View Full Version : Solo training without weapons.

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graham butt
05-09-2005, 04:18 AM
Hey everyone!

I recently moved away from my home town and i am without an Aikido Dojo now!
I was just wondering how you guys train solo.. without the aid of weapons (mainly because i can't have them on the place i work at)

So far i've just been running through footwork motions for weapons work and i find myself a heavy stick to condition with as well...

But what else could be done????

thanks folks

05-09-2005, 04:40 AM
If you have a syllabus work though it completely by visualisation.

Imagine the attacks and work your defenses.

As Elvis said..."if you cant find a partner...use a wooden chair" .

Any fitness conditioning work may help...but be careful...theres a hotel in wimbledon with a chair that has a leg held on by chewing gum thanks to its secondment as a makeshift bokken.



Yann Golanski
05-09-2005, 05:05 AM
Tomiki developed a set of exercises that you could practice alone to help your aikido. Check them out.

05-09-2005, 06:33 AM
tapes & cds

05-09-2005, 07:44 AM
IMHO, footwork, shadow box and rhythm train. Turn on some rocking music and move to the beat.

Joost Korpel
05-09-2005, 08:24 AM
I recommend you try Michael Friedl's DVD "Meditation in Motion". I've used this DVD for solo practice and found it very helpful. This DVD is described on the web as"

This DVD presents a solo Aikido practice that can be done anywhere. Similar to a Tai chi practice, this meditative exercise incorporates 13 different techniques and focuses on weight shift, breathing, and slow execution of Aikido techniques to improve balance and build internal energy (Ki).

This DVD also has Friedl Sensei demonstrating solo ukemi. I attended a seminar with Friedl Sensei, where he had us all practice solo ukemi for an iriminage technique. Boy, does that force you to understand the movements of irminage!

You can purchase a copy of Friedl Sensei's DVD "Meditation in Motion" online at:



Amir Krause
05-09-2005, 09:07 AM
I guess you would have to look in the material you were taught and find the best solutions for you. Trying to practice using visualization is good, but very difficult to do, and can only help in practicing some elements (you can't feel a non existent partner).

In Korindo Aikido we have 8 Tai-Sabaki movements to practice on our own, they assist us in practicing and improving movement and form one of the fundamental bases of the art.


05-09-2005, 09:16 AM
Trying to practice using visualization is good, but very difficult to do, and can only help in practicing some elements (you can't feel a non existent partner).

really? thats amazing...thanks Amir..and here was I thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread! ;)

05-09-2005, 12:25 PM
Find someone who's interested and share what you know with them.


05-09-2005, 05:02 PM
Try training in another martial art, or pick up some good books on Tai Chi, do it everyday and I bet you'll be amazed at your progress in Aikido once you get back on the mat.

05-09-2005, 06:10 PM
Darens' idea is a great one. It not only will make your Aikido better, but also your ability to visualize (which might come in handy!). I do lots and lots of movement ability drills. How slow can I roll, how much can I isolate parts of my body. Pushups into handstands. Anything demanding that increases command over your body. If I were you I'd get a broom with a handle you can unscrew and you'd have a Jo.

-Chris Hein

05-09-2005, 07:33 PM
irimi irimi irimi irimi irimi

irimi tenkan irimi tenkan irimi tenkan irimi tenkan irimi tenkan

irimi tenkan ikkyo irimi tenkan ikkyo irimi tenkan ikkyo

irimi tenkan nikkyo irmi tenkan nikkyo irimi tenkan nikkyo


irimi tenkan kaitennage irimi tenkan kaitenage

happo giri/undo happo giri/undo happo giri/undo

mae ukemi mae ukemi mae ukemi mae ukemi

ushiro ukemi ushiro ukemi ushiro ukemi

shikko shikko shikko shikko

Get the idea? ;)


05-09-2005, 07:52 PM
In the Yoshikan syllabus there are the kihon dosa and kihon dosa renzoku.

This doesn't really help you if you don't have someone to show you and explain what's going on, but if you've ever seen/tried them it might help. They are also well written up and described in some books and DVD's.



