Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Public Speaking and Dirty Birds

I'm starting to realize that women and kids really are the canaries in the coal mines of the gym. Issues that may take weeks, months, or even years to manifest themselves on a grand scale show up as ripples in our moods and experiences.

These past two weeks have been awesome. I haven't trained more, but I've gotten to play with my work schedule some, so more morning classes and more privates. Just got back from another morning class with the kickboxing coach. He's the quietest of the group and I would say most relaxed coach at the school, but somehow, in the middle of class, your legs are burning, tendons screaming, chest heaving and you have no idea how you got there. He's there, still chill and you're in pain, still pushing. Tricky. But yeah, today was drill-tastic, which was honestly awesome. I've gotten some good breathing rhythms while drilling and I attribute that all to FlowFit. (It REALLY instills in you how to breathe instinctively through movement.) Drilling isn't terribly exciting, but I love fundamentals. I've gotten to another point in sparring where I just feel like I need to go back to the drawing board and do stuff like today.

But yes...Public speaking. After going through the communications certification program at my school (apparently those of us of the biz-school persuasion are notoriously bad communicators), I'm hyper aware of people's comfort and skill when communicating and leading groups. Sitting in class today it hit me that every BJJ class involves a mini-presentation (from some crazy awkward positions) and then immediate feedback on how well you got your point across THEN little bursts of diagnosis and treatment with each student. I love good teaching.

I've come to admire the fact that the instructors can obey so many of the rules of good public speaking...maintaining eye-contact across the whole audience, good pacing of speech, vocal projection, introductions and wrap-ups...and it's not like the guys in my gym have been doing this for 20 years or anything. Much props.


A.D. McClish said...

That's a really good point. It is difficult trying to explain BJJ movements. Especially if there are beginners at the lesson.

Megan said...

Yeah...trying to talk to a group that's a mix of different skill levels. Not easy at all.

Bakari Akil II, Ph.D. said...

I'm glad that you pointed this out. Although some instructors wing it, it is easy to see that many of them take the time to prepare their mini-lecture/demonstration/presentations. I have even caught a glimpse of one of my BJJ instructor's note cards with what he wanted to cover.

I don't think many of my students (college) are aware of how much preparation it takes to always be in front of audiences or small groups and make it seem effortless. Good grappling instructors make it look easy but a lot of work is involved or has been put into it over time.

And congrats on your certification!

Megan said...

@Bakari...thanks! I've heard our instructors discussing plans for each week, which I think is great.

I have a cousin working on a pedagogy degree and I'm always running situations from both private and group lessons past her. The art of passing down information and skill is really underappreciated.