Monday, March 5, 2018

On Práctica 練習的意義

* 中文版在底下
Talking about definition of a práctica, most people take it as a casual milonga. I never thought it this way. And the difference should be far from suggestions like “no teaching of your partner in a milonga.”
For the definition of a milonga or tango culture, check this UNESCO untangible culture heritage of humanity intro. It is práctica we’re talking about, not tango, not milonga, but practice.
Homo Sapiens practice a lot in our lives. We practice walking, we practice talking, we practice how tell that our parents are upset and better don’t tantrum at that time. Practice is basically the method for us to learn any skill. But how?
I’ll focus on tango prácticas here. There’s three findings worth sharing:
  1. Repetition in trail and error. Mere repeating is not enough. If you repeat your own fault movement over and over, you just guarantee that this mistake would surely happen again and again. An ocho, for example, that you always fail to wait the follower to finish her pivot before going forward, or that you always rush going backwards before your hip is at where the direction he suggested, shouldn’t be repeated but fixed. In this case, try to complete the “ocho” your teacher or dancers better than you are can do. There could be tips for both sides, such as “Leading never completes the pivot, it’s the waiting for her pivoting to where the direction is that completes. You can’t do it alone.” or “Do not leave your spot until it’s all stable to go next.” The essence of practice here is trying the same movement in DIFFERENT ways to approximate what’s better than you did.
  2. Purpose-oriented ideas. Unfortunately, most of us learning tango ideas in words. Ands words are often never unified or very confusing. The most confusing part of ideas in words are those which your body doesn’t really understand how it should feel. There are typical format of suggestions that you can’t really practice with: a) Don’ts. Yep, don’ts, such as “Don’t cross your feet.” “Don’t be so stiff. RELAX.” “Don’t keep your knees strait, don’t bend it. Keep the FLEX in your knees.” Sounds familiar? b) Analogies you can imagine but your body can’t, such as “Project your leg.” “Feel more grounded.” Often heard, right? c) Step-by-step anatomy. “Turn from chest, then hip, leg last.” “Back ocho: pivot, finished, then walk backwards.” Sorry if i ruined your day by indicating these. Those suggestions are themselves correct, just can’t be put into practice. Let me make examples for purpose-oriented ideas to practice on: a) “Keep the flex in your knees TO KEEP THE CONNECTION SOFT, not crushing with every of your step.” b) “Project your leg, TO WHERE YOUR AXIS IS LANDING NEXT.” c) “Don’t step out of a pivot BEFORE YOU’RE STABLE FOR THE NEXT STEP.” Without the purpose of a movement, your body has no clue how relaxed, ow much firmness, which direction is the right way to do it. The essence of practice here is to know what for to practice how to.
  3. One thing at a time. Being a taekwondo competitor and a coach for years, this is the most important idea I learnt from my training. There’s always thousands of things we need to fix, but our body is designed for one mission at one time. Multitasking is possible, when you already know how to do anything, not when practicing to improve your skill. When you focus on the footwork of a complicated gancho sequence, you may bend your back downwards. When you so want to catch up the milonga double beat for traspié, you may miss other beats for musicality. It’s fine. It’s important to spare yourself and your partner in a práctica for mistakes OUTSIDE of the one thing you’re working on at the moment. Just make sure you’re practicing exactly the idea you’re working on and don’t spare yourself too much of it. Or it’s not practicing.
With these concepts, I never mix a milonga with a práctica. I go to prácticas for practice, to milongas for dance and friends. Merry prácticas. ** 大部分聽到關於 práctica 定義的討論,都圍繞在舞會不該做的事情(例如教舞伴跳舞、做自己根本不熟的大動作)。只討論這個,就好像試圖定義什麼症狀是不健康的,卻不討論健康是什麼一樣,沒什麼建設性。 練習是很重要的人類活動,沒學探戈之前我們就學過一次走路,同時還學會怎麼看家裡大人臉色,以免挨揍。可以說,沒有練習,我們大概什麼都學不會。在我自己多年的跆拳道選手和教練生涯中,也堪堪有三項心得,對於身體活動的鍛鍊方式應該都通用,寫給探戈人:
一、不只是重複,要不斷試誤。很多人覺得重複就是練習了,但單純的重複其實只特別適用於肌力鍛鍊。技能精進若只有重複,一旦做錯,把錯誤重複練熟,等於保證一犯再犯。 舉 ocho 為例,一個每次都不等 follower 轉完就走的 leader,和一個每次都沒轉完就急著走的 follower,拜託不要把錯誤練到做得很順。看看自己的老師或這個動作跳得好的舞者,想辦法用他們的方式做。
當然,很多練習需要掌握訣竅。以這個 ocho 的問題為例,如果 leader 終於發現,ocho 不是一個由自己帶完的動作,而是引發旋轉後,等 follwer 轉到要去的角度,才發動下一階段的動作,就是個很好的練習方向。而 follower 如果終於發現,在自己站穩之前,往任何位置移動都很危險,就不會急著離開腳下的位置,去迎合被 leader 遺忘的等待了。
二、採用目的明確的練習概念。探戈教學往往需要透過語言文字,但是除了用語根本毫不統一之外,語言本身可能離身體能懂的觀念也還很遠。 以下是三種身體很難照做的練習指示: a) 禁制和否定型內容。「肩膀不要抬,放鬆!」「膝蓋不要一直彎也不要全打直,維持彈性。」 b) 乍聽有畫面的說法,但無法瞭解怎麼用身體達成。「腳要延伸。」「多用一點地板。」 c) 身體部位動作分析。「轉的順序是胸、髖、腳」「除了自由腳以外,boleo 時全身其他部位都不動。」
這些指令的本身也不算錯,但指令內容不足以幫助身體做到這些練習。權且改寫一番: a) 「膝蓋維持彈性是為了緩衝落地時,上半身連結的震盪。才不會每一步墮一下。」 b) 「把體重完全放在地板上,沒有走到下一個據點前,腳底都要能用體重完全反彈地板。」 c) 「Boleo 的自由腳可以大動作揮鞭,是因為全身其他部位為它的反彈維持平衡。」
三、一次專心練一個概念。這對減少挫折、提升效率非常有用。因為人體就是被設計一次只能完成一項任務的。同時多工可能發生,但前提是每個項目是已經熟練的。此刻是練習階段,需要專心致志。 苦練裝飾或腳步動作的時候,整個人的重心平衡可能會在腳跟,根本不適合跳舞。等著在快拍做特定舞步時,對其他音樂性也容易丟三落四。對自己和舞伴寬容點,說明一下此刻專門練這個,對大家都好。但一定要專心為練習某個概念或項目努力,否則根本算不上是練習。

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