S1E9 – Using Video In Martial Arts Training

In this episode, David and Justin discuss if videos are helpful or harmful when used for martial arts training.

[1:06] Justin thanks the fans who support the show and gives a shout out to Restita DeJesus and Christopher McAllister for being the most recent fans to join the Society of Drunken Fans.

[2:28] David forgets the name of Restita’s podcast, and Justin mistakenly refers to it as “Talk Dojo Radio” (it’s actually called Dynamic Dojo Talkradio – sorry, Restita).

[3:55] David reads a recent iTunes review of the show. (If you’ve not left a review yet, be sure to head over to iTunes and search for Drunken Fist Podcast and leave a review so Justin and David can read it on an upcoming episode!)

[6:37] Justin shares with the listeners that he’s drinking a beer by the Mother Earth Brewing Company called Cali Creamin’. It’s a vanilla cream ale at 5% abv.

[7:15] Justin mistakenly reads the label as being a brewing company from California and “Napa.” (The actual locations are Vista, California and Nampa, Idaho). David then mocks Justin for hating on wine and then drinking a beer from Napa. If only Justin knew how to read all of this would have been less funny.

[8:18] Justin shares with David that when he was 10 years old, Justin could be found “turkey basting the cream out of Twinkies and just eating the cream.”

[11:35] David shares with the listeners that he’s drinking Oberon by Bell’s Brewery. It’s a seasonal American wheat ale at 5.8% abv. David then misstates that Bell’s restaurant is in the middle of nowhere, when in fact it’s in Kalamazoo, Michigan (which is definitely NOT in the middle of nowhere). Also, Comstock, Michigan in right by Kalamazoo, so neither the brewery nor the restaurant are in the middle of nowhere as David mentioned. With that said, he’s right – the food is great.

[14:54] Justin gets into the topic of the show, which is using video in martial arts training. He goes on to explain that YouTube can be a terrific way to watch variations of a single technique. He also explains that it’s a great way to learn the pronunciation of foreign words as they are said by the native language users.

[17:21] David askes Justin how someone is to discern if a video on YouTube is something useful or just garbage – especially if the person watching is not to a level to be able to know the difference.

[18:05] Justin offers the advice to try it out on your friend. David laughs at the absurdity of the suggestion. Justin then explains that if you try it out on your buddy, it doesn’t work, and they are looking at you like “what exactly is it that you are trying to do?” then it probably is garbage.

[19:42] David talks about some techniques that look good when used without resistance, but when resistance is applied, they fall apart. Justin refers to those techniques as “dojo techniques.” “Dojo techniques” are those techniques that are taught in the dojo, and under no to little resistance they work and look beautiful. However, when resistance is applied, the technique fails miserably.

[23:37] David asks Justin if he things that if one can learn techniques from videos, can someone learn martial arts in general from watching videos. At first Justin is very reluctant to say yes. He argues that someone may be able to learn a good deal from videos, however without feedback on the execution of what was seen and practiced, someone will not be able to learn martial arts solely from watching videos.

[28:10] Around this time David agrees with Justin that without feedback from a person experienced in the techniques/martial art, it is incredibly challenging to fully learn from video. Justin and David agree that the lack of some form of feedback loom is prohibitive to learning from videos exclusively.

[35:02] David starts discussing an apocryphal version of how Motobu Choki learn some of his karate by only watching others. While some historical evidence exists that details how Motobu was able to learn some things by watching others, what is not expressed is that he was able to do so because he did have formal martial arts training, and was at a level to be able to learn by only watching. David did not make this clear when he was working to explain this, so unfortunately this part of the show adds to the apocryphal legend of Motobu learning martial arts only by watching others.

[45:00] David offers the advice to use video to supply feedback on your own performance. That is, record yourself doing some aspect of your practice, then play the video back and watch it to see areas that need improvement and are strong. Work on the areas that need improvement and record yourself again.

[49:00] Justin remembers that there are videos of him floating around on YouTube that he’s not very proud of having out there. While he says that they are hard to find and that no one would be able to find them, he encourages people to NOT try to find them because of how horrible they are.

[51:45] Justin then turns around and says that if enough people comment and tell him that they want to see them, he’ll dig them up and put them up on the Drunken Fist Facebook page.

[53:59] David and Justin agree that you can learn by watching videos, and at the same time the essential part of being able to do so is having some form of feedback of your performance and understanding the material. Without that feedback, the potential of learning from video is extremely limited.

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