CPD in Martial Arts
Continual Professional Development. Why are we using a management/ teaching concept for martial arts. We manage our learning or someone else does and we are learning something, end of debate. As martial artist we should always aim to improve ourselves, regression is a bad habit which can be dangerous for those claiming to have skills.
In the right environment, as in most dojos, there is a grading syllabus and a sensei who facilitates your CPD. One would hope that at an association level for all martial arts groups, the same is done for instructors and organizational staff.
How do we practically do this CPD? Do we train with higher grades, attend courses, training more specific things. Do we pick up the dumbbell and crank out reps to get stronger. The truth is all of the above and then some that we cannot even think of as yet. Doing something is better than doing nothing!
I’ve personally come across the concept of CPD in a simple way. Shodokan aikido has a hombu dojo. A place for studying the way. It’s difficult to get across to Japan every week to see what shihan is teaching and pop back across for work the next morning for most of us. So we get most of our CPD at classes, courses and events organized locally/ nationally in the UK.
My main point is that we must have a hombu dojo, we must have experienced teachers we can always fall back on to aid our development. Now the western mind set of self achievement being primary in our thoughts and actions sometimes misses this. If we achieve a certain belt, grade of proficiency. We sometimes incorrectly assume that we cannot lose this, that we cannot regress in learning/ skill performance. I myself would claim that senior grades need more training than junior grades. Apologies to burst the bubble, but a black belt is only a true beginner!
So here’s some advice for the committed learner, get your syllabus out and do it. Do it one by one if you like. Always re-do what you’ve done with another learner, lower and higher grade, both will reinforce your knowledge in different ways. Train at courses, events and seminars. Now here’s the fun part, do a learning check. Ask someone more experienced, watch yourself on video and make corrections! Grading is also a learning check, remember to get feedback from an experienced source and make corrections! Am I repeating myself, yes make corrections. You aren’t the bees knees every time you put your belt on.