Question about taking notes when training:
The notes you write will always be there for information in which you can always refer to. The value of any technique is in the details. Notes allow you to list important reference points. The main value of notes is the physical insight of them. You always need the physical as well as the mental comprehension, to be able to go over something. Going through a technique slow, is sufficient just to show that you understand it. By reviewing your notes and going through the moves slow, you can see and feel the details of the motion and create a flow.
It is getting that flow where you do not have to think about it, you just do it, is your goal. That can only come by training, practice and experience. You must get through the initial phase of how do you do something correctly. What is the basis for doing an exercise? What is the basis for various positions in the value of any technique, such as Chi Sao, Closing the gap or submitting an opponent ? If you cannot stop and think about that and actually appreciate these details, then you would never develop any high level of skill as a student or instructor. Notes act to tell you when you are off track and missing an important element.
You can probably develop a high skill level in the applied, simply by practicing and not know the details. It will sort of fall together just by practicing. Even though you may do things wrong to a certain degree; you will still do them good enough that you will wipe out most people you run across. From a training standpoint of being a student, you do not really need most of the information.
If you are thinking at all of being an instructor, where you want to share this knowledge with someone, you cannot cheat him or her by giving them pieces of information, just because you can do it. You must physically know how to do it as well as know the details of how, when and why you do it.
It is not enough to take notes, the problem is often taking the right notes. In seminars, I have often had students who just took notes and did not really listen to the details of the overall technique. In focusing on their writing, they missed a lot of the physical nuances. Of course, today they record everything, which makes it simpler. Can you actually physically teach and show that person or see when they are doing something wrong and being able to identify it and correct it? Just having it in your notes and being able to do it is not enough. If you want the maximum benefit from your notes, you have to take notes on your notes, so they become clear and precise. Even if you are just a student, you should learn and train as if you were going to become an instructor. Why, because you often need to correct your training partner, so you can train correctly. With this mindset, you will become both a mental and physical blackbelt.