Mind Mapping For Martial Arts


I practice Aikido and have done for nearly 5 years now.

I have always been interested in Martial Arts briefly dabbling with Karate in my teens then taking it a bit more seriously when I was at University.

I also started studying Tai Chi in my thirties and have been regularly practicing the 24 step routine ever since.

In the last few years I found myself being drawn to Aikido after having a long standing appreciation of the art from things I have read about it.

My love of this art has taken me all over the UK, to Austria and to Ukraine and now I am in the throes of preparing for my black belt grading.

One of the things I love to do is teach others what has benefitted me (hence my professional calling since changing careers 10 years ago) and so last year I enrolled on an Aikido Coaching course and am now qualified to teach.

On Friday at my Aikido Club, my sensei was out of town and so asked me to take the class.

This is both an honour and a huge responsibility and one that I cherish.

The secret to running an effective lesson (aside from being able to practice and demonstrate the art) is preparation and so Friday afternoon as I pondered on what to cover, I sat down an drew up a Mind Map of the lesson plan.

It only took me five minutes and very quickly I had identified my theme for the lesson, the different demonstrations and exercises I was going to take the class through within the framework of our style’s teaching format and how I was going to involve the different grades in the same exercises.

Now a big challenge when you put together a lesson plan for Aikido is that you have no idea who is going to turn up and what grades will be there so you have to be ready to be flexible and change things at the last moment.

Of course the beauty of putting together a lesson plan using Mind Mapping is that you have the flexibility to change things very easily.

So the benefits of using Mind Mapping for any sort of lesson plane (regardless of topic) are:

  • It is very easy to put together a lesson plan
  • It takes a fraction of the time than using "normal" paper and pen
  • You create a structure that allows you to be flexible in the case of changing circumstances.

There are other benefits relating to the generation of ideas and the plotting of themes through a lesson structure but for now just understand that it is a quick and flexible process.

Here is the Mind Map I put together for the lesson (which went very well by the way).

 Mind Mapping Examples - Aikido Lesson Plan


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Natalija July 13, 2009 at 9:36 am

    WOW. Great post. I admire your idea to put an Aikido lesson into a mind map. This makes mind mapping usable in every singe aspect of the everyday life. Could you please share the student impressions on this? Did they like it?

    My company has created a mind mapping tool Seavus DropMind – http://dropmind.com, and I am in the search for all available uses for it. I’ve never thought of anything similar to martial arts.

    Do you use a software for creating your mind maps? And do you prefer desktop or web applications? DropMind encompasses both versions – http://desktop.dropmind and http://web.dropmind. I wonder which one would you find it more useful for this kind of lessons.

    Thank you Michael for this post. It gave me such a nice idea.

    Have a great day,

  • Michael Tipper July 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Natalija,

    Thanks for your comment on the post and great to hear from you.

    Yes Mind Mapping is relevant in just about every single aspect of life because if you need to think and want todo that better then using it will help.

    The students on the evening did not have sight of the map (they were too busy throwing each other around to take time to admire my work :-) but the lesson certainly went well and that was the feedback I got from them.

    This of course is the important thing and even had I written the lesson plan in the “normal” way, I can’t imagine them coming up an congratulating me on my nice handwriting.

    Yes I do use Mind Mapping software – currently a combination of MInd Manager and iMindMap.

    Using software to develop lesson templates is something I shall be using it for and so I suppose the answer to your question is that your software would be useful for this.

    Once again thanks for your comment