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Self-practice
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From Linkoping, Sweden
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First of all i'd like to introduce myself since I just registered here at kutaki. I started training with bujinkan this january (2005) in Sweden and got my 9th kyu some month ago. I personally feel I don't have the knowledge to actually move a discussion forward but instead simply adding my views of the subject. Thus I'm mainly here for "information gathering" yoroshiku onegai shimasu!

Having that said, I will continue with the topic...

Since I'm not that lucky to have someone to practice with during the summer, I've been searching for ways I can "maximize" (lack of better word for it) the results of my training. I think I've somehow understood the importance of a good kihon and I'm now giving myself an half-an-hour to practice sanshin and the movements of the kihon happo. I've found that it's actually quite relaxing at the same time to do everything with a "tai chi-feeling" big and slow movements with some relaxing music in the background. I was wondering if someone else has found the same (or similiar) way of practicing the basics by themselves?

Shikin haramitsu daikomyou !

Marcus Olsson
9th kyu

Posted on: 2005/7/20 4:12
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Re: Self-practice
Kutaki Postmaster
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Quote:

Amaterasu wrote:
I've found that it's actually quite relaxing at the same time to do everything with a "tai chi-feeling" big and slow movements with some relaxing music in the background. I was wondering if someone else has found the same (or similiar) way of practicing the basics by themselves?


First off Welcome to the training! As far as practicing how you have described-I guess

My take is if you want to do Tai Chi-do Tai Chi. These are warrior arts and I like to train with this in mind. But in the end I guess-whatever floats your boat.

My 2 cents: Kamae - kamae - kamae in everything you do, practice big movements, become proficient in your ukemi. Gain/maintain flexability.

There's probably more but...

Posted on: 2005/7/20 4:43
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Mark Franco
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Re: Self-practice
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Hi Amaterasu,

I personally feel the Tai-Chi method is great for Taijutsu. If you ever get to train with Ed Martin at a European seminar, you will find his method of training slowly and fluidly very much like the feel of Tai Chi.

If you get a chance to train with Sensei and some of the other Shihan, you will see (and feel if one of the Shihan shows you a technique personally) as to how soft and fluid their movement is (almost like Tai chi Push-hands or some Kung Fu sticking hands).

It’s a great way to understand centre of balance and create internal power if you practice as you do each day.

Cheers,

David Smith

Posted on: 2005/7/20 9:27
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David Smith
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Re: Self-practice
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I think it'll take some time before I get the chance to train with the hotshots, but when I do I promise you I will be there with the notepad and pencil

Actually I got to feel how fluid a technique can be when I trained under Roger Mattson (9th or 10th dan I think). At that time I were really amazed I can tell you. Not only did he do what was necessary to drop me on the floor, but he also managed to pop in about 9 boshiken at different places :D ... had I been one of those weakminded fools, I wouldn't have come to the next practice, i'd tell ya ! :D

I certainly feel that it does wonders for my sense for balance but I'm not that familiar with internal power (though i'm really interested of knowing more about it )

Posted on: 2005/7/21 20:29
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Marcus Olsson
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Re: Self-practice
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hi marcus, i think your training routine sounds good mate, i would say though maybe add a big mirror and eyeball the dude in it, look at his movement is it jerky or flowing? is he remaining 'compact'(?) or is he bobbing and weaving, side/side up down to excess.

maybe after a little while do the tai chi thing but really want to harm that reflection(dont stand to close to the mirror ) sort of have real intention in your mind rather than going through the motions.


mirror therapy is great, but also
train with any real person you can too.


just my humble opinion, good luck

Posted on: 2005/7/21 22:04
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darren stewart

Oldschoolcarpentry.com.au
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Re: Self-practice
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I am stuck in a similar situation. I practiced goho no kata of Kukishin ryu bojutsu for 2 years by myself on trees, posts, the air, what have you, before I was able to move onto other things in bojutsu. Same with kihon happo and sanshin. This was due to isolation. So, I used my imagination.

Trees are wonderful training partners. As are telephone poles, and large fence posts. Practicing koshi sanpo kihon happo while examining your angles and kukan around trees is an excellent method of training. It doesn't beat a live opponent, but it has its place. Luckily my wife returned to training, so I have a body to work with every once in a while.

The slow thing is very, very important. If you can't do it slow, then you won't be able to do it fast. Ukemi for example, you won't be able to do it on rough black top or gravel if you don't have it down slow.

Take the time to feel where your balance ends through your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders and gravity takes you. Check your angles. Time spent with this will put you far ahead of some people. You should be able to kill 2 hours on ukemi alone in one session, should you choose to do so.

Although I am always happy when I can get to train with other groups and instructors, I cherish my solo training time very much. It is my laboratory. Such moments are precious and need to be used to their utmost.

Posted on: 2005/7/22 4:36
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Glenn R. Manry -

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Re: Self-practice
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Thanks guys, the mirror-advice got to me. Though my bathroom is pretty small and isn't suited for practicing in, maybe it's worth buying a mirror to put in a bigger room.

I also think it really helps to close your eyes sometimes when you're really trying to get the feeling down 'cause it's easier to feel if your joint and limbs are moving smoothly or if the motion gets interrupted along the way.

Posted on: 2005/7/22 21:45
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Marcus Olsson
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Re: Self-practice
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If you have no one to train with, and can't see your instructor for the summer (not sure if I misread what you were saying) I would have someone videotape you and send the tape to your instructor so you are not building up bad habits.

Doing movements wrong day in and day out will just mess you up more.

Posted on: 2005/7/22 23:34
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Re: Self-practice
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Video taping is a good suggestion, if your instructor is willing to do so. I have been debating doing this, since my instructor is in NC and I am in Wyoming.

However, because I had 3 years and took the time to get basic kamae pretty much straightened out with my seniors before I left for Wyoming (and I was not a novice in MA), I have done reasonably well. Not that I don't make mistakes, but typically I can feel them because they break some physical rule of good taijutsu. I have constructed a built in corrective system through using reasonably proper kihon.

And that is the secret I have found to beginning and intermediate taijutsu. Can you recognize the "rules" that make it work. Do you understand how things relate between the body, gravity, the ground, and the space around you (tenchijin in one sense). This is what beginners should be doing, not worrying about what technique is this and that, because without ichimonji and kihon none of that matters. It is boring if you are looking for the quick path, not that you are from what it seems.

I started with shizen and ichimonji and ukemi and worked outward in my self-study. I moved to the sanshin and kihon happo, then some koto ryu, gyokko ryu, kukishin ryu, bojutsu, etc. Always refer back to the basic recipe and double check your work (like in math class). In this way you will progress.

In my opinion, kihon has to be nurtured like a seedling. There are many things that will make it wither and die, so always be diligent and very, very honest with yourself. This is the hardest thing, because we all want to have the feeling that we understand. That is a trap.

Posted on: 2005/7/23 12:14
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Glenn R. Manry -

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Re: Self-practice
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2005/7/19 15:17
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Speaking of videotaping, have you heard of Shihan Rich Van Donks system of video feedback from his training group called the "International Bujinkan Dojo" formerly the American Bujinkan Dojo. Upon becoming a member, you can videotape yourself doing techniques, and for a fee, it will be reveiwed by an instructor and they will critique your taijutsu and tell you what you need to focus on. This can be researched at www.Ninjutsu.com. I hope this helps.

Posted on: 2005/7/25 17:29
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Vincent Salerno
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