Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz's original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo: The importance of basic foundations of Go

The importance of basic foundations of Go

The importance of basic foundations of Go

Acquiring basic foundations comes first and foremost. To do so, you have to practice repeatedly.

You should learn basics as much as possible.

My definition of basic foundations is that there
are basic foundations for 10 kyu players, for
5 kyu players, for 1 dan players, and so on.
I believe that you should learn various levels of
basics as you improve.

I can tell you the reason, comparing other things.

For example if you want to build a tall building
(i.e. a strong dan level), you want to build strong
foundations, right? Without strong foundations,
a building could collapse if an earthquake hits.)

When it comes to ski jumping, children learn step
by step. First they have to master a 1-meter jump.
When they get used to it, they try a 2-meter jump,
and then 4-meter jump, 8-meter, 10-meter, 20-meter,
30-meter jump, and so on down the line.

Without learning basics and try 100-meter jump like
Olympic ski jumpers do, they would end up with broken bones.

My language experiences also taught me the importance of repetition.

I never went to high school instead I became an insei (a Go apprentice). After I quite, I studied English by myself. Despite the lack of high school education, before I decided to go to university in America, my English was much better than many Japanese students in terms of speaking, listening, and writing because I practiced them repeatedly.

I once studied German by myself. I learned how to pronounce correctly and practiced basic expressions so many times.

But I stopped it. It’s been about two decades, but I still remember some of the German expressions. I use it when I meet German travelers in Tokyo, and they understand me.

In case of German, I practiced repeatedly, so I still remember them. But when I studied French, I didn’t do that.

After I graduated from university in America, I went to a prestigious French language school in Tokyo for 3 months. Each lesson lasted an hour. A teacher always gave students homework, and I did that, but didn’t have time to study French outside class.

Studying a language for an hour or an hour and a half each week is not at all enough to learn basics. After many years have passed, I don't remember any French now.

My karate experience also tells me the importance of repetition.

I started learnin, Kyokushin Karate(極真空手), as an adult.
One karate class usually lasts an hour and a half.
When I went to a dojo as a beginner, all karate
students, beginners and black belts alike, had to
learn the same basic movements for at least an hour
almost nonstop. After that, we learn various things
for 30 minutes.

Sometimes we did kumite (a fight). For the 3 months,
however, black belts never let beginners to try the
kumite because it’s too dangerous. In fact 3 months
is not long enough to solidify basics. It takes at
least a year and usually a couple of years to learn

(When I was a beginner, I always left a dojo, breathing
a sigh of relief that I survived today again. It was
always a fear to enter the dojo. I was sometimes knocked
down. It took me about 3 years to lessen the fear. )

In a Kyokushin Karate dojo, regardless of how strong
you become, you have to learn the same basic movements for
the first hour of training.

They often teach the basic movements for an hour and a half
continuously without doing any advanced learning.

In fact Kyokushin Karate has been known as one of the
strongest karate organizations in the world among other karate
organizations. Later I found out about the reason for that;
it's because they do basic movements for a long time,
much longer than any other karate organizations, or so I've heard.

I went to a dojo at least 4 days a week and at most 7 days a
week after work. That means that I learned basics at least 4
hours a week and 10 hours a week. I must say that I was one
of the most avid students, and I always hungrily learned basics.

Some students hated doing basic movements and loved fighting.
So they didn't take basic movements seriously.
But they seemed not to improve as fast as I did...

Looking back, I'm glad that I took the basics seriously, so
I could move the proper way, and because of that, I didn't
get hurt easily or badly except the black belt test...

After 5 years, I took the two-day black belt test and passed it
and got the black belt along with a one-month injury... Ouch!

( I have to add that even though the black belts do the basic
movements with beginners for an hour, black belts are supposed to
think differently. During the movements, they should be imagining
an enemy movement and attack, and they respond based on the
basic movements. Since the movements go very fast,
black belts have to think those things very quickly, using
their brains at the maximum speed. Those black belts who don't
do this will not become strong anymore.

Fortunately for Go players, they don't have to repeat as much as karate
students do. Yet, repetition is necessary and crucial if Go players want to build
a basic foundation and improve fast.

Go pros do the same. Even though they play apparantly easy-to-
understand moves, their brains are working at the maximum
speed during their games. )

While I was learning karate, I started questioning Go schools’
teaching methods.

It seems to me that go schools in Japan teach very little
basics and let students play many games.

Many Go schools in Tokyo usually give only a 30 minute
commentary with the use of a big Go board and let them
play a game an hour.

Go schools give a lesson only 30 minutes a week!

That's too little!

Go is one of the most difficult games. And even children
study Go many hours in order to improve. It takes adults
more time to learn basics than chilren.

After Go school, many adult Go players don't have a lot
of time to study; they are busy working, taking care
of their family, etc. This means that at least
in Go school it might be a good idea to help them learn a lot
of basics.

(Also ideally the lessons should be organized. In Japanese
Go schools different teachers just pick topics randomly
every week.

For example when I teach the attach-and-extend joseki, I
try to teach in an organized way. Here is an example:
http://www.kazsensei.com/faq#WhyMakingWebsite from 1. to 7.)

Naturally most Go students have a hard time becoming strong.

But Go teachers give praise and keep raising their scores
instead of raising their Go skills. Naturally their levels
are inflated every year... But I was not the management,
so I didn’t say much.

I’d like to reiterate that without learning basics
of ski jump, you can end up with broken bones.

When it comes to Go, if you don’t solidify your
basic foundations, you could be playing a game with
invisible broken bones.

To be continued...
Write a comment along with Japanese words such as "囲碁". Without Japanese words, you can't leave the comment.
Hello. I am just getting into playing this fascinating strategy game, and would like to learn more fundamentals in order to play the game correctly and become more of a professional-grade player.

Look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you!

~ Brent



Posted by Brent at 2014年01月20日 06:30
Dear Brent,

Thanks for your comments. Are you interested in getting lessons from me or just looking for someone to teach you? You can get a lesson. Or you can find someone to teach you free on KGS. If you're a beginner, then I think you should start reading a beginner's books first because it doesn't cost much. Good luck to you! 囲碁
Posted by Kaz at 2014年01月20日 09:05
write your comment
your name:

your email:

your homepage:

your comment:

認証コード: [必須入力]