Sai Kata with YouTube

Can you real­ly learn mar­ti­al arts with You­Tube? Hm, actual­ly I have a pret­ty clear opi­ni­on about that: Nope, I can’t. The “real” trai­ning with a trai­ner or tea­cher can’t be repla­ced by sta­ring at the PC. Becau­se it is about much more than just movement.

But honest­ly: Of cour­se I am loo­king for one or the other move, for a trick or an inter­pre­ta­ti­on that I would like to learn. I have actual­ly mana­ged to do a few nice Bo tricks. Some­ti­mes it does­n’t work any other way, you can’t always go strai­ght to a trainer.

But in Coro­na times, with con­ta­ct blo­cking and social distancing, you are sim­ply for­ced to think about alter­na­ti­ve ways of trai­ning tog­e­ther. It was a coin­ci­dence that the ques­ti­on of a friend of mine, Kem­po­ka from Wesel, reached me short­ly befo­re the lock­down: Can you show me your sai form? I would love to learn it.

Social Distancing vs. Kempo?

Sure I can. But there’s 200 km bet­ween Marei­ke and Kal­le­tal. And direct con­ta­ct was­n’t even pos­si­ble due to the lock­down. But is the­re real­ly no way? Could­n’t we kill two birds with one stone? First­ly, deve­lop and try out a digi­tal tea­ching and lear­ning format.First, try a digi­tal tea­ching and lear­ning for­mat. And then to learn a lot more when it comes to digi­tal publi­shing its­elf? The idea in my head, I thought about the details of how to do it. Marei­ke has alrea­dy done some basic exer­ci­ses with the steel trident, so I did­n’t have to start from scratch. And as a brown belt in Kem­po, with the Shao­lin mon­ks Man­fred and Joa­chim as bril­li­ant tea­chers, she is of cour­se sadd­le-fast when it comes to the gene­ral under­stan­ding of Kata.

We usual­ly teach Kata in small steps. That’s what most mar­ti­al arts tea­chers do. So I divi­ded the sai kata into mea­ning­ful mor­sels and recor­ded them in sel­fie mode. Nice and slow so that the move­ments are clear. To make it as com­pre­hen­si­ble as pos­si­ble, I had a second came­ra run­ning along from the side. Always at a break I “han­ded in” the sai past the came­ra. Without a came­ra­man (which was for­bid­den) it was not that easy. But so I had a tran­si­ti­on. And of cour­se I also ran the kata com­ple­te­ly (not only once, I can tell you!) until it was as good as possible.

Fight with the computer

Then I star­ted using my digi­tal boo­ty to make a video lear­ning unit out of it. And if pos­si­ble in the same way as it is done in dai­ly trai­ning. First show the who­le kata. Then I added the first sequence, in slow moti­on and with many comments. This strip I then sent to Marei­ke. She loo­ked at it and star­ted to prac­ti­ce the first sequence. When she thought she was half­way fit, she recor­ded her sequence and sent it to me. Then I “cor­rec­ted” it by mail and Whats­App, so I sent her comments. Here the posi­ti­on a bit dif­fe­rent, becau­se the rota­ti­on. But the young lady, who is trai­ning for her first DAN, did a damn good job.

And now the second sequence, which I atta­ched to the com­ple­te work, came again with “Han­do­ver”. And then her reply, which again found its way into the video, then the third and so on. Apart from the pure record­ing, the edi­t­ing of the video, i.e. sit­ting in front of the com­pu­ter, adjus­ting the set­tings, the comments, was the actu­al time-con­suming task. The who­le result is now uploa­ded to You­Tube.

So: You can actual­ly learn digi­tal­ly, even without direct con­ta­ct. Of cour­se this is just a crut­ch, becau­se mar­ti­al arts is more than just a sequence of move­ments. Many explana­ti­ons or details can only be given vis-a-vis. But at the next phy­si­cal mee­ting, at the next joint trai­ning, we can work won­der­ful­ly on details and don’t stick to the who­le sequence of the form any­mo­re. That stays in the memo­ry. And sin­ce the inter­net does­n’t for­get anything and the video of the joint effort can be found online, the result is also a gre­at memo­ry aid.

Or a sug­ges­ti­on to fol­low the example! 😉



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