It’s an easy trap to get caught up in. We let our mind wander through class, thinking about our workday, what we might have for dinner, if we will be sparring later on etc.
Somehow we still manage to shout out “Hai” when we need to and no one is any wiser for our daydreaming. Is it little wonder we don’t make the small corrections needed to progress.
Other times, we are paying attention and listen to every word our instructor says, but somehow it doesn’t seem to sink in and again, we don’t make the small corrections needed to progress.
So how can we be sure to take in all our instructors tell us?
There is no prize for the first answer, pay attention. If you don’t even hear what they are telling us, you cant possibly improve.
Listening however isn’t the be all and end all of learning so try this out.
When your instructor is explaining something, rather than standing in ready stance, follow along slowly with their explanation. Keep your attention and eyes on your instructor. Moving and listening will ensure the information is processed at a deeper level.
Immediately after they have finished explaining, imagine yourself doing what they spoke about in detail. Studies have shown that your body learns almost as well by visualisation as it does by actual practise.
When you start on the actual movement. Don’t try and ‘nail it’ first time. Go a little slower and think about all the muscles and limbs involved. Think about the order in which they operate and how they operate.
Immediately after class, take a few minutes to practise what you learned. Just like when you studied for a school test, repetition was required to entrench it into your memory.
Finally, if there is any part that you are unsure of, don’t be shy, grab your instructor and ask them plenty of questions after class.