There’s a problem inherent in the god-coach approach in that there are some other missing pieces different individuals need, even if we assume they start with the same raw ability. That assumption is the other issue – what if I study the same basketball that Michael Jordan did or the same physics that Einstein did? Will I get similar results? Unfortunately no.

I admit I don’t have the same raw material to put into that process. Sure my skill can improve and that’s my humble goal. Yet I have the audacity to expect the best education possible given my middle-of-the-curve level. Is that too much to ask? Is that spoon-feeding? Why yes, it is somewhat spoon-feeding because a bit of spoon-feeding is needed unless you can handle the “I’ll show you this move once and if you don’t get it I’ll beat you or you’d better move along” method. If the morons who say that criticism are such geniuses, then they’ve already worked it all out, haven’t they? But then, they wouldn’t say such moronic things either, would they? At any rate, that curve issue isn’t really addressed except in the sense that some people may get the next belt color at a different rate. That approach isn’t necessarily a systematic approach to imparting knowledge to people with different raw abilities and prior experience or skills. When I taught test prep classes, we taught different strategies for test-taking depending on where you started from that produced gains no matter where you started from (though middle-of-the-curve folks tended to be the easiest folks to improve – there is a literal, designed-in curve there so the analogy starts to fail miserably).

Wang Xiangzhai had lamented that China had some of the very best top fighters (under Yiquan I guess) but its middle-of-the-curve fighters were not as good as the middle-of-the-curve foreign fighters. I suspect that has to be mostly due to training methods, not technical issues. The really talented folks in whatever art are just fine. But what are some solutions to help average folks who make up (almost by definition) the larger mass of students? Lifting up the average would help the state of an art as a whole.

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