Self Correction: Video Project

Self correction is something I need to work on more at home. I've gotten into the habit where "practicing" consists of doing a form in its entirety without giving much thought to the details. I need to stop that. There's a time to practice at full speed, but right now there's details I need to fix that require pausing and checking every tiny, little thing - stance, positioning of the hands, body alignment, weight distribution, etc, etc.

Frustration sets in quickly when I slow down and self correct. I'll be working on a form, and something will just feel wrong, or I'll check my stance and notice something off. I start from the beginning and try again, paying special attention to correcting my mistake, repeating until the problem is fixed. Sometimes that correction takes only a few repetitions, sometimes it takes days/weeks/months, especially if it's breaking an ingrained habit. Some days it makes me want to pull my hair out.

Tonight, I started videoing myself during parts of my at home practice. I don't have access to a good mirror at the moment (I'm working on getting one for the house), so the next best tool I can use to help me self correct is video.

Video lets me see myself from the point of view that my instructors see me from when I'm in class. There's nothing like watching yourself from a third person perspective. It shows me how I move, if my transitions are smooth, and I can also concentrate on what I'm doing, rather than watching myself in a mirror as I'm attempting something. I can also pick up on things that I might gloss over by using the "Does it feel/look right?" method.

Unfortunately, it also lets me see that there's some areas where my performance of a form or execution of a technique isn't as awesome as I felt it was. Whether it's "Oh, that transition wasn't smooth," "That kick really sucked. My knee wasn't high enough and I swung that kick," or "I look like that when doing ___?!?" video is unforgiving.

Most importantly? Video lets me really see improvement. That is what I am really hoping to notice the more I practice and record myself.


Rank: 1st Kyu said...

I love this post Ariel! We were on the same 'self correction' path today.

I see so much of myself in this post it is uncanny - we seem to both be perfectionists who won't be happy to settle with just going through the motions - everything needs to be just perfect, right down to the little details - and that's the way it should be. I however, haven't mustered up the courage to video myself yet because I am quite confident my technique isn't as awesome as I feel it is. I'm sure at some point leading up to my Shodan grading I'll get out the video camera and knock myself down a few pegs in doing so, but for now I'm happy that it feels so awesome. I'll ride on that high for just a bit longer. :-)

Keep up the great writing!
~ Karen

Ariel said...

I don't like seeing video of myself, but it was my instructors who started me on the path to wanting to video myself.

One day my instructor was watching me do a form. He pointed out something that I was doing wrong. After several repeats of the same issue, he pulled out a video camera and recorded me doing the form. I wanted to object ("Noooo! I don't want to see myself!") but he wouldn't have any of that. We watched the replay and I had an "Aha!" moment. This has happened several times, and gradually I'm grumbling less and less about it, because it really does help.

Thanks for commenting!

Felicia said...

Video is an amazing tool! I also want to cringe when I see myself, but it is very helpful.

Great post, Ariel! Thanks for sharing :-)

Ariel said...

Thanks for commenting, Felicia! Yes, if video wasn't so helpful, I would probably shun it when it comes to watching myself. :)