View Full Version : Solo Practice

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07-16-2001, 02:08 PM
Hey all,

Do you think it is a good idea to train by oneself - can anything be gained by solo practice, as opposed to partner training? Is it better than nothing?


07-16-2001, 02:43 PM

I say sure it's better than nothing, although there's not too much technique-wise that you can gain from it. Things like bokken and jo katas can be practiced, along with rolls, rowing exercises, etc.

Personally, I've tried some different things, like throwing my jo into the air and then trying to blend with it as it comes back down(rather subtle differences between good n bad catches... the longer you wait, the more difficult... perhaps not the best solo idea, but it's somethin). Be creative I suppose...

Better than nothing, best in spirituality. Somewhat little to gain in regards to self-defense though it will help some.


07-16-2001, 03:59 PM
I like solo practice: Harvey, my imaginary uke, always attacks with the correct speed and distance for a flawless performance on my part. Actually, I get a lot out of going through the steps, imagining a partner in a variety of speeds, etc.---so the next time my uke gives not quite a textbook attack, it's not a total surprise. Also, if there is an area I'm working on I can go through it in slow motion or instant replay (try THAT with a real partner). Sometimes I know how it felt as uke (say, from sensei or another senior) but had no clue how to do it...I can relive the feeling/mimic the ukemi and work backwards from there (with all the time solo practice affords) to figure out the technique.

07-16-2001, 04:01 PM
My only problem is I usually listen to music when I do, and so there are certain techniques that when I do them I hear music in my head...although I haven't broken into song on a test yet :).

07-17-2001, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by Sid
Hey all,

Do you think it is a good idea to train by oneself - can anything be gained by solo practice, as opposed to partner training? Is it better than nothing?


Have a read of the article on methods of training by Tamura Shihan at http://www.aikidoonline.com

You should stretch everyday by yourself whether training or not, and do a few hundred suburi whenever possible.


07-17-2001, 12:01 PM
I wouldn't necessarily call what I do training when alone, but I go through many techniques in my head all day long. When I get a chance I will go out in the warehouse where I work, and run through the steps and motions of techniques I like, techniques I need to work on, and techniques I may have to practice for my next test. I focus on breathing when performing kokyunage on the invisible uke, and keeping my center low when making tenkan turns. Sometimes while sitting at my desk I will go through the arm motions of certain techniques as well. The only problem with running through things like that alone are that if you are doing something "wrong" you practice it "wrong" and when you get out on the mat, it doesnt work and then you have to unlearn what you have practiced. I usually only go through technique movements solo when I feel comfortable and confident that I have my feet, legs, hips, torso, arms, hands, and head in proper position and motion. Does it work - I don't know...you'll have to ask people I train with. But yes I think it can be a good thing and beneficial if you have the foundation to build upon.

07-17-2001, 03:19 PM
Hey all, let me explain my situation.

There are not many aikido dojo in my city, that I can get to, at least. None
of them offer classes for more than two hours a week(which, as I gather from
this forum), is very very bad. I train at a dojo, with a very good(IMHO,
anyway) instructor, once a week for two hours. I have got a lot done in my
2.5 years, and can do the waza reasonably well, but I feel that I should put
more time in.

So, at least 3 times a week I practice my aikido for about 30 minutes - I
know it's probably not enough, but it's really hard to shadow box in a
martial art with no set form(as opposed to something like tai chi). Do you
guys think this is beneficial, and how bad is the 2 hours a week thing?

Thanks, Sid

07-18-2001, 05:37 AM

I will admit to a prejudice about amount of practice. I think that anyone serious about pursuing a martial art practices every day. However, the realities of 21st Century United States culture dictate that this "formal" practice time will be limited to the dojo's hours of operation.

Some will have the triple great fortune of a school with a high-caliber instructor, many class times and easy access. Others will have only one or maybe even none of those things. I believe that no matter where or with whom you train you should maximize your time on the mat. That means truly BE THERE during class, focus, give your best effort, etc. I know some people who have all three of the great fortunes and squander them by coming to class only to discuss their political and philosophical views. Their practice is hollow, their attention to the practice mediocre at best. Having the three fortunes does not mean you have the best practice, the best technique or the best views. It only means you're lucky. It's what you do with it that counts.


07-18-2001, 09:13 AM
I think the best thing to do is to practice as much as you can. However, sometimes that is limited by the number of classes your dojo offers, and sometimes by lack of availability of your own personal time due to either job, family, or other responsibilities. Even though the dojo where I practice offers classes seven days a week, sometimes three classes a day, I can only get there for two to four classes a week. I simply have other things in my life that require my attention, such as family and work. That said, I also supplement my class time with solo ukemi practice, weapons suburi, and basic aikido exercises like rowing, tenkan, ikkyo, and happo undo exercies. I'm not a big fan of practicing actual techniques with a "shadow partner," because for me the very precise nature of aikido techniques makes me feel like I need to train with a partner. But that's just my personal preference.

07-18-2001, 12:03 PM
I tried a technique on my wife the other day, to see how an non-aikidoka would react (actually, I was just trying to impress her). She thought the technique was pretty stupid -- I'm not making this up -- and she bit me on the knee to escape.

Training with a partner is definitely more rewarding than training alone.


07-18-2001, 06:42 PM
which one, Jim?

07-18-2001, 06:47 PM
Nick... which knee, technique or wife did you mean? :)

07-18-2001, 07:18 PM
I'm laughing too much to answer right now! :D

I tried to impress her and she decided to impress upon me.