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Old 10-19-2004, 03:40 AM   #1
craig chapman
Dojo: Jarrow CA, Perth Green
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Individual Martial Arts

I as a curious martial artist have posed this question for all to ponder?

I for a long time have been studying the internal and spiritual side to martial arts, and on my harrowing journey have came to many problems along the way. One in particular that has always contained the same properties...politics. As a keen martial artist i was wondering that if anyone else believes that aikido, and dont get me wrong because i have trained within the dojo and do consider myself to be at an average with the harmonising knowledge if Aikido, but if anyone else believes that Aikido can be self taught as well as instructionalised from the dojo? Just a question that has been known to have many critisms, I hope someone can enlighten me.

Care to all
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Old 10-19-2004, 03:55 AM   #2
PeterR
 
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

I personally don't think it can be.

I do think that most martial artists can pick up techniques from a book or video but there is so much that can be gained from the feedback of a qualified instructor.

As an example. In a period of isolation I tried learning some advanced techniques of my style of Aikido from video and books. It was shocking how off base I was even though they were required techniques from one or two Dan grades above my own.

With respect to the more esoteric and philosophical aspects doubly so. There is just so much confusion and contradiction out there. You need some direction.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:39 AM   #3
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

Have to agree with Peter. _IF_ we get a solid grounding in the art's basics, then, maybe, we can learn something (not the 'art' but some small 'bits' of it) from books or vids.

Budo, almost all budo, is really about the interaction between people. Training solo is possible, of course, and can be profitable, but it eliminates the interactivity that training with partners brings.

As for the esoterica, the inner workings, theory and philosophy of an art ... some of that can/must be explored alone, but so much of it must be transmitted in the first place, and that requires interaction with someone who's gone into that arena before.

Just my $0.02 worth (and that, vs the Euro ain't worth much a'tall)

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Old 10-19-2004, 05:52 AM   #4
Dazzler
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

See all those wrist grabs used in aikido?

Do you think this is some form of attack?

Not at all ...I've been taught that this contact is necessary in order to 'feel' aikido working.

A dialogue between brain and hand which allows this learning to develop.

You can't replace this hands on learning with a book, video, CBT or even weapons.

IMHO of course.

Respectfully

D
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Old 10-19-2004, 07:20 AM   #5
Jordan Steele
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

I have generated some of my best ideas and created variations on techniques from training alone and reading books. Nothing can compare to a great uke and a great teacher, but I do believe if one has the "eyes" and the "creativity" that Aikido enhances, it is possible to turn yourself into a very competent Aikidoist or martial artist for that matter.
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Old 10-19-2004, 07:27 AM   #6
Dazzler
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

On my own I am the undefeatable O'Dazzler of Bristol.

But then I wake up!
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Old 10-19-2004, 08:53 AM   #7
ian
 
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

I don't know what 'instrunctionalised' means. Is it the same as instructed?

I think aikido to a reasonable standard must include direct training with at least one other person. To get to a good standard I think you have to see a few good instructors. There is politcs in everything; often it's just ego's or fear of losing income that generates these politics. It's a bit like being a member of society - you don't have to agree with everything to benefit from it. See it as a 'social contract' with your dojo. They teach you what you want to know and you follow their rules (or make objections).
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:04 AM   #8
SeiserL
 
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

IMHO, life is not a journey to be traveled solo.

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 10-19-2004, 10:56 AM   #9
akiy
 
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
Have to agree with Peter. _IF_ we get a solid grounding in the art's basics, then, maybe, we can learn something (not the 'art' but some small 'bits' of it) from books or vids.
I agree with Chuck and Peter. I think you can learn _about_ the art through books and videos, but you won't learn the art itself unless you're training regularly under a qualified instructor and, perhaps more importantly, a good peer group of classmates.

