How to observe techniques to learn them?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by dcroteau, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Princess Haru

    Princess Haru Valued Member

    Find this thread interesting, not just the recent argument, but my earlier post when I was doing ninjutsu and whether the same applies now with judo. To some extent it does. I feel the real difficulty in ninjutsu was trying to learn the feeling of body movement. Teachers demonstrating technique want to show movement without influencing or saying this is the movement. Was Bruce Lee a ninja? Fighting without fighting. There, got my little dig in :p

    The only time I have an issue with technique in judo is literally not seeing some of the groundwork like turnovers as standing at one position might be good for part of the movement but not all of it. Teachers who can do a sequence of movements well might not appreciate everyone watching will pick up a technique by seeing, yet I appreciate it's difficult to defy gravity. I remember one class when we first were taught tai otoshi, and several variations, and with switching from left to right I was messing it up but once I thought through the mechanics of the movement, like a rule set then I had it. Then I felt silly at how easy it was. Body shifting and taking balance. I see the crossover in lots of the movement. Not that I've mastered it, needs a lot of practice, lots and lots of uchi komi :) I enjoy the atmosphere more even if the art seems replaced by sport.
  2. Zinowor

    Zinowor Moved on

    I always carefully observe their rhythm and which foot they have in front, then it is easier for me to play it back in my mind and replicate what they're doing. I start out doing the same thing in the same rhythm, but as I memorize the exact movements without just relying on the rhythm I make the movements my own.

    It's like when you dial a phone number you've dialed a lot of times before, you start to add a certain rhythm to it. If you've done it enough times without really thinking about it you may actually start to forget which numbers you're dialing in the first place.

    For me, it's like that.
  3. AndrewTheAndroid

    AndrewTheAndroid A hero for fun.

    Different people learn in different ways. Some people are better visual learners than others. Typically how you learn doesn't change much (if at all) over your life. That being said, martial arts is best learned by doing and lends it self more easily to those who learn best in this manner. If you are having trouble observing a technique, then try to listen more, or wait until you can actually do the technique with your instructor.
  4. Indie12

    Indie12 Valued Member

    Some folks are able to watch a technique and then actually do it, and sometimes perfectly!! Some folks are visual learners, while others are (book) learners. It just depends on how you learn best!

    But I'd recommend, always doing it, either during or after watching it, and then having an Instructor actually explain what their doing. Sometimes watching a technique, there's more then meets the eye!
  5. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

  6. selfdefensepath

    selfdefensepath Banned Banned

    I think all those opnions have merit. When Im training a new technique which there just about isnt anymore, I always ask my self three questions, whats the foot work, and where does the power come from, snapping, thrusting etc.
  7. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Did I miss a question? :hat:
  8. cranerat

    cranerat New Member

    Some people are uncomfortable with this technique of instruction, but it works especially well with kids and special needs people (physical handicaps) for hand and upper body techniques. Kicking techniques require a different solution, usually slow, methodical repetition both in front and to the side of the person.
    There are times when I have to get behind someone and guide their hands and arms in the proper movement or flow. This is especially true when teaching styles of sinwali, flow practice or de cadena with FMA baton techniques. Slow, and methodical repetition for me has usually worked.
  9. nefariusmdk

    nefariusmdk Valued Member

    This is why I love the Qing Lord from Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang - he can learn your style and techniques just by fighting you!!

    Anyway, repitition - repitition - repitition. It's the best way to learn a technique. Have an upper level move your arms and legs for you - that's what I do for people. Do it SLOW first, and as you get more comfortable speed it up. Good luck!!
  10. AussieJKDguy

    AussieJKDguy Valued Member

    The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed - it is a process of elimination.

    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    In other words work on the basic movements and then slowly work on the little things until it is perfect
  11. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    It's important to be able to learn by "watching". It's also important to be able to learn by "listening". Can you learn anything from the following simple conversation?

    A: How did you set up your "inner hook (Ouchi Gari)"?
    B: I knee his other leg first.

    Anybody with some MA training, should be able to learn from this conversation.

    You may ask, "B didn't explain exactly where his knee was hitting on his opponent's leg." How hard can that be if you get yourself a training partner and figure it out by yourself?
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  12. Indie12

    Indie12 Valued Member

    You can learn alot by simply watching or "observing" a technique. This is why we do charge a cover fee for simply "observing" a class. I don't think many people know that you can learn 50% from simply "observing".

    With that said:........ You would actually benefit alot more by actual Instructing. In other words seeking out an actual Instructor to teach you the proper techniques. There's much more then simply watching a kick or punch and trying to do that kick or punch. You have to understand the mechanics, technique, and other "smaller" things about that particular kick or punch before you can pull it off effectively. Self-Teaching is actually very dangerous because although you can duplicate a technique, without any actual Instruction or guidance under a certified Instructor, you may miss some smaller points about that technique and therefore if/when you go up against someone who has had actual Instruction in that technique and knows that particular punch or kick and you try it on them, you might find yourself in a world of hurt.

    My advice:............. Seek out professional and certified Instruction before you try to duplicate a kick or punch you see online, in books, or in film!!
  13. TheDudeAbides

    TheDudeAbides Valued Member

    Short of reading every post in this thread I might suggest dyslexia. I have it, it was diagnosed in 1st grade close to 30 years ago. At 39 I recently took up martial arts kenpo specifically. I was able to observe and understand what I was shown but, when the time comes to practice get seriously scrambled up. Typically it's not the physical movement causing the trouble but the sequence of the movement. It took me several weeks to consistently complete an 8 points block without having to start over because I went from #2 into #7. At this point the problem is combining the block while walking in numerical order with a natural counter for blocks 1 and 2. To combat this I try and watch my instructor demonstrate from both sides and practice at home 5-6 times each week for at least an hour for 5 minutes with a kempo, than 5 minutes with each piece of the kenpo after I name the punch or, kick or, combination or, kenpo or, whatever.
  14. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    Our Sensei is very good, if we beginners are learning something new (which is most of the time!) he shifts a more senior line to the opposite side of us so that whichever way we turn we can see someone that should be doing the move sufficiently well for us to follow. This helps a lot, but I still know what the OP is on about, boy!! do I know - if it is possible for me to get the arms, or legs back to front or around the wrong way I'll be the one doing it the wrong way. If the back arm is meant to be high and the front low you can bet I'll have them around the wrong way - if I am meant to face right, I'll probably be facing left, if the right hand should be on top....yup, I'll be the one with it underneath. All the Japanese terms don't help either - its taken me ages to work out the difference between a Gyakuzuki and a Junzuki and trying to pick them out in writing on a syllabus paper and work out which is which is just as hard with all the 'silent' letters in the words.

    In short, I don't know why I get them all mixed up, but at least I can tell the OP that they are not alone.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  15. Heraclius

    Heraclius BASILEVS Supporter


    I wouldn't beat myself up over not being able to do that, if I were you. :p
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  16. Arlion

    Arlion New Member

    Get a first had experience of the technique, that is have someone preferably your sensei/instructor do the technique to you so you can both see and feel the technique.

    That is what I do when I have a problem with learning technique.

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