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tatsujin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 12 Oct 2021
Posts: 162

Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:01 pm    Post subject: Do you hear the little voice in your head? Reply with quote

A few years ago, I had a deaf person come to me looking for training in the martial arts. They had been deaf since birth and had encountered situations where they needed to be able to use personal defense skills. Especially since I work hard on what I call "Gap Theory" (we can dive into that if anyone is interested).

I was hesitant to take them on. They were sincere and seemed like a good person and they were a good fit for what I was teaching. The problem was me. I didn't know how the heck I was going to teach someone who was deaf. Since this person could read lips, it made it a little easier on me because I would not have to learn sign language. I just needed to be aware of my position in relation to them when speaking. Since the reason for my hesitancy was pretty much on me, I started doing some research on deafness, teaching someone who was deaf, etc. What I found on a different topic was pretty eye opening...

Read the following sentence (NOT out loud):

"I am reading this sentence. Do I hear a voice in my head while I do?"

So, answer the question...did you hear a voice in your head "speaking" or "saying" what was written?

If you do hear this "voice", then you have what is called "internal dialogue". I do hear this voice. When I read, I hear a voice, like a narrator, doing the reading. I talk to myself...from just "thinking" comments to having full running conversations where I say things in my head, answer myself, argue with myself, etc.

While researching deafness and teaching the deaf, I was totally amazed that not everyone has this internal dialogue.

As a side not, people that are deaf from birth do not have this internal dialogue. Some people who developed deafness at a later age do. But, it really depends on how old they were when they went deaf. Research shows that internal dialogue is "learned" and is very closely associated with learning to speak...almost like a by-product of learning to speak.

Anyway...once I learned this, I asked the very small number of students I had if they had this internal dialogue or not. Most did. A few didn't. What was interesting was that the ones that didn't were the ones that seemed to consistently be a bit slower in picking up new material. What I found from working with them and others over time was that I needed more "principles" to make it effective for them. Give them something more to "feel" than what I necessarily say. Also, I will spend more time with them on the visual of what I am teaching instead of the spoken specifics. What I find when I do this is they seem to "catch on" a bit faster.

Also, as an interesting side note, I find that teaching these people (the non-internal dialogue folks) meditation is much easier and much faster because they don't have as many random thoughts coming into their head as those of us that have internal dialogue do.

I do a very intensive "intake" interview with students so that I can learn about them. I now include this internal dialogue questioning in that.

So, just curious...do you have an internal dialogue? Were you are that others don't or do (depending on if you do or not)? Do you take this into account with regards to how you teach others?
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For me bujutsu is not a set of techniques, but a state of the body. Once the principles are integrated, the techniques surge spontaneously because the body is capable of adapting instantaneously.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29453
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting. I do have an internal dialogue when reading. I've never been a fast reader, and it frustrated me for many years, especially involving reading assignments in school. When I read a book, I can't skim worth a darn. I find myself basically reading to myself. When I was younger, I'd be mouthing the words silently as I read over them. As I've gotten older, I don't mouth the words as much (although I do catch myself doing this sometimes), but my ability to read quickly hasn't improved that much.

I've also found that when I've tried to some meditative practices, I have trouble doing them. Thus, I'm not a big fan of silently meditating.

I think taking on a deaf student would be a very rewarding prospect, and commend you for it. Thanks for sharing this thread; very interesting.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2635
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not have an internal voice, which seems to shock people. Instead, I "feel" the words that I'm reading, as if I were physically speaking them. No sound in my brain, though.

I can't say I've specifically considered this in my teaching, but I definitely try to figure out how different students learn best, and I generally end up with a mixture of verbal explanation and physical demonstration directly with the students.

I have had a deaf student, before, and I can tell you that learning a bit of ASL is going to make your life much easier, but also be very helpful to the student and, more importantly (IMO), it will make the student feel accepted and respected. Deaf people have a very strong culture, and while your student may be able to read lips, it is a struggle, and spoken English is considered a different language by deaf people--they have to translate every word they lip-read. If you expect them to do that, it's only right to meet them halfway and learn to say some things in their language.
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Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage (RIP), Jeff Allred (RIP)
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