Hi-tech sarging for £50
September 30, 2010 22 Comments
Back when I was heavily into Brazilian Ju Jitsu I used to be rolling twice a week for about an hour a time (“rolling” being the colloquial term for free sparring at the end of a training session). We decided to video ourselves one time and it was an eye-opening experience. For the most part it was gratifying to see myself applying correct technique and generally having the look of a BJJ player. I also got to see many tiny little errors in posture and form, the kind you can only notice from a third person perspective. I saw opportunities grabbed and missed. I could rewatch a session multiple times to figure out how I could’ve turned it around, or to pinpoint the exact moment my opponent began to set up a move.
You can see what I’m getting at here. Videoing your in-fields is one of the best learning tools there is. My recommendation is to mic up and have a wing video from a distance. Then watch your sets over and over again with an eye on:
- Body language
- Vocal tone
- Speed of vocal delivery
- Filled pauses
- Kino or lack of it
- Initial reaction
- Point of killed momentum
Watch the flow of the sarge. Are you talking too much? Can you feel the ebb and flow of energy? Analyse her answers to see all the “hooks” she gave you to build a conversation that you didn’t take. See how she tried to invest and build rapport but you broke it by trying to hard to get your own words in. I’ve recorded lots of sets and here is my personal favourite tech solution.
This camera is freely available on Ebay for about £10, plus another £20 to put an 8GB miniSD card into it (this card can be swapped between cameras). Clip it into the breast pocket of your jacket and it looks like an MP3 player. I’ve never once been busted for having it. Picture quality is pretty good in daylight and the mic at the top picks up the audio. It can also be clipped to your belt or trouser pocket but then you are losing the video angle and the mic will struggle to pick up your voice. Search: “Mini DV Gum Video Recorder Spy Camera Hidden Camera DVR”
For Day 2s I like the watch cam. It’s a normal sports / waterproof watch which also has a camera embedded at the 6 o’clock spot. Audio and video is fine. Just sit across from the girl with your elbow on the table. The watch automatically flips the video so it’s the right way up. You can use it on your approaches too if you have a shoulder bag – just hold the strap and that’s a natural pretext for having your hand there. My watch was £20 on ebay, via China. A search string like this should find it: “4G Clear Waterproof Spy Video Camera Watch Mini DVR Cam”
That’s all you really need. For the Third Person Perspective your wing could just use a mobile phone camera cos this isn’t about Avatar-quality 3D HiDef. If you’re gonna do alot of sets then invest in a handheld camcorder that has a swivel screen – this is absolutely crucial so the wing can hold the camera nonchalantly at waist level like he’s not even watching the set.
My videos are edited with the pre-installed Windows Live Movie Maker. This isn’t rocket science. When you get really into your James Bond shit you could start experimenting with pen cams, two-way audio link up, and carrying a wireless portable screen. Knock yourself out. But to get 90% of the value, this is a cheap science. Now you see why I have little respect for gurus who don’t show in-fields.
Approach Cam: £10 - 8GB SD card: £20 - Day 2 Cam: £20 = total £50.
NB – Anyone feel free to send your in-fields (via youtube link in the comments or email me at krauser@ on my rocksolidgame mail) and I’ll do a public analysis of the good and bad on the site. If it’s really good, I’ll rank you in the Daygame Allstars Top Ten.