Haptic-integrated Clinical Pronunciation Research and Teaching
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Mixed "modal" arts in HICP (Haptic-integrated, clinical pronunciation)
Photo credit: mma-training.com
Even if you are not a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts, you almost have to admire the focus on bringing to the ring superb, full-body conditioning and an amazing set of tools (techniques) derived from several traditions: boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, Muay Thai, weight lifting and others. From a "professional development" perspective, these people get it; enhanced conditioning and development of new techniques are simply part of the job. Having listened to a couple of recent interviews with top MMA fighters, I was struck by what avid learners they are--and what extraordinary body awareness and fine tuning is required. (The imaginary MMA fight scenario on the linked page could as well be describing one's deteriorating state of mind and body in a late afternoon ESL class!) The ways in which they characterize or explain the relationship between practice and conditioning outside of the ring and successful performance in it were extremely detailed and systematic. The parallel to effective HICP work or speaking and voice instruction in general is worth considering. I always recommend that instructors who use EHIEP protocols (techniques) in their classes should practice them regularly, themselves, both in class and out of class. (I, myself, do a basic set of about a dozen techniques most mornings.) Part of the reason for that is that the (Lessac-inspired) procedures are not only designed for in-class modelling and correction, but also for cultivation of what Lessac referred to as "Vocal Life," overall voice quality and body flexibility, along with an accompanying attitude of openness to learning and exploration. In the PEPI model, that means beginning your day with a cup of coffee at 6 o'clock (on the circumflex) and going counterclockwise. For example, starting with (a) EHIEP protocols, or yoga or exercise, then (b) prayer, meditation or reading the paper, then on to (c) planning your day's priorities, and then (d) setting out your concrete action plans. By the time you get back around to (d), 9 'clock, you'll be ready when the bell rings . . .