I needa rewrite and better organize this, but not today:
I was reading Jason R’s page and I noticed something that I have often noted in my training. And not just Wushu, but in Engineering-type situations also. I have noticed that people don’t’ tend to get good at a specific skill just by training that skill alone. That people really perfect it by moving onto the next (harder) skill. For example, in EE classes I struggled in signals class. The worst time figuring stuff out. Laplace and Fourier transforms were killing me, but once I moved on to harder stuff, those things seemed intuitive. I understand that I needed to crunch away and get the practice in with the basics so that I get a general understanding, but I don’t think I would have ever mastered them if I had not been forced into problems that simply assumed you knew how they worked.
I think the same goes for wushu. I have seen beginners drill away at basics, and they do get better, but once they have gotten to a point where they learn new skills and more complicated movements they also take a big leap in their basics. Again, like the EE skills, the wushu skills cannot be rushed too fast, because I have also seen a bazillion people doing the new compulsory that really just need to go back and figure out how to step into a bow stance.
Now the trick is figuring out when a particular student is ready to make the transition from drilling a specific basic skill to a more advanced one. We don’t want to get hung up on the traditional way of doing things and force our students to do horse stances for 10 years before we teach them to kick, that simply wastes time. While rushing through tends to result in poor basics, I think it would be more correctable if the coach simply calls attention to them as the student trains the advanced stuff.
So it’s not so much that you rush through things, but rather keep moving along, keep challenging the student, but keep them in check so they know what they are doing wrong and what they need to do to fix it. If the student has bad habits and knows it, he may just dismiss it as “his way” — so the coach needs to be jumping on him to get it right. And most importantly, a teacher cannot loose patience with the same corrections. However, if the same problem persists, yelling the same correction is not going to help anyone, so he must also analyze why the problem exists and new ideas for solutions. So many coaches say “go faster” with out any advice on how, or any idea why there is slowness.