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Old 06-09-2004, 07:57 AM   #1
drDalek
 
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Solo practice in limited space.

I used to have a nice large backyard where I could practice ukemi and tai-sabaki on my own but I moved out from under the protective wing of my folks and now I have very little, very limited space in my new place.

Are there any exercises that I can do in very little space to help my Aikido a bit? I already do pushups, situps and squats, fast and slow and with breath control and for these exercises I pretty much just need a space as long and wide as me. Practicing tai-sabaki and ukemi on the other hand, as I always had is going to be a problem however.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-09-2004, 08:09 AM   #2
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

knee work, baby-breakfalls + judo-style ukemi (if the floor's sound enough and the neighbours won't shoot you out of hand). Failing that, take tai-chi for a while and use some of their small movement exercises
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Old 06-09-2004, 08:15 AM   #3
Jeff Stallard
Dojo: Circle of Harmony / Columbus, Ohio
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

Learn Tomiki Sensei's Unsuku Undo. It's a series of "walks" that form the basis of Aikido technique. While in a russian prison, he didn't have room to practice regular technique, so he made these walks up so he could still train. We do these walks before each class, and I'm often amazed at how X technique is just like part of the walks.

Unfortunately, here's the only website I found discussing it: http://www.gedanate.com/aikido-foot-movements.html. Find a Tomiki student and they could show you the walks.
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:10 AM   #4
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

Failing the unsuku undo, see if you can find a yoshinkan instructor to teach you the kihon dosa (basic movements), and ten basic pivots. These are great for limited space with or without a partner. You can find the kihon dosa in most publications from the yoshinkan hombu or in books by Gozo Shioda, the founder of yoshinkan aikido.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:30 AM   #5
Joanne Arnest
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

Any parks nearby?
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:45 AM   #6
drDalek
 
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

Quote:
Joanne Arnest wrote:
Any parks nearby?
People already suspect I am insane for practicing a martial art, no reason to confirm their suspicions...

Seriously though, I prefer keeping my talents hidden.
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:00 AM   #7
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

I train in parks occationally...I find a nice isolated spot (usually in a place that is inconvenient for others to access) and train away. Occationally someone finds me and keeps a respectfull distance and just watches. I've never been bothered though. Of course, I'm talking about parks like the Wissahikon (sp) in Phila., or the Delaware Water Gap preserve, not your local kiddy park...

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:26 AM   #8
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

Ki Society has a set of twenty-odd hitori waza or one-person exercises. About half can be done in very minimal space: wrist stretches, ikkyo and funekogi, wrist crossing, etc. For added challenge it's possible to do many of them while standing on one foot. I think these would be in _Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere_ or on various Ki Society websites (though it's easier to learn them if you've seen them done). All but one move of Ki Society's "Oneness Taiso" can also be done in minimal space.

I do these in hotel rooms with only a few feet to work with.

Haven't found a way to really practice ukemi without space, though. I'll second the recommendation for parks. I've found that if you do not let yourself react to passers-by they are unlikely to bother you. It helps if you do lengthy memorized kata at first, so that you can focus on the steps of the kata and not on feeling conspicuous.

Mary Kaye
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:57 PM   #9
Bronson
 
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

Quote:
Mary Kuhner wrote:
Haven't found a way to really practice ukemi without space, though.
I'll roll across my bed instead of walking around it. Then I roll backward across it when I leave

Seated misogi sounds like the perfect exercise for your space limitations.

Seidokan uses a series of aikitaiso that are direclty relatable to technique application. If your dojo does any type of aikido specific exercises at the beginning of class do as many of those as possible.

Do the park thing. It's nice to practice outside over varying terrain.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 06-09-2004, 02:26 PM   #10
SeiserL
 
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

IMHO, don't underestimate the benefits of mental rehearsal. The space is only limited by your imagination.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-09-2004, 02:33 PM   #11
Sharon Seymour
Dojo: AikidoKIDS! & Katsujinken Dojo, Prescott Arizona
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Re: Solo practice in limited space.

Aiki Taiso are my solo practice of choice ... and for ukemi, koho tento will work in limited space (from a seated position, rock back, then return to sitting; rock back, come up to one knee; tuck foot, drop back, come up to standing). I haven't found a complete set of aiki taiso in any book, but bits and pieces here and there. Aikido Exercises for Teaching & Training, by Shifflet, has some excellent things.

If you have room to swing a bokken, suburi are always useful.

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There is more to balance than not falling over.
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