Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Take Notes


When I started training in karate, I was encouraged to bring a notebook and pen to class. I packed my gear bag and made sure to include paper and pens. I jotted down a few scattered notes but the habit never stuck. The notebook did not make it out of the bag too often. I wish I had notebooks filled with information.

It reminds me of when my daughter was young. My husband and I would try to videotape everything she did. It felt like I was looking at the world through the lens of a video camera. We decided to tape less and enjoy the moment. These days we videotape the important events: birthdays, Christmas, plays and school concerts.

Note taking can cause a similar feeling. If you are taking notes...then you are not on the floor practicing. I have tried to take notes during a seminar. The result...I failed at the taking good notes and I could not actively listen to the instructor. I was always a step behind.

Kyoshi Bill Hayes has excellent seminars. He provides a wall full of notes and leaves the notes up during the entire seminar. After the lecture, I was able to write down all the key points and still participate in the hands-on portion of the seminar.

There is a balance between taking notes and participating in class. You may find that taking notes immediately after the session is the best way for you. Or...you could start an online training journal. :)

Tuesday Tip: Take Notes.


Do you take notes? Do you keep a training log?

3 comments:

Felicia said...

Hi, Michele...

I didn't get the tip about note taking until two years or so ago. I have three notebooks now: one in my gear bag for notes about whatever it is we did/are doing, another in my gear bag for things like training partner's phone numbers and email addresses and a third that is more of a journal where I kinda put emotional responses to training issues. The last one was the biggest draw for my black belt research/"journey" paper. I also keep more of a detailed training log that also includes the non-karate stuff (weights, run, other cardio, etc). I guess I'm killing a lot of tress, unfortunately...

But I have found it easier to take notes immediately after the session while it is still fresh in my mind. Sometimes, my dojo mate, Ed, and I will try to re-create the sequences or self-defense techniques from his or my notebook a day or two after class. His notes don't make sense to me and mine make no sense to him, but they work for each of us, which is the point. Doing what works for you will probably work best...

Thanks for the tip :-)

SueC said...

I have to admit I've never taken notes or seen anyone else ever take notes in a martial arts class before - or make videos of techniques. However I can see some merit in doing so. It's so easy to forget the details of a new technique you have just learned. I don't think my instructor would allow us to take notes (or video) during the actual class so I would have to make them afterwards. I might give it a try - thanks for the tip!

Michele said...

Felicia: Three notebooks...that is great! I need to get in the habit of taking notes after class.

SueC: I do not see many people taking notes except for seminars. As far as I know, most instructors do not allow videotaping. We made a few videos to prepare for tournaments or testing. This was mainly to look at our own kata.