Doug Wiley wrote:
Okay, so I'll tell you my situation, and someone let me know if they think this tool would be useful:
My biggest concern right now is to learn the most basic movements very very well... I don't care if I never pass a kyu exam, that's not what I'm in this for... I'm in it for the long term... so I know that investing as much time as possible into the most basic techniques (especially ukemi) will pay dividends later. So...
Ya know... I'm not usually one to tow the party line (asu) but I think you might be better off spending your money on Saotome Sensei's ‘Principles of Aikido' video. It's not so much about the difference in styles between usaf and asu which aren't so fundamentally different as, say, the differences between any two senseis inside one of the organizations, but for me, I'd rather see a real person throwing another real person (and it doesn't hurt that the person throwing is a direct student of O Sensei).
I'm actually a 3d animator and have done quite a bit of work capturing aikido and dance movements and still feel that the subtleties, the overall complexities of movement throughout the entire body, are not capturable by today's technology.
I think most of us would agree that aikido isn't only about where to put your feet and hands, there's another level going on. I can step in and push at exactly the same angle as a more experienced person and they can take uke's balance while I can't.
Usually we say this has to be ‘felt' on the mat. For me the word ‘feeling' is a code word for a whole lot of subtle movements that can't be expressed simply by saying you have to press here at this angle. That's the bit that I don't think our motion capture technology is able to get yet.
I'm not saying this isn't a cool tool (I've only seen it once on someone's laptop), but I wonder if for a beginner, the shihan's videos might be more helpful. I know for me, there's an extra level of inspiration, just getting jazzed up to train, that I get watching the videos that I didn't get watching the mocap stuff.