worse hurt others quite often.




Interesting. These 'well-intentioned' people could only hurt someone in a classroom setting... which would mean they have instruction of a formal variety. And I'm sorry, but you don't care if they hurt themselves. That's not at all what this is about.

Quote:

And lets be honest----if your argueing books and DVD's--what if what they teach you does not match the class itself?




These people I'm talking about can't get to a class. They're learning on their own, because maybe it's the only option available. But if they seek instruction later on, it's pretty safe to say that SOMETHING from the DVD will transfer--and it's also a sure bet that without the book/DVD, they'd have never bothered to go seek instruction at all. We can only gain from helping these people, it doesn't hurt us in the least.

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