Self-training vs. Formal training

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Calm Intention

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I'll just say(after the worry on the other thread), that my swords all have the correct width of tang- even wider than the depiction I've seen displayed above.
 

Swordlady

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Calm Intention said:
I'll just say(after the worry on the other thread), that my swords all have the correct width of tang- even wider than the depiction I've seen displayed above.

BUT...there's more to a *functional* sword than the tang. It's also the