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Old 01-12-2009, 05:51 AM   #1
dalen7
 
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Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

You know, I have long held a suspicion that a lot of my moves had some 'kinks' in them.

Sometimes its just hard to pin point what it is if you cannot see from outside what you are doing.

Well, I had an opportunity to have a private lesson this past weekend - video taped - and boy was it revealing.

The video has helped tremendously in catching the 'little' things that throw the whole technique off.

Again, I have been learning Aikido in a language I cannot speak (Hungarian)...at least not to the degree of understanding technical training...so it could be many of you dont have this issue and can talk it through.

Either way, I see this as a step in the right direction, and as you can tell, I am quite happy for this. The more exposure I get to Aikido - whether it be through videos, live training, or even chatting here - helps to solidify the whole deal, as it were...making future progress easier. (Stating the obvious.)

Video will make great footage to go back and look at in the future to see how far I have come...

Peace

dAlen

p.s. - has taken a couple of hours of watching & rewinding to get past two of the basic techniques.

Last edited by dalen7 : 01-12-2009 at 05:55 AM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:21 AM   #2
dalen7
 
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you

found the remote...slow motion helps a lot - better than rewind/watch/rewind.

(its an old Sony digital 8 camera...so I have it hooked up to the t.v.
Black and white with lines throughout, but at least I can see what is going on.)

Peace

dAlen

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Old 01-12-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
Lan Powers
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you

*quote...Again, I have been learning Aikido in a language I cannot speak (Hungarian)...at least not to the degree of understanding technical training...so it could be many of you dont have this issue and can talk it through....endquote*

Some of us STILL find we persist in unconcious quirks.

video of yourself is very revealing (humbling too)
Lan

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Old 01-12-2009, 05:52 PM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you

Video is a big help in my opinion!

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Old 01-13-2009, 10:33 AM   #5
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Since I've started training in Aikido, I've been wondering about the absence of mirrors. I asked Sensei, and he said that the true mirror is the mirror of the soul. In other martial arts, the mirror is seen as a necessity so that the student can look at himself and see mistakes that he was not aware of, like a back leg not strait, a poor posture. It took me a while to get used to not see what I am doing, wich forces me to concentrate more. It takes more concentration to correct and work on something that you cannot see, but maybe being able to see it leads to faster results. Still, I suppose that my internal mirror is just not polished enough yet.
What do you guys think?
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:43 AM   #6
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Since I've started training in Aikido, I've been wondering about the absence of mirrors. I asked Sensei, and he said that the true mirror is the mirror of the soul. In other martial arts, the mirror is seen as a necessity so that the student can look at himself and see mistakes that he was not aware of, like a back leg not strait, a poor posture. It took me a while to get used to not see what I am doing, wich forces me to concentrate more. It takes more concentration to correct and work on something that you cannot see, but maybe being able to see it leads to faster results. Still, I suppose that my internal mirror is just not polished enough yet.
What do you guys think?
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Since I've started training in Aikido, I've been wondering about the absence of mirrors. I asked Sensei, and he said that the true mirror is the mirror of the soul.
What do you guys think?
In my practice, I tell my students to "mirror" the better students. Don't go off to the side to practice (by looking in a mirror). You will only be repeating your mistakes. I tell them it is not about YOU.

That said, once you "advance" you must look at yourself in the "mirror" daily to correct your mistakes.

When you become a "true teacher", you correct the reflection of yourself...in your students movements. This is when it is all about YOU.

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:32 AM   #8
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Since I've started training in Aikido, I've been wondering about the absence of mirrors. I asked Sensei, and he said that the true mirror is the mirror of the soul. In other martial arts, the mirror is seen as a necessity so that the student can look at himself and see mistakes that he was not aware of, like a back leg not strait, a poor posture. It took me a while to get used to not see what I am doing, wich forces me to concentrate more. It takes more concentration to correct and work on something that you cannot see, but maybe being able to see it leads to faster results. Still, I suppose that my internal mirror is just not polished enough yet.
What do you guys think?
I hear what your saying, and I believe I understand the point.
For me the concentration of a foreign language, plus watching, puts a lot of strain on me - so personally having a 'mirror' (camera in this case) is just what I needed.

My aikido training started almost 2 years ago come May.
And I have to say, this video cleared things up a lot.

The training yesterday showed.
I watched the video in slow motion and rewinded for about 9 hours. (1 hour video.)

In training, I was able to see some of the same mistakes I made, being made by one of my training partners. (in the same kyu level.)
Obviously there is a lot that we miss out on - even after a couple years down the road.

