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Thread: Martial Arts Classes Via Sype

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    Martial Arts Classes Via Sype

    I have a student who is going away for college and he would like to continue his training. We came up with the idea of trying to use skype so that he could see and hear what was going on in each class, it would be up to him to find a training partner, and I have plenty of text and video resources to help support his learning. Basically, everything that I teach at his level is video taped. When he comes back for school breaks, we could work on sparring and some of the more teacher intensive aspects of training.

    Any thoughts on this? Has anyone tried this before? Does any one know of a good camera that would capture a wide angle and fine enough detail for a dojo? It would be cool to bring my class into the 21st century!
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    I haven't heard of anyone training via skype, but from your description, it would seem that it could help keep them in the loop and reduce technique loss. It's worth a try. Let us know if it works!


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    Re: Martial Arts Classes Via Sype

    If I had to guess, I'd say better than nothing; but not much better. There is so much that I do wrong as a student that can only be corrected by my Sensei seeing me doing it; and it's not the big stuff (after 3 years, I hope not) but the little stuff like not keep my my feet straight or being off-balance or my thumb is sticking out or whatever. I have used Skype a lot; I seriously doubt that a person would be able to pick up those nuances via a webcam hookup. I hate to be negative, but I just don't see it.
    DISCLAIMER: I am a student of martial arts. I am not an authority on the subject. My views and opinions are my own and do not reflect the views or opinions of my sensei, my dojo, or my style of martial arts. If you have an issue with my views, opinions, or anything I've said or done, please contact me directly. Thank you.

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    Brian R. VanCise (09-18-2011)

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    Re: Martial Arts Classes Via Sype

    As with the above it is better than nothing but not much better. The medium has huge limitations! More important for his practice is to continue training on his own and come back regularly for corrections and instructions.
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    Re: Martial Arts Classes Via Sype

    Is he going to be participating/observing the class live, able to ask questions and interact with you? Or is he essentially going to get a videotape of the class to watch?

    In general, it's an interesting idea, but I think that Brian and Bill have it. It may let him continue to train, but I don't think it's going to be a watershed moment in training methodology. I think he'd probably get more out of brief, concentrated live classes with a month or more between them.
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    Thanks so much for the input. I'm still going to try and ill post supporting material here for comment. If my student is serious, I will do my best. I've never tried before, so it will be an interesting experiment.

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    Re: Martial Arts Classes Via Sype

    I think it's a great idea. All the best of luck with it, please keep us posted. And, no, it doesn't replace being in class, nothing could. But it's a heck of an idea.

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