Will you trust Tech for practicing martial art?

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Taekiso

Taekiso

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I think technology can play a role in learning and training martial arts but it cannot replace human interaction and instruction.

Your second paragraph here tells me that you are coming at this with some heavily misunderstood presumptions. First, there is no “basic of all martial art” to begin with. Second, there is no “respective expert” for most styles, meaning that (with some exceptions) there is no single authority that says exactly how something is to be done. There are various individuals who typically are seen as an authority within a certain group, which group may be small or large, but are not accepted as an authority outside of that group, even among others who practice the same style or a variant of the same style. In fact, there can be a lot of disagreement and even downright hostility between some of these people.

Martial arts is not just mimicry of movement. There is a lot of subtlety beneath the surface that can make one person’s punch (for example) dramatically different from another person’s, even if they appear to be the same from the viewpoint of an observer. These are issues of how one engages and uses their stance and root and posture to drive that punch which can differs from one system to another, and one person from another. The posture and path of movement can appear to be the same, but how power is being generated and the effectiveness of that punch, can be worlds apart. Further, the methodology of how one system goes about developing that punch and that power can be dramatically different. I can promise you, the fundamental punching practice as done by my system, Tibetan White Crane kung fu, looks nothing like the punching practice done in a wing Chun kung fu school or a Tae Kwon do school or a boxing school or a shotokan Karate school. Eventually, a seasoned practitioner in any of these systems should develop a powerful and devastating punch, and there may ultimately be similarities in the principles that are being engaged, but the training method in how they get there can vary dramatically. There is no algorithm that will be able to take this into account, there is no computer that can understand the variations from one system to another and the complexities of how the system works and then guide the student in self-discovery and learning and self-correction in a way that teaches them any of these martial systems in an accurate and effective way.

I think this is an attempt to do an end-run around the need for a competent and knowledgeable teacher. I do not believe it is possible. I do believe technology can be useful as a supplemental tool. Movement analysis can be worthwhile, but that movement then needs to be analyzed by a teacher who understands how the system works. The computer itself cannot correct the student. The student cannot self- correct without a teacher giving that guidance. The teacher needs to be present and needs to be doing the major bulk of the instruction.

If you are interested in pursuing a project like this, I suggest you look for a meaningful way to develop the technology into an effective supplemental tool, assuming the student is receiving quality instruction from a good teacher. But I think it is a mistake to believe it can become a replacement for the teacher.

Thank you for your input and yes that's right human interaction is crucial and very important for a constructive and efficient martial art practice. However, my idea wasn't to replace completely the human but rather complement it with the technology and give a more scientific approach to the training, and we could envision even coach's using it in their training session. And as you know not everyone has the chance to train with good coaches or have limited time with them. This solution could potentially allow those who were limited, the opportunity to gain access to some valuable coaching and training program. And also human will still need to feed this computer vision that I'm envisioning.

Sorry, I wasn't clear in my explanation, when I say “basic of all martial art” I was meaning to train the practitioners from the conditioning aspect (endurance, reactivity, reflex,...). Indeed there isn't one authority for all the MA disciplines, my thinking was to choose the more representative one. How can we solve this problem?

Thanks
 

Flying Crane

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That's right this is still the early stage of the tech and it needs a lot of trials and error before reaching something usable and satisfying. I don't have all the answers now however I have the vision and the passion and hopefully this could be a good base to turn this into a useful reality.

The AI will compare it to the existing(on the system) movements defined as bad or good. What could you suggest?
How do you decide how a movement is defined as bad or good? As has been noted, this definition is not consistent from one system to another or even one school to another within a system.

Further, what might be considered “correct” for a beginner might actually be a simplified version, which is intended to change as one becomes more experienced and has a greater understanding of the technique and the appropriate mechanics.
 
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Taekiso

Taekiso

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I'm pretty certain that the technology you are imagining does not exist and will not be possible for quite some time to come.

We are at the point where A.I. can create animations of human movements (including martial arts moves) based on wire-frame simulations and video of human models. (Although if you want a high degree of accuracy for those animations, the human models generally wear special suits with tracking dots.)

What we don't have is A.I. which can understand all the underlying body mechanics, the purpose of a movement, the adjustments necessary for an individual human body which differs from the original movement model given to the program, and how to communicate the relevant corrections in a way that makes sense to the practitioner.

There's no theoretical reason why we can't eventually develop an A.I. which can do these things, but I don't believe we're close to being able to do so.

Thanks for your point of you.

Indeed, as said before is still the beginning of the project and probably I will discover a lot a long the way but if we cracked down a solution where tech could assist and help us improve our abilities to become better MA athlete I think it worth to try. Don't you think so?
 

Tony Dismukes

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Thanks for your point of you.

Indeed, as said before is still the beginning of the project and probably I will discover a lot a long the way but if we cracked down a solution where tech could assist and help us improve our abilities to become better MA athlete I think it worth to try. Don't you think so?
When it's doable, then I think it will be a worthwhile project. As far as I can tell, we have probably at least a couple of decades of basic research to do before anyone will even know how to begin developing actual working applications like this.

I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but I would be very surprised.

(Disclaimer - I have a couple of decades under my belt as both a martial arts instructor and a professional computer programmer. However I don't work in A.I. and my knowledge of the field is purely based on my reading as an curious layman.)
 

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