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Thread: Self Training, a public service announcement

  1. >To be blunt, you, me and others do not "really" know if all your training is any "more" real, because not only do the self taught not get to duel but neither do you, me or others.>

    But those with a teacher have the benefit of knowledge acquired through actual duels- systems that were created and refined in combat, then passed down through a structured system of training. So there is simply no comparison between real training of this sort and playing around in the backyard with a bokken.
    In the case of historic Western arts that are being revived, we at least have the original manuals, which preserve the same sort of information. But this still requires a study group to help you work through the material.
    It's not a case of "dojo elitists" looking down on other types of training. It's a case of actual training vs things that are not training in the first place. If you truly can't work with a teacher or study group, then you will probably not be able to learn swordsmanship, and trying could easily get you hurt or killed. It's not like there aren't other things to do in this world.
    "Am fear a thug buaidh air fhein, thug e buaidh air namhaid."

  2. #77
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    I was not talking about sword arts only, but in general. The first one who thought of something didn't learn it from anyone. It was simply -inspiration- and -crativity-. Yes, today's world bounds those who want to master the sword, and that is one of the reasons why instructors are needed. You can't just dedicate your whole life to roaming around dueling people, winning and surviving, thus proving your own methods work and are to be turned into an art taught by some instructor someday. So basically, what you do is learn what you can from the instructor, maybe become one eventually, and that's all there is to it if you never add that -inspiration- and -crativity- to anything you do.
    No warrior is equipped for battle without weaponry.

  3. #78
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    Originally posted by Chris G. George
    You can't just dedicate your whole life to roaming around dueling people, winning and surviving, thus proving your own methods work and are to be turned into an art taught by some instructor someday.
    Musashi did it, and survived because he killed his opponent before they could kill him. No one before, no one after.
    I like swords.

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  4. #79
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    Yes, he did. But I was talking about -today's- world. That was my point. You can't do that now.
    No warrior is equipped for battle without weaponry.

  5. #80
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    Originally posted by Chris G. George
    Yes, he did. But I was talking about -today's- world. That was my point. You can't do that now.
    Yes, but when was the last japanese sword used in warfare? These men were trained in the use of them.
    I like swords.

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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  6. #81
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    Except for Musashi
    No warrior is equipped for battle without weaponry.

  7. #82
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    Originally posted by Chris G. George
    Except for Musashi
    Nope, sorry, the correct answer was World War II.

    I like swords.

    ______________________________
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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  8. #83
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    I wasn't answering any question
    No warrior is equipped for battle without weaponry.

  9. #84
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    Originally posted by Chris G. George
    I wasn't answering any question
    By the way, it's said that even Musashi had training.
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
    SCHOLA GLADIATORIA
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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  10. #85
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    Undoubtedly. Mostly as a child, since the times called for knowing the sword. However, his training wasn't fundamental on his way to mastery, but merely a facilitation.
    No warrior is equipped for battle without weaponry.

  11. #86
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    This Topic

    This has been both a good read and insightful. I agree with these things quite a bit. I know directly that practicing the wrong thing is worse than not practicing at all.
    Hope is just worth living for,
    Faith is what you die for.

  12. >Undoubtedly. Mostly as a child, since the times called for knowing the sword. However, his training wasn't fundamental on his way to mastery, but merely a facilitation.>

    Most of what has been written about this is just speculation, based on Musashi's statement in Gorinsho that he no longer needed a teacher for any art- although, read in context, he's talking about his ability to paint or do calligraphy now that he has mastered heiho; he's not talking about his own youthful training in swordsmanship. (Anyone who knows otherwise, feel free to correct me!)
    Kenji Tokitsu's recent biography of Musashi puts forth a very strong case that Musashi was trained by his father- including the fact that Musashi's Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu included several kata for his father's weapon, presumably the same kata his father had taught him.
    Ellis Amdur's "Old School" includes a fascinating piece of historical detective work on Musashi's father and the possible origins of the Araki Ryu. It's speculative, but it seems fairly convincing IMHO. If he's right, than the training his father gave him was indeed fundamental, if primarily on a psychological level.
    "Am fear a thug buaidh air fhein, thug e buaidh air namhaid."

  13. #88
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    Originally posted by Jeff Ellis
    By the way, it's said that even Musashi had training.
    Or at least had it in his blood. Wasn't his father a famous samurai?

  14. #89
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    Originally posted by IanR.
    Or at least had it in his blood. Wasn't his father a famous samurai?
    His father was Samurai...
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  15. #90
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    Oh, yeah.

    What if you're a blackbelt in karate, and you've been doing it since you were 6? Would it be better than, say, books or movies? Like, if you based stances and movements on your karate style?

  16. #91
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    Originally posted by IanR.
    Oh, yeah.

    What if you're a blackbelt in karate, and you've been doing it since you were 6? Would it be better than, say, books or movies? Like, if you based stances and movements on your karate style?
    No.



    it's completely different.

    6 Years of Kempo only hindered me when I was at a seminar.
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
    SCHOLA GLADIATORIA
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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  17. #92
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    Grrrr.... Looks like I'm going to have to find a good kendo school. Probably sometime when I'm more than 14. Patience can be so hard at times...

