Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Watching Karate Videos

I had some fun recently when I decided to copy some of my old 8mm videos from my old camcorder to DVD. It was fun to see my training partners and Sensei much younger, it was really cool to see where we all were in our karate development.

You can learn a lot by going back and reviewing old video of yourself and the people you train with.

It almost always makes me feel like I have come a long way in my training. If I am feeling that I'm not making much progress, I simply pull out that old video of me taking my Shodan test in 1982, and I feel much better about where I'm at currently in my karate development.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not so vain that I just like to watch myself perform. I really enjoy watching other people do Kata.  I love to watch old promotion videos to see where people where at a particular stage in development.  I especially like to watch footage of old masters long since gone. I always learn something, even if I've watched the same thing a hundred times before.

I've even, on occasion, learned a kata or 2 from a video (insert exclamation of shock here due to the heretical nature of such practices).   This is not a practice I would recommend...not only because the kata is mirror image on the tape, but because it's just too easy to miss small nuances.  It's always better to learn from an instructor.

Students now are very fortunate to have ready access to volumes of video information on sites like YouTube and Vimeo.  I wish I would have had that when I was first learning karate!

Lately, I've been doing sort of a very unstructured approach to a video log.  Every now and then throughout the year, when we have a slow night, I'll bring my camera to the dojo and video myself doing a few kata before everyone arrives for class.  Then, I can review the clips at home later and see if I've made some progress since the last time.  I think it's been helping me progress in some small way.

If you're not already videotaping yourself doing kata, I highly recommend it. If for no other purpose than to laugh at yourself 30 years from now :)

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