Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

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KelvinH
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Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by KelvinH »

Hi All,

I purchased Eric Jackson's 'Rolling and Bracing' DVD about 18 months ago to get some ideas to add to my rolling sessions. I never used it as I believe it shows inappropriate technique combined with poor coaching. I am currently mentoring a number of coaches at different stages of their development, we often come up against 'if it's good for Eric Jackson it's good for me' type of comments.

I watched it again today and still don't see where it fits into modern kayaking and coaching.

Your thoughts would be appreciated,

Kelvin.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by rafiki »

I'm sure his playboating videos are ok, but the techniques in the clip below are awful. I have his "Advanced River Running", there are some useful tips, but I wouldn't recommend watching it to anyone, as there are many more poor technique choices.

I like the bit where he turns his cap backwards:

EDIT: So I'm afraid I think the only place these demonstrations have in modern kayak coaching is "how not to do it" (asking why).
Last edited by rafiki on Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by scottdog007 »

I didn't learn to roll the way Eric Jackson shows, I learnt the screw roll. But I have to say that I have now learnt his style purely as it seems more practicle while playboating. I tend to go over off balance with my back on the stern, and you are automatically in the roll position he teaches, all you need to do is do is stick the paddle out keep your body and head against the stern and flip your hips.

Sure the face is in a bad position for hitting rocks, but normally you are playboating in one area where there aren't any rocks, or at least you know where they are. Some would say the high brace is bad for pulling your shoulder but this roll seems efforless if done properly, and can be very quick to do.

Well this is my view on it. I have to say when I first saw the video I was discusted but when I put it into practice and also see others, well it works.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

It's defiately not as much of a disaster as the Kayak Essentials DVD. I certainly wouldn't reccomend the EJ's rolling and bracing to anyone but I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand completely as it does provide [yet] another way to think about rolling for people who are really struggling, unfortunately the techniques seem to favour strong, well conditioned paddlers and could place too much stress on anyone who doesn't have well developed shoulder muscles (not just the paddling muscles).
I feel I should add that I've seen it courtesy of Jackson sending my old school's canoe club a copy of each of the EJ coaching dvd's and a load of t-shirts for nowt which was very nice of them. (Almost as nice as Mensha Ridge Press sending us a copy of each of the William Nealy books for the school library.)
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Joe L »

EJ's Rolling and Bracing and both of the river running DVD's are ridiculously poor. It seems to teach a roll that will work regularly on the flat and is easy to teach but when it comes down to it is pretty flawed. Most people who learn the technique shown in the DVD tend to end up resorting to a mixed between a screw and c to c which uses a lot of force and never seems to work regularly in any difficult situations.

The advanced river running dvd is even worse, especially compared to other similar level river running instructional DVD's. His playboating DVD's are awesome however and I haven't even seen the updated version's of them yet.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind »

TheKrikkitWars wrote: I certainly wouldn't reccomend the EJ's rolling and bracing to anyone
Why not? It's been good enough for boaters for the last 40 years... :-)

Just to throw it the other way...

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Joe L »

Constant massive shoulder overextension and leaning back throughout EJ's rolling and bracing. Possibly the worst possible thing you could teach to beginners?

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by TechnoEngineer »

I'm quite a fan of it although indeed there are issues with the leaning back etc. Much of the technique is based on static stability (leaning back to lower the centre of gravity as much as possible) whereas dynamic stability (sideways/forward bending providing more muscle power and control) is less intuitive but always seems to work better in practice. I think the DVD is fine on the provisio that this is understood.

The sculling brace clip linked above is an example of this - the recovery being over the back deck however this can quite easily be adapted to an over-the-centre recovery.

I agree with the comment above that his River Running DVDs are terrible. IIRC he doesn't even mention rock hugging?
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by rafiki »

Remember: the key thing for bracing...* (same holds for rolling)! When coaching either this ought to be an important part, EJ doesn't discuss it.

