My learning journey has been very slow, without lightbulb moments. What has been most useful:
- regular practice of tsumego
- reading books, mostly on basics (Attack and Defense, Tesuji,…). As a complement, a few Sensei’s Library articles have been quite useful, like the ones on the L-group and on the J-group.
- listening to advice from stronger players
- having experience of losing games in various ways
- reviewing my games with Katago (not very seriously, mostly watching its fascinating moves and sequences)
- checking my games with josekipedia whenever I get a corner sequence wrong
- replaying pro games.
Most of the time I don’t study or play very seriously though, typically I study seriously for 1 week-1 month and then “rest” for 6-12 months.
For instance I learnt that you make territory by playing corners, then sides, then center. Play on the third line to make territory, the fourth line is for influence. But the fourth line can make territory too, and letting your opponent make 4th line territory is bad. Except when it’s good, when you want to build strength to attack.
Do not make territory passively. Invade! But don’t invade too early, you need to build strength first in the center, except when early invasions are good.
Moyos aren’t meant to make territory. Don’t enclose territory, except when you can enclose it. If your opponent invades your moyo, don’t try to kill but just attack for profit, except when you can kill. Conversely, if your opponent makes a moyo, don’t invade too deeply, a reduction by playing at the border is enough, except when weaknesses allow you to go more deeply.
When you have the initiative, make forcing moves like peeps and cuts, but don’t make them if they are aji-keshi or waste ko threats.
Try to keep sente, don’t play passively. However watch your weaknesses. Repairing them with a gote move is important, that’s called “honte”. Except when what you think is honte is actually a slow move.
At the beginning of the game, when you have a weak group, make a base if possible to secure your group. But no, don’t waste a move like that, the center is important, jump towards the center. But no, the group is strong enough, don’t add a move there, tenuki. But no, don’t tenuki, play urgent moves before big moves, make a base.
I could go on forever… In the end I never know if what I learned is correct, except that groups with two eyes are alive.