Seeing Yourself As You Truly Are
We’ve got a level 2 workshop in a few hours and besides the standard technique and drill work, one of the things we’ll spend some time on is video review. As professional athletes know, seeing yourself on video is one of the best tools around for correction and improvement. It takes a fair amount of extra time, so we aren’t often able to integrate it as part of a workshop, but when we do it always pays off.
One of the difficulties of teaching Krav Maga is that you’re trying to describe to your students what they are doing and how they should modify it, but they have to process that all basically through imagination and proprioception. What that means is as student we usually don’t really know what we’re doing, and we have to stumble around trying our best until we accidentally get it right and hope the instructor is around to mark the improved technique, and hope we can remember to do it that way next time.
Over the years I’ve done quite a few video reviews and they are always eye opening. Sometimes they are edifying, (“Do you see how your hand rotates too early on your right straight?”), and sometimes they are candid, (“Do you see how you’re not pivoting even though we say ‘pivot’ in literally every class? Do you see?!?!?!?!). Once you see yourself on video it’s much easier to make corrections because you actually know what you’re doing and how it needs to be adjusted.
It’s not all fun though. As you can imagine, seeing yourself on video can be a very humbling experience. In fact it’s supposed to be a humbling experience. When we do a video review with someone for the first time their reaction usually goes, “Oh…well I didn’t realize…gosh…oh my…” and so on. That’s ok. Krav Maga means taking things as they are and dealing with them. If you see yourself on video and your punches aren’t great, well so what? You take what you have and you do it better the next time. How good your techniques are doesn’t really matter, what matters is how much they’re improving.
One nice side effect of the proliferation of smart phones is that now almost everyone has a camera with them at all times, so you don’t have to wait around for a special Krav Maga Raleigh workshop to review yourself. Grab a couple people at the studio and do a round of self-defense, or prop your phone up in your living room and shadowbox. It only takes a few minutes and it will pay off massively. You probably won’t love it the first time but you don’t get better by being comfortable and thinking everything is going great. You get better by taking a hard look at where you are and then looking ahead to where you need to be.