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#114094 - 02/16/05 10:09 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


It is true that you cannot learn a formal style from books videos or improvisation. But to say that if you don't have a formal style or ryu you will be cr@p, is, well, cr@p! i personally train with a number of different weapons (note; i said weapons, not weapon styles.) with my friends and we have noticed improvement.

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#114095 - 02/17/05 07:23 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


I don't practice sword arts at all, although I am looking for a suitable dojo now. I have been practicing Japanese martial arts for about 12 years now and I think this holds true for armed or unarmed arts: You can gain some benefit from videos and books. They can help you to refine your (existing) technique as well as teach you the history behind it and possible give insight about why it is the way it is as opposed to some variation. But videos and books alone, regardless of how many hours you devote to practice will not result in anything usefull. I've met many "self taught" "martial artists" (a few of which actually have the nerve to take on students) The one in particular that I'm talking about has been self training for as long as I have trained (with an instructor). He wears a black belt just like me, but personally I would say his level of skill is 3rd Kyu-ish, if that. Many of the techniques are ineffective, most of them look pretty at the expense of usefullness. This stems (I assume) from the fact that he NEVER had anyone w/ a higher skill level than himself to correct his mistakes. My opinion is this: books/videos/internet are GREAT to help you determine which art you want to study and once you have studied, they can help you refine it, but you can not learn a martial art that way. I had the benefit of an istructor with 40 years of experience and generations of cumulative experience/learning/refining.

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#114096 - 02/17/05 09:31 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by SwordCritter:
It is true that you cannot learn a formal style from books videos or improvisation. But to say that if you don't have a formal style or ryu you will be cr@p, is, well, cr@p! i personally train with a number of different weapons (note; i said weapons, not weapon styles.) with my friends and we have noticed improvement.[/QUOTE]


Your argument has a some flaws. First and foremost self training is not necessarily going to lead to poor skill with a sword, but it is not necessarily going to lead
to good skill either.

For instance, let's say you got a textbook on brain surgery. And you practiced in your backyard on pig brains you bought from a local butcher shop. You use an exacto knife instead of a scalpel. Close enough right. So you do this several times. Then a friend of yours comes down with a malignant brain tumor. Now would you rather take him to a board certified neuro-surgeon who has specialized training, or are you gonna take his life into your own hands and try out your skills?

See the difference I'm getting at? Swinging sticks around in the backyard is entirely different from the real thing. Even with a book to help show you the general idea, it's only gonna give you a general idea.

So it is possible that you will get to be a reasonably proficient swordsman. Anything is theoretically possible, but it is extremely unlikely. The swordstyles that have survived to the present are grounded in the knowledge and experience of many generations of skilled swordsmen, manu of whom had the oppurtunity to test their skills in actual combat where real lives were on the line.

See the difference?

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#114097 - 02/17/05 10:32 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


yes "swing sticks" in the backyard will most likely not amount to anything resmbling a formal sword art. but to say that it is unlikely to develope skill is, i feel, bullsh!t. it may not be able to compare to a proper ryu or style but to assume that i and my partners are just swing boken around like monkeys is also wrong. what we would come up with would be a more natural set of movements, caused by trial and error (the oldest form of learning) we will through time come to the most efficient way of doing attacks. isay attacks because we make no claims at knowing techniques.

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#114098 - 02/17/05 10:42 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE] what we would come up with would be a more natural set of movements, caused by trial and error (the oldest form of learning) we will through time come to the most efficient way of doing attacks.[/QUOTE]

absolutely, you will develope your skills via trial and error. in the end, you would have all of the knowledge of (part) of your own life. w/ more formal training, you would, in less time, incorporate the knoledge of many generations or trial and error.

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#114099 - 02/17/05 10:48 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


self teaching certainly is not the best way to go about it. and in some cases, accomplishes absolutely nothing. But in the end, we're all doing this for the journey, not the destination. If we just wanted to be the best killers, we are certainly all going about it the wrong way.

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#114100 - 02/17/05 10:53 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by SwordCritter:
yes "swing sticks" in the backyard will most likely not amount to anything resmbling a formal sword art. but to say that it is unlikely to develope skill is, i feel, bullsh!t. it may not be able to compare to a proper ryu or style but to assume that i and my partners are just swing boken around like monkeys is also wrong. what we would come up with would be a more natural set of movements, caused by trial and error (the oldest form of learning) we will through time come to the most efficient way of doing attacks. isay attacks because we make no claims at knowing techniques.[/QUOTE]

If that is what makes you happy, continue your whacky smacks. Just don't expect anyone who is training for real to take you seriously. If you've come here to find validation, I'm sorry to say you are unlikely to find it.

What makes you think you can learn enough in a few months of trial and error that you can compare what you've learned to what has been learned by twenty odd generations of swordsmen. Swordsmen who lived and died by what they learned and were able to pass on. Trial and error is good yes. Hundreds of years worth, backed up by testing your skill against other well trained individuals intent on your death. Now that's trial and error.

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#114101 - 02/17/05 11:13 AM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


I never said I could compare my three years of trial and error against generations of expeirence. I am just say that this form of learning does have results. And assuming that we do any of this with no discipline is also a false. we do any sword training and duels with the utmost respect for eachother and the art.

As for being happy with "playing whacky smacks", we are quite pleased with it.

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#114102 - 02/17/05 12:21 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Sword critter

See, thats the thing. Since you don't train with folks who really know what they are doing--you really don't "know" that its having any positive result.

It has a positve result vs guys that do what you do. Thats the most that can be said here.

When you learned how to drive, did you "teach yourself?" or did you "train" with folks that had been driving for years?

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#114103 - 02/17/05 12:31 PM Re: Teaching Yourself
Anonymous
Unregistered


yes, yes i did teach my self to drive. but this isn't a fair comparison driving a car is alot easier to do then properly weild a sword.

That car remark is meant as a humourus remark and not to be taken as a chalenge

i do agree that i will most likely get schooled by any one who has any formal trainig but if i do i will walk away from that fight with more expirience.

[This message has been edited by SwordCritter (edited 02-17-2005).]

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