From time to time I get students who swear by the Internet. When I teach them techniques in the dojo, they constantly compared with what they have seen on the web. Unfortunately for them, it is rare that what they have seen is realistic with what we are doing at the present moment. On the web, there are good techniques and there are worse. But no matter which category is the technique we look, we must learn to see and understand the context in which the action takes place.
When a person puts a video on the web, we must learn to analyze this context. For example, I teach techniques where you turn your back on the opponent while keeping full control of the opponent. Looking at this single sequence, we can say that it is not logical to turn his back to the opponent and you would be right. But if we go back in the context of this teaching, I had previously explained to the students that this type of technique is used to make a « scan » of the people that are in the neighborhood. In some cases, we cannot focus exclusively on our opponent. There may be people who come to rescue their friend. Understanding the context changes the whole picture.
If you want to take the Internet as a teacher, you have to be sure of the context. Some students watching a Hatsumi sensei video said it was not logical to leave the opponent’s blade between him and his opponent. They forgot the context where this technique was executed by two people dressed in samurai armor. From this point of view, the technique becomes more than pertinent. The videos that we see on the internet are often out of context.
The greatest danger of the internet is redundancy. As soon as a person puts a video a bit « spectacular », other people will put it on their pages. When the video in question is found everywhere, even if it contains serious errors, it becomes a reference and is considered a reliable source of information. I saw techniques of defense against firearms where the defender passed the gun in front of his face to disarm the aggressor. In some others, the firearm pointed at a long distance, moving horizontally, which would be extremely dangerous if people were in front. When we take control of a firearm, we must develop the reflex to make the gun point to the ground as quickly as possible. Imagine if your family is in front of the gun. Chances are that the shot will start and your defensive technique will kill a member of your family. Yet even if they are dangerous, these techniques are popular and serve as a reference on what to do. After all, if it was not a good technique we would not find it all over the web.
These students who are addicted to the internet often try to impress me with a technique they have seen on the Net. In most cases, it is easy for me to counter their defense technique because most of them have significant flaws at the time of execution. Of course, if you do not ask, the spectacular aspect is impressive. But as soon as we think about it a little, we realize that …