*at 45 seconds (I'm not sure my link is working properly)

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by wezzzy »

rafiki wrote:
That vid is showing how I was taught, in 1989.
I have been trying to reteach myself with a more upright/forward position but it's not easy.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by KelvinH »

I'm quite a fan of it although indeed there are issues with the leaning back etc. Much of the technique is based on static stability (leaning back to lower the centre of gravity as much as possible) whereas dynamic stability (sideways/forward bending providing more muscle power and control) is less intuitive but always seems to work better in practice. I think the DVD is fine on the provisio that this is understood.
TechnoEngineer,

So you're saying the DVD is fine as long as you understand that the technique been taught is poor?

I agree that dynamic stability is less intuitive but always works better in practice. This shouldn't give coaches an excuse to go for a short term fix.

Kelvin.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by RichW »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:It's defiately not as much of a disaster as the Kayak Essentials DVD.
Care to elaborate?
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by KelvinH »

Care to elaborate?
It wasn't for me either...

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by TechnoEngineer »

KelvinH wrote:So you're saying the DVD is fine as long as you understand that the technique been taught is poor?
No I'm saying "the DVD is fine as long as you understand its limitations".

I think you're using too broad a brush. I'd say that much of the DVD has merit, however some aspects of its content are sub-optimal given the dynamics of modern (shorter) boats as well as the better understanding we now have of shoulder dislocations. Everything that's sub-optimal in the DVD can easily be adapted. However, if you look at Greenland technique, you will see a lot that's still in common with EJ's stuff. Also, most people I've seen hand rolling still use back-deck (leaning back) recovery.
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by NPearce »

I think you need to take EJ's way of doing things as what it is - EJ's way of doing things.

You have people, some on here, who are coaches though and though, developing techniques that are suitable for all, best practice, and I have a lot of time for what they say and can learn a huge amount from them.
EJ is a playboater, and a bloody good one at that, his coaching is more a 'how I do it' rather than 'how to do it' and arguably it has put him where he is, even though his technique may be dubious when put under best practice scrutiny.

It's the methodology used for his playboats, A boat was made for him and his family, it just so happens they are one of the biggest sellers of recent years and has become the iPhone of the boating world.

Take it on board and learn from it, if it suits you fine, if not then work with something different.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by buck197 »

So we are saying EJ does not know what he is doing, not too sure I agree with that sentiment? The DVD is a number of years old and as in most things there are many different ways to do things. I'm sure most instructional DVD's have different techniques to do the same thing but does it make them wrong?
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

RichW wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:It's defiately not as much of a disaster as the Kayak Essentials DVD.
Care to elaborate?
I've only seen it once, so I can't go through and pull it apart, but I noticed that several of the technique demonstations failed to show best practice, and some didn't even show correct technique, which is alarming.

I'm also willing to advance the opinion that such basic techniques probably don't benefit from a video teaching resource, as the same effect can be gained in a staggering number of ways and the coach should be working with the improver to select appropriate techinques for their paddling style. Having a Video which is "the way" to do things is really a step backwards considering that it's very recently that the BCU changed its sylubi to an outcomes based style rather than prescriptive one.
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Just because something is measured by outcome doesn't mean there are not better and worse ways of doing things which should be respectively encouraged and discouraged.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Adrian Cooper wrote:Just because something is measured by outcome doesn't mean there are not better and worse ways of doing things which should be respectively encouraged and discouraged.
Indeed, but for most simple things, there are a wide variety of good ways to achive it and we should encourage people to develop one which suits them best; whilst discouraging dangerous techique.

Of course this requires the coach to really know their stuff, and is far closer to actual coaching than the "instructor" style of teaching which is commonly given to people who are at the start of their personal paddling oddessy.
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by morsey »

Without delving too deeply protection of shoulders, back, neck, ankles and head seem to be key areas to look after whilst in your canoe, and feet and legs whilst out of your boat. If a technique exposes a high risk of injury to an area identified as prone to injury then it lis ess preferable to one which lowers that risk and achieves the same outcome. Old school High brace--bad, Old school Sculling--bad. EJ's stuff works for him, it is not all good. Hurley was shut down and the EA opened the gates for EJ, Yep they opened the River Thames, in London, Europe for Eric Jackson. To let him coach! Nope, to let him paddle. He is an inspirational paddler and person, that video is dated, sure he aint dwelling in the past. He is probably out creating a new move that will involve twisting your neck through two hundred and seventy degrees, if it wins the worlds it will be brilliant!


