Core Course: how to send my practice’s video

How to get personalized insights of 6 Dragons Kung Fu directly from our school

Many students of our home study course (the Core Course) ask how to send us the videos of the practice and instead of repeating all the times the same tips by e-mail, we have decided to write this small guide.

Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).

The Core Course members can send periodical videos of their progress and a certified instructor will review them giving the fundamental feedbacks to improve.

A note by Master Kongling – This is the real value of the Core Course: a personal instructor that follows the student. The problem with the martial arts video courses is exactly this: those who follow them cannot truly learn the materials proposed. The point is that, even with all goodwill, they cannot know when they are right and when they are wrong. It is for this reason that we have designed our teaching method this way: to give the value of the 1-to-1 lessons to all of our practitioners (read Online learning and martial arts: is it possible?).

How to correctly film a training video: all the steps

A note by Master Kongling – Te biggest part f the tips we are going to see are naturally valid also for the graduation exams (read Kung Fu exams: online graduation).

What we need

What to use to create the video:

  • A not-too-old smartphone or camera is more than fine, let’s do not waste our money uselessly
  • There are no specific directions for resolution but keep in mind that details such as fingers should be distinguishable even when you are full-length

The shooting area

Choosing and preparing the guan:

  • We have to find a secluded (and possibly private) place to shoot without interferences
  • The ideal conditions for filming even with a poor quality device is good environmental lighting, the most obvious solution is therefore to shoot outdoors
  • If the shooting area is indoors, be sure to turn on all possible lights (or to add some more)

How to shoot a perfect video

A few important tips:

  • We have to film only ourselves and / or our eventual (consenting) training partner (read 5 effective ways to find a training partner); the public areas are ok, the private ones only with the owner’s consent
  • We have to put the camera in a stable position (usually at neck height)
  • Let’s make sure we are in focus and well lit
  • It is essential that our whole body is visible (while we are moving, no part of the body should leave the frame); to obtain this result, the first times we will have to shoot a test video
  • It essential that our body does not appear too small (compared to the frame) and that what we are doing could be easily understood
  • If possible, let’s make sure that the microphone catches the audio of our strong breath (read Breathe Yoga: the warrior’s breathing); this means (as far as possible) to avoid noisy places

What to shoot

What we need to film:

  • Before performing each technique we must say the name aloud (spelling well)
  • For each technique, we have to repeat it on both sides of our body (alternating right and left every time), from the 4 angles (front, left, right and back) and 1 time slow-motion, 1 time fast; this means that, for example, if we are filming a hook punch, we have to repeat it 16 times (It may seem like a long work but it is very quickly)
  • Generally, the only cases where even close-up shooting is necessary is when filming techniques such as Chin Na (read Chin Na), where hand details are important
  • If the video is for an exam, repeat the shooting until you reach your best execution, if it is for feedback only the first shoot is ok

The martial attitude

Here’s how we should ideally behave in the videos (especially when it comes to exams):

  • We must maintain a serious, determined and composed attitude
  • We have to eliminate any unnecessary movement and above all the positions adjustments
  • Even if we are performing empty techniques, we must enter the maximum possible intensity (exactly as if we were facing an opponent)
  • We keep our gaze towards the camera, and try not to look at what we do (e.g. look where we put our feet to assume the position of the rider, read The correct position of the rider (ma bu))
  • At the beginning and at the end we perform the greeting (read Kung Fu greeting: meaning and execution)

How to send the videos

Where and how:

  • At the end of the shot, upload the video on Dropbox.com and share the link to [email protected]
  • You simply have to create a free account, upload the video and send us the link
  • We will never publish your face without your consent

The most common errors

In order of relevance / frequency:

  • Be out of the frame – Put on the ground a few objects to limit the area where you can move and / or make a test video before shooting the real one (this is to avoid leaving the frame when jumping, crouching, using a weapon, etc.)
  • Being backlit or with the sun in our eyes – Let’s try to always maintain the sun in a not disturbing position; we must be able to see without problems and at the same time be visible in the video without light-interferences
  • Forget to clean the lens – A dirty lens risks making the shot tarnished and therefore useless
  • Too exposed shoots – Remember that a video where the white is too widespread does not allow the instructor to catch the small details
  • Too many shadows – Outdoors, if we rapidly move from sun-illuminated areas to shaded ones, most of the sensors are not enough fast recalculating the right exposure
  • Alter the video – Let’s avoid editing the video in any way, even the cuts are avoided
  • Too long videos or too many – With the exception of exams or special cases, the ideal duration of a video is 5-10 minutes, nothing more nothing less; let’s avoid sending uselessly more videos per time

How to win the psichological difficulties

We have to win the “embarrassment” of being filmed:

  • Initially, no one likes his / her image in a video, no one likes the idea of being “judged”; we would like to be better framed, look more beautiful, less clumsy (etc.), it is completely normal but this fear is something to overcome
  • These videos are not for a beauty or dance contest, we have been doing this job for a long time and we know what the initial difficulties are (they are always the same, for everyone)
  • The videos are useful to us only if we can see the errors and the difficulties, only this way we can help our students to improve; if we do not see the mistakes, the video is useless
  • Psychologically, making videos has also an educational value; to practice 6 Dragons Kung Fu means to know and accept ourselves; only tracing a divisor line between what we think to be and what we are, we can grow and improve
  • We see a lot of videos and certainly, no one here judges for how a person is physically or for the difficulties he has; here we are only interested in seeing how committed you are and how we can help you achieve your goals

A note by Master Kongling – The day you will start to accept yourself, no one will be able to stop your martial growth. The more you prove yourself, the more we will criticize you, the goal is to improve you, no matter your level; if there was nothing to correct you, you would be wasting your and our time.

Final notes

A few conclusive thoughts:

  • These rules are only indicative, let’s do what we can (the first times we can eventually send a test video to have feedback about its quality); in most cases, there are no problems
  • This mini-guide is to help with specific requests but the important thing is to press the REC button, everything else is completely secondary
  • We are not here to shoot photographic masterpieces, in most cases, just set our smartphone to automatic and that’s it
  • The best thing is to find our ideal place, time and camera settings and always maintain them to make them accessible as fast as possible and when we want
  • The idea is to well organize ourselves the first time; when we are sure to have created the conditions to shoot acceptable videos, let’s maintain them immediately accessible

In-depth articles

Questions

Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Are there doubts about making videos?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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