05-09-2005, 11:59 PM
your real goal is just to stay soft. if you can work by visualization, great, i'd encourage you do practice every technique you know. if not, just do the ura version of irimi nage, focus on staying balanced and being fluid. this technique is the bread and butter of aikido, it has most/all the footwork and is truely the most fluid and easiest tech to practice by itself. rolls and falls are good too, you never want to forget your ukemi. or heck, if you think you can find a dojo pretty easily, just take a month or two off. i cut myself open pretty bad a couple months ago, was out for 6 weeks, and came back softer and more fluid than i had ever been. might work.

graham butt
05-10-2005, 01:39 AM
Thanks guys... All pretty useful ideas...!
Obviousl i won't know if i progress until i get back on the mat...

Don't know when that will be...!


:ai: :ki: :do:

05-10-2005, 01:46 AM
But what else could be done????
Well how far along is your Aikido training?

If you have a couple of years under your belt - grab a few friends and start practicing.

If you are a beginner - shelve your Aikido and do something else for awhile.

Solo Aikido can be done I suppose but for any length of time it will get you nowhere.

05-10-2005, 04:56 AM
bloody-hell! Just wrote a massive thread and it didn't work. I tell you what, e-mail me in 1 week (ir.dodkins@ulster.ac.uk) and I shall send you the student 'at home' training program that I've developed over the last 2 years.


graham butt
05-12-2005, 01:12 AM
Thanks Ian... i will email you monday???

My Aikido training has been done over three years... i have been to every seminar and summer school since i've started training and reached the level of 1st kyu... Thats why i want to keep training!


05-12-2005, 01:15 AM
Graham - I really suggest you grab a few friends and start practicing together.

Stick with what you know, treat it as a group of friends, even make some sort of connection with your old or nearest club - there is no reason for you to train in isolation. Ikkyu is pretty good.

I started my own dojo with only slightly more experience.

05-13-2005, 02:13 AM
I had the same dillema/It's very hard to train especially without a partner.I'm an enthusiast, but still looking for a dojo.I also moved fro my place.Maybe this is a time to test if you can train and discipline yourself even no one is looking or around. But i suggest you look for a dojo. It's very nice to have compay when training. Anyway, sensei Morisheba trained in the forest , and i dont think he have a partner there.
God bless!

05-13-2005, 02:14 AM
I started my own dojo with only slightly more experience.

Ditto, I and a couple others of ikkyu rank took over the teaching responsibilities at one of my sensei's satellite dojo when the previous instructor's new work schedule took him out of regular training. That was five years ago and the dojo is still going strong.

Get some friends and share what you know. You'll learn an incredible amount about the techniques when you have to break them down and explain them.


graham butt
05-13-2005, 10:52 AM
The place i live is quite a secluded area... There are no big sports centres or anything.... Jut a post office and a small shop... So i know for sure there is no Dojo's in this place!

Thanks for the helpguys... any more idea will be welcomed with open arms!!!

05-13-2005, 04:28 PM
Have you got a garage? Have any of your friends? Get some mats, or if you can't afford them, some soft foam sheets. Cover the floor and train! I was a 3rd Kyu brown belt when I started teaching Aikido (that is so far back :p)! Though make sure you get written and signed agreements that they will not take action against you for injury, or make sure you all get insurance. DON'T even think about going near real knives or katana!!!!! Use wooden tanto and bokken!

Hope that helps.

graham butt
05-15-2005, 11:24 AM
No garage,,,. It's a shared accomodatoion thing... Not got much time to practice as we work about 15 hours a day! but i still manage to fit solo stuff in... Good ideas though guys! will make sure i get written agreements!

05-17-2005, 12:32 AM
Are you on an oil rig?

Kevin Kelly
05-17-2005, 12:36 PM
We have an excercise we do at my dojo which could be referred to as solo technique practice. You basically go through the techniques by yourself with no partner. It's called "Kage no renshu" and I'm sure I spelled it wrong.

Stuart Mckay
06-01-2005, 05:27 PM
Hey, im surprised u didnt take your bokken up with you, at least then you could do some weapons work which will obviously in turn help your body work as well.

Classes down here getting pretty small, there was only 3 of us tonight and stevie, need to get some new blood in.

Hope u get some sort of training done, even if its not aikido, will be usefull for you.

Jeanne Shepard
06-01-2005, 06:09 PM
I like to practice randori with my imaginary friends!