Learning on the “S” curve – applicable to everything we do

Besides being an excellent clip from a workshop, this video is extraordinary in another way. It is a perfect example of learning on the “S” curve.

I read an article recently at HBR.org on “S” curve market penetration and learning. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

As we look to develop competence within a new domain of expertise, moving up a personal learning curve, initially progress is slow. But through deliberate practice, we gain traction, entering into a virtuous cycle that propels us into a sweet spot of accelerating competence and confidence. Then, as we approach mastery, the vicious cycle commences: the more habitual what we are doing becomes, the less we enjoy the “feel good” effects of learning: these two cycles constitute the S-curve.

I don’t want to give away the entire article, in case you’d like to read it for yourself, but suffice to say, it’s up to us as individuals to challenge our own methods of thinking and doing. Many times, that challenge comes in the form of external stimuli.

Watch the video below for a few minutes, or the whole thing.

I experienced an uptick on my own personal “S” curve watching this video.


Mok Gum: Wooden Sword One Steps

A few years ago one of my instructors, Master Marc Sattler, was looking to teach some basic sword one step techniques at an upcoming Black Belt Camp. In preparation for this, he pulled me aside one day during class and asked me to work as his attacker so he could work on his technique (I make a pretty good practice dummy).

This quickly turned into a much larger project. Building on his excitement to better design a curriculum, Master Sattler began working on some sketches of the techniques to put into a small pamphlet to hand out to the students during the seminar. I helped a bit in getting some of his original artwork scanned onto the computer and cleaned it up a bit in Photoshop. He kept going. His “quick” sketches slowly evolved into more elaborate artwork, which is absolutely amazing! With his added work, I helped him to turn the small pamphlet turned into a 30+ page booklet. I don’t take any credit for the work itself or the end results. This was ALL Master Sattler and his hard work and dedication.

At this point, I thought he was done. This was also around the time that I moved out to Colorado. Unbeknown to me, he kept working on it. A couple of years later, I receive a message from Master Sattler letting me know that he finished his book. I was shocked, surprised, amazed! When I saw the book itself for the first time I was completely blown away! His final result was so much more than just the collection of techniques that I had helped put together years before. This is a true masterpiece. His final result is so much more than a book of “one step” techniques. “Mok Gum: Wooden Sword One Steps” is a true work of art!