Using videos to supplement what you learn in class?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by mrt2, May 3, 2018.

  1. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    This struck me as a no brainer. Since returning to MA, I have done this to supplement time in class, especially, but not exclusively for forms.

    This topic came up last night in class when a guy, who is a new green belt struggled to learn his latest form. Not unusual, but I told this kid what I did. I told him every one of these forms is online, mostly on youtube. In between classes, spend a few minutes a day watching one of these videos, and go over the pattern in your mind a few times. Guaranteed in a few classes, he would have the new movements down.

    An assistant instructor came over and told this kid not to listen to me, that the only instruction he should listen to is from the master, or one of the assistant instructors at the school, and to never try to learn from a video on the internet..

    I understand the role of the master and his teachers as gatekeepers, but I am wondering if that time has passed. We all have access to materials on the internet and so long as you don't learn something incorrect, why shouldn't you use what is available to you to facilitate the learning process?

    I already laid out my position, but curious what the consensus is here among more advanced practitioners and martial arts teachers.
     
  2. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If each and every move that you teach, your students will have a video copy, it will help your teaching very much.
     
  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    While it may be true that you can find your forms online, it's also true that there are often variations between schools which you likely will not find online.

    And then there's the "who is right" issue. If your school is part of a big org, like the Kukkiwon, then there is an Actual Official One Ring To Rule Them All Correct Way to do things. And since you're just learning the forms, it's unlikely that you know what that way is, unless the videos were released and endorsed by the org. At that stage, it's entirely possible that you could watch two slightly different versions and not even notice the differences.

    And of course, there are subtle issues of balance, foot placement, body mechanics, etc that you're just not likely to get from a video.

    And, too, it seems from what you've said (here and in other places) that you think learning a form means memorizing a series of movements. While that's certainly part of it, it's equally certainly not all there is to learn from forms.

    With limitations and caveats, I think books and videos can be used as a supplement to your training; I've written a couple of books and am working on a video series. Given how massive my income from MA instruction is (it ranges from $0.00 per year all the way up to $0.00) I wouldn't put in that much time and effort if I didn't see a benefit. I don't think it's ever a good substitute though.
     
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  4. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've watched videos from my own school to supplement me before. And if you know the form well and ask questions about it in class, you can make sure that all the movements are correct. The issue comes from what dirty dog stated..that there are differences between schools. I find it more useful when I'm away for a while, and just need it to kickstart my own memory, but a better option may be for the greenbelt to ask if he can videotape one of the instructors doing the form.
     
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  5. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    This is a good usage of video. I have started studying Shotokan, and have a hard time learning long sequences. This makes kata a challenge for me. (though I have invented quite a few by accident... starting one kata, getting to a common technique and finishing a second kata, without realizing what I had done...) Looking at videos can help you go over the sequence for the kata many times while you are between classes. Further, its great to compare. I study Kenkojuku style Shotokan... however most videos are JKA style... so a few things are different. This forces me to learn my kata better, to identify what is different and I can still use this as an aid in memorizing the sequence.

    I also find that watching different people, they all emphasize something different, or at least I notice different things when watch different people. I have been able to use this to focus on parts of the kata I hadn't before. Even if the video does it slightly different, it causes me to analyze how I do that part. This has lead me to asking my Sensei many questions I never would have thought of and helped me clean up things I would not have known were wrong.

    The role of master has not passed. There are things you will never get from a video or a book. Everyone one needs personalized instruction, because we are human and thus different. Above I talked about all the good things you could get from video. Notice that I never said anything about learning a new kata from a video. Teaching me kata is the instructors job, not youtubes. When I am ready, my instructor will teach me my next kata, in the way that he wants me to learn it. This way may be different than youtube and may even be different from the way he taught all his other students. A good instructor is not concerned with teaching you kata, he is concerned with teaching you his art. There is a difference.

    As Dirty Dog mentioned, there is more to the kata than the sequence. In my view, you are not ready to even start studying the kata, until you can do the kata correctly, without thinking about the sequence. If your brain is tied up trying to recall the next movement, then it has no time to study what you are doing. If your brain is trying to keep your balance, or coordinate your arms a feet, it has no time to study. Its like music... being able to play the notes in the right order is only the beginning.

    Videos are great for helping to remember sequence, for causing you to evaluate your own performance and for raising questions for you to ask. But teaching still needs to be left to your instructor / master.
     
  6. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Politely ask the assistant instructor if he would perform the form so the student could film it on his phone?
     
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  7. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    You can Teach yourself very nearly anything at the university of you tube, dependent on how well you can Take in and assimilate, information,

    The issue is if your not very good at copying the movement, then your learning the wrong movement, which then needs Un learning again.

    To be honest that of little consequence in kata, , it's all about transition and flow, if you transition and flow then you have achieved its( katas) objective.

