Okay, so I recently bought Norman Weinstein's book/DVD 'Mastering Knife Skills' and am working my way through it like a good apprentice should. I was a bit shocked to discover how wrongly I've been using my knives for lo these many years. :-( My face is red with shame but can I plead ignorance, Your Honor? ;-)
I'm making fairly good progress on correcting my worst habits, although I still need to often give myself some verbal coaching while cutting, such as "No death grip" (on the handle), and "Glide forward, don't press down" . The most frustrating thing, though, is that I realized I haven't been holding the knife blade perpendicular to the board; I tend to tilt my wrist so that instead of the blade and board forming a 90-degree angle, as I'm sure is proper, it's more like ... oh I don't know, maybe 100 or 110 or so. In other words when I look down, I see a portion of the side of the blade, and I am sure that is Not A Good Technique, either for proper cutting or for the blade edge itself. This is by far the hardest bad knife habit for me to correct, I'm finding out. :-(
I suspect that part of it (other than pure muscle memory, as Weinstein mentions in his book) has to do with my stance at the board -- how my body is postioned relative to the angle that I have habitually held my knife and food when cutting. Another thing I have to consciously work on, apparantly!
What bad knife skills habits did you all have to overcome, once you were shown how to do it correctly, and how long did it take you to correct them?