Saturday, November 24, 2012

Delving into "The Way to Black Belt"

This is a re-print from our school's blog:

Although one of our students finished "The Way to Black Belt" by Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder a week after she got it and others are in the throws of finishing the first few chapters, no one has been able to put their thoughts about it on paper yet. So for now, let's start with mine.

It's interesting reading the first two chapters as both a karate student and an instructor - especially since I instruct and get instruction in two different schools. And as I'm currently looking for some way to change my learning environment (specifically: expanding into more kobudo and eventually traditional Okinawan Goju-ryu), the book came at just the right time for me.

I'm currently a nidan in USA Goju so earning a black belt is not my goal, but the information detailed in chapter one - on knowing what to look for in a potential school and instructor as well as setting/reaching goals - is most useful. While I'm transitioning, Iain Abernathy's SMART technique - or creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound - has fast become my mantra. It and the "action plan" listing at the end of chapter one are also helping me figure out whether my current struggle in my learning environment is simply a training plateau or something else all together. I'm a bit more earnest in jotting down specifics in my training log as a result.

Next week marks my foray into seeking additional instruction by visiting area dojos. Reviewing "Chapter 2: Find a Good Instructor" has between helpful - mostly because I found my first school (which I left shortly after earning my black belt) by total happenstance as the class met weekly in the community center where I worked. But it's also helping me when I wear my "Sensei" hat as I strive to ensure that I embody those "characteristics of an exemplary instructor" outlined in the chapter.

I'm just starting to move through "Chapter 3: Know How You Learn" but for me, it's been so far, so good :-)

1 comment:

  1. That is a very good book. I got it a few years back when I was testing for my black belt. I'm not a goju practitioner but as a general rule, I'll buy anything written by Kane, Wilder or Abernathy.

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