I have written extensively about the core of all learning in my Kojutsukan blog and my The School of Jan de Jong blog, both explaining the core of all learning and applying the core of all learning to understand various things. I have had an article on the subject published by Blitz, the premier martial arts magazine in Australia, and chapters are devoted to the subject in two of the three books I've drafted.
The core of all learning is the identification of similarities and differences. Research has identified four forms of identifying similarities and differences that have proven highly effective. They are: comparison, classification, creating metaphors, and creating analogies.
I'm only going to refer to the effectiveness of creating metaphors in this post.
The martial arts classic movie, The Karate Kid, demonstrates the effectiveness of using metaphor to teach martial arts skills. Wax on, wax off; paint the fence; sand the floor; paint the house were all metaphors used by Mr Miyagi to teach Daniel-san karate skills.
I will share with you a personal experience where the use of metaphor had immediate positive effects on my execution of a sporting skill.
On my first skiing trip, I was taking snowboarding lessons in a group environment. While the lessons were getting me down the hill, it wasn't always in an upright position and not without risk of serious injury on the way down through multiple crashes. One particular cartwheeling crash had the other skiers being towed up the hill clapping.
I decided to take a private lesson. It was either that or stop skiing or risk serious injury. My instructor was this mature female 'ski rat' who followed the snow from country to country teaching skiing. After this and that technical instruction, she turned to me and said ... 'poo, don't pee.'
'Poo, don't pee' immediately changed my posture on the snowboard resulting in radically improved performances. I could actually make it down the hill without crashing while executing turns on the way down.
'Poo, don't pee' - teach and learn by the creation of metaphors.