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#114064 - 01/13/05 10:28 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
That arguement doesn't hold water. He lived in a time and place where swords were in use. It wasn't that hard to gain real experience by going out and testing and subsequently refining one's skills. That environment no longer exists and so your arguement does not hold.

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#114065 - 01/13/05 10:42 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Zeal Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 56
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jay Harms:
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.
[/QUOTE]

I take it you have read Go Rin No Sho and got this idea from there.

As Charles says, Musashi actually killed people with his weapons to gain experience.

Also his father was an experienced bugeisha, so he probably grew up around weapons.

If Musashi saw no value in structured teaching, why would he create his own ryuha? Also towards the end of his life, he shunned most weapons in favour of his bokuto, so I suppose he did prefer sticks in the end.

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#114066 - 01/13/05 01:28 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

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

Zeal

Well put!

Lets me just add to that pretty much EVERY classical ryu used/uses a structred teaching method.

Even if JAy was right--which he clearly is not--that would be only a single example amoung many counter examples.

Not really all that strong an arguement.

Plus, I have to ask--why the heck does everyone seem to focus on that particular part of the Musashi??

And they all seem to want to try and use it as justification for their own lack of formal training.

Tell you what--you wander all over the place taking part in lethal sword duels--and can prove it.

You kill 20 or so guys in duels and you can quote Musashi all you want.

Heck, I'll even buy YOUR book.

Until then, kindly get some real training prior to lecturing others about the history of the arts they practice.

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#114067 - 01/13/05 03:17 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


20 trained swordsmen, that is.

[This message has been edited by yen (edited 01-13-2005).]

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#114068 - 01/13/05 04:11 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by cxt:

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.
[/QUOTE]

I see were you are coming from it just seems that everyone on this forum has something bad to say about reading books or watching videos. Were did they start. Im sure not eveyone that studies the sword just started out going to a teacher. They are not that easy to find. I am going to sit in on my first class tonight. I found a dojo nearme but it took a couple of weeks . Thanks for the input

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#114069 - 01/13/05 04:24 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jay Harms:
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.
[/QUOTE]

Musashi did study kenjutsu from an early age. He studied from several ryu early on. After his "enlightenment" he separated from himself from traditional guidance and embarked on his Musha-Shugyo at 16. His first duel at thirteen wasn’t even with a sword.

[QUOTE] When he was 13, Musashi participated in his first single combat, challenging the swordsman Arima Kigei, who had invited challenges as a means of proving the superiority of his school, Shinto-Ryu. Although Musashi was very young, Kigei accepted his challenge. Musashi defeated the samurai, striking him repeatedly with a stick, so violently that he died. As well as his skill, this duel displayed the savagery which marked Musashi as a young man.[/QUOTE]

He did continue to learn from others in more of a mentor/training partner capacity. With his father being a warrior and jutte "master" in his own right it's believed Musashi's style was strongly influenced by his father and the fact he learned from an early age to hold a sword with one hand.


Musashi DID have teachers. The section you are refering to...
[QUOTE]Excerpt from Musashi's "Book of Five Rings": Thus with the virtue of strategy I practise many arts and abilities - all things with no teacher.[/QUOTE]
Is explained in this way..
[QUOTE]There had been traditions instituted for the arts in the Muromachi period, system of grades and licences and seniority, and these were perpetuated perhaps more rigidly under the Tokugawa bureaucracy. Musashi studied various arts in separate schools, but when after his enlightenment he persued his studies he had become separate from traditional guidance. He writes his final words in the book of the Void: "Then you will come to think of things in a wide sense, and taking the Void as the Way, you will then see the Way as Void."[/QUOTE]
Traditional guidance in the sense of a teacher within the strict sense of the word for his time.

I suggest YOU learn some history before chastising others and opening YOUR mouth. Reading one book doesn't make you a historian.




[This message has been edited by laf7773 (edited 01-13-2005).]

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#114070 - 01/13/05 04:29 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
[QUOTE]Originally posted by alevshogun:
I see were you are coming from it just seems that everyone on this forum has something bad to say about reading books or watching videos. Were did they start. Im sure not eveyone that studies the sword just started out going to a teacher. They are not that easy to find. I am going to sit in on my first class tonight. I found a dojo nearme but it took a couple of weeks . Thanks for the input[/QUOTE]

The reason everyone is saying you can't learn from books and videos is because it's true. I don't care how much you want to believe you can, it's not possible. They are ONLY there for reference for those who are in study, looking to gain an understanding of an art prior to studying it or to gain a general understanding of the history and differences in their art to others.

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#114071 - 01/13/05 09:08 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by laf7773:
The reason everyone is saying you can't learn from books and videos is because it's true. I don't care how much you want to believe you can, it's not possible. They are ONLY there for reference for those who are in study, looking to gain an understanding of an art prior to studying it or to gain a general understanding of the history and differences in their art to others.

[/QUOTE]

This still does not answer the question on were they strarted. They did not just start learning from a teacher. They did some research and learned from books in the begining. There is no way you can get into anything for that matter without studying or some type of research. I think that people are giving bad advice when they say you can not learn from books. You might not be able to loearn technique from books but there is still alot to learn from a book. Just because they say not to read books here read them anyway. So many people qoute all the masters of the sword and these quotes had to come from a book! Period. Books pass on knowledge from some time ago. You can not deny this!

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#114072 - 01/14/05 12:24 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Take a deep breath and read through some of the posts again. Not just in this thread but any of the numerous other "self teaching" threads. No one has said books and videos aren't good for anything. If there is one thing i think we all agree on it's that the ONLY thing you should be learning from books is history, etiquette and so forth. When we say you can't learn from books and videos we are talking about things like technique, stance, distancing, rhythm, triangulation, angle and direction and a variety of other aspects of the arts that can ONLY be taught by a qualified instructor.

The point some are trying to make to you specifically is about things like how to tie a hakama and such. There isn't one way to do it. The way you may be learning from the book your reading may be different than what is taught in every dojo in your area.


As for how everyone started. Why is it so hard to believe that some just found their way into a dojo? When i started i knew nothing about iaido or kenjutsu. I was young and thought it was all something you learned in Japanese karate. I didn't have the marvelous internet and had no idea what to look for in the library. My first experience was through an introduction made by a friend. I was primarily in tae kwon do and Chinese systems up to that point an knew nothing about Japanese sword arts. I watched on class by what i know now as a low ranking, unqualified instructor in batto-do and was hooked. My research started AFTER my training.

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#114073 - 01/14/05 03:16 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


Were did they start. Im sure not eveyone that studies the sword just started out going to a teacher. They are not that easy to find. I am going to sit in on my first class tonight. I found a dojo nearme but it took a couple of weeks

Wow, Alve your search took 2 whole weeks! Some people spend their entire lives looking for instruction. When the student is ready the teacher will appear. Perhaps you are just not ready yet.

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