View Full Version : training by yourself

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04-02-2001, 05:27 AM
I voted that you can train by yourself, but I think there's a lot you can't do like this.
So, as the Bear in the Big Blue house says, "What do YOU think?"


04-02-2001, 08:26 AM
Hi Andrew!

I voted with "no" because I think Aikido only exists between two or more people.
I was often ill the last 6 month and I found many exercises which I could do and are also helpful for Aikido. Sometimes I also practice for myself. But this is different from Aikido training with partner.

I'm also interested in other peoples opinion on this topic.



04-02-2001, 10:32 AM
From where I stand, the answer to the poll question is "yes and no."

Yes, there are things you can do by yourself that help your aikido. I spend time working on bokken and jo cuts and strikes. 1000 cuts is not something that you do with a partner either. Taisabaki are very useful for getting a feel for good body movements. I also often go through techniques without a partner so I can concentrate on footwork and posture.

However, all of these things are meant to supplement practice with partners. After all, working with another person is the heart of Aikido.

My two cents,
-Drew Ames

04-02-2001, 11:09 AM
No offense to anyone here,
but I feel that if one thinks they can advance in Aikido strictly solo,
they are severly misguided and setting themselves up for a BIG disappointment.

04-02-2001, 11:28 AM
I would have to disagree to some extent.

I have found that using the Aiki-taiso, developed by Koichi Tohei Sensei, are an excellent way for one person to practice for aikido.
If you focus and try to understand the movements (not just do them for the sake of doing them)and their applications to technique, they help you connect your center to your arms legs whatever comes in contact with uke making you much more powerful. It seems to have made me more subtle.

I just wish that when I started Aikido that I would have been exposed to these exercises, I really think it would have helped me with coordinating my mind and body.

04-02-2001, 12:23 PM
I thought everybody 'trained' when they were on their own...

04-02-2001, 12:56 PM
While I agree that the Aikitaiso contains all the waza one may need, I feel it is the interaction in the dojo that allows one to ultimately grasp the principles behind them.
Otherwise, once one has learned the Aikitaiso, why not just quit you dojo, practice Aikitaiso for 30 years, and then call one's self a master?
To further illustrate,
If I have a pimple on my nose, all the world can plainly see it, however I am oblivious to it. In this state, I may tout myself as perfect and without blemish, however my peers can instantly see the opposite is true.
There has never been any victory that can be considered a true victory by those who have not sought the council of others. To walk the path alone is to invite ignorance, self delusion, arrogance and failure.

04-02-2001, 01:12 PM
Aikidoka2000 wrote:
No offense to anyone here,
but I feel that if one thinks they can advance in Aikido strictly solo,
they are severly misguided and setting themselves up for a BIG disappointment.

In a way you raise a good point of caution.

However as others have already mentioned there are many ways to practice aikido solo. This is part of my aikido practice, in my limited experience this solo practice is as important as practicing with a partner.

anne marie

04-02-2001, 01:50 PM
I think the point I'm trying to get at, barring any malignant acne obscuring my view :), is; I believe that practicing Aikido alone (via aiki-taiso) or what have you, is important. I understand that you learn application of waza through paired practice, but you may get more out of your waza by studying your own body and your own mindset.
You may find that in paired practice the level of relaxation you achieve in Aiki-taiso doesn't happen. You learned this from taking an introspective look at yourself, not from throwing uke until it felt right. Same with weight underside, ki extension, and shodo seisu.

To follow the analogy Tomu gave: Don't worry about the zit, but find what led up to you having the zit and see if there is anything you can do to keep it from happening again.

Aiki-taiso is an aid to help you understand what is happening to your mind and body when you perform the fundamental movements in Aikido.
Be more in tune with yourself. Listen to your body, and what it tells you.

If you are in harmony with yourself, I believe it will be a heck of a lot easier to harmonize with someone else.

04-02-2001, 05:37 PM
I agree wholeheartedly to that! :D

04-03-2001, 12:08 AM
mj wrote:
I thought everybody 'trained' when they were on their own...

Wherever you go, there you are.

04-03-2001, 04:06 AM
I was amazed to see that anyone said that you could train by yourself. Maybe you can do excercises and weapon work but these are the equivalent of swinging your squash racket on your own and presuming that this teaches you how to play squash.

I would even go as far as to say you can't do proper aikido with just one other person (i.e. you need to train with a variety of people to realise that people are different) - thats if you want to do aikido as a self-defence.


