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Re: Best way to train alone?
村長 :: Sonchou
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To add to Duncan's list:

-When training alone, take the opportunity to train in normal clothes and shoes. Wear jeans, t-shirt, jacket, shoes... keep the coins and keys in your pockets, keep on the watch, if glasses wear them etc...
During ukemi, how does the jeans influence your movement, what happens with those keys in your pockets? Do the coins fly away? Notice how the weight of your shoes give you extra momentum which you don't have while wearing tabi's and so on...

Have fun,

Jan

Posted on: 2004/7/15 22:34
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Jan Ramboer
Bujinkan Dojo Brussels

‘It is only when the eyes and the brain get exhausted that there are no lies and you can get the truth’ Thomas Hirschhorn
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Re: Best way to train alone?
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One more thing that I did a lot before joining the Bujinkan.

You should look at yourself in a big mirror and compare your own posture with Soke's posture on his books or videos.

Posted on: 2004/7/15 22:55
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Re: Best way to train alone?
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Quote:

Novice wrote:
Should one mainly focus on San Shin no Kata and rolling? When there is no other body to train with? This forum is very good as this is my situation. One of the best ways to train by oneself is to train like Manaka Sensei Trained By just doing the Basic Kihon Happo no variations. Any thoughts?


I would suggest using the kihon happo and gogyo as an aerobic sort of warm up, then pick a kata or technique that you've worked on recently and look at that, mapping out and exercising it's component parts as best you currently understand them. This way, when that technique or kata is covered again, you will be at a point where you are no longer simply trying to remember the model, but rather can begin to move beyond the rote model into the how's and why's of what makes it work (or not work) for you, and what concepts the kata was designed to relay.

Training on your own this way can really help to maximize the time you spend in the dojo.

You might also want to get yourself a hanbo and work on basic striking. It can double as a boken, allowing you to work on basic sword strikes as well. Refer to your instructors for what basic strikes to practice and how, and refer to them over time to check up and get new tidbits to work on.

Any basic punches, kicks or strikes that you come accross in class, ESPECIALLY the ones that feel weird or awkward to you, can also be worked on at home. In the air is fine, and taking just a little bit of time now and then to map out a 'textbook' omote shuto or shikan-ken or whatever it is that might be feeling a little awkward in the dojo can really pay off more quickly than you might expect.

Training on our own helps us frame more productive questions in the dojo later on, and is in turn also a form of respect to our instructors, the Shihan and Hatsumi soke, showing that we are taking our study of the art into our own hands and not just standing around waiting for someone to spoon feed us. Most instructors will more than meet you half-way when they see evidence of active interest and effort on the part of a student.


Posted on: 2004/7/16 1:09
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Re: Best way to train alone?
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Tim,

Where in Missouri are you located? There are groups that I can point you to.

Posted on: 2004/7/23 19:23
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Re: Best way to train alone?
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Good article Duncan. Can I say that I also particularly agree with your comments re: makiwaras (again this is my opinion only and not meant in any way as criticism of Kizaru or indeed anyone else that uses them).

Makiwaras may seem fine when you are young, maybe in your 20's or so, but I think that repetitive striking of it over time could possibly lead to joint/bone problems in later life.

Gerard

Posted on: 2004/7/23 22:53
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Re: Best way to train alone?
Permanent Village Fixture
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I liked the article as well.

On the makiwara topic...I'm going to have to agree that it can lead to problems. However, I do think that it is a very good idea to strike something like a punching bag. I think that it is important to know what it feels like to truely hit something (even if the chain that was holding your punch bag breaks )and I don't think that you can learn the what or the how unless you are actually hiting something. Its a way to test your technique "oww my wrist hurt when I punched I must not have been keeping it straight".
The question that you have to ask yourself is 'why??'. I'd like to quote Takamatsu sensei (not sure where I read it and I am by no means claiming to be word for word here). But here goes: He said that since we are in a time of peace that we do not need to strengthen our fists as though we were at war. And that if we did so we would in time get arthritis and have ugly hands with no woman would touch.

You should strengthen your hand to a certain level, but not necessarily hitting rocks. I have struck trees before with most strikes, and although I don't do that very often it does help a lot to experience it. And imagine how soft a human body will feel afterwards!

The one thing that I do more often is hitting cement/brick walls with shoto strikes. I have found that it is a good way of demonstrating that with proper technique it doesn't hurt or damage my hand. This ussually only happens when someone says that "you can't take someone down with one hit, thats why fights last so long in movies".

I think that it is very important to be able to hit and be able to take a hit.

With that said, I would like to make it clear that in my opinion you 'don't' need to hit that hard anyways. you can just hit lightly as distractions and then apply gyakku, or wait for an opening, etc. You shouldn't need to break your knuckles on someones face when you could hit them in a soft area like their throat 3 inches below.

Posted on: 2004/7/24 8:50
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Re: Best way to train alone?
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I am sorry but I just cant resist...the best way to train alone? is by YOURSELF...ha ha ha (sorry, I apologize, ok)

There is no good way to train alone, this art is a flow and constantly changes. To catch it you must have a teacher as the flow can only be transmitted from teacher to student. A very important part is the relationship with the teacher, this is how you get the "feeling", without that the most technically perfect technique is still dead, with the feeling from your teacher even a poor(by a precise exact comparison) technique becomes true martial Art.

if you must train alone, get the taijutsu book,you should be able to find a translation from a simple web search.. but realize that was years ago. I have heard Soke say "forget what I am showing you, even yesterday is too much of the past"
That is why a teacher who trains with Soke is so important, your teacher is your only connection to the flow...and the only real hope of getting this. that may seem "harsh" but the truth often is...

Andy D. Cordell

Posted on: 2004/7/24 12:38
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Re: Best way to train alone?
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There are always ways to pull it off.

Posted on: 2004/7/24 13:09
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Re: Best way to train alone?
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Sadly, no there is only one way...thats to spend as much time as possible with a very good teacher. Thats why in the old days the student lived with the master, there is much more than just the physical. Sure you can learn from someone then go practice, but if no teacher was required then why would so many make the trips or live in japan for the training?

I do NOT wish to insult novice or anyone but
I am very interested to see what others opinions on this are...

I know miyamoto musashi supposedly never had a teacher, but he also never learned any style other than his own..
am I offbase here?

I am only trying to help...sure M sensei trained alone with a mirror, but he is not in the Bujinkan anymore either is he? It is a connection to the source (Soke) if you cant be there then you have to have a teacher who trains with Soke , and if you train alone you are only playing (with yourself) again I apologize, but the more than one way to pull it off was just too good to pass up..that why we are ninja, we have to take the cheap shots...

Andy D Cordell

Posted on: 2004/7/25 21:49
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Re: Best way to train alone?
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Well, I think we are talking about "what would be the best way if we have to train alone." or something like it.
I hope everyone knows (and agrees) that we must find a good instructor sooner or later.

And of course, "Wait doing nothing till you find an instructor" can be the best answer if the person is not good at mimicking what s/he sees on books, videos and DVDs.

So, this kind of solo training is a sort of gamble. Everyone who tries it should accept responsibility for the risk.

Posted on: 2004/7/25 22:01
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