This changes slightly after you've trained in the art for the couple/few decades and are placed into a "teaching" position. As was discussed in the recent "When Can an Instructor Stop Training" thread, even instructors have to "train." However, as many of them no longer have a teacher of their own, they have to, in a way, "self-teach" themselves through their own training and teaching. For example, I've seen and felt my instructor try new things that he's developed over the years. However, as Chuck and Peter write above, this is after a good foundation (which I would say takes at least a few years) training with a qualified instructor (and peer group).

My thoughts...

-- Jun

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Old 10-19-2004, 11:22 AM   #10
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
This changes slightly after you've trained in the art for the couple/few decades and are placed into a "teaching" position. As was discussed in the recent "When Can an Instructor Stop Training" thread, even instructors have to "train." However, as many of them no longer have a teacher of their own, they have to, in a way, "self-teach" themselves through their own training and teaching. For example, I've seen and felt my instructor try new things that he's developed over the years. However, as Chuck and Peter write above, this is after a good foundation (which I would say takes at least a few years) training with a qualified instructor (and peer group).
There are so many levels of "doing" Aikido... It depends on what level you aspire to whether you can teach yourself from books and videos. By yourself you may be able to duplicate some of the movements, footwork, and outer form of the art but you won't even come close to what you'd get if you trained under a qualified teacher.

As Jun points out there are folks who are training on their own but in order to do that and have ones practice reach a high level one needs to still get out and about and train with the senior teachers. Further, one must have the ability to train ones partners up to the level which would allow you to work on high level technique. Without high level ukes, developing high level technique is impossible.

In my opinion, trying to train on ones own is a waste of time. Either move to where a good teacher has a school or find an art which as a high level teacher and train with him

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:07 AM   #11
CNYMike
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

Quote:
Craig Chapman wrote:
...... i was wondering that if anyone else believes that aikido.... can be self taught as well as instructionalised from the dojo? ....
Probably not. Although there are some drills and weapons forms you can do solo, the techniques are all through partner training, and there are little details that you will miss if you're not corrected by someone who knows it better than you, either a senior student or instructor.
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:57 AM   #12
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

I'd say the answer would be pretty much NO.

I think that video and books have their place and are very helpful, but that place is to aid in the memory of a technique actually done/taught/learned on the mat, not too learn something new.

An excellent example of something that would be difficult to see/understand on video would be "maii".

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
However, as many of them no longer have a teacher of their own, they have to, in a way, "self-teach" themselves through their own training and teaching. For example, I've seen and felt my instructor try new things that he's developed over the years.
Ah...but then they are not learning alone, are they. They are being taught by their students aided by their own experience.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 10-20-2004, 12:05 PM   #13
akiy
 
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
However, as many of them no longer have a teacher of their own, they have to, in a way, "self-teach" themselves through their own training and teaching. For example, I've seen and felt my instructor try new things that he's developed over the years.
Ah...but then they are not learning alone, are they. They are being taught by their students aided by their own experience.
Good point. Perhaps I meant, "self-inspire"?

-- Jun

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Old 10-20-2004, 07:01 PM   #14
maikerus
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Good point. Perhaps I meant, "self-inspire"?

-- Jun
I like that

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 10-20-2004, 08:52 PM   #15
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

You can read about it, see it, practise it & still not get it.
Then your sensei can do it on you once & you have something real to work towards.
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Old 10-20-2004, 08:53 PM   #16
Huker
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Re: Individual Martial Arts

After I became interested in Aikido as a martial art, I went to the bookstore and picked up a copy of the Dynamic Sphere. It is a good book, but by no means perfect. I tried to learn a few of the techniques explained and illustrated in the book on my own. What a waste of time. I recently joined a nearby dojo to see what I could learn. Learning from an instructor has proven to be the better method by far (no kidding). Aikido is too technical to be self-taught, even with the guidance of a book or video. The feedback from a sensei and even your peers is extremely valuable and helpful.
So, to answer the inital question, I believe Aikido is best passed down by an instructor. Too much is missed using the "self-teaching" method.
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