Its a bit to take in all the movements, and he has the benefit of hearing and understanding the instruction in his native tongue.
(Yes, I helped him out, and his technique improved because of it - you feel the difference when it works. Just sometimes you dont know what that missing piece is to get you there...)

So, while it sounds spiritual to say use your inner mirror, and while for some I can see this may be very well true - depending on where an individual is at and how they walk their path, as it were, the mirror is no worse than not having it. (I.e., there is not one set path to 'enlightenment' - though for some they believe so...and they have the right to this belief.)

Peace

dAlen

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Old 01-14-2009, 04:37 AM   #9
dalen7
 
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Quote:
Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
In my practice, I tell my students to "mirror" the better students. Don't go off to the side to practice (by looking in a mirror). You will only be repeating your mistakes. I tell them it is not about YOU.
Sounds logical, and for some it may work.
The thing is, with me, it benefited to see what I was doing beside my instructor. To actually see what I was doing vs. what I was thinking...as there is a lot of concentration going on as it is.

I saw the teachers movement, watched mine...and was, "ah ha!" Got it.
Then rewound the tape, and watched the instructors movements again...and, as you pointed out - I focused on his training. (the mirror is to show me reality of what Im doing. )

So I suppose this could be said this way.
The mirror is so that you can see what others see and not what you think they see...(mirror doesnt lie.)

Again, for me this was a positive boost -
But we are talking video - and over 9+ hours of slow motion of review...

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 01-14-2009 at 04:42 AM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:46 AM   #10
dalen7
 
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
I asked Sensei, and he said that the true mirror is the mirror of the soul.
I will add...
... each person learns differently, and its easy for us, (fingers pointing this way as well), to want to enforce the same method of learning upon someone else. (kind of why school, in general, is broken - people, both young and old, must learn how it - information - fits them best.)

Peace

dAlen

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Old 01-17-2009, 09:34 AM   #11
Buck
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Can a person become dependent on video, ya know like a crutch? Isn't that bad.
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:27 PM   #12
Keith Larman
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Um, I guess I'm just not as deep and poetic as others.

A mirror is handy occasionally. During warmups, doing bokken/jo work, etc. I can't imagine how a mirror helps during trying a technique unless your attacker is distracted admiring their own beautiful ukemi, however. I'd think your focus should be elsewhere during a technique. If your attention is split while you're doing something trying to watch it at the same time it begs the question of whether what you're seeing is really how you'd normally do it...

Ouch, that's as deep as I get... And that hurt...

But we do a warmup at the beginning of class. And when I'm taking class I'll sometimes position myself in front of a mirror we have to just do a reality check on myself. I'll often make fine-tuning adjustments at that point.

I've found video can help too. I've done slo-mo replays on things and noticed little things I've decided to work on. I probably tape myself teaching once a year or so just as a reality check for myself. Am I talking too much, am I picking up on things I should be in class, etc.

But all that is just "extra" to the real deal -- my sensei's feedback and strong training.

Every tool can become a crutch. Just use it correctly. I don't see the big deal.

Having earned a degree in philosophy I must say I always enjoy a good turn of the phrase. But that said I think we tend to try too hard sometimes to be philosophical when we're dealing with simple issues of training, practice, feedback and instruction. It reminds me of the philosopher who was asked about the notion that there was no such thing as an external reality. He walked along, kicked a rock and said "I disprove it thus." I guess I'm more like that guy...

Whatever works for you!

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:06 PM   #13
David Maidment
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

The first time I saw a video of my Aikido, it surprised me.

I asked a friend to record my rokkyu test (not too long ago, but still...), and all of those techniques that I felt I'd practised to the point of exhaustive adequacy came across as horribly robotic as I thought through each step.

Although, at the same time, the 'technique of our own choice' which was also part of the test (which I'd seldom practised but felt reasonably comfortable doing) flowed beautifully and looked like it could even work 'in real life'.

That threw me.
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:51 PM   #14
dalen7
 
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Quote:
David Maidment wrote: View Post
The first time I saw a video of my Aikido, it surprised me.

I asked a friend to record my rokkyu test (not too long ago, but still...), and all of those techniques that I felt I'd practised to the point of exhaustive adequacy came across as horribly robotic as I thought through each step.

Although, at the same time, the 'technique of our own choice' which was also part of the test (which I'd seldom practised but felt reasonably comfortable doing) flowed beautifully and looked like it could even work 'in real life'.

That threw me.
You bring up a good point - at sometime we have to let go of thinking through the technique and just do it...find that balance.

