Thursday, March 8, 2012

Basic / Advanced

These words are used regularly in a dojo setting. We practice basics, drill basics, learn advanced techniques, attend advanced class, basic bunkai, advanced bunkai and so on...

Basic - of, relating to, or forming the base or essence: fundamental

Advanced - far on in time or course, being beyond others in progress or ideas

Do you remember your first karate lesson? During my first class, a black belt was pulled out of class to work with me individually. He showed me how to punch, a few stances, blocks. We walked through the first kata and waza. Mr. Z explained the dojo layout, dojo etiquette and the elements of a typical class. It was an important day in my karate journey.  After 19 years, I am still practicing and refining the lessons learned on the first day.

As a class instructor, I have another perspective. Have you ever told the "advanced" class the focus of the session would be on basics? Did you take notice to the reaction? I have seen green/brown belt students practically deflate at the mention of basics. Some students become so focused on "advanced" or "new" material that basics are neglected.  They can demonstrate the next kata but struggle with first kata. Do the students hear the word basic and think boring and repetitive? 

In a mixed class of beginners and advanced kyu rank students, the students should be practicing at their level.  The beginner who is just learning a technique may be focused on pattern, direction or sequence of movement.  A more experienced practitioner can work on the same technique and focus on breath, intent, timing and visualization.

In my opinion, it is important to utilize practice time to its fullest potential.

Welcome new blog follower Gina from Ginger Snaps and Ryan from Ryukyu Martial arts!


Rick Matz said...

"I am what I am today because of practicing the basic forms of aikido for 60 years."
- Morehei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido

Charles James said...

Basics - like the corner stone to a castle.

Advanced - the bricks that make up the entire castle.

If the corner stone is not set properly and adequately the castle will not stand against an onslaught.

In reality there are no basics nor advanced waza but merely improvements that make it appear as if they were advanced.

Gina said...

Thank you for the welcome!

Our head instructor likes to say "There is no such thing as an advanced technique, just a basic one done well."

Colin Wee said...

I received my BB when I was 17, became an asst instructor, and thought that there was nothing else to learn. When I got to a new school in the US when I was 21, I absolutely got drilled over and over again. I learned my lessons quickly and started to do fairly well. But there were big gaps in my knowledge that took me absolutely years to figure out. One of which was 'basic' techniques done well. Everyone can do a basic punch. I could do a basic punch and make it look 'sharp'. But until I got myself in front of a makiwara or striking post I had no idea what I was really doing. Now after 29 years of practice, I have seen how one simple change of perception can result in a significant increase in striking power - without the need to increase muscle mass. It's all about technique! Yes, there is absolutely loads of advance stuff training required for basic techniques to work!


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Michele said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting!

Colin: Great idea for the blog carnival!