Kelvin rather than writing off what you consider to be duff coaching resources how about you list the videos you rate and why you rate them, that way others, aside from as the coaches you mentor, might get to benefit?

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by rafiki »

morsey wrote:Kelvin rather than writing off what you consider to be duff coaching resources how about you list the videos you rate and why you rate them, that way others, aside from as the coaches you mentor, might get to benefit?
I don't think he's written it off at all. The initial post asks how he can use this, or how are other people using it? It was a good question.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Simon Westgarth »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Having a Video which is "the way" to do things is really a step backwards considering that it's very recently that the BCU changed its sylubi to an outcomes based style rather than prescriptive one.
I do not think it is productive to wait for front line developments to arrive at some BCU working group which is formed every 5 years or so, for to them to then decide whether it should be incorporated to this award or that syllabi. After which another 5-15 year processes of updating and reeducating their coaches occurs. The BCU do in general a great job, yet with such a wide scope of membership, the range of paddling being undertaken and the depth of commitment from it's breath of coaches, any new development is a kin to turning an oil tanker on a sixpence. Effective progressive updates for the average coaches takes some 3-10 years. In terms of the development of coaching ideas, the dynamic technique and modern paddling, we do not have time to wait for a large and cumbersome governing body to catch up, instead we simply need to drag them along in our wake.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Simon Westgarth wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:Having a Video which is "the way" to do things is really a step backwards considering that it's very recently that the BCU changed its sylubi to an outcomes based style rather than prescriptive one.
I do not think it is productive to wait for front line developments to arrive at some BCU working group which is formed every 5 years or so, for to them to then decide whether it should be incorporated to this award or that syllabi. After which another 5-15 year processes of updating and reeducating their coaches occurs. The BCU do in general a great job, yet with such a wide scope of membership, the range of paddling being undertaken and the depth of commitment from it's breath of coaches, any new development is a kin to turning an oil tanker on a sixpence. Effective progressive updates for the average coaches takes some 3-10 years. In terms of the development of coaching ideas, the dynamic technique and modern paddling, we do not have time to wait for a large and cumbersome governing body to catch up, instead we simply need to drag them along in our wake.
I'm not sure if you're agreeing with the point I wanted to make, or disagreeing with the opposite point of view to the one I hold (but which one might infer I hold from that quote).

To be very clear, I consider the new approach to the sylubi to be a massive improvement because it allows us to teach whatever technique/approach is currently considered most suitable for a given situation as long as it's effective and safe. I worry that having a "BCU Endorsed" Technique DVD risks another monolithic "This is the way we teach X" belief coming about.

If someone does want a Technique Video, I personally feel that the Slalom Technique Library (also available as a DVD) is many many times superior to "Kayak Essentials" even if it does need a little inventiveness and insight to effectively use in recreational coaching. (It's scope is limited, but at least everything is well demonstrated and it aims to create little building blocks that the paddler can put together into a line as appropriate.)

Simon, as someone who produces a variety of Instructional Films of a high quality what is your opinion of the Kayak Essentials DVD (If you have indeed seen it)?
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Simon Westgarth »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:I'm not sure if you're agreeing with the point I wanted to make, or disagreeing with the opposite point of view to the one I hold (but which one might infer I hold from that quote).

To be very clear, I consider the new approach to the sylubi to be a massive improvement because it allows us to teach whatever technique/approach is currently considered most suitable for a given situation as long as it's effective and safe. I worry that having a "BCU Endorsed" Technique DVD risks another monolithic "This is the way we teach X" belief coming about.

Simon, as someone who produces a variety of Instructional Films of a high quality what is your opinion of the Kayak Essentials DVD (If you have indeed seen it)?
As one of the original author of the new 3/4/5 Star WW Kayak Syllabi, where process and outcomes are the focus and not implicit technique, you'd hope I'd agree with you. Yet I do not feel I need to wait for the BCU to move movement, I do not have the time, we are here and now changing, progressing and developing, the BCU will change over a longer period of time, purely due to its size and scope.

