OER18 Pre-Conference Adventures

I travelled to England a couple of days before the conference (technically leaving Canada on Sunday), what can I say, I’m a sucker for those cheaper flights. Plus, as this was my first ever OER## conference I did not want something like a flight delay to get in the way. So I arrive in London, found a spot, did my ID thing and looked over some course materials and assessments (but more important) I found some cocktails that evening. The places in Kensington I found were really quite something.

I traveled to Bristol the next day, and ended up at the City Museum. As soon as I entered I was met with a Wright Brother’s plane in the ceiling and then the Bucket Angel (I think) by Banksy. How could I forget that Banksy was from here!? Realizing that changed my interaction with the street art I saw around the city for sure. I didn’t have much time, so as I’m working on a course about contemporary art that’s the section I spent most of my time in. I had just read the most recent material being developed for the course which explained a number of movements from romanticism through cubism and futurism. To my own amazement, as I read the material in these galleries and viewed the works I could really start to tell styles apart and look for certain elements. It took me aback particularly in the “French” section. One of those little privileges of being an ID and getting to help develop courses from all different disciplines.

Prior to traveling I contacted a Judo club, and another traveling first for me brought my Judo Canada Passport, my belt, and my trousers with me so I could attend clubs abroad. The Judoka at Koi Judo in Bristol were amazingly welcoming and I was quite fortunate to attend this particular class. The person who lead the class is not always able to attend, and is a 6th dan. In addition to that there were about ten dan level judoka in attendance and only four coloured belts, you don’t get much better opportunities to learn than that. The routine of the class was very different from what I do at home so it was a learning experience there, we focused on some key points of seoi nage and uchi mata, and worked on one ground technique (shime waza) for when uke turtles. I hit the mat…alot. I am so appreciative that I was able to join them, so if anyone from the Koi Judo club is reading, thank-you. Which in one way put me in the right frame of mind for the conference. Little known fact about Jigoro Kano, the creator of Judo, is that he was a teacher. He wrote often about learning. Couple that with Judo’s two key principles:

  • Jita-Kyoei (mutual prosperity)
  • Seiryoku-Zenyo (minimum effort, maximum efficiency)

Consider each of these, along with how Kano talks about randori (sparring). For Randori, Kano believes it is the best learning environment because it is both safe (you’re not competing with your opponent but working with them), but that your actions have real consequences. In my case at the Koi club it meant I had to do a lot of breakfalls, BUT it also let me see which of my techniques worked and how. That can only be fostered with mutual prosperity in mind. Thinking about principles and actions in Judo leading into an open education conference is a great way to begin to frame my thoughts, as I know there will be many challenging and interesting ideas.

It looks like I’m not the only one making some martial arts connections to my work, as Tom Woodward (Bionic Teaching) just wrote a post Social Media Jujutsu I’d recommend checking out.

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