Does where you practice make a significant difference?

bill miller

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Hello,all
My question pertains to whether you feel more relaxed and receptive training indoors, or outdoors. After you reach a particular stage, do you still rely on mirrors. I guess I really want to know is what kind of variables work to enhance what you actually feel under a variety of conditions.

Thank
 

isshinryuronin

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Hello,all
My question pertains to whether you feel more relaxed and receptive training indoors, or outdoors. After you reach a particular stage, do you still rely on mirrors. I guess I really want to know is what kind of variables work to enhance what you actually feel under a variety of conditions.

Thank
Karate used to be practiced mostly outside, since there was seldom an actual dojo. Often practice would be in the master's back yard and the students would help clean the area or dojo, and bring a fish or rice balls for all to share.

I used to practice alone up in the hills and watch the sunrise after work (when I was on graveyard). Very cool. Coming home, a feeling of zanshin remained for a while. When I had my dojo, we would go for mountain training, or at least have class in the back alley every once in a while.

Outside training is different in several respects. With no walls or ceiling and being exposed to a great expanse of Nature, one realizes he is just a minor player in the scheme of things. This, for me, affected how I did my karate, at least in a spiritual sense. Plus, you are working in an unfamiliar environment as well as on uneven ground. This helps with developing balance and proper stepping. Variables are useful to develop adaptability, a valuable asset in combat and life in general. Turning the lights off in the dojo, blindfolds, rain and wind, hot and cold, snapping gi or shirtless...It's all good.

Mirrors IMO are good at every stage to check your position and posture, as long as you don't get addicted to them and also practice without them so they never become a crutch.

Outside and other unfamiliar environments/conditions can distract you and make you feel in less control. Overcoming this allows you to maintain your "center", much like getting kicked or punched as you perform sanchin kata. You have to adapt to the new conditions, but not let them affect your concentration, confidence or execution of your technique.
 

Bill Mattocks

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During the worst (so far) of the COVID-19 lock down in Michigan, when our dojo finally reopened, we trained in the parking lot. It was fine except for the sun on my bald head. Kicking with shoes on is good training, but I will say my knees can't take much of it.
 

clfsean

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IMHO ... outdoors is best, unless conditions are just unfriendly. There's way more benefit outside with the environment than inside and cut off from the actual flow of things.

Just my .02
 

Tony Dismukes

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Ive never done a significant amount of training with mirrors around, so thats not a concern. I wouldnt be paying attention to them anyway.

I enjoy training both indoors and outdoors. If the weather is nasty, then obviously indoors is more fun. (I do recommend having the experience of training in snow, in the mud, or on ice, but I certainly wouldnt want to do it all the time.)

If youre practicing high amplitude throws, then its helpful to have good mats or even crash pads. I dont mind getting thrown on the grass, but I wouldnt like to get thrown hard 100 times in a row without a little more padding.

Its also good to experiment with a variety of environments inside and out. Sparring inside a car or while pinned down on a couch or on a hill, etc, all help you develop adaptability.
 
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bill miller

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Thank you for the great comments!
I prefer the outdoors, if at all possible, and there are certain places that seem to enhance my training experience. There is a small Japanese garden that is only ten minutes from my home that seems to bring about the best, and more relaxed feeling of flow and power. Also,there is a small park on the bluff that over looks the Mississippi River. All the elements are there,and if you relax and open up, you can feel the power of the water. I like to train in all the weather conditions, including snow, which is rare here in Memphis. As I have aged, these sessions are getting few and far between. Again, thanks for the replies!
 

JowGaWolf

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My question pertains to whether you feel more relaxed and receptive training indoors, or outdoors.
Training outdoors is more difficult to me. The ground isn't level where I train. It has a slight slow and I can really tell the difference. When I practicing on the slow of a hill forces me to be more aware of my footwork and stances. This is difficult for me as well. Concrete, grass, dirt all have difficulties to overcome.

I like training indoors but I like training outdoors more when the weather and pollen season permits.

After you reach a particular stage, do you still rely on mirrors.
I traded mirrors for video. These days it makes no sense for me to use mirrors. I can't do a video replay with mirrors and I can't slow things down and get a good look if I train using mirrors. Besides, trying to look at a mirror in certain positions in my form will only degrade my form. It means I would turn my head to get a quick view versus keeping my head straight and focused on my imaginary target.

Indoor training often creates the idea training environment, Great for Rain, Cold and super hot days, but not exactly a realistic one in terms any surface that isn't a level surface. Best thing out indoor training is consistency of the surface. Best thing about outdoor training is that it's inconsistent, not always level. not always non-slip. Where I train the surface becomes "dusty" with pollen so it gets a little slick at times.
 

