Resetting is a method by which partners engage in a technique sequence to a finite end. At this point, they reset back to the beginning to repeat the sequence. Most often this is in the context of partner training or one-step sparring. In this post, I discuss this in the context of a student “getting stuck” in a form or a technique sequence.

More specifically, I use the resetting method as a form of intervention in order to nip any confusion in the bud.

As an example is when two students are learning double sinawali. It is common for training partners lose track and get mired in confusion. This happens often between two beginners.  I often intervene and tell them to stop and start over again. If this does not work, I will have them work with a senior to fix this issue. I will then pair the beginners up again.  Over time, the double sinawali drill will become more ingrained and the confusion recedes.

Another example involves a 7-year-old boy during a recent class. He had been learning a basic empty hand form in class and was doing well. However, his forward stance in one section of the form was a bit too narrow. I stopped him and instructed him to widen his stance to shoulder width. Once he corrected his stance, I told him to finish the rest of the form. He turned the wrong way.

I told him to go back to his previous position and try again.

He turned the wrong way again.

And again.

I showed him the correct way to turn.

Even with my demonstration, he turned the wrong way again.

He had done this form multiple times in the past without a problem.

How do I fix this?” I muttered to myself.

It was clear that the kid was getting frustrated even with me doing the form next to him. I even tried physically moving him. Didn’t work.

Okay, kid, I’ve got an idea. Let’s go back to the beginning and start all over.”

Yes, sir.

Boom! He nailed it.

It was as if his brain had gotten stuck in some kind of loop and, by proactively resetting his form, I interrupted that loop.

Getting stuck can be very frustrating for a student.

Message to self: resetting or starting over is often more helpful than telling them “to work through it.”

Don’t get me wrong; there are times where “working through” a tough spot is the appropriate thing to do.

However, there are occasions where resetting is often the best way to get unstuck. In other words, it is another way of “working through a problem.” It is sometimes counterproductive to keep a student at the sticking point and make them work through a problem only to have their frustration mount.

This applies to life as well, doesn’t it? 

There are times where you will be stuck in trying to “work your way through a problem.” For example, there have been times where I have written a blog post and, not being satisfied with it, stick with it and try to keep working at it. Often, I get nowhere. Nowadays, I know that it’s better to leave the post as is and come back the next day. Being able to step back and start over often lends a fresh perspective on the rough draft.

Start oversometimes is all it takes to solve a problem.

Give me your thoughts on this topic! What do you think?

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