Have you ever come back to class a week later and asked your classmate how to do that new skill we all thought was so fun from last week and found out that neither of you knew? How do you best practice a new skill or something you have learned? We are always receiving new material in class; do you have a set time to practice that new thing you just learned? Today, I will reveal the secret of the best time for practicing.
I try to always attend class on Tuesday. It is where I learn the most new material and have the most entries in my karate notebook. Even though I learn a lot while teaching, I receive new material on Tuesdays.
- Often on Tuesday when I get home I am able to share with my black belt wife the lessons from the class and go over the basics we learned that evening.
- On Wednesday, I make a point of going to the gym and practicing the same techniques we learned the evening prior.
- At that point I can see the gaps in my knowledge that were “cemented” the evening prior.
- Going home, I check my notes and then at the next class opportunity, ask for clarification on the points that I stumbled over when practicing on Wednesday at the gym.
Here is the secret formula for the best time to practice a new skill:
- Try out the new skill when taught. This is one of the main class activities.
- Make hand written notes as soon as possible after the teaching and practice.
- Read the notes and practice prior to leaving the dojo; this is the best time to clarify and cement your understanding. Your classmates may be able to fill in any gaps and your Sensei may be available to assist as well.
- Here is where the test for understanding comes in—practice at home or the next morning when the information is fresh in your mind.
- Have an established practice time specifically to review the last class. Scheduling the practice session is just as important as going to class.
- It needs to fit in with your schedule.
- You see mine is set already as I am committed to the class and practice schedule.
How well are you retaining your new karate knowledge? Our challenge to you is to record and reflect on the class immediately after the class is concluded. Yes, it is great to talk with your karate family, and this is the perfect topic for the discussion. Please let us know in the comment section below how well you are doing.
The time to record and reflect is an important after class activity. Practicing the new skill will keep your mind on what you just learned. Practicing immediately at home or the next morning will make a difference in how well you retain the knowledge from class to class. See you in class soon.