In martial arts, there seems to be a trend of spoon feeding students. Yes, they must be instructed and corrected, but it can get to the point of ridiculousness. If they aren’t being told exactly what to do and when to do it there seems to be a malfunction in the brain. A student must also be “taught” how to think for themselves. It is the only way he will ever truly understand and be able to use the techniques. It should make sense to the body and mind, not just be something he does because the instructor said he should. This spoon feeding and babying keeps the student in toddler mode forever. The slightest deviation and the panic sets in.
When it comes to real self-defense (what traditional martial arts are actually for) a student should have a clear understanding of body mechanics and use of technique – he must understand the principles of technique and be able to apply them. In order to defend oneself successfully, techniques and movement must be understood and natural for the body. Your instructor cannot be there to tell you what to do 24 hours a day, nor can he do it for you.
Having technique is useless if you do not understand how and when to use them naturally. We are not robots. There must be knowledge of how and when to adapt techniques, timing, distancing and more. You can be taught this to a degree, but without practice and thought, a real understanding will never come about. There are those that can mimic technique and those that can do technique. The one who can do technique is on the right path to being able to effectively use it.