Delay Formal Instruction!

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a BBC News article that piqued my interest. According to a new review of primary education in England, it was recommended that children should not start formal learning until they are six. Instead, children should continue the play-based learning typically featured in pre-K for another year. Dame Gillian Pugh, who co-authored the review stated that four and five-year-olds tended to be at a stage where they were just “tuning in” to learning and that they could be “turned off” if they were made to follow too formal a curriculum, too early on. That’s also the message found in Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, a family physician and psychologist. Continue reading

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

One of my pet peeves when it comes to Judo is how much time is wasted on irrelevant training: practicing skills that in the best of cases will do nothing to improve our game, and in the worst of cases will be counterproductive to bettering our game. Unfortunately, because of our allegiance to traditional methods of training and our lack of skepticism, few of us in the Judo community even recognize the presence of irrelevant training on our mats. Continue reading