I suppose the balance, for me at least, lies in - does the technique work? If not, whats up? (For me it has been an issue with my steps).

But, for sure I am a lot slower thinking through the steps - which dont have to be 'perfect' to adequately execute a technique...its more like a pointer showing the general flow of whats going on...

Suppose though, as long as you practice slowly, and then dont worry about it when you do more free flow form it is fine.

As far as mirrors...yeah, it would be great for steps - but since Aikido is not a 'kata' per say, it could be tricky. (The video is my mirror...I look like a buzzard hunched over in it...lol)

Anyway...

Peace

dAlen

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Old 01-17-2009, 05:56 PM   #15
Keith Larman
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

I'll throw in another comment -- if you're reviewing video of yourself, are you qualified to evaluate what you see?

I had a student a long while back say he was really happy with some video he'd seen of his gokyu exam. I just smiled and suggested he wait a few years and watch it again (I was on his board and I remember his exam a bit differently).

There is a bit of a paradox involved here...

That said, lots to learn too...

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Old 01-18-2009, 03:50 AM   #16
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I'll throw in another comment -- if you're reviewing video of yourself, are you qualified to evaluate what you see?

I had a student a long while back say he was really happy with some video he'd seen of his gokyu exam. I just smiled and suggested he wait a few years and watch it again (I was on his board and I remember his exam a bit differently).

There is a bit of a paradox involved here...

That said, lots to learn too...
Well, the video of myself is with my instructor doing the same move with me - in the case of foot movement....so I can see where Im goofing up.

And then i can watch my version of a technique I execute on him, followed by what he does.

So this scenario is a bit different then the one you mentioned.
I would not want to evaluate myself just with myself...I feel my goof up, I would see my goof up, but not really know how to correct it. (Maybe I would stumble on the answer.)

Peace

dAlen

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Old 01-18-2009, 11:19 AM   #17
Keith Larman
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

Don't get me wrong -- I see value in it. One should constantly strive to understand, self-evaluate, and do what one can. I can only say that over the years my "views" of certain videos I've seen have changed as my own experience and training has grown. The videos haven't changed, but what I see in them certainly has. Funny how that works.

So if you're at sankyu (just a rank pulled out of the blue) and you're evaluting yourself based on video of yourself, basically everything *you* decide to change, fix, etc. are things you're being "taught" by a sankyu. So you have two sensei now -- yourself and your sensei. Of course that is *always* the case as you have to be involved in your own training so it isn't necessarily good or bad. Initiative is good. But sometimes too much is a problem as you may break more than you fix.

I had one new student who would say "well, I was thinking, I think I should... " I usually wanted to whack him on the head at that point. I would tell him "Listen to what I'm telling you and *do* what I'm telling you. Quit thinking so much and you might just learn something." Sometimes your sensei doesn't fix something on you simply because they're more worried about something else. So where should your focus be?

That old metaphor of the emptying your cup goes here...

It takes time. Somethings just need to sink in at their own rate. Use whatever tools you have to help, just remember this isn't a race and you'll get there when you get there. Rushing too fast too far too early just tires you out before you're even 1/10th of the way to the finish, whatever that may be.

Remember that if you're really devoted to this you'll get there eventually. You're young. Train hard. Train with joy. And train often. You'll get there eventually, video or not.

On that note I think I'll go to the dojo early and take a general practice class before instructors' class. I've been so busy lately I haven't *just practiced* in a while. Thanks for the motivation. Domo Arigato Gozaimashita!

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Old 01-19-2009, 12:28 PM   #18
Lan Powers
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

<quote....Remember that if you're really devoted to this you'll get there eventually. You're young. Train hard. Train with joy. And train often. You'll get there eventually, video or not. .......>endquote

Best quote of the thread (bold added by me)

Video your instructor and review what HE does. Sounds like you already have done this, but it is the best use of video there is.
IMHO
Best,
Lan

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Old 01-19-2009, 02:26 PM   #19
Jennifer Yabut
 
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Re: Seeing yourself how others see you - Videotaping yourself

I have a TON of video footage. Not just kyu tests, but also from seminars, a few classes, and also some private practice sessions. It has been helpful for me to look back at my earlier kyu tests, though I cringe whenever I watch my gokyu test. I'm able to see if I'm not sinking low enough, where I'm placing my feet, if I'm grabbing uke too much, and so on. I use the footage not only to critique my own movement, but also to measure my progress. I don't move the same way I did a year ago...

"The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them." - Miyamoto Musashi
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