Home > Judo, Learning, School, social work > Being an adult learner.

Being an adult learner.

As you may know, I spend a lot of time thinking about judo. Actually, sometimes I think about how I don’t spend enough time thinking about judo. What I mean by this is the time I spend reading books and blogs about technique, watching videos, and taking and reviewing notes on all the things I need to drill into my skull so I stop making the same mistakes over and over. Right now, for example, I’m working on my kata sets to test for my brown belt. My partner for my demonstration is very technically skilled player who trains to compete in kata.  Today, we went over some points that I need to fix for my demonstration, and now I have seven areas of my ukemi that need extra attention written down in a tiny notebook.

Now, when I was learning judo a little kid, I NEVER would have  written anything that I learned in class in a notebook. Well, not unless my coach told me to. The thoughts I had regarding my practice as  kid were basically, “Smash. Smash. Smash. Kill. First place. Smash. Kill. Gold. Smash. Smash. Smash. Gold.” So it’s funny to me that I’ve turned hyper nerdy like most of my training partners and coaches about their judo. I’m even surprised that I ask questions now. I will actually admit that something doesn’t feel right, and can someone please show me what I need to fix. I even happily welcome constructive criticism. As a nine year old I would never, ever have asked for help because  I was convinced that I knew what I was doing and already knew everything I needed to know about judo.  I honestly did not think there was much difference between me and my coach.

I know that I’m getting a lot more out of my practice now that I actually think about it. I feel the same about being back in school at age almost-thirty. For my practice class, that is, the class that teaches clinical social work skills and methods, we have to draft a learning contract that outlines our learning objectives for the semester. Last year, I thought the assignment was a little annoying. But last year, I had no idea what I wanted to learn because the clinical world was completely new to me. This semester, however, I actually put a lot of thought into the contract.  Since I have a better idea of the populations I want to work with and I recognize where there are gaps in my practice experience, I do have some specific goals for this year. I got a little excited drafting the contract and emailing it to my field supervisor for revisions.

I always loved learning. I think, though, that for most of my education, learning was just something that happened to me. I just absorbed. Now, I see that there is so much give and take and so much growth when you actively engage in the process.

I will admit, though, that there remains a portion of my judo thoughts still committed to “smash” and “kill”.

Categories: Judo, Learning, School, social work
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