Should I train Kobudo all by myself?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Syed01, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I will take minor exception to any notion that one has to train to become proficient with kobudo as weapons cum self-defense weapons.

    Obviously, the normal reason to train in any form of self-defense is to be able to use that method in a real-life scenario. I would agree with that for empty-hand self-defense, and with weapons one might find oneself in possession of, such as a gun or a knife.

    However, it is my opinion that training with some forms of kobudo (most especially as I have noted, bo and sai) are actually pretty good tools to help your empty-handed self-defense as well. In other words, there's nothing at all wrong with training bo and sai (perhaps other weapons) on empty air, without full power, without clocking people over the head with them, etc. Learning to effectively control the weapon can be accomplished without striking anything; the weight, heft, and balance of the weapon in question can all be learned to an effective degree without actually striking anything.

    Now, if I intended to train to use, say, a bo, as a self-defense weapon, then absolutely yes, I would say I need to train actually using it to hit people and things. However, I am unlikely to find myself wandering through Sherwood Forest with a large staff, and suddenly be set upon by ruffians intent on relieving me of my purse of gold coins. In other words, a) I don't carry a bo around and b) I can't think of a situation in which I'd wish I had one.
     
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  2. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I agree for the most part. I'd add that sparring drills are essential to using the weapon though. Before we did Nishiuchi's curriculum, we never hit anything with them. We only did kihon and kata with them. Doing Nishiuchi's 2 person sets (I don't know what else to call them) changed pretty much everything and made it worthwhile. Well, to me anyway. It forced us to hold the weapons correctly and to put them exactly where they're supposed to be. The biggest benefit I personally found was it made me really focus on my movement - footwork, mechanics, and hand positioning.

    If you held the bo at the correct points and your hands got wacked while blocking a strike aimed at your shins or your ribs, chances are pretty good that you're posture is off. If you got hit, chances are you're holding it too close to your body (if you got it there in time), if it was knocked out of your hands, you most likely weren't holding it tight enough, stuff like that. Once we started the two person sets, it became a real weapon. All we did previously was swing the thing around in the air, relatively speaking.

    You don't have to hit hard to do these things, just hard enough to force you to do them correctly.

    And, it's a different workout. I had an old bo that I'd use to hit a tree in my backyard with. I was in very good shape prior to that. Hitting the tree, I was sore in different spots, so I knew I was using muscles I wasn't using previously.

    I miss my bo. I've got to wait until shodan until I use one in class. I've seen them do a lot of stuff that similar in principle - kata and standardized 2 person sets. They had or the bo differently and strike somewhat differently, but the principles of movement are the same. If I start practicing what I know, I'll have to unlearn too many things.
     
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  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes, I agree with all you just posted. My comment was more aimed at the general "not using the weapon against partners / targets is useless" comments. It's not useless. I agree that you can get a lot more out of it with kumite of various sorts and/or full-power strikes against non-living targets. All your points about the advantages it bestows are correct, IMHO.
     
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  4. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Here is an idea for you. Why not travel to a seminar where someone is teaching Kobudo and learn it properly? Then you will have some skills to continue practicing on your own and hopefully you will have learned it right so that you won't ingrain bad habits.
     
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  5. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    The initial comment that Gerry responded to was about being competent with weapons, nott hat they can be used for self defense.

    IMO, for self-defense, you should be training how to be versatile/transfer the skills to other weapons (bo to umbrella or cane for instance), and as long as you can use it without hurting yourself you're at an advantage.

    Being competent with the weapon, based on how I view competency, would require enough people who practice with the weapon to have competition actually determine what methods are successful, or practice against other weapons to determine what your learning can be useful.
     
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  6. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I don't disagree. I am saying you don't necessarily need to become "competent with the weapon" to gain *some* positive value from training with it, particularly as it informs empty-handed self-defense, which some specific forms of kobudo do.
     
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  7. senseiblackbelt

    senseiblackbelt Green Belt

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    Best to train under a dojo. You receive more accurate training.
     
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  8. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

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    So you have not even reached a qualified beginners stage and you already want to do your own thing?
     
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  9. MI_martialist

    MI_martialist Brown Belt

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    Not always the case...hopefully one can receive more accurate instruction in a dojo, but how many dojo have we seen where the "instructor" is more clueless than the student?

     
  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Relatively few.
     
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  11. MI_martialist

    MI_martialist Brown Belt

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    I see it all the time!!

     
  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've seen a few. In nearly all cases (visiting schools, attending seminars, viewing demonstrations), the instructor knows a fair amount more than the students. The only real exceptions (even at a couple of REALLY bad schools I've seen) are a few YouTube videos, where it seems the instructor is completely lacking in knowledge.
     
  13. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I've never seen a dojo where the instructor was "more clueless" than the students, never even heard of one. I would imagine a dojo like that wouldn't survive.

    Odd choice of words, too.
     
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