Last Thursday when I arrived at class, Mr. Mc handed me two DVD copies of my red belt test that I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on ever since my test ended. I was excited and at the same time a bit nervous to watch it. I was excited to see the test from a different angle than first person but I was nervous because I am my worst critic and inevitably no matter how good it actually was, I knew that I would find all the mistakes and limited positive aspects. Mr. Mc had already warned me that I probably wouldn’t like it for that very reason.
Before I left on Thursday night, Mr. Mc mentioned to me that he had mostly just skimmed over the video as he was copying it to make sure that it played smoothly, but he had watched and rewatched “The Sidekick” that bowled me over when sparring Mr. R.S.. He commented that it was a beautiful kick. From being on the receiving end of that kick, I personally knew that it was.
That same night, I sat down with my family and a bag of popcorn to watch my movie. I’ve never been videoed during my previous tests and only for a few minutes at a time on a few occasions during class, so this was new. The audio was so-so because it had rained the majority of the time I tested, but the video was great. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the test in general. While I did wince at some of my flubs and the uncomfortable moments, I actually thought that I didn’t do half bad.
Since watching the video initially, I’ve rewatched and reviewed portions as a study tool. I saw many areas that need improvement, but that’s a given. There’s always room for improvement. Mr. Mc told me a few things to look for as I watched the video that he’s told me about in the past. Okay, scratch that. He told me to watch out for things that he's attempted to drill into my thick skull many, many times without much success. When I rewatched the video, I realized that it’s one thing to feel that something isn’t quite right or to be told that “You’re a little off in this,” but it’s a different thing entirely to actually see it from a third person perspective. I had several “Aha!” moments like this and I think that having the video as a reference is going to be a big help as I practice at home. I can definitely say now that videoing yourself doing techniques is an invaluable tool. It’s also very humbling when you realize that the picture in your head of how you move or execute a technique doesn’t match up with reality. “Wow. I move like that?!?” On the flip side, there are some good moments that exceed your expectations. I know I had a few where I wasn’t very comfortable with throwing a certain technique, but it looked fine on the video.
I wish that I could have had my other tests recorded like this one. Now though, I’m looking forward to being able to compare my red belt test video to another test in the future so I can see how far I’ve come.