Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Potter’

Learning with Communication

Written by Aaron. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013

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

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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.

The Arts of Communication

Written by Aaron. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013, Coaching

Karate kids, Martial Arts and fitness, martial arts for self defence, martial arts for fun, family martial artsThe Arts of Communication

Grading Project 2013

Aaron Potter

My project for my black belt grading is split up into four main areas:

a)    As a Martial Artist what methods of communication do we use to learn Martial Arts?

b)    As a Martial Arts teacher what methods of communication do we use to coach?

c)    How are these skills transferable between sports, work and education and socially?

d)    What do you think are some of the most important points made by Dale Carnegie in his work on ‘Effective Communications and Human Relations.’


Before I can answer the questions in the topic I have to know the different definitions of ‘Communication’. The Oxford dictionaries definition of communication is: “the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium such as television.” This means that there must be at least two people in order for communication to take place, a sender and receiver. Therefore communication must be something used to inform people and as well to educate.

The word communication itself comes from the Latin word “communis” meaning to share. The topic of communication is in itself made up of different elements such as verbal and non verbal communication. Communication is part of our everyday lives and some believe that without methods of communication humans and other species would not be what they are today.

I have been doing martial arts for around four years now, so I have seen how different methods of communication are used to teach martial arts. I see this area of the topic as not just the methods used today in modern western karate, but also in eastern training methods modern and ancient too. This way I am able to see how the methods vary across time.

In order to fully understand the sections on the topic I will have to put myself in the shoes of coaches, senseis and the everyday person in the attempt to try to fully understand the ways communication is used. As a student, I know well how teachers in schools teach their students so they can get lots of information into them. However people teach different things in certain ways.

Why do they teach this way? How does it measure up to other techniques of communication?

The topic involves me thinking and researching from the martial arts perspective as well as non martial arts perspective too. My research will be done online with using Google with the use of other people’s blog sites for the views of teachers and sensei’s, and also sites like Wikipedia that will give a balanced view but however seem to be less useful than the blogs. I will also use my own personal view and experience to support and give views. I will have to look up certain sources to answer specific elements of the project. I will use the internet as I am unable to interview or go see different sports in action. As a sports leader I will be able to give a perspective of how communication is used in non martial art sports.

As usual, I find proving projects like this tricky (for example proving the different ways coaches teach martial arts), but I will be able to quote who I have got my ideas and research from and try to argue my points in a way that would support and back up my answers or points on communication.

I will present my findings in update from March till December with new findings and thoughts on previous ones. I hope to take each section of the topic one at a time and give updates for each in my report at the end of March, April, June, July, August, September, and October. If I find anything interesting after this time is will publish it in concise updates. The at the end of the project I will give a lesson in communication but I will decide what to put in this once the project is complete.