Too old to master Flash Anzan Method?

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#1 16 February, 2017 - 13:07
Joined: 8 months 2 weeks ago

Too old to master Flash Anzan Method?

So recently I started building up my math skills from scratch and finished a few books and practice problems using the Trachtenberg speed system. Tricky as it was I am getting quite decent at speedy calculations, with a few snags here and there (mostly with retaining numbers in memory long enough to reverse the order mentally from right to left, to left to right). Now I want to learn as much as I can from both the Vedic AND Flash Anzan systems so I am reading and absorbing as much as possible.

However, I'm not exactly young (31) and a lot of sources I read warn that learning the Flash Anzan (Mental Abacus) system can cause a bit of confusion, and may not ever develop a sufficient competency. Hence, it should be learned at a young age (5).

I just want to ask anyone here who uses the Mental Abacus system and started later in life what their experience is. Is it possible to master this system at a later age given enough time, deliberate practice and dedication? OR, would I just become quite good but still not at a level to compete with those who started early?

16 February, 2017 - 15:16
Joined: 5 years 6 months ago

I got a little bit into mental math and it is a challenge! I might revisit it again, but I know if you can reach any level you want to. It all comes down to practice and dedication like you said. You just have to make sure you practice everyday and stick with it.

22 February, 2017 - 11:35
Joined: 2 years 7 months ago

31 is still young. There are always going to be hecklers and negative people, but I would ignore them. :)

One of my inspirations: Brian May, the guitarist from Queen, got his PhD in astrophysics when he was about 60. Some of the memory competitors are in their 40s (or older), and they do very well. Age is not as important as society often suggests.

4 March, 2017 - 11:00
Joined: 3 years 2 months ago

I've dabbled with flash anzan a few times. I have yet to be able to visualise the abacus clearly. I have a few abaci(?) on the shelf. I suspect that more time linking the physical movement of the abacus while adding would be helpful in a manner similar to remembering things by writing them down intentionally with a pen. Any practice that I have spent simply looking electronic abaci and mentally moving beads has been of limited value. I suspect the real trick to acquiring this skill is tieing calculation to your hands so that you aren't really thinking about "numbers". To me, this shifting of abstract to concrete is a theme familiar to memory players.

I tend to focus on learning to handle the abstractions of numbers and their relationship to each other in my own practice but I suspect that this is not a terribly efficient method of developing raw, repeatable speed. Rather it is practice in improving my ability to handle the abstraction of numbers and their relationships. ;)

Drilling with a real abacus on a daily basis for enough time to learn the movements without thinking. i.e touch typing should do the trick. How long does it take for an adult to learn to play the piano? touch type? etc. In practice, I strongly suspect that most adults do not spend very much time developing discrete skills, but I am jaded.

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