Saturday, September 11, 2010
Sunday, April 04, 2010
In many areas Spring has arrived! So get outside!
Step 1: Get a friend with a camera and take snap shots of each move in the form as best as you can finish that form. Also take a photo of what the transition step should look like for each move. You can also use video camera and hold each position for reference.
You'll basically finish with your own photo reference for your form. Also by looking at the photos/video you'll be able to make sure you are performing the moves correctly.
Step 2: Starting at moving through the form very slowly, but hitting the transitions and end points perfectly. As the week progresses increase the speed with which you complete the form. Use video feedback to gauge your progress.
Friday, March 05, 2010
I performed the reps within a 15 minute window. I recorded each rep, watched the video, thought through issues, recorded next rep, watched video, caught breath, recorded third video.
I find this set to be a bad baseline for precision. I'm still on an upward performance curve based on single repeats. I think the simple act of just watching my performance immediately after was a boon to my performance. I felt a really good progression with the individual techniques from each repetition.
That being said, I'm still not happy with the crispness of the down block, punch, punch, kick, elbow, down block sequences. There is a fine line between speed and complete techniques that I am still working on.
The leg breaks towards the end also look "muddy". I am working on having the Open Hand High Blocks landing with the stance, and felt I was relatively close on the third rep.
I don't think I have reached a plateau of fitness and technique to gauge consistency yet. This means I just need to practice more.
I have a great reference for the timing I want. Other than my own physical limitations, the sequences have come along nicely in terms of grouping. I would like to slow down between sections though and bring up the performance aspect.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
This week we are going to use video as a diagnostic tool. There is often a gap between how your mind imagines your forms and what you're doing in reality. Despite the feedback you may get from others, even instructors, sometimes the only way to really understand the gap between how you perform and how you want to perform is to see it yourself.
Video tape yourself doing your form 3 times and then watch it, paying specific attention to the following things:
1) Precision: Find the moves that are not being executed properly. Specifically, look at the preparation, execution, positioning, and "impact" of each technique. We're especially looking for techniques that "feel" right but clearly look wrong on the video. You will want to take these techniques and give them special attention. You need to ignore that "comfortable" feeling that coincides with the way you typically execute the moves and find the "uncomfortable" feeling coincides with the correct execution. Moving forward, make sure you use that uncomfortable feeling as your guide, aiming to "find" it whenever you execute these techniques until it becomes comfortable and automatic.
2) Consistency: Identify the techniques or series in the form that are different across the three times you did the form. These are going to require special attention. If you cannot perform a series consistently, it is extremely difficult to improve on it. Typically this is due to a lack of understanding of the techniques/series or just the need for more practice. If it is the former, consult a reference such as your instructor, a quality video, or book and make sure you understand the technique. Either way, make sure to spend extra time on these sections in every practice session until that consistency comes.
3) Timing: Ask yourself whether the timing you see in on tape matches the timing you see in your mind. Much like precision, timing changes will have to be extremely (sometimes painfully) deliberate at first and, with practice, will become more automatic.
Repeat the above process 3 times, spread out during the week, working on these three areas, applying your insight from the video each time. If you're up for it, post your videos so you can share your progress.
This week's drill is from Jake Rosenhaft, an instructor from TKA, my home school. Jake is a past forms Grand-champion of the Eastern Regional Karate Championship, but more importantly is a top notch instructor and has an amazing knack of helping others achieve their potential.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Well, use your current form then!
For those who don't want to share with the world and value their privacy:
If you only want to share your form with your instructor and/or me during the challenge you can make youtube videos private. You'll be given a URL for the video which will allow only 25 views before the video goes dead.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
What's in for us this week?
Step #1: Break your form down into "grammatical units". Sections that flow together from a performance and application stand point. This will help as you break down the drills throughout the next 8 weeks. I'll use Pyung Ahn Ee Dan/Heian Nidan/Pinan Shodan as an example later tomorrow hopefully.
Step #2: Create someway to mark down the number of times you practice each sequence as a solo performance during the week. Goal by next Sunday is to practice each sequence at least 30 times by itself, spread over at least three days of training.
Since we're drilling a new form it's still time to ingrain the movements into muscle memory.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Pick up an old form (got to be a rusty, old form that you have neglected) or a new one and record your Day 1. Put it on youtube.
Yeah, that's right. PUT IT UP. It's gonna suck. So remove ratings and comments (unless you are a glutton for punishment). The goal here is to motivate you to do BETTER. Your beginning stage is documented.
Between now and the end of April, practice as much as you can. Every Sunday I'll post some drilling ideas for your form/kata/hyung. Feel free to document those by commenting on a post or posting a video response.
During the third week of April, participants will post an "after" video showing all their hard work. I'll keep mine open for comments at that point.
Who is interested?
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I'm tasked with a "behavioral change" project for med school. My change will be my activity level. I wasn't working out much at all during the first semester. So now I will be recording my practices to show a before and after during our presentations at the end of the course. Also I have picked up a new form: Wanduan. Slightly altered from the version McCarthy Sensei showed in his book Classical Kata of Okinawan Karate. Here's practice day #1!