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Can You Learn Karate from a Video?

Posted Jan 16 2011 12:00pm
One of my 2011 karate goals is to learn a specific kobudo kata. I have attended a few seminar sessions on this kata in the past but it never stuck in my brain. Small portions of the kata are familiar but for the most part I am learning the pattern from square one.

I have never tried to learn a kata from a video. There are many people who excel at learning in this manner. I know several people who have tried using a TV and a large mirror to reverse the directions to ensure they are moving the correct way. I have witnessed students (from other styles), who learned Okinawa Kobudo from the videotape series, compete in tournaments. In addition to moving in the wrong direction, the competitor added a roll fall and did not properly identify the kata. (Not a good idea when the creator of the video (my instructor) was center judge in the division.)

Here are some of the benefits from learning kata from a video.

1. Flexibility - You can learn at your own pace.
2. Time - You can watch the video whenever you want.
3. Focus - You can devote time to a specific kata or technique.


Here are a few of the disadvantages.

1. No instructor to ask questions.
2. No personal correction by an instructor.
3. Depending on how the video is shot...there may be problems following directional changes.
4. Not enough information due to time limits of the video.
5. You have to rewind...a lot.

Have you ever learned kata from a video? What advantages/disadvantages did you encounter? Would you recommend this type of learning?

So how am I doing with my project...I have learned about 1/4 of the pattern from the video. My plan is to learn a portion of the pattern and practice before I move on to the next section.
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