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Learning by reading "Book Learnin'

Posted 01-25-2013 at 12:01 PM by gregcantrall

I grew up in a small logging town in nothern CA, Douglas City population 90. Two room school house, first through fourth grades in one room fifth through eight in the other. I was taught to use the library (in Weaverville, eight miles away) for extended education.

The first time I used the library to my advantage was when I was in the eigth grade. One kid that I had always been stronger than and could out wrestle in the past, grew a head taller and was shaving! Luckily for me I had never bullied him. Still he was enjoying his new found size and strength and would pick me up and toss me around on a daily basis.

So I went to the library and check out a book on Jiu Jitsu. It was perfect! it first taught the responsibilities of the art. It stressed the importance of only using the knowledge in self-defense. Then it taught how to defend yourself. Basic trips and throws were the first things I studied.

The first time I used Jiu Jitsu, I just tripped him as he was stepping in to pick me up. The look on his face was priceless. We were not fighting, just playing. He stayed away from me for a while, then he got to thinking and came back for more. I tripped him again, but this time he was paying attention to what I was doing. Not sure how many times but it was not long until he knew the throw and started using it on me! Now I have to think and consider real hard, do I want to use the hip throw on him?

He had just learned through my (hands on) demonstration, in less than an hour what had taken me days to perfect through reading and then practicing.

I then resorted to diplomacy and bluff. I convinced him that I knew much more in the way of Jiu Jitsu but someone could get hurt. We agreed to call a truce.

I have found this to be a good analogy of my book learning in pool as well. I have always read and studied anything I could regarding the game. Six one hour lessons with a pro were more profitable than all that book learnin'. With the lessons there was imediate feedback from an expert source. With the books I could not be sure if what I was doing was exactly as they described.
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