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#414549 - 01/28/09 12:12 AM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: Ames]
AdamAlexander Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 30
I think as long as you're doing something, you're doing well. I don't believe there's a right/wrong way to practice (on your own.) Nor do I believe that it's better or worse to do the stuff that you're curious about at that time.

However, I wonder why you wouldn't be working on your test techniques.


Edited by AdamAlexander (01/28/09 12:14 AM)

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#414550 - 01/28/09 08:13 PM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: AdamAlexander]
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Well, I think the wrong way to practice would be continuously doing a technique or movement incorrectly to the point that the wrong way became ingrained in the muscle memory.

Regarding the test technique comment, for me when I'm at home I don't have a partner to practice with, so I focus on solo training. Also, to be perfectly honest, I think solo training is an important and far too underrated aspect of success.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414551 - 01/28/09 08:30 PM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: Ames]
AdamAlexander Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 30
Quote:

Well, I think the wrong way to practice would be continuously doing a technique or movement incorrectly to the point that the wrong way became ingrained in the muscle memory.




When I let go of that belief, my training really opened up.
_________________________
Always the man in whom thought thrusts ahead of thought, allows the goal to move far off.

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#414552 - 01/29/09 10:01 AM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: AdamAlexander]
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Care to explain that a little more? What belief are you talking about?

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/29/09 10:02 AM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414553 - 01/29/09 05:04 PM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: Ames]
AdamAlexander Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 30
The only truth is that which you believe. If you believe that you're unable to unlock the techniques, then that is reality. If, however, you believe that you can unlock them and commit your energy to doing so, then you can.

Adam Alexander
_________________________
Always the man in whom thought thrusts ahead of thought, allows the goal to move far off.

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#414554 - 01/29/09 05:12 PM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: AdamAlexander]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
I'm still not understanding here. What does that have to do with

Quote:

Well, I think the wrong way to practice would be continuously doing a technique or movement incorrectly to the point that the wrong way became ingrained in the muscle memory.




Being a "belief" that if one lets go of their "training [will] really open up"?

How does a focus on the proper execution of technique, including posture, 'softness' etc, mean a lack of 'committing' oneself to unlocking the techniques (as you seem to be implying)?

Perhaps I'm having trouble following you here because you talking in an overly generalized way, so if you could provide a more focused, pragmatic response, that would help.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414555 - 01/29/09 05:19 PM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: Ames]
AdamAlexander Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 30
Quote:

because you talking in an overly generalized way




Maybe. I think we'll both have to be comfortable with that.
_________________________
Always the man in whom thought thrusts ahead of thought, allows the goal to move far off.

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#414556 - 01/29/09 05:26 PM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: AdamAlexander]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Hmmm...okay. The thing is, it's rather difficult to speak to anything you are saying. Are you or are you not disagreeing with this statement:

Quote:

Well, I think the wrong way to practice would be continuously doing a technique or movement incorrectly to the point that the wrong way became ingrained in the muscle memory.




and if so, can you support your argument with anything more than overly generalized platitudes, because they tend not to go very far here, and also tend to kill threads.

I know you are new here, and don't want to turn you off the forum, but you should maybe read past threads and get a sense of how this forum works.

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/29/09 05:31 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414557 - 01/29/09 06:56 PM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: Ames]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Quote:

When I let go of that belief, my training really opened up.


Yeah, I thought that was rather vague too...

Quote:

Well, I think the wrong way to practice would be continuously doing a technique or movement incorrectly to the point that the wrong way became ingrained in the muscle memory.


Firstly, I don't put much stock in the whole idea of "muscle memory". I think it would be more accurate to refer to it as ingrained habitual postural alignment and movement - because the "memory" that is being referred to, is a function of the brain and nervous system, rather than "muscles".

Secondly, I don't buy into the whole "technique" idea. If we were discussing jujitsu, then yes. IMO, Aikido is less about "technique" than it is about changing the way you move. The "shapes" and "forms" of what appears to be "techniques", in Aikido, is really a way of moving (effortlessly) - whilst under varying amounts of loading forces from uke, the ground and gravity.

On a side note, there are good logical reasons for teaching base jujitsu techniques first, before teaching aiki. But I believe it can also work the other way - aiki first, then jujitsu. Ultimately, you'd need both.

The reason I say Aikido is not "technique" is due to the fact that simple, "basic" solo exercises, performed statically, (such as funekogi, the "universal exercise", etc.) are used as part of the movement within a "technique". As a simple example, katate tori kokyu nage, where uke grabs your left wrist with their right hand, and you irimi-tenkan and throw forward. The "throw forward" movement is essentially funekogi.

IOW, the link between solo exercises and actual "technique" is more than a cursory "warm up routine". The solo exercises - tandouku undo/kihon dosa (which should rightly be called "kiso" or "conditioning" exercises), provide the basis for changing the way we move - whether it is doing a "technique" or simply "normal everyday movement". That's why it's called "conditioning" exercises, because it ingrains and habituates a specific mode of mind-body coordinated movement.

The confusing aspect for most people, is that Aikido "techniques", like karate kata, are part body conditioning and part actual technique - performed dynamically (i.e. whilst moving and whilst under load).

So, back on topic... the exercises I would do outside of the dojo would include funekogi (at the very least), the "universal exercise", ikkyo undo, the "wrist stretches", suburi, etc. - i.e. all the basic "warm up" exercises that are usually done at the start of the class.

As for why and how these *should* be done... that is another topic for discussion.

If you're imaginative enough, you could even practice kokyu-ho by yourself, using a Swiss ball and a wall (or even bungee cords). In fact, if you know what you're meant to be practising, you'd find various uses for walls, door jambs, fridge/car doors, kitchen drawers and just about anything you can find around the house.


Edited by eyrie (01/29/09 06:58 PM)

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#414558 - 01/29/09 07:52 PM Re: Exercising outside the dojo [Re: eyrie]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
eyrie, I pretty much agree with your post. I think that any difference here is mostly semantic here.

I use 'muscle memory' because that is the common parlance, but you're right in that the actual muscle itself doesn't hold memory.

Regarding the 'technique' thing, I wasn't really speaking about a specific 'technique', like shiho nage or what have you. In this context I meant 'technique' as the coming together of posture (alignment), timing, breath, not something from the syllabus.

What I was trying to get at was that an incorrect practice would be one done with 'poor technique', say swinging a sword by over engaging the shoulder muscles, or performing funekogi with the spine held at an awkward angle and tensing the biceps. This is the kind of thing to watch out for.

But I agree 'aiki' can be contained in a technique, but just because the technique you are practicing comes from an Aikido dojo, it doesn't mean there is any 'aiki' in it. It can be full or empty, and the quickest way to make it empty is to think of it as a 'technique'.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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