Training with Concept Maps

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back in my college days I learned that often the difference between whether I excelled at a course or struggled with it was how well I took notes.

In college or any schooling for that matter, note taking is very simple since by and large the concepts are easily contained on paper.

However, Submission grappling/BJJ doesn't lend well to note taking, a fact I learned over the last year.

When I first started training, like every other newbie, I began to copy down notes in a small journal after my classes in the evening after class, and just like every other newbie I wasn't very consistent with this process. Some nights the notes were hap hazard and unintelligible, other nights they simply weren't there as I crashed long before I could get them down on paper.

More importantly, even after I got them down on paper they didn't always make sense the next day/week/month when I went back to review them. I found that the core concepts and if/then situational learning just didn't translate on paper.

Lucky for me we don't need paper any more, not when we have free software!

Cmap Tools is an amazing piece of free software that you can use to create Concept Maps.

Concept mapping is a technique for visualizing the relationships among different concepts. A concept map is a diagram showing the relationships among concepts. Concepts are connected with labelled arrows, in a downward-branching hierarchical structure. The relationship between concepts is articulated in linking phrases, e.g., "gives rise to", "results in", "is required by," or "contributes to".
Concept map - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Just to give you a hint at what you can do with a well designed concept map, check out the simple one I developed from "Mastering the Rubber Guard, Half Guard Game".

So download CMap Tools and have some fun, who knows perhaps you'll actually take some notes that make sense to you a few days, weeks, or even months later.

Good Luck and Happy Note Taking!


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teddy said...

oh man this really appeals to every nerdy instinct in my being. i can't wait to use this!

PatricH said...

Thanks for the great advice here. I am very familiar with concept mapping and have used it throughout the years but I have never thought of using this process for taking notes. I always love to see how others are using concept mapping techniques to better themselves and this is just a really great example.