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how much you learn

Learning is a complex process that involves a variety of factors, including our cognitive abilities, our prior knowledge, and our motivation. However, three essential key elements are learning from theory, from practice, and from mistakes.

Theory provides us with a foundation of knowledge and understanding. It helps us to make sense of the world around us and to develop new skills and abilities. For example, if we want to learn martial arts, we need to first understand the basic principles of self-defense theory and techniques. This will give us a framework for understanding how our body works and how different moves flow together effectively.

Practice allows us to apply our theoretical knowledge and develop our skills. The more we practice, the better we become at doing something. For example, the more practice we get on the mat, the more fluid and accurate our techniques will become.

Mistakes are an inevitable part of learning. They provide us with feedback and help us to identify areas where we need to improve. When we make a mistake, we should take the time to analyze what went wrong and learn from our error. This will help us to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

Make mistakes in the dojo, on the mat. Over and over again. This will help you make fewer mistakes on the street in a real-life self-defense scenario.

Theory, practice, and mistakes are all essential for learning. By combining these three elements, we can develop a deep and lasting understanding of any subject.

Practice Makes Perfect

circle theory practice mistakesHere are some additional thoughts on how much you learn from theory, practice, and mistakes with self-defense weapons:

  • Theory can help you to avoid making mistakes in the first place. For example, if you read the instructions on the package, you know the general theory behind how to draw pepper spray, a stun gun, or even a firearm from concealment. You are less likely to make a mistake not knowing what to do, but without physical practice, you may still fumble on the street.
  • Practice can help you to learn from your mistakes and to improve your performance over time. Now, if you practice drawing and deploying inert pepper spray, over and over, you will eventually become more accurate and experienced when you need to use the real thing. This is similar to going to the shooting range and making holes in paper targets. It will give you a chance to safely do an activity multiple times and gives feedback on your performance.
  • Mistakes can be a valuable learning experience. By analyzing your mistakes, you can identify areas where you need to improve and develop new strategies for success. Frequent mistakes early on can help you target what aspects you need to go back to and practice from the safety of your training areas. This is true with both traditional martial arts and using defensive tools. Do you need some specific one-on-one training, or do you just need to get more practice reps in?


Overall, the more you learn from theory, practice, and mistakes, the better you will become at anything you do. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes! They are an essential part of the learning process.

As always, be safe and be prepared.


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