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#114054 - 01/07/05 08:52 AM Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


Seeing the large number of "Teach Myself" threads that have been popping up, how about we set up a thread to give some pointers on what can be "self taught" prior to training with a teacher.

Being a relatively new student to sword arts, there are a few things that I believe would have helped me out prior to starting. Of course I'm not talking about actually doing anything with a blade - I'm referring to stretching, physical conditioning and discipline.

Being someone who is nearing 30 and had never really done any organized exercise program, going straight into an intense practice regimen ended up giving me a painful case of Tennis Elbow and some lingering Tendonitis. This caused me to have to basically stop practicing altogether for several weeks.

If I had known what I know now, I would have started with some repetitive arm workouts before taking my first class. If I had gotten my arms and shoulders used to the load and limbered up my wrists and elbows I probably could have avoided any problems.

Another good thing I wish I knew then was the importance of flexibility. It has taken a while for me to be able to do several of our Suburi correctly because my body wasn't relaxed and flexible enough. Excercises that increase the flexibility of my shoulders, torso, arms and legs have definately helped me remove this obstacle.

Finally, I haven't touched any sword weapon except my Bokuto's since beginning class, and I feel that it gives me more drive to learn and progress. The quicker I learn, the quicker I will move up to an Iaito and finally a Shinken.

As I said, I am pretty new to the Sword (5 months now) so I'm sure there's a lot more wisdom that the more experienced folks on this forum can provide.

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#114055 - 01/08/05 06:23 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've been getting used to the basics for three years now.Things like blocking, methods
of attack,things like that. Up to now, I've been getting pretty good at avoiding the inital attacks, then countering them. To make sure I don't screw up the distances, I practice with a friend. I like to call him a student or underling because he's not as good. The things you can definitely practice without a teacher would have to be the mechanics of sword arts in general. If you can practice with a friend, I definitely recommend it.

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#114056 - 01/08/05 06:46 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


I to am new to the sword. I have been doing as much research as possible and I am also studying the book "IAI The Art of Drawing the Sword" by Darrell Max Craig and foind it very informative. I purchased a Hakama and Kimono and am now learning the basics of the uniform and proper sword procedure. Thanks for listening. I will give up all I learn as I go on if this helps!

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#114057 - 01/10/05 08:06 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hmm, you may be missing the point.

The point was - the things you can definitely practice without a teacher would have nothing to do with a sword at all.

If you're learning without a teacher, you're not learning swordplay, you're playing with sticks.

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#114058 - 01/10/05 08:20 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Just a warning. Mr. Craig is controversial within sword arts community. I'd take what you read with a grain of salt. More importantly the "proper" ways to wear a hakama and the "proper" ettiquette regarding swords and dojos varies a bit from one style to the next.

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#114059 - 01/12/05 04:33 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by yen:
Hmm, you may be missing the point.

The point was - the things you can definitely practice without a teacher would have nothing to do with a sword at all.

If you're learning without a teacher, you're not learning swordplay, you're playing with sticks.
[/QUOTE]

actualy I am not playing with anything. And you can lean a bunch of things like parts of the sword, how to wear your hakama, how to prepare for practice ect ect. I don't know but Ithink this all has to do with the sword and you do not need a teacher to learn this.

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#114060 - 01/12/05 05:47 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Alev

What folks are reffering to is that things like how to tie the hakama, wear the sword, "proper" drawing method, how to get ready for practice etc.

Can differ considerably from ryu to ryu.

What you are teaching yourself, may be fine as far as the booksor tapes your learning from.

But its probably not going to very applicable acroos the board with other ryu.

Plus there are all kinds of small details that you can only get from proper instruction.

Heck, I remember one of my own teachers telling us that he always "changed" things a "bit" when he was being taped--that way "he would always know if someone had been trained in his system or they just bought bootleg tapes."

Chances are he was just kidding--but it makes sense to me.

You are far better off tracking down a legit teacher, your goign to do the work in either case.

If I were you I'd make it count.

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#114061 - 01/13/05 01:27 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


Doing research by learning books before finding a teacher is one thing, but you can't learn everything about Japanese sword arts via books.

If you try to learn a martial art with just books and without the guidance of a proper instructor, you are just gleaning techniques from a book without truly understanding their purpose origin or history.

Learning how to dress one's self correctly in JSA via books is OK, as it is research and some instructors will teach you different ways, so you do build up some knowledge. But that is completely different from learning technique.

If you learn by yourself, there's noone to give you feedback if you do techniques incorrectly or not.

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#114062 - 01/13/05 08:45 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


alevshogun, that was actually in response to the comment by ModernWanderer15. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#114063 - 01/13/05 10:00 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by yen:
Hmm, you may be missing the point.

The point was - the things you can definitely practice without a teacher would have nothing to do with a sword at all.

If you're learning without a teacher, you're not learning swordplay, you're playing with sticks.
[/QUOTE]

Hmmm...

The great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi (by his own account) learned how to fight with a sword without a teacher - are you saying that all he did was play with sticks?

Perhaps you should learn a little history before opening your mouth.

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