Patterns>Performance>Learning process

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Learning process


Learning a pattern is a process. When first learning a new pattern, students perform the movements as a person walking over rocky ground— unsure and jerky. As students practice the pattern hundreds of times, they gain an understanding of the movements and the pattern flows as water flows over rocky ground— deliberately and smoothly. This transition from unsure, jerky movements to deliberate, smooth, and powerful movements, transitions through five levels of performance: basic, imitation, simulated, rehearsed, and realistic

Levels of performance

  • Basic. This is the learning of the basic movements in a technically proper manner. Students struggle to learn each movement and its accompanying technique and are unsure about how the movements should be performed. They ask many questions and try to do everything the instructor says and copy everything the instructor does. However, their performance lacks context and purpose.
  • Imitation. As the basic movements are being learned, students tend to watch senior belts and imitate their movements. The students may be performing the movements properly, but they don’t know why, so their movements are still without context and purpose.
  • Simulated. At the level, the performance of the pattern is technically correct, but it is unrealistic and impractical. Instead of looking like the real thing, it looks like an imitation of the real thing, such as a play that depicts real life while not appearing as real life.
  • Rehearsed. At this level, the performance appears real, but it lacks the enthusiasm and energy of a real combat situation. Performance is similar to a rehearsal for a play. Everything is there except the emotion of the action performance of the play.
  • Realistic. At this final level, the performance appears real and flows naturally with the intensity and power of a real fight. At this level, the student understands the context and purpose of each movement and has practiced the pattern so many times that its performance appears as natural as walking. Spectators feel they are watching a real battle where a true warrior is fighting proudly and valiantly against multiple adversaries while maintaining the perfection of technique.

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