    Some schools however take it far more seriously than that and use it as an actual measure or progress , some times the only measure of progress, in which case a 10degree error in foot placement will have you blackBALled d as a herotic
     
  8. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Your instructors right...videos are good once you know the thing. I enjoy watching my styles forms and looking at the differences between what they do and what I do just for curiosity. I'd never learn it off there. Whenever I learn a form I never watch any videos for a good few months after I've learnt it otherwise I'll pick up bad habits which are horrible for instructors to fix. Nothing to do with being "gatekeepers" whatever that means. To me your paying your instructor to teach you if you go home and watch a video for free and try and learn from that what's the point in paying your instructor that's my attitude. May as well get my money's worth from them
     
  9. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    I think video can be very useful, but you have to make sure the video is the same as what's being taught in the class. As Dirty Dog said, there can be variations between schools. I know I've seen some videos that school owners have made of them doing the KKW TKD forms that are.... not the official version of the form, shall we say. Sometimes we have students who struggle to remember how their form goes when they're practicing at home, or maybe mixing up their old forms, and we'll send them some links to good videos on YouTube that show the form being done the way we want it.
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with you, with a dash of that assistant instructor's warning. I think video is a very useful tool for supplementing good instruction. There can be a problem, though. If the video instruction in any way conflicts with the instructor (often, nothing more than preference or minor structural shifts), that can add confusion for the student. That's especially problematic if the technique is being taught with some distinctly different emphasis (I can't think of an example outside of grappling), like if one emphasizes using legs to move, and the other uses core muscles, instead. This leads to directly conflicting instructions, and if the instructor isn't aware of the issue (and the student doesn't understand the difference), it can lead to the student not learning either version of the technique properly (using principles from one and movement from the other, for instance).

    This is far less problematic with a student who has reached the point where they begin to understand the principles (not sure where that green belt would be on that journey -- don't know that belt system).
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's my view of kata (mostly), but some folks work kata with more subtlety than I do. If someone came to my school having learned my kata from video (assuming that were possible), I'd likely need to make a lot of corrections, but it wouldn't be any harder (and possibly easier) than starting from scratch. I don't think that's true of all instructors and how they approach kata, though.
     
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  12. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Respectfully, that is not my view of forms. I am well aware that even my past experience in MA still makes me a novice compared to some of you. But I also can see that a lot of lower belts at my school are still at the stage of learning the basic patterns, stances, and movements. But, you can't get deep into a form unless you get past this stage of learning.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  13. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    That isn't what I am proposing. And BTW, if my Master were to make his own videos as a teaching tool, that would be absolutely fine. And that is all I am saying. Learning is a process of give and take, so clearly a person who learns exclusively from a book or video will have some shortcomings because bad habits become engrained. If this kid learned the basic pattern and movements, then had to have an instructor make some minor corrections, he is still ahead of the game, IMO.
     
  14. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Supposedly, a video exists, but is very old. And, supposedly, the Master is working on an updated one reflecting his current TKD philosophy.
     
  15. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    I can think of an example. When I was searching, I found a couple of different versions of our TKD forms. One involved fairly wide stances and crisp snappy movements. That is how my school teaches the forms. Another version involved very narrow stances and bobbing up and down throughout the forms. And that style looked nothing like the way we are taught to do forms, so I ignored those.

    Your last point is well taken. Green belts are still considered lower belts as you can earn a green belt in less than a year.
     
  16. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    Tkd has a philosophy ,? I thought is was just kickin things, you live and learn
     
  17. Flatfish

    Flatfish Black Belt

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    In TKD I used videos to remind me of certain movements in the poomsae I was currently learning when I forgot them but just as a supplement to class.

    In BJJ I use videos to remind me of certain movements I might have forgotten after class but I also sometimes look for a few new things to try and see if I can make them work in rolling. If it's something fairly standard and I can't get it to work I'll ask the instructor to show me the details, if it's something more esoteric that might not be taught in our school, I'll shelve it and chalk it up as a failed experiment....I am a scientist in real life and we have plenty of those........
     
  18. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with this. You have to learn the gross movements before you can refine them. And you have to refine them before you are likely to start understanding the principles behind them.

    Personally, I've read enough of your posts to not be all that shocked by this example of your limited understanding.
     
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  19. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    It depends on the video and the student.

    I watched a lot of Ginger Ninja Trickster's videos on YouTube when I started Taekwondo and it really helped me with my kicks. But his videos are well-written, both comprehensive and concise, and well edited.

    Most videos on martial arts tutorials have one of two problems:
    1. They ONLY show the technique itself, and don't give many details. For example, they don't discuss balance and weight-shifting, don't cover applications of the technique or variations of it. They will only show the technique or the form.
    2. They explain all of what #1 is lacking but in one long take with no editing and lots of random rabbit trails and there's lots of uhs and ahs and oh yeah this one thing that you might use one time out of a thousand that's randomly thrown into the video because there was no script and the person making the video is just trying to dump as much information as he can and then you have to piece together what he was trying to say.

    My opinion on learning from videos on the internet is that it can be a good supplement, but not a replacement for class. The biggest reason I used them is because I could use them when NOT in class. For example, I would go to class Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, but then I could watch the videos any day of the week as supplemental training.
     
  20. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    Well give an example of three of the philosophy contained in tkd, it's a series of movements towards an end objective it's no more and no less philosophical than sticking up wall paper or mowing a lawn .

    This is what makes ma look silly, pretending it's any more than being able to give someone a good thumping123
     
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