Binging as a term has in the past only had negative connotations. In fact, the definition of Binge is “A period of excessive indulgence in an activity.” However, thanks to content providers like Netflix, binge watching has become much more of an accepted (if not encouraged) activity.
Following are some of the components to binging:
Entertainment Binging Vs Topic Binging:
With the growth of video-streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu, most of us are familiar with Entertainment Binging. I binge-watched the complete Breaking Bad series in just a few days. With 62 episodes at an average length of 45 minutes, we are talking about 46 hours of video content that I watched in about 5 days. Yes, Breaking Bad was the equivalent of a full-time job (with overtime) for one week. I was worse than the “Blue-Meth users” that Walter White supplied! Maybe some of you have stories similar, but at the very least, you are familiar with the concept and overall success of
Interestingly, what is less discussed but also very prevalent is Topic Binging. One of the most common searched terms on YouTube is “How To.” Most of us have gone down a rabbit hole when we delve into a topic we become interested in or we are trying to solve a real-time problem (e.g. Hanging a picture, unclogging a sink, etc.). This indicates that when we want to know something, and we have control in the manner with which we learn it, there are no time constraints that we will place upon ourselves upon this endeavor.
Totality Vs Intermittent:
Another benefit to a binge platform is the totality of the content. The entire body of work is there for you to consume in any way that you wish. This is in stark contrast to the old way television was watched (one episode a week for around 26 weeks) and the way subject matter is taught (you learned the way and in the order that the teacher taught).
From an entertainment perspective, intermittent release made sense in that TV networks were able to get advertisers to populate commercials for 25% of the viewing length (15 minutes of commercials for show’s one-hour time slot). Spreading a popular show out kept audiences engaged to that particular network with the benefit of becoming connected to other content within that network, and thus increase ad revenue. The downside of this is that this structure is completely to the benefit of the networks. The viewer is held hostage to the desired content in that the viewer can only watch at a specific day, a specific time, and with the network’s chosen advertising.
Even from an educational perspective intermittent release made sense. A teacher shouldn’t teach Algebra before the student learns addition and subtraction. However, in a class with 30 students, there will be a myriad of learning styles, learning speeds, and other differing forms of cognitive strengths and challenges. How can we expect a teacher to effectively teach a subject with the broad spectrum of learning abilities present?
How much easier (and motivating) would learning be if education was individually tailored based upon each student’s aptitude? Picture education modules that were created to suit different learning styles. The student can focus on the modules where the most help is needed and breeze by the subject matter that comes easily.
What Does This Have To Do With Martial Arts Training?
Well, we explored the above with regards to Martial Arts Training. We tapped into the topic binging facets of motivation by showing the results (or the goal) of the training. By providing the totality of the curriculum for the student to see, they were able to see the development of lightning fast, razor-sharp strikes that would render an attacker battered in a matter of mere moments or kicks powerful and surgical enough to separate an attacker from his intestines (I know… TMI!) Witnessing these reachable goals makes the feeling of empowerment profound and highly motivating to achieve.
One of the psychological phenomena to binge-worthy video content is that each of the consumable content is “Bite-Sized,” but it is also creatively crafted to leave the viewer “wanting more.” This is achieved by creating cliff-hangers at the end of each episode and by creating teasers for the following one.
By following a similar formula with our curriculum, we were able to entice students to proceed and develop from topic to topic over long periods of time per session… much longer than we had ever gotten from training using traditional methods.
Why Binge Learning Is Not Cramming:
Most of us have crammed for a test at least one time or another. Now I apologize to all of you meticulous students (past and present) that were religious about your study habits (this includes my mother, my brother, and my best friend). Unlike you, there was never a test that I did not cram for. For you people that had similar study practices, we acknowledge that one of the disadvantages of cramming is that the material doesn’t stay in our head for much longer than the exam itself.
It stands to reason that binge learning would have a similar result. On the surface, it does look like the student is looking to assimilate a lot of material over concentrated times vs a gradual assimilation over a much longer period.
The results that we saw were shocking. In our Self-Defense System, a typical student would go from White Belt to Yellow Belt in 6-8 weeks, from Yellow Belt to Orange Belt in an additional 2-3 months, and from Orange Belt to Purple Belt in an additional 3-4 months. If we took the lower end of each range, it should take a student of a minimum of 6 ½ months to reach Purple Belt. The brand-new students (with no previous Martial Arts experience whatsoever) were able to reach Purple Belt in 1 Month!! We couldn’t believe our results!
We first thought that we might have inadvertently diluted our standards, but we matched up these new Purple Belts against other traditionally trained Purple Belts, and they were equivalent (and sometimes better) in every single measurable way.
Next, we believed that this would suffer the same effects of things learned by cramming, namely the imminent loss of the material learned. However, we witnessed no such thing happening. After a deeper investigation, we found that the “Binge Students” spend considerable amounts of time across concentrated stretches. Given that we provided the totality of the education for our entire curriculum on the platform, these students were able to seek out and tailor the education modules that would provide them the fastest path to success.
Also, whereas a traditional student would come to on average 3 classes/week (1 hour per class) and maybe practice an additional 2 hours per week, the Binge Students were practicing an average of 2 hours per day (sometimes more on the weekends). This concentrated effort combined with tailored learning helped to achieve results that were a minimum of 6x faster than the best of our traditional models.
We are beginning to open our trial to more prospective students, but we are confident that we are going to achieve similar results.
Who would’ve thought that binge-watching Netflix would turn out to be such a good thing, right?