More Digital/Physical blurring experiences – Choi Kwang Do

Back in June last year I started using my Xbox and Kinect sensor with physical fitness in mind. So to all intents and purposes I was playing a game, as the blurb says, with my body as a controller. This was the UFC Trainer. UFC is a mixed martial arts championship that has spun off a lot of franchise activity. It started as cage fighting, pitting extremely well trained and tough fighters in various styles against one another. Nothing virtual about that. However, as with many things it has spawned traditional fighting AAA games titles. Which is a fairly normal path. What is more exciting though has been the move to create the personal trainer that you interact with by actually performing the exercises. This is not really a game, it is a rep counter and technique tutorial.
Standing in front of the kinect the system will ask you to start throwing hooks or crosses, knee kicks etc. It looks very roughly at your form and counts and shouts at you to meet the rep target. It is not all fighting though, traditional push ups and dumbbell exercises, squats, lunges and holds. To avoid the boredom you may get from a video/DVD style exercise this is of course able to be a bit more dynamic. 30,60 and 90 day programmes in weight loss, endurance or strength provide a ramping up of lots of different styles of workout that are also adjusted by your fitness level. This turns out to be a doubling of reps as you step up in the fitness test it gives you, but it feels much more varied.
So whilst this is a “game” on a “game console” and isn’t real contact fighting it is a very rigorous workout and with the graphs and stats it tracks for you it feels very comprehensive. The effects on your body are very real especially after a few months sticking with it.
The other thing it has built-in is sharing with social media, however it never worked very well as the website, like many game websites is pretty appalling, looping registrations, lots of region specific switching etc. So I let Raptr fill in my activity on Facebook.
So this game to physical activity started to feel part of life and my youngest (predlet 2.0) started to ask about having a go with the kinect to do exercises. I felt he was a little too young to do this on his own and that we would be better in a real martial arts class, with his peers and an attentive instructor. Doing any exercise, developing bad form and habits can do lots of damage!
Then, serendipity kicked in, a leaflet appeared at school for the fastest growing martial art in the world the Korean inspired Choi Kwang Do, and a new school opening around the corner.

I didn’t know much about it but it clearly was aimed at both adults and kids to do physical training in a practical sense but without the direct competition of combat. Still lots of hands on kicks and punches though.
So we went along to out trial lessons with SouthcoastCKD and I was immediately taken by the style and the ethos. Predlet 2.0 seemed to like it too. Being abel to train together at a family session and also I get to go to adult sessions as and when I can makes this ideal.
I had wanted to do a martial art since I was about Predlet 2.0’s age but had never actually taken the plunge. Now, the xbox training since June in mixed martial arts and general flexibility and fitness has inspired me to level up to a real class.
Of course this is a nice circular story in that now when I train on UFC kinect and will start to adjust the style to that of CKD, as none of the strikes are lock out punches. The Xbox will not really worry as it does not try and get precise form, only counts the general action.
That’s the thing with video games they rot your brain and make you lazy!</sarcasm>

2 thoughts on “More Digital/Physical blurring experiences – Choi Kwang Do

  1. Small world! I just noticed my next door neighbour stood to the right on the start view of your video above, she was only telling me a few weeks ago that her and her husband are Choi Kwang Do instructors 🙂 I’d not heard of it before then but it looks like good fun

  2. Cool 🙂 That was a video from their open day, not been to one that big yet but these initial session have been fun 🙂 I think taking on Red man is a few levels up

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