Learning when a school or instructor is not available.

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Obsidian Fury, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. Obsidian Fury

    Obsidian Fury Orange Belt

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    Hey I'm posting this thread since it is my reality, the place where I live has 3 martial arts schools a Judo Dojo, a Taekwondo Dojang, and a MMA school that's it. Really small town and the nearest martial arts school is a TKD Dojang with 2 hour drive one way, now at the very least I have a lot of space the back garden's of everyone are huge, small town lots of land. I love all martial arts and want to learn more styles and learn them correctly from popular styles like Shotokan Karate to more obscure styles like Kalaripayattu, H.E.M.A., G.L.I.M.A., Kali, Chinese MA, several Koryu, etc.

    I know that self learning is very frowned upon but my choices are very slim I do have a job and a home here, I don't need the color belts I just want to learn. Do you have any advice as to how I can approach unknown styles? Also should it me more detrimental please feel free to tell so I don't make a mistake.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    So the judo TKD and MMA place are all 2 hour drives, or those are close but anything else is 2 hours away?
     
  3. Obsidian Fury

    Obsidian Fury Orange Belt

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    The Judo, TKD, and MMA are all in town 5 minutes away from my home, the other schools are very far away 2 hour drive to get to another TKD school, never-mind something more exotic. So I really just have continuous access to 3 martial arts schools.
     
  4. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Have you checked out those schools yet? If so, and you like one, just learn that.

    If you really want to learn something else, my advice would be to follow these steps
    :Find a school
    :Find a training partner
    :Contact the school, and tell them your distance. Then ask if you could come once a month and get drills to practice at home/review at the school during next trip.
    :If yes
    ______:Talk to training partner, start doing that. You are now learning your exotic art!
    :If no
    ______:Find another school
    ______: Discuss school with training partner. Does training partner like school?
    ______:If yes
    ___________:Loop to {Contact School}
    ______:If no
    ___________:Loop to {If no.1}
     
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  5. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Those are all fine choices. Anything is better than 'self training' (at least until you have real skills to practice, that you have learned at a club/dojo/dojang/etc)
     
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  6. Obsidian Fury

    Obsidian Fury Orange Belt

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    I see that looks feasible thank you, I'm already a member of the Judo and TKD schools and I wanted to expand my knowledge. The way you put it it's like going to school I go learn a few things go back home do the homework so I don't forget and then repeat. Looks good thanks for the advice.
     
  7. Obsidian Fury

    Obsidian Fury Orange Belt

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    Yeah learning a bit at a time and practicing until you can go again is feasible and safe, it may not be the quickest but it is steady. Now for the sake of argument if one already had strong or advance basis in a few martial arts will self learning be feasible or still a goose chase? I'm interested in your opinion as you have very good insight.
     
  8. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    You can practice the skills you already have of course, and if you have them down, understand them on a deeper level(ie the hows, whys, mechanics, purpose, applications, etc), then practicing at home is always a good thing to do, even if you also attend classes.

    BUT

    If you don't really understand a technique or skill, if it's new to you and you don't fully understand its mechanics and purpose, than too much self training in that can lead you into some bad habits, bad form, bad technique that can actually set you backwards.
     
  9. Obsidian Fury

    Obsidian Fury Orange Belt

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    Agree better t do one thing right than 1000 things wrong.
     
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  10. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

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    I have a question relevant to this :) (for my background, see my intro thread).

    I am remembering basic techniques learned from when I was a teenager. Just some kicks, punches, blocks and the one set/form that I remember (30+ years later...it was well ground into me!). I am not yet a member of any class, though it is my intention to find something to join and learn properly (i'm currently unemployed, and wish to use martial arts and general fitness training to pick myself up out of the doldrums I have let myself sink into, but currently no money available for lessons - it's a long story :rolleyes:).

    I could not do anything in MA until I can sort a job, find a suitable class - this may not happen for a while yet...possibly a long while.
    Or I can carry on limbering up and practicing what I remember, though my technique may not be perfect, and I have no one to put me right.

    So my question is this:
    Is it harder to start from scratch, nothing, no limbering, no balance work, no practicing what I remember, nada.
    Or is it harder to iron out bad habits once ingrained?

    I see people study for years in a particular style. Then they decide to train in something else. Surely it happens that to become proficient in the new style, they must sometimes 'unlearn' what they have been practicing for years? Or relearn a different way to do something?

    So why, really, must one not learn alone, when nothing is available to one for whatever reasons?