04-03-2001, 06:18 AM
So I've not got much idea about this as I've only been practicisng aikido for a couple of months, but...

...there are some basic movements (tori funi, tenkan, can't remember or spell other names) that could be done on my own. I guess if I were going to get good at football (soccer) then I'd go and kick a ball against a wall. It wouldn't teach me how to tackle or to pass, but I'd get a feel for how to kick and it'd improve eye-body coordination. Maybe the same applies to aikido? Doing these movements lets us get your balance right. So maybe it depends on what we class as practice and training?

(Who is the Bear in the Big Blue House?)

04-03-2001, 08:00 AM
I'm also very new to Aikido (4 months) and I've found it invaluable to go over the basic form of the movements of what we've covered in class, outside of class. If I lived with someone who was interested in Aikido, I'd practice with them, no question about it. But my fiance just gives me a whithering stare when I say "honey, grab my wrist!" :)

So maybe for beginners it is helpful to practice alone to at least get our bodies used to the flow of the techniques as a supplement to on-the-mat training.

[Edited by NYFE Man on April 3, 2001 at 01:28pm]

04-03-2001, 08:15 AM
Moomin wrote:

(Who is the Bear in the Big Blue House?)

There's actually two, but one of them is a little girl bear called Ojo, and she hardly ever says "What do YOU think?"
It's a childrens TV programme. It's brilliant.


04-03-2001, 12:19 PM
I wouldn't have thought that training on your own could 'help' your technique. But damn, isn't it fun...:)

04-03-2001, 01:52 PM
This is a silly thread (and poll question). Of course one can practice Aikido by themselves. Aikido is a way-of-life. Can you eat, think, and shit by yourself? Besides, take a look at the serene person performing slow, harmonious Tai Chi katas, or the one doing Yoga focusing on her breath while releasing thoughts of tension--THIS IS AIKIDO! Obviously we need the dojo and the use of an uke, but Aikido is daily living (and believe it or not folks, Aikido extends outside the dojo).

Richard Harnack
04-03-2001, 02:33 PM
Yes one can and should train by themselves. This may involve something as basic as practicing centering throughout the day. Quite frankly, I tell my students to practice "shopping cart Aikido". This involves using the basic fune kogi movement in moving a shopping cart around a store. Instead of pushing from one's shoulders, move from your hips.

When my grandchildren come to visit and play "jump on grandpa", I use quite a bit of tenkan to keep them from hurting me and themselves. Their interpretation is that they are getting swung through the air.

Really training is where you find it, not confined to a "dojo". The world should be your dojo. Your center moves with you. Keep your awareness with you also. This is the fundamental Aikido training. Throws, pins and take downs are other things we do also.

04-04-2001, 08:39 AM
I am not sure I understand the question.

If you mean can you study Aikido solely from books and video then no.

If you mean can you train your Aikido while alone most definately.

I run a small college dojo and exams, spring and conspiricy of the Gods not one student showed up last Thursday.

I trained for a full hour, sweating like a pig at the end of it.

Normal warm-up routine
Foot and hand movements
Distance closing exercies.
Sword and Jo work
Kata training with an imaginary partner.
Ukemi practice

04-04-2001, 03:36 PM
PeterR wrote:

I run a small college dojo and exams, spring and conspiricy of the Gods not one student showed up last Thursday.

It sounds like an interesting topic. If I were your student I would of showed up.


George S. Ledyard
04-20-2001, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by andrew
I voted that you can train by yourself, but I think there's a lot you can't do like this.
So, as the Bear in the Big Blue house says, "What do YOU think?"


Can you train by yourself and get anything out of it? Sure. Any time you become mindful and direct your attention in a focused fashion to some end you can derive something benficial from it. There are planty of solo exercises that are meant to suplement your regular practice.

Could you teach yourself Aikido? No. Apart from the issue of needing a partner with whom to do the techniques you would still fall far short because of the lack of a teacher.

You can work through books and videos and try to puzzle out what you see but you could spend years doing that and still have a highly developed system of bad habits and misundertsood techniques.

Each generation of teachers has spent many yaers developing a certain level of skill. They did that with the aid of their teachers who distilled their own experiences and past them on. Then the new generation takes that instruction, adds its own insights and passes it on to the up and coming.

If each generation were to have to completely reinvent the wheel each time there would be nothing at all possible like the sophisticated art we have inherited.