In producing instructional DVDs concepts are what drives the content, and not in the main part specific technique, a blend of the two is much more palatable. Issues with the DVDs you have highlighted are too much specific technique, which exposes the producers to questions of authenticity and effectiveness of the actual techniques they offer in every situation or whether they have longevity at all. Clearly where we are now, is different from 5 years ago in terms of technique and the coaching of it, and as such the timeless quality of a technique is questionable. Within specific disciplines like Slalom, the sport is not moving at the current pace of white water kayaking in terms of boat design, technique, tactics and the coaching of them, and as such a Slalom Technique DVD will have a longer shelf life.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Right, I think I get you now... I've always thought that the bigger part of coaching people is not about teaching people how to paddle, but teaching people ways to think about what they want to do in paddling, once you provide them with that framework of ideas, the actual paddling they can adapt to suit their own physical abilities and phisological foibles.
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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Simon Westgarth »

If you remember in essence coaching is individual feedback, you can not go wrong.

Still Instructional DVDs provide demos, ideas and examples, in a frame work of concepts. There are not coaching in their main part, but can be used as a coaching tool, to provide demos, ideas and examples as well as deliver concepts.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Lowri Davies »

I agree that EJ's Rolling and Bracing DVD is pretty awful. Sadly, not everyone will realise the limitations of what EJ demonstrates and have the opinion that since he is one of the best paddlers in the world, he should know what he's on about. It can be tough for coaches to effectively argue against techniques promoted by one of the World's most famous paddlers with the most Freestyle World Champ medals to his name than anyone else - especially if they are "just a lowly club coach" (in the opinion of the paddler - not me!).

What I find most puzzling is that EJ presents this mainly from playboats and there is inevitably quite a playboaty slant to the DVD… however, leaning back on moving water in a playboat is even more unstable than in a river runner / creeker!

As others have said, EJ is not a coach, but because he is an awesome paddler people presume he is able to coach / instruct. Personally, I don't think it's his strongest quality and this DVD highlights that fact.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by Cam »

I had this DVD, and after listening to the part about turning a high brace into a roll, I was rolling straight away. It's quite an intuitive method, and although yes I had tendancy to lean back more than I should of, I was a lot better than the guys who were swimming. The bomb proof roll gave me great confidence to push myself and hence I learnt quite quickly.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by KelvinH »

Thanks for your comments so far,

A couple of things:
I don't think he's written it off at all. The initial post asks how he can use this, or how are other people using it? It was a good question.
Sorry rafiki, I have written it off.
I agree that EJ's Rolling and Bracing DVD is pretty awful. Sadly, not everyone will realise the limitations of what EJ demonstrates and have the opinion that since he is one of the best paddlers in the world, he should know what he's on about. It can be tough for coaches to effectively argue against techniques promoted by one of the World's most famous paddlers with the most Freestyle World Champ medals to his name than anyone else - especially if they are "just a lowly club coach" (in the opinion of the paddler - not me!).

What I find most puzzling is that EJ presents this mainly from playboats and there is inevitably quite a playboaty slant to the DVD… however, leaning back on moving water in a playboat is even more unstable than in a river runner / creeker!

As others have said, EJ is not a coach, but because he is an awesome paddler people presume he is able to coach / instruct. Personally, I don't think it's his strongest quality and this DVD highlights that fact.
Thanks Lowri, that sums it up perfectly for me.

Thanks again,

Kelvin.

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Re: Eric Jackson's Rolling and Bracing: technical disaster?

Post by TechnoEngineer »

On a related note:

http://www.performancevideo.com/node/259
Free Kayak Roll online showing
Mon, 11/15/2010 - 14:48 — Kent Ford

Greetings!

I would like to offer a benefit to all the members of your paddling school or club... a free Kayak Roll movie online showing for roll classes.

All it requires is that you send email and web publicity to your school or club.

Let me know if the online showing is of interest by replying with:
1) Preferred dates
2) Preferred password
3) Change the quote in the sample email/ web post below (optional)
4) Send the email once I confirm (and post to your webpage/ forum)

Please let me know if you have questions or comments... Thanks in advance for your time and interest!

Cheers

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