Using a Skill Sheet for Temari
You'll see keeping a notebook
referenced in many places throughout Temarikai.com. Another tool that
can be a great help to temari study and progress can be a skill sheet. I
stumbled upon the idea while studying for and working on my Shihan
certification exam. A major part of the exam is first understanding what
is expected of you; it is essentially, one's teacher's license for
temari. Understanding that guides your thought process in terms of
composing the designs. However, you need not be looking at JTA
certification to have a skill sheet be helpful to you.
A skill sheet is essentially an
inventory of what you know and don't know when it comes to temari
stitches, techniques, etc., and in today's world with a choice of
Japaneses books, English books, and the web, it's much easier to get a
grasp on the scope of methods than it was five or ten years ago (or
longer). It will help guide you in your learning process, and then be a
useful tool when that mind block comes in the creativity department.
It's actually the idea of a skill sheet that gave rise to the smorgasball
concept, and that has become a nice entry point into composing designs.
Skill sheets need not be
complicated, but they are helpful. I now have all of my students keep
them, whether they hope to be JTA candidates or not. You can make it as
fancy as you wish, but it really only needs to be a few pages in your
notebook; use a pencil - you'll be doing a lot of changing and editing
as your temari knowledge changes. The best time to start keeping a skill
sheet is when you begin to learn temari.
Two main sections compose your
skill sheet: what you know
and what you need to learn
Within those 2 sections, you may subdivide things into
divisions/markings, stitches, styles, and other (or something similar).
As you gain a new skill (and become comfortable with it - when it's
added to the "what I know" section, you should be able to execute it
with an average degree of confidence. Checking notes is fine, but not
sitting there asking yourself "what do I do now?"), add it to the
appropriate section. As you are browsing books, the web, TalkTemari,
etc., and you come across a technique that you have not yet learned, add
it to the "what I need to learn". When you do learn something that is on
your "need to learn" list, move it to the accomplished (what you do
know) section. Guiding your journey in this manner will become a dynamic
and active aid, and remind you of your progress. It will also be very
handy when you have the chance to ask questions - you'll know what you
need to follow up on. There is a basic
skill sheet master available for download as a PDF file
it as is, or fine-tune it as you'd like.
When it comes to trying your hand
at a personal composition design, or even if you are just looking for
that little something to add to a design you are working in, referring
to your skill sheet can be a big help. Using it as a smorgasball list
(just randomly choose a few skills, and make them work on a temari) for
a jump start can be great fun. The image below shows an example of a
student's skill sheet listing accomplished techniques and stitches; she
likewise keeps a list of things she still needs to learn.
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