As many of you know, it is standard procedure in our training halls to do a short meditation at the end of class. If you are training on your own or with a small group we recommend that you do this as well. There are endless ways to turn these quick meditations into valuable exercises. This is one of my personal favorites. After a short centering meditation is ask the question “what comes to mind if we ask what is the most important thing I learned in class today?” Sometimes the answer is clear and obvious. However, there can be so many things taught on many different levels in any class that it can be difficult to single out one thing. As challenging as it can be at times I always find it worth the effort
This is something I used myself after every training session. In the eighties and early nineties the only opportunity to train was a two or three day seminar somewhere in the world. This is one of the techniques I used to make sure I got the most out of my training investment and limited time with a teacher. I was frequently overwhelmed at the endless details and techniques. It always felt like the proverbial drinking from a fire hose. I knew I could not retain it all.
The habit I developed was to write down all of the key things I felt that I learned in a seminar session or class and then I forced myself to identify what I thought was most important. This can be very enlightening. Over time you may even recognize a consistent focus; an area of difficulty, or an area of particular interest. This could indicate an area that you need, or want, to spend more time on.
If you are teaching, try making this a frequent finisher for classes. Students report to me that they really like this exercise and get a lot of value from it. A couple of debrief variations are: 1- Ask them to discuss their answer to the question with a training partner for 60 or 90 seconds. 2- Ask them to boil it down to one word. This could even be a code word that doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else but them. They are only allowed to say that one word. This one can be really fun, and keeps things quick if you are short on time.
Whether you are studying videos at NinjaSelfDefense.com or are training with a qualified instructor, you will find that this few minutes spend in focused reflection will help you become better faster.