Jiu-Jitsu “No Talk” Learning Experiment

John B. Will in his book "Rogue Black Belt – Book 2" talked about paying attention when being taught a technique.  He said "Sometimes I pay such close attention that I don’t listen to what the instructor is saying.  I very, very closely observe what he is doing, and do not become over-reliant on what he is saying" [Rogue Black Belt – Book 2, pg. 69].  I myself have noticed that while watching BJJ videos I watch with different learning goals in mind.  The first time I watch I listen to the instructor.  After that I find the instruction annoying and want to just see the technique over and over so i can understand it.  So when my instructor, Mark, blogged about trying a experiment of teaching that nights class with minimal talk, I was interested.  Here is his post on the experiment: The Mental Game Ch1.  That night it was very different.  He did a step by step instruction on each technique but didn’t say much else.  He answered questions that were raised but didn’t go into long explanations.  Being a visual learner I loved it.  I felt I could focus more fully on what was being done.  In my day job it is very important to listen so that you can answer questions after.  I felt that I was giving partial focus to what was being said and what was being done.  When I gave full focus to what was being demonstrated, I learned better.  Mark tried teaching a more difficult defense against a head lock.  The class was mostly white belts.  I was of course practicing with my training partner and didn’t pay as much attention to the whole group as Mark did, but in the end he said, and I felt that the class had done much better in learning without the added talk.

Try the experiment at your school and let me know what your results are.

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