    Basically, I'm just itching to get going and can't afford to :bawling: lol.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  11. Michele123

    Michele123 Green Belt

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    I studied Shutokan (an off-shoot of Shotokan) in my teen/young adult years and earned the rank of 1st Dan. Then I moved and was off the MA scene for almost 20 years. I recently started back up with Taekwondo (the only striking art in my area that wasn’t a McDojo). I’ve picked it up rather quickly, but the hardest things for me have been when something. Is similar but not the same as something from my previous art. Tweaking is harder than learning something new IMO.

    If you are practicing something you have previously learned, that might not be so bad, depending on how well you remember it. Otherwise, there are non-MA ways to get in shape and limber up. My daily routine includes several things that are not strictly MA but are helpful in MA.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  12. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

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    Thank you Michele.
    I am going to challenge you :), so please don't take this the wrong way:

    Are you speaking from the 'luxury' of being able to attend classes and not know what it's like to be keen yet disadvantaged from a financial point of view?

    Secondly, because it may be hard to unlearn or relearn, does that mean it should never be attempted? Does not attention, dedication and determination go some way to addressing this? Even give an added sense of satisfaction when achieved?
    Even students get things wrong, and can take time, even with regular instruction, to put them right, yes?
     
  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran 3rd Black Belt

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    @kempodisciple , Man, that is some old school logic. But I still see it about everyday. Great.
     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran 3rd Black Belt

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    Like others have said, try the schools close to you. Find the one you like the best and learn. When you feel ready to branch out the lessons you have learned from training is a structured environment will greatly help if you try to self-train.
     
  15. mrt2

    mrt2 Blue Belt

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    I was in your position 6 months ago. My previous practice was over 35 years ago in Tang Soo Do, a Korean martial art similar but not identical to Tae Kwon Do. Because there are no Tang Soo Do places within 90 miles of my house, I switched to Tae Kwon Do. Once I decided I wanted to take up training, I just signed up and started training, but if for some reason I wasn't able to do that, I probably would have started to try to get in shape to prepare to train. Since you already have some years of training under your belt, I would say just go train by yourself as best you can. Depending on where you sign up, they might have to iron out some bad habits, but that might be the case anyway.

    For example, in my old style, I remember fighting stance being quite narrow, where as in my current school, the fighting stance is quite a bit wider than I remember from TSD. This is more of an issue with forms than with actual sparring, and I am slowly adapting my fighting stance to my current school. And in one open hand block, the position of the back hand in TKD is a little different. Really not a big deal though. In general, though, my previous practice has been a huge help. The footwork is almost identical, so when it comes to kicks, punches and blocks, it is more a matter of shaking the rust off and fine tuning rather than learning something completely new.
     
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  16. mrt2

    mrt2 Blue Belt

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    It is a hard thing to self teach something completely new. I wouldn't say impossible, but hard, since you can't necessarily see yourself doing something wrong if you don't know anything about the martial art you are learning. You could work something out with a place that is far away to train with them once or twice a month, and practice a lot at home. But you need the discipline to actually do it, or you progress will be really slow. At my old school, the rule of thumb was, two (90 minute plus) classes a week to maintain your skills, 3 or more to get better. With classes now just 60 minutes, I would say 3 to 4 times a week is the minimum to get better, and that is what I have been doing. I see students who show up less than twice a week or intermittently, and I can see their progress is really slow.

    Or better yet, if there is an interest among other students at your current school, maybe find a local training partner so you can carpool, and practice together on off days, maybe even, with the permission of your instructor, at your TKD or Judo dojo.
     
  17. watching

    watching Green Belt

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    I drive an hour and a half one way to get to my dojo. If the school and the training you find is quality far away but not so great nearby (my situation) I would say just make the drive. Maybe you can only go once a week to learn new stuff and train with people but just train a lot at home.
     
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  18. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Why not simply focus on what you have available to you now, then?

    When you're older/more financially able/circumstances have changed... then you travel to learn in other schools, take seminars, and generally broaden your exposure. A solid base acquired now will make any of that better...
     
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  19. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Obsidian Fury, take what you have for now. How long have you been training, bro?
     
  20. BrendanF

    BrendanF Orange Belt

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    It depends on what you want.

    A member of my school (Katori Shinto Ryu) travels the entire length of Australia a couple of times a year, and visited Japan a while ago, in order to train.

    If you're looking to learn to 'fight' - pick any unarmed MA that interests you, and that you are able to regularly train in. Then train.
     

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