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StepWhys

Discuss the notation and (future) app design for recording sequences of steps initially for martial arts.

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Introduction - the rationale

October 26, 2019 at 5:20pm

Introduction - the rationale

October 26, 2019 at 5:20pm
These notes are copied from a Martial Arts Stack Exchange answer https://martialarts.stackexchange.com/a/384/179
I think we need a way to document things more as variations on basic stances and transitions between them. It may be that Laban notation could be used for detailed bits but a recording of a form would use a simpler summary. There is a lot more repetition of standard positions and moves in most martial arts forms compared to free-form dance.
I'm doing some paper prototyping of having multiple columns indicating:
  • Stance (allowing use of a simple symbol or letter code)
  • Stance facing direction
  • Eye facing direction
  • Feet positions and turns (starting position of feet implied by the stance)
  • Complex arm movements
  • Complex foot movements eg when kicking
  • Movement of weight - I think a simple bar with gradient or Sparkline would summarise this.

October 28, 2019 at 4:50pm
I've been giving some thought to just what the goals should be for such a system...
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It should be generalized and not tied to any particular style. And it should be easy to write out by hand (this works for sheet music well enough). It wouldn't be intended to teach beginners from, but more for documenting kata/forms/hyung. Especially in books/literature.
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November 12, 2019 at 12:37pm
Agree very strongly that the goal is to document for people who understand a system - it's about reminding rather than learning from scratch. (Sorry for delay in responding, was in last few days of European holiday then returning home to Australia and dealing with usual mayhem after a long holiday).
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I think being able to replicate in print or by hand is also very important. The thing which an app adds is the ability to easily filter what's displayed and zoom in on a portion of a notated form.
I see the notation as a generalised way to express martial arts forms and movements. Within a single style, there are common moves which are part of the vocabulary of that style. This is an example of chunking where we learn a complex movement and combine it into a single neuro muscular concept. Then, within our kung fu style at least, there are common sequences linking together many movements. These sequences are often repeated across forms. At the senior level, when describing how to perform sequence, we would say things like do the Lao Sao - Chak Cheung combination like Lo Gok Cheung but only two repetitions.
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