By Jaime Dunkle (4th Kyu)

In this episode of Art of Peace, Brian Levy Sensei (Dojo Cho and Chief Instructor, NOLA Aikido) and your host Jaime Dunkle (4th Kyu) unpack questions around praise and its effects on learning.

How does praise impact Aikido practice? Research shows that effort-based praise has a positive impact on students in general because it empowers them to put effort into their studies in ways they can control and enact with agency. Whereas ability-based praise tends to neutralize students, rendering them helpless after a misstep. At the NOLA Aikido dojo, Brian Levy Sensei practices what Charles Colten Sensei has shared about effectual pedagogy: the evidence-based method of praising three things that went well and suggesting one thing to try next time.

But what about empty praise from Aikido colleagues on the mats? Should there really be instruction coming from other students during a class that already has a teacher? The answer should obviously be: No. Are there ways to skillfully interrupt and dismantle these distractions and likely unconscious power dynamics that are just as detrimental to learning Aikido as ability-based praise? Listen to this episode to find out…

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