Form to leave Form

Chess prodigy to Push Hands Tai Chi World Champion, Josh Waitzkin is an interesting guy. He has a wealth of knowledge on achievement, but more importantly, the learning process. One principle he speaks and writes about is 'Numbers to leave Numbers', or 'Form to leave Form'. 

“Sometimes there will literally be numbers. Other times there will be principles, patterns, variations, techniques, ideas. A good literal example of this process, one that does in fact involve numbers, is a beginner’s first chess lesson. All chess players learn that the pieces have numerical equivalents. Bishop and knights are worth three pawns, a rook is 5 pawns, a queen is 9. Novices are counting in their heads, or on their fingers, before they make exchanges. In time they will stop counting. The pieces will achieve a more flowing and integrated value system. They will move across the board as fields of force. What was once seen mathematically is now felt intuitively.”

From being a conscious learning environment of repetition to an unconscious, flow state. Train so hard and study so well that the mind can take over. We have all had the 'How did I do that?' moment in competition or read the opposition defence intuitively, and the harder you train and break the process down, the more of these moments you get. 

Form to leave form. 

Andrew Whiteman