Tag: theory

  • Bad Habits

    Something that I’ve heard a lot in the realm of coaching sports and martial arts is the idea of building “bad habits.” Ingraining a bad habit is something that you want to avoid at all costs, and to some coaches, training and practice may be heavily built upon this idea. In kendo, we were advised…

  • Ice Climber Syndrome – When does one move dominate a game?

    I. Ice Climber Syndrome I am a follower and occasionally (terrible) player of the game Super Smash Brothers Melee, which is a very old game that still has an active competitive scene. As such, it has gone through a lot of changes over the years and many new strategies and exploits have been discovered. There…

  • Invariants as Diagnostics

    In traditional coaching, each movement is normally considered to have an ideal or platonic form, which represents the optimal way it should be executed. Deviation from this form is then an error to be corrected, or at best a variation in response to a specific context. Obviously the ecological approach entirely rejects this framing, but…

  • Attractor Stability in Game-Based Learning

    Imagine you’re teaching your club about ways to get to the other side of the opponent’s blade. You start with a simple constraint based exercise – one person extends, the other person takes the blade with a nice overbind out to one side, then the first person has to find a way to hit. Then…

  • Closed and Open Games

    Is there any pair of terms more popular in coaching than “open” and “closed”? Just in common use in my HEMA circles, we have “eyes open” and “eyes closed” (after Zbigniew Czajkowski); “open loop” and “closed loop” (confusingly, “eyes open” == “closed loop”); and “open double” and “closed double” from Longpoint’s rules. And I’m sure…

  • Monday Musings: Sparring Habits

    In discussions of how to structure a curriculum, it’s common to see statements like “allowing students to spar early means they’ll build bad habits”. I don’t think this is true – but even if it is, it’s worth pondering this question: If sparring at the end of a class builds habits that are ‘stickier’ than…

  • Five Thousand Words on Lew

    Intro and Scope The idea for this prompt was from a post that Michael Chidester made on Facebook, pondering how many three-to-five thousand word explanations of Liechtenauer he could get from people if he asked. I thought this would be a fun idea, so I’m doing it now. I add the disclaimer that this is…