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  Using a Skill Sheet for Temari Skills   

        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. Use 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.

skill sheet


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