Learning is a change in long-term memory. Input enters through working memory, where it is processed and may enter long-term memory.
Representation: One of the fundamental differences between novices and experts is the way they represent knowledge, as explored in Chase & Simon, 1973, Chi, Feltovich & Glaser, 1981, and Koedinger & Anderson, 1990. Analogy is the process of learning concepts that share a similar representational structure.
Feedback: Where does the confusion come from in a typical learning activity? It can happen in a well-constructed lecture. Often confusion comes from feedback received. Skills are developed rapidly in environments with quick and accurate feedback loops.
Tricks versus skills: Willingham, 2006 claims that most What is the importance of background knowledge in reading ability? comprehension strategies should be thought of as tricks: they do not require practice to learn, rather the primary difficulty is thinking to apply them at all. He compares this to the trick of “checking your work” in problem solving.
Mnemonics: Mnemonics are very useful in certain situations, like memory competitions where non-meaningful items are learned for a short time period. An argument for mnemonics is that our visual and spatial brain areas are much larger. Ultimately however if you are trying to achieve fluency or connection between concepts, you'll eventually need to skip the visual/spatial proxy anyway.
Other overviews to effective learning and practice: Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits 10 Surprising Truths from the World’s Most Successful Talent Hotbed
Shuhari roughly translates to "first learn, then detach, and finally transcend." shu (守) "protect", "obey" — traditional wisdom — learning fundamentals, techniques, heuristics, proverbs. ha (破) "detach", "digress" — breaking with tradition — detachment from the illusions of self. ri (離) "leave", "separate" — transcendence — there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural, becoming one with spirit alone without clinging to forms; transcending the physical