Tempo And Learning I

How many times have you watched someone practice a physical skill at a fast tempo and the following happens: They admonish themselves for the inevitable mistakes that occur. They repeat the motion over and over, often at a faster and faster tempo (with more and more adrenaline) until they get one right. They then breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the next thing. This is such a common learning mistake with so many facets that I will break the subject up into several posts.

First of all, we will focus on the obvious safety issues related to technique. This manner of learning is merely inefficient when applied to a skill such as playing the piano, but when applied to theatrical combat it is also sloppy and downright dangerous. Playing a wrong note has never injured someone (not physically anyway)… Plus, in theatrical combat the techniques themselves have safety measures built into them and sloppy execution of those techniques undermines the safety of the fight at its most foundational level. Practicing (and performing) fighting techniques at a faster speed than you can perform flawlessly is reckless, and should be avoided at all costs.

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