We have had a few posts recently saying that instructions or demonstrations from the instructor could not be followed, or that the information is not sinking in. So I thought it time to explain the different learning styles and highlight reasons you may not be picking things up as you would like. We learn by one (or more) of three different styles. Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Visual Here the key is writen/visual information. While many of us dislike the class or meeting room, this is where the visual learner thrives. Spreadsheets, charts, use of colour, powerpoints and so on. Visual learners must try not to be distracted and also should avoid visual tiredness. If your instructor gave you a chart and text of the class syllabus and/or a kata then the visual learner will benefit from highlighter pens and colour to pick out the salient points. For the martial artist who is a visual learner you will use websites, books and videos to assist in conceptualizing ideas. Auditory The auditory learner will benefit less from the written word and would be more likely to carry a digital voice recorder in a lecture. The martial arts instructor will capture the auditory learner by giving an explanation of a technique before it is performed. If you tend to stand at the back of the class then you obviously need to reposition to get the clearest instruction. Discussion and often repeating what is said is the way to aid learning. Kinaesthetic Kinaestetic learners prefer to do rather than hear or read. A technique shown is class is best practiced in order to see its worth. The learning process is aided by feeling the experience is real. They will definately be less convinced by just being told or by having the task demonstrated. Kinaestetic learners may fidget or tap their fingers and down while reading or watching the television. Learning and martial arts Most classess I have attended tend to cover the learning styles by see, do and review. The instructor demonstrates the technique, explaining all the way through what is happening, what is expected, the likely outcome, pro's and con's etc. This is the see phase. The students go and practice the technique with the instructor coming round to each individual to assist with the skill being undertaken. This is the do phase. The class is then stopped and discussion takes place with input from both the student and instructor. This is the review stage. A chance to ask questions and for the instructor to point out any mistakes made. Finally the drill is done again once the students have had further input and instruction. Here is a simple pdf downloadable document from businessballs.com that will allow you to find out your prefered learning style. There are other test available from the businessballs website. http://www.businessballs.com/vaklearningstylestest.htm I have no affiliation to this site. It is just one I found while wrtting this thread.