Pulling things apart to work on pieces.

In Randy King’s book “Selling Out To Your Comfort Level” (which I highly recommend) he talks about sales and how it doesn’t have to be trying to hard sell a potential client locked in a small room to sign their six year old to a binding five year contract. Instead he says it is doing a couple of things:

1. Transfer your enthusiasm. I mean we do this martial arts thing because we love it and most of us can talk about it for hours so talk and transfer your enthusiasm.
2. Tell people why they should be training with you and not the guy down the street.

Number two peaked my interest because, like all good Canadians, I find it exceptionally hard to talk myself up. But this I thought was something I could find a way to do.

When I had the privilege of teaching a knife defence seminar recently at the Alberta Peace Officer’s Annual Convention I found what I could say about – why me.

I explained that I am like the kid whose mother brings home a new piece of electronics and steps out of the room for a moment only to come back and find every piece of the electronics pulled out and spread out on a towel.

I pull things apart and figure out what they do and how they work. I figure out how they fail and how they work better and when I put that electronics back together it will work better. That is what I do. There isn’t a piece of my knife defence that I don’t know why it is there or what it can and cannot do.

I break things down.

And I often teach that way too.

People can only learn so much at a time. If you try and give them more than they can handle it is just a waste of time, so I teach the way I think, I break things down into pieces.

Now the reality based people will see a down side because things in pieces are not complete and they may, mistakenly, think that means you are training to stop at a certain point rather than finish which isn’t what you want to do in a real situation. But that is because they are thinking in Practice (Performance) mode rather than Training mode (Learning mode).

This example comes from how I teach knife defence. What I teach is very specific for movement and how to manipulate the bad guy. I teach it in segments, movement, intercept, manipulation and then the finish.

All this is done it what my previous blog would call the Training phase.

In the end, all segments are linked together and trained and then they can be practiced.

1. I teach movement to enter and that, and only that, is what we train.

2. Then I add how to intercept.

3. Then I add how to manipulate (propel away to escape, or deploy weapon, or to engage to disable or control).

4. Then I add the finish.

At step one we do not go all the way to the finish, not at step two, not at step three, only at step four.

Good operant conditioning says that if you stop before you finish then that is what you may do in real life.

However, operant conditioning is practice and YES absolutely in practice you must go from start all the way to finish.

But if I want you to learn to move properly I don’t want to confuse it with the rest UNTIL you have that piece right, and then we add the next piece, and then the next.

So once again I believe the distinction between Training (The Learning zone) and Practice (The Performance zone) is important on how well you will incorporate new things into what you can do.

To recap segmenting is good training but not good practice.

It is good training to segment to focus on and learn a new skill.

BUT always put it all together in practice so you don’t operantly condition something you do not want to happen in real life.