In Singapore, we have a fetish for Close Circuit TV (CCTV), even more so with the authorities, more CCTV ‘trees’ sprouting in many public places. Actually can we possibly see everything? Of course other than seeing, it serves to deter any law breakers from breaking the law in the proximity of a CCTV. Our rails stations have posters proudly proclaim that the staion have over 30 CCTVs ‘for our safety’.
How does having CCTVs equates to our safety? Does having more CCTV equates to more safety? Does it mean that with so many CCTVs we can capture everything from every angle and every time of the day, without fail?
I am guilty of a CCTV mentality when i attend class at times. I hope to ‘record’ everything about what my sensei said and do so that i can hope to fully absorb and ensure that i do not miss out on the important and salient stuffs. When I have a lapse in concentration, i could rewind the video and watch it again. having it on tape also allows me to slow-mo the images, frame by frame and from there perhaps i can make some sense into why and how my sensei does what he does so well.
Well, National Geographic tried that with their programme ‘Fight Science’ by using hi-tech imaging and camera equipment to help us understand a little bit better about the mysitc of martial arts. to put it simply, understanding the arts with scince and technology. There is some amazing high speed shots capture and I applaude their effort and some of the scenes are simply amazing.
But…it lacks depth. that is the pitfalls of camera, it reduces everything to a prescribed dimension. even with the latest 3 dimensional technology, it still lacks the fullness of life, and cannot capture the essence of it. Its like tasting a fruit which you cannot eat. The taste is not te fruit, it is only a narrow band of the fruit, eating it internalizes it and we can fully absorb the nutrients, enabling us to grow. Whatever is not useful, will be discarded as waste.
No amount of technology can capture the feeling and kinesthetic aspect of a martial arts. to put it on a bigger perspective, the same can be said for life. the mood, personality, chemistry, the years of training and relationship all plays a part in bringing out the beauty of the arts we pursue. Camera cannot explain the love and respect for our sensei, neither can it fully brings out the commitment and sacrifices our sensei made. the sensei/student dynamics is simply too full to be comprehend through the mechanical lens of a camera.
Missing out on the important stuffs is simply part and parcel of learning the art, we can never remember everything, neither will we forget everything.