A bit more than half a year ago I started to study go with Kaz (Kazunari Furuyama) being my teacher. When I first saw the website of his internet go school (http://kazsensei.com/) I was not sure if this was the right place for me. It looked very different to other online go schools I knew but I loved the idea of getting taught by someone who really specializes in training adult amateurs and knows about their characteristics. Hence I decided to try it out and till today I have never regret this choice.
Other internet go schools I knew provide video lectures dealing with various topics. This is a great source for theoretical knowledge and inspiration but I felt that I needed more personalized support to improve my play. And this is exactly what Kaz does. Actually before he started to teach me he asked me to send 10 of my most recent games. He analysed them to identify typical mistakes I make and bad habits I show in my games. Afterwards he started to send me “offline lessons” – packages of problems typically dealing with one or two topics at a time as well as a game review to explain where these problems occur.
One basic fundamental of Kaz’s teaching is continuous repetition of very similar problems. From his experience backed up with scientific results he believes that adults in particular need many repetitions to really internalize a new lesson. I remember that it felt a bit strange to me in the very beginning to solve 5, 10 or more problems always using the very same idea. But today I also believe that this is an effective way to learn basic principals in a way that I do not only understand them theoretically but am able to apply them in my games.
Another fundamental of Kaz’s teaching is the idea of not training complex opening sequences or complicated joseki but really focuses on basic principles. He believes that especially for adults it is very hard to remember long sequences of moves. Instead he teaches basic shape and simple ideas sometimes using speaking names like “Rome and Juliet shape” or “Indiana Jones tesuji” to make it even easier to remember them. At least for me this seems to work very well.
Right now I am about 2kyu and my next goal is to become 1dan with the help of Kaz. Although I believe improving from a kyu player to 1dan is a quite big hurdle I think I am on a good way. Learning more basic principles and getting rid off more bad habits will help me with the further development of my play.
If you are looking for a go teacher to analyse your play and identify and correct your weaknesses and bad habits I warmly recommend considering “Kaz’s Exceptional Go Lessons” (http://kazsensei.com/).