Two Types of Personal Knowledge – TOK

When I was only four years old my parents signed me up for tennis classes during the weekends. This is when I developed my practical knowledge in the specific area of tennis. I learnt how to hold a racket, swing my arms, the moves required to perform a backhand and a forehand, the correct way to place my feet on the ground for each hit. As the years passed by I began to be more confident playing tennis, I started playing during week days after school, my forehand began to gain strength, power, the balls wouldn’t go outside the court as I hit them. I began to gain control over my shots, I slowly moved up from class to class until I reached the point where I was 11 years old, played 9hours a week of tennis and I could fully control all my hits, volleys, backhands, forehands, my serves. These few years of my life allowed me to learn tennis and enabled me to play with accuracy.

As I began to play matches and compete against other tennis clubs, I continued to extent my practical knowledge. I recall the day when I first sliced my shot. It was a tough match, the girl I was playing against was clearly more experienced than me, she made me run from side to side, front to back, there was one shot that I barely reached, accomplishing my first sliced shot ever. However, during the matches is when I started to develop a different type of knowledge called knowledge by acquaintance. It is when I began to learn to be strategic, I learnt to focus on the weaknesses of my opponent and use them for my benefit by, for example, if her weakness is the volley and she is a slow runner, I just have to hit the ball close to the net and then I would have a guaranteed point.

The knowledge of experience, or by acquaintance I have developed by doing tennis is something I can use in other areas. I have learnt strategy, and I, a person who wants to be a business woman, strategy is key to succeed. Whether I need to come up with a strategy to enter a new market as a company and many different other aspects in life.

2 thoughts on “Two Types of Personal Knowledge – TOK

  1. Hi Monica,

    As a beginner of tennis, I highly agree that our practical knowledge derives from the mechanics required to play tennis. I also found very interesting that during a tennis match, developing feasible strategies against the opponent can develop our knowledge by acquaintance. I also believe that the presence of “pressure” during a game is another factor of knowledge by acquaintance, as we cannot visualize or explain this in our own words.

  2. Great to read your reflections on your experience and knowledge with regard to tennis. As you go forward look for questions and, in particular, knowledge questions that you can ask about the ideas you consider in your answers to the YOL prompts. One that comes to mind here could be, “How is knowledge by acquaintance limited in comparison to propositional knowledge?” There are many others you can ask as well.

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