communication, comms, skills, Learning with Communication by Aaron Potter

Report 1

A)   As a martial artist what methods of communication do we use to learn Martial Arts?

The definition of communication is: the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

As I see it communication can be separated into two different types:  verbal and non-verbal communication. Both are used in different ways for different reasons with different results. Different types of communication, work better than others for different people. For example: Auditory learners like things to be explained to them, Visual learners like watching demonstrations of what’s being explained and Kinaesthetic learners prefer to learn through doing. In order to achieve the best learning experience, professionals say that you require a mixture of all three to truly benefit and remember what we have learnt.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the use of voice including: tone, accent, pronunciation and projection. Our verbal communication, when teaching, is used to explain the moves needed and why we are doing these moves. This is in order for us to understand how we can perform and apply the moves.

I feel that feedback is probably the most useful and helpful method of communication for learning as it allows us to identify ours and others errors and mistakes. This gives us the ability to work on certain areas that require improvement. With this feedback, comes repetition and working with others and ourselves until we can achieve the desired action we need.

Also we need to use communication when sparring with partners so they know if they are going to hard and fast. This would allow us to gain the best training/learning from our partner. Communication is also used in the theory of Karate as well as we learn off instructors how we should pronounce the certain moves and names of Katas in Japanese.

After watching a few videos on YouTube and reading various blogs, on people performing certain moves (e.g. a roundhouse kick) and opinions on communication when learning ‘The Arts’, they explain the move broken down into its different techniques. Personally I feel explaining in this way if effective to learning, as it would enable the person learning to develop and practice the different areas and techniques needed to perform the movement. One person on YouTube looked at the way of what ‘martial arts’ means. He saw the word ‘arts’ as a way of expressing one’s self, which is a way of using a medium to communicate with an audience. The audience is someone who you are working with or is teaching you martial arts and so good communication would mean you are talking on topic about how and why you are learning this and how you can use it. As well as this we have to be able to adapt our own communication and learning methods to suit others who’s may be completely different.

Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication uses body language and facial expressions to communicate with other people. Personally I feel that we learn most of the times by watching people do actions and then us copying them. This is also how we learn different fighting techniques by watching what other people do and trying it out for ourselves.

Communication is as much listening as it is speaking. In Martial Arts, we must listen in order to learn (so this is a key point) as it enables us hear what we must do. Without this we would be doing the wrong thing or unable to understand and therefore unable to progress to the next level.

We also have to put in some communication to learn. I strongly believe that we have to be in the right frame of mind to give off a good body language. Without a good positive mental state we would give off the wrong sense to people that we were unable to learn or not receiving what they are trying to impart on us. So in short terms we must be completely focused on what we are being taught.

To Summarise…

  • Communication is imparting and receiving knowledge though a medium.
  • Communication can be broken down into two types: Verbal and Non-verbal.
  • There are different types of learners: Auditory, Visual, and Kinaesthetic.
  •  Moves and techniques are mainly explained and demonstrated as or to a group of people.
  • We learn from this why we are doing this move.
  • A useful method of communication is through partner work and identifying each other’s mistakes and correcting them.
  • Communication is used when we learn to apply techniques to sparring, we can ask out opponent to slow down if they are going to hard and fast.
  • Different people we work with have different communication methods.
  • We need to have good basic communication skills to work with others.
  • Learning different fighting techniques are often through non-verbally watching others.
  • Communication is as much listening as it is speaking.
  • We have to show good non-verbal communication to others to learn from them and we must be focused.