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Old 07-21-2009, 10:42 AM   #16
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Self-Taught Iaido

What's the legal chestnut -- a man who defends himself has a fool for a lawyer? Same idea here. Your current iaido sensei is a fraud -- he knows nothing about iaido. Would you take lessons from someone who doesn't know anything more than what he/she read in a book? Why would it be any different to do it yourself?

Look around. Taking an in-person lesson once every month or two then practicing what was taught there will be vastly better than training daily with a book or video in front of you. Or just wait until you can do it correctly. Why is that so hard?

Or you could work really hard now to teach it to yourself. That way when you start to train the new sensei will get to spend an extra year or two trying to fix all the stuff you thought you knew before ever starting with the real deal. I have many friends/ customers/ etc. who are "long termers" in japanese sword arts. I can think of many times hearing them complain about self-taught students. Not once can I remember a teacher ever saying "Man, that guy came in and he was so good -- self-taught too!" It just doesn't work that way.

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