  18. #93
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    I think it is a mistake to say that one cannot learn a thing by ones self. Yes instruction is valuable, but if Musashi had waited to be taught everything he knew, we would not have his teachings, and techniques because he never would have picked up a sword and experimented.
    That, I beleive, is the essence of the thing. To pick up the sword, observe it, experiment with it, what it can do, and what it can not do. Who knows, perhaps someone out there will produce the next great sword school by picking up a sword, and making it do what they want it to do. That is what I do. I study the blade, everything about the blade, the steel, the angle of attack, the edge, everything I can study about a particular sword. I think of what I want to do with it, and then I make the sword obey.
    That is the essence of the martial arts, especially the weapon arts. I pick up my sword, cut a little, w/ very little instruction, and then observe what I have done. If I haven't achieved what I wanted to do, then I seek out a better way to do it. Once you find the way the sword wants to cut the best, then you refine the technique from there. It is not "rocket science". As a former pastor of mine once said, "pick off the meat, and spit out the bones".
    With all of that said, can I use a sword? Yes, I can, and am developing more ways to use a sword that are in keeping with the sword, and myself. Does this all come from nowhere? Absolutely not! I am learning by trial and error.
    Do I study an established JSA! Yes I do, but do I let the establishment tell me I can not teach myself the way of the thing? No I do not.
    Spoon Boy : Do not try and bend the spoon...that's impossible. Instead
    only try to realize the truth...
    Neo : What truth?
    Spoon Boy : There is no spoon.
    Neo : There is no spoon?
    Spoon Boy : Then you will see, it is not the spoon that bends, it is
    only yourself.

  19. #94
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    Originally posted by sam j.w. III
    I think it is a mistake to say that one cannot learn a thing by ones self. Yes instruction is valuable, but if Musashi had waited to be taught everything he knew, we would not have his teachings, and techniques because he never would have picked up a sword and experimented.
    Musashi was trained by his father...
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
    SCHOLA GLADIATORIA
    ______________________________

    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  20. #95
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    While it may be true that Musashi was taught some things by his father, I seriously doubt that he taught Musashi everything. Otherwise, we would be hearing about Musashi's father's technique, and ryu, which we don't, or not much anyway.
    The Shaolin monks created kung fu by observing nature, and then experimenting. Sai were created from wagon pins. Tonfa were created from grain grinding.
    The point I am getting at is that at some point, every martial art we have arose, from someone who was self taught.
    Don't be so quick to discourage people from studying by themselves. It is often this solo study that forms the foundation of something great.
    Spoon Boy : Do not try and bend the spoon...that's impossible. Instead
    only try to realize the truth...
    Neo : What truth?
    Spoon Boy : There is no spoon.
    Neo : There is no spoon?
    Spoon Boy : Then you will see, it is not the spoon that bends, it is
    only yourself.

  21. >While it may be true that Musashi was taught some things by his father, I seriously doubt that he taught Musashi everything. Otherwise, we would be hearing about Musashi's father's technique, and ryu, which we don't, or not much anyway>

    If you haven't read the most recent research (such as the biography mentioned above) then what are you basing your opinion on other than movies and novels?
    Musashi's father was a famous swordsman in his own right.
    "Am fear a thug buaidh air fhein, thug e buaidh air namhaid."

  22. #97
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    From what I've read Musashi and his father did not get along well.
    I believe he didn't even live with him. Munisai was a master of the jutte, and was also a competent fencer. While Musashi surely owes something to his father's teaching, I think it would be unfair to say that Musashi derived everything, or even a large part, from it. I think Musashi said it best when he talked about being at least familiar with all of the arts. This is how Musashi created his own school, by taking the best of what he observed, and somehow incorperating it into, or combining it into, his own style.
    Spoon Boy : Do not try and bend the spoon...that's impossible. Instead
    only try to realize the truth...
    Neo : What truth?
    Spoon Boy : There is no spoon.
    Neo : There is no spoon?
    Spoon Boy : Then you will see, it is not the spoon that bends, it is
    only yourself.

  23. >From what I've read Musashi and his father did not get along well.>

    You didn't answer my question- what are you basing your opinion on? Websites? Magazines? Movies? Comic books?

    For the record, I don't believe that Musashi's genius derived from his father's training alone- Musashi was obviously extraordinary. But everyone always uses him as an example of self-training, and the fact is there is no reason to believe he was self-trained. He was of samurai stock, young samurai boys were generally trained in swordsmanship from a pretty young age, he never says he was self-trained, no other source I'm aware of says he was self-trained- so where are you getting this idea from?
    "Am fear a thug buaidh air fhein, thug e buaidh air namhaid."

  24. #99
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    Originally posted by sam j.w. III
    This is how Musashi created his own school, by taking the best of what he observed, and somehow incorperating it into, or combining it into, his own style.
    There was no one before Musashi, and there will be none after.

    Hyakutake Colin told me his sensei says this all the time. Hyakutake Colin's school is a direct descendant of Musashi's, in Japan.
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
    SCHOLA GLADIATORIA
    ______________________________

    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  25. #100
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    I have been studying various websites, and books, to directly answer you question.
    Spoon Boy : Do not try and bend the spoon...that's impossible. Instead
    only try to realize the truth...
    Neo : What truth?
    Spoon Boy : There is no spoon.
    Neo : There is no spoon?
    Spoon Boy : Then you will see, it is not the spoon that bends, it is
    only yourself.

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