I caught this headline in our local newspaper “Commentary: The world is changing, but why are schools still using old methods to teach?”(http://www.todayonline.com/commentary/learning-21st-century)
It has often occurred to me that even at the age of Internet and Youtube, you simply cannot learn a martial arts, without going to a dojo. Sure enough, there are maybe some rare people out there who can become a master simply by youtubing, but we are talking about the general, majority here.
Why has traditional dojos continue to exists and in some case flourish till today? Why don’t we all have a webinars and learn Aikido that way? Instead of traveling to faraway land to learn? Or pay exorbitant fees to learn from a Shihan with perhaps 500 other people?
There is a certain intangible value that we simply cannot get from just looking at Youtube. You cannot learn tenacity through youtube, you cannot learn pain, injury, respect and humility through a webinar. The eye to eye, hand to hand, heart to heart aspect of learning cannot be replicated in youtube. For the academics, there is still a value in flipping to ‘page 45, 2 paragraph’ of Textbook 2 to find the answer. Call me a traditionalist, I certainly don’t think books can be replaced. E-books are fine, but what happens when the batteries run out? Can you keep e-books for 500 years?
Many people confuse knowledge and learning. Yes you can get knowledge, become knowledgeable, but in order for you to learn, you have to take lessons, and the best ways to do that is through, human interaction, face time, not facebook time. That touch, that feel, the fear and the convulsion of a breath that subsequently screw up your movement. That ‘oh shit’ moment when you catch yourself doing something wrong and run smack into your partner. Training and lessons like this are invaluable, no amount of technology can replace that.
Even the moves you learn on Youtube, you got to have a partner to practice it with. If you learn a triangle choke, you have to choke someone with it, get choked by someone to know that it works. This is the essence of life. every animals knows that, and never sought to replace or substitute it with some virtual learning alternative. Teach a lion how to chase gazelle by make it watch a documentary on wild life, well, you know how ridiculous that sounds.