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When I had just started aikido, I practiced movements and technique forms almost daily. It really helps things in the beginning, but as you move on and learn new things you realise it's not the form, but the principle(s) of the technique that matters. I haven't really done any solo practice lately.
Without someone else to interact with, your movements are completely devoid of timing and appropriateness. Do it if you find it enjoyable, but to improve your aikido you'll need a partner at the minimum and an instructor is highly recommended.
Without another person, I would work on physical fitness and improving one's health if I were in the mood to train. But more often than not, I would read a book, see a movie, take a walk, head to the beach, or talk to someone special in my life.
And on that note I'm logging off and making breakfast for my wife.
In aikido isn't being smooth one of the most important things? Why not train alone; It can help you to get smoother. Expesialy with things like tenkan, and other baisic movements of aikido. As long as this isnt the only training you are doing, you should, of course, go to a dojo to train as well.
Without someone else to interact with, your movements are completely devoid of timing and appropriateness.
Now wait just a darn minute. Tai chi is often practiced solo, (yes i am aware of paired exercises) those who are masters of it are untouchable. All the movements are learned slowly through repitition. Many of them are similar to aikido.
Practicing movement is not entirely useless. It begins to help carve rivers in your muscular system that you'll need on the mat. You can never practice tenkan enough. Aikiken can be practiced alone along with jo. So can seated centralization and aiki breathing. Not to mention Kiai jutsu (my favorite)
i've found that training alone can be extremely beneficial
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
Without another person ... more often than not, I would read a book, see a movie, take a walk, head to the beach, or talk to someone special in my life.
I think that actually Paul has said something pretty important here, and something that's often left out of discussions about training. It's the idea that training is part of a full and rich life, that our spiritual and personal breakthroughs on the mat don't have the same value if they just stay on the mat. the kind of education we get from aikido is supposed to apply to living an enjoyable and diverse kind of life; if we're making the world a better place with the things we learn, then what better way to do it than sharing time with people, reading poetry, creating art, seeing movies - full life. we all know the folks whose lives might be revolving a bit too much around keiko. i've even encountered folks who have frowned on other intellectual pursuits because they weren't directly apart of training. if aikido was osensei's gift to the world, what better way to do him justice than by letting it influence and blend with our other interactions and observations in the world outside the dojo. Cool point Paul.
Last edited by Josh Bisker : 03-14-2004 at 05:28 AM.
I'm relatively new, and find that practicing the movements alone helps me remember them when it comes time to do them in class. I am sure that the more advanced you get the more it becomes about feeling the interaction with your partner.
I mean like training the movements of the technics or train alone with an imaginary partner.
Most certainly. I have to disagree with those who said it's more or less worthless, or a waste of time to train alone. There are certainly ways to "train" while alone. I am always envisioning movements in my head, and during the day at work, will actually work them out and go through nage's side of the technique in my office. And not so amazingly, when I get to class that evening, they work. Can you work on keeping your center while alone? Most definitely. I move heavy pallets at work from time to time (2500lbs) with a hand truck. How do I get 2500 lbs of dead weight moving? By using my center. I'm certainly not going to be able to get it moving with *my* arms.
Go to a crowded mall, or plaza. How do you move through the crowd? Can you move through it like you would in randori? Do you see people, or do you see openings? How do you open a door? Unbendable arm? Or do you let your hand collapse against the body? How do you shovel snow? (if you live in an area with snow fall) Is it all arms, or do you move from center? How do you walk? How do you shake hands? How do you do any number of things?
I know it sounds like something from the "Karate Kid" but you can train alone in Aikido with everyday activities more than you might realize. For those that say "No, you can't" then you are really limiting your training and application.
...then again, that's just me.
Yes, I believe solo practice (jishugeiko) is useful as it shows me gaps in form and I regularly practice techniques that way, both as nage and uke (including with the roll/break-fall). If I don't know what to do, why I'm doing it, or can't mentally feel what's happening at some spot in a technique (either as nage or uke) it'll be pretty obvious in solo practice.
Related to this is sometimes when we are paired with a partner we are encouraged to do the form as though it were solo practice. This helps to shift attention off what the partner is doing and more onto what I'm doing.
Solo practice can be done in the dojo where you have the benefit of sempai / instructors to correct form and when you are alone to polish the form.
Anybody ever heard of aiki-taisu? They were created by Koichi Tohei to help understand basic aikido movements in the form of an excercise. When done properly they help immensely in the development of ki in your movements. Of course done improperly is like the sex comment.
Aikido without a partner is to Aikido what sex alone is to making love.
Seriously, if you are training alone because there is no Aikido school available to you, then find some art which is available and start training with those folks. You'd get more out of it in the end.
Let me clarify... I am not referring, as some peopel are, to solo exercises which supplement the partner training. It's great to have practice that you can do at home, on business, etc. There is a fair amount of solo exrcise that is worth doing i the dojo for its own sake.
I am talking about a person trying to do Aikido alone, studying out of books, watching videos with no teacher and no one to practice with. People regularly write that they wish to do Aikido but there is no school where they live. Either move to where there is a good teacher or do a different art with a good teacher. If you want to do it badly enough you will go to it rather than wait for it to come to you. Look at all the folks who packed up everything and went to Japan... these days you don't have to do that to get the finest training, there are many places to do so here.
Yes. I feel that having an understanding of the role of the uke, and learning to properly receive the nage's energy will make you a better nage. In my opinion, you can tell the quality of a person's aikido by watching them take ukemi.
ok lets see how much is aikido "practiced alone"; warm-ups prior to every class,stretches as well, the demonstrated technique by a good teacher does use a partner. Yet the teacher can have the partner sit down and show the technique by itself for teaching purposes,and using iriminage as an example, it looks really great and can aid the student in seeing the foot,hand work more clearly. also as I sit next to higher dans on the mat and watch them watch the teacher, i sometimes see them moving their hands in an understanding apeing manner as to convey that the message being taught has been sent and that they are ready to feel it out physically, as if in an eager aware sense(does this make sense?)As well many jo and bokken katas are practiced alone and I can most definitely see the validity in training at home with techniques against an "invisible " opponent. I dont do these things alot but when I do the solo stuff is most helpful and empowering. I can look at my hands, feet,center, shoulders, and hips and check myself and adjust/correct and better myself too.