Holmejr

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No. FMA classes are held in the weirdest places. I attended a class that was held in a riverbed (rain or shine), another in a high rise building under construction and on the top floor of an outdoor parking garage. We used to do tumbling on the asphalt! Things you do in your youth! Lol unbelievable!
 

Gerry Seymour

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Where you train matters. How much depends what you're training, probably. Having good basic equipment (things like heavy bags) is important. Being able to train on a regular basis is important, which is where an indoor space has an edge in most places. Having proper flooring for taking falls and such is vital, where that is part of the training. Storage is super helpful if you have an assortment of equipment, but I've managed without it, except for storing the mats.

Mirrors can be helpful (some students have terrible proprioception, and are better at correcting when they can actually see what's going on), but far from vital. I'd say they are helpful to me less than 10% of the time with about 10% of students, so about 1% helpful. So, worth having, but not a deal breaker, by any stretch - I've taught both with and without them. I actually find a wall of mirrors is distracting to some students, so I prefer just a few off to one side.
 

caped crusader

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I actually find a wall of mirrors is distracting to some students, so I prefer just a few off to one side.
agree with this. I even hated mirrors in the Gym !! not because i am ugly ..lol but they do distract as you wrote. In a Home gym/ training area they might be useful if you have a small room as they give a feeling of more space. also distribute light if this makes sense.
 

Gerry Seymour

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agree with this. I even hated mirrors in the Gym !! not because i am ugly ..lol but they do distract as you wrote. In a Home gym/ training area they might be useful if you have a small room as they give a feeling of more space. also distribute light if this makes sense.
Yeah, I like to have some handy at gyms so I can check form on exercises I haven't done in a while, but tons of them all over the place........
 

Xue Sheng

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Hello,all
My question pertains to whether you feel more relaxed and receptive training indoors, or outdoors. After you reach a particular stage, do you still rely on mirrors. I guess I really want to know is what kind of variables work to enhance what you actually feel under a variety of conditions.

Thank

30 years of taijiquan, never used mirrors. My first shifu had them, but I never paid attention to them. My second, and longest time training with, Traditional Yang Style, never had mirrors, never wanted mirrors, never even suggested mirrors, and never used music. I am a big fan of NOT using music.

Indoors and outdoors have their benefits. Indoors you are in a controlled environment with flat level floors. That is good for beginning, good for beginning applications too. Outdoors, on uneven ground you learn a lot about root, center and balance. Outside, on uneven ground, in the dark with as little light as possible, you learn a lot more.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I'm one of the few people I've seen that actively like the mirrors. Most people don't spend any time looking at them/noticing them from what I can tell. I use them to make sure that my back is straight, my guard is up, and what is supposed to be centered is actually centered.

I don't look at them constantly, but a nice little spot check once or twice a session is nice.
 

Xue Sheng

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I'm one of the few people I've seen that actively like the mirrors. Most people don't spend any time looking at them/noticing them from what I can tell. I use them to make sure that my back is straight, my guard is up, and what is supposed to be centered is actually centered.

I don't look at them constantly, but a nice little spot check once or twice a session is nice.


1637092937980.png


:D

I should clarify, I am not against them, I simply do not use them..... I have however broken 2....playing indoor soccer in my first sifu's guan
 
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bill miller

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After training for over thirty years in a Korean system, I found the mirrors very helpful, but when I began studying Tai Chi, and eventually could do the Yang 24, I found that mirrors and a good wood floor weren't doing it for the feel, and focus. When I took what I was learning focus and and balance began to improve, and I started feeling the postures and flow. I also began to beware of my surroundings, which worked out well until night I spooked a big blue heron feeding by the bridge. In stead of doing "repulse the monkey", I did a first class "run from the birdie"!!!
 

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View attachment 27603

:D

I should clarify, I am not against them, I simply do not use them..... I have however broken 2....playing indoor soccer in my first sifu's guan
My primary instructor's wife (also a student of NGA) rolled into and broke a mirror at our first instructor's school. The mirrors were right at the edge of the mats.
 

caped crusader

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Does any of the Karate people practise Kata in the open? I remember some years back i had a friend who was fanatical about Shotokan Kata.. when we were running together he would suddenly stop and want to do a Kata. Even in a street. was a bit much at times. He was a bit crazy but did make it about 1.5 years later to the probably best special forces in the world :D
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Does any of the Karate people practise Kata in the open? I remember some years back i had a friend who was fanatical about Shotokan Kata.. when we were running together he would suddenly stop and want to do a Kata. Even in a street. was a bit much at times. He was a bit crazy but did make it about 1.5 years later to the probably best special forces in the world :D
I used to. About 2 jobs ago, I used to practice more "meditative" forms in the morning in the parking lot before going in, helped me get my energy for the day. I'd also practice on the tennis court in both undergrad and grad school (undergrad at random times, grad right before going home).
 

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