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Hard versus Soft Training
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Hey, y'all...

Jack Hoban had some interesting words on his website in his 2008 Annual Message in which he discussed the merits of "hard" versus "soft" training. In essence, he said your training should correspond to your age and ability. If you are young and fit, train hard, push the limits of your body and how much your body can take. The nuances of "soft" training, while beneficial, may be beyond the reach of a young man whose veins are surging with testosterone. When you are middle aged, train with more of a mix of "hard" and "soft" training, because it takes too long for your body to heal; what used to take hours or days now takes days and weeks. I'm afraid I'm in that category these days; not so much due to age, but due to length of healing required. When you are much older, say in your 60s and 70s, training should be quite soft or the likelihood of injury is a sure thing.

This also means that a young woman probably won't do as much "hard" training as a young man due to body differences and temperment, though not always. I remember getting my a$$ handed to me by Natasha Morgan back in the late 80s... and several times since.

Jack goes on to say that if you are not training appropriately to your age and abilities, you will not learn everything that the Bujinkan has to offer. I agree with Jack's assessment, by the way.

The whole message can be found here: http://www.livingvalues.com/ theme2008. html

Gambatte...

Posted on: 2008/1/2 7:05
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Ron Bergman
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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Jack always has a great New Years message, I personally liked the part about building a good Bujinkan community. I think it would benefit us all to take a look at what role we play in that area and how we communicate with each other. We can disagree without flaming.

Now, back to the original focus of this thread, hard and soft training. I too think we need a balance. I believe it is important to recognize what we are learning when training either hard or soft, recognize what we are gaining as well as what is not present when training either way so we know how to balance it out.

Markk Bush
www.bujinmag.com

Posted on: 2008/1/2 10:17
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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I recall when during my last visit to Japan in August -during the heat-wave- I had a conversation with one of the Japanese shihans, and he told me how important it is to train always according to the weather.
It was terribly hot in the dojo during the early afternoon classes, like 52 Celsius, if I remember well. I have never felt such a heat and humidity.

The sensei I was talking to said that those who come to Japan to train always in the same time of the year cannot see what training is like at other times.
He said the training must be soft and light in the middle of summer (in Japan!) so that we won't get a heat stroke, but it is more spinning and active when it's cold.

So beside the age factor (which is also very important, as it is written in Jack's message) we need to observe the environment, too, that we are in.

Just my additional two Forints,

Eva

Addition:
I especially liked the part about the power of buyu, and this sentence: "In 2003 Sensei said that UFO can also mean "Unusual Friends OK!" Please think about this."

Posted on: 2008/1/2 15:13
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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In training twenty years ago, a buddy and I would pretty much knock the crap out of each other, discovering which kyusho strikes would make our knees buckle and which ones would make us yak. Bruises were referred to as "training medallions."

I remember nothing had names except the Kihon Happo and Sanshin. If I asked what the name of a technique was, I was told that "It translates in English as it hurts.

Ah, good times.... but like I said earlier, I'm not 21 years old anymore, so I take alot longer to heal. So I'm learning more about taking balance through movement, managing space, etc. rather than pounding someone into submission.

Posted on: 2008/1/2 15:20
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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I am only 34 yet but I also heal much longer than I was 17. I have a knee problem for the last 2 years and it is still here. I do miss the hard training where we pushed the limit but now I am mostly afraid of the joints injuries. The hits coming to my face or other parts are ok but when you injure a joint it takes too long now.
Still I try to change every class's attitude...in the beginning we can start soft and suddenly we can start doing strong and fast ukes and strong throws. I think it is necessary to be able to change attitude inside a fight as well.
When in Japan, I try to train mostly with soft Shihans as I get stiff the whole year back in Istanbul training hard and soft training balances me back up. In the beginning I can not unbalance my Uke for a few minutes and tell my self ''relax'' and then I am allright. I always see a huge difference when I come back. I also train with ''hard'' training shihans too. You can also train with hard and soft people inside the Honbu as you just meet the person and you train with him/her the first time . I think this is a very good training.
As a sum, I think everybody needs his/her own training according to his/her body, age, ability and must be able to convert to soft to hard and hard to soft. My 2 kurus

Posted on: 2008/1/2 16:49
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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We kind of beat this to death in "The Best and Why" thread.

Posted on: 2008/1/2 22:47
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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Quote:

Boggs wrote:
We kind of beat this to death in "The Best and Why" thread.


We have beat this topic up MANY times.

Doesn't hurt to hear it again (especially the younger crowd that is still... impressionable).

It is a natural cycle... hard to soft.

Gambatte.

-Daniel

Posted on: 2008/1/2 23:03
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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It is a natural cycle and those who have already experienced can give rather good advice on what will happen if training is done in a particular way. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. The more we learn from those that preceeded us the better and more effective our path will be. Jack expresses it very well. I would hope that all of us might be a bit kinder to each other here this year. That we be a bit more understanding that not EVERYONE must do it the way WE think it must be done. You evaluate what you get from your training, if you are satisfied with that, wonderful. It may be totally different for another person, let them make the same determination for themselves. Hopefully we all learn what is best for ourselves, but let us all accept that this may not be the same for another.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 0:02
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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Quote:

Campsinger wrote:
...I agree with Jack's assessment, by the way.


from http://www.livingvalues.com/theme2008.html

There is also some discussion these days about "hard vs. soft" training. But the thing to do, in my opinion, is to train according to your age and ability. When you are 25, train hard. When you are 50, you have to train differently—like Hatsumi was training when I met him. When you are 77, well, look at how Sensei trains now. If you train like an old man when you are young, it is not enough. If you train like a young man when you are old, you look violent and silly; and you will almost certainly become injured. The concept is not so difficult, really, just common sense; and certainly all of the arguments about it are unnecessary. The idea is to "keep going," train all of your life in a natural, effective and sustainable way. Most real combat has weapons, so don't focus too much on being only a "technician," or on being "strong" or "fast." Learn the taijutsu "tactical movement," and study how to use weapons effectively to leverage your taijutsu and escape—or do what is necessary to protect life. This is what I think Hatsumi Sensei has been saying consistently since I first met him.

Just thought it would be relevant to quote the article directly.

Pretty much kills the disagreement...

-Daniel

Posted on: 2008/1/3 0:31
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Re: Hard versus Soft Training
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What are some things everyone does to practice hard and soft? drills, exercises? I guess some examples for hard could be makiwara, recieving blows.....some for soft could be eyes closed slow work. Lets not get too into which are good or bad and why or why not, lets just describe them and say why we think they are beneficial, ok and maybe why we think some arn't, but we can start new threads (or search the old ones and argue vicariously, haha) for lengthy discusions on the specific things. Solo things are of particular interest to me right now. I realize theres the general way one trains in terms of hard or soft, now what particular things can cultivate correctness in those two areas? Oh, heres another one...smoothness or nagare belive is the term? That can go on in hard or soft so what can cultivate that. Thanks.

~Ju an z a zueta

Posted on: 2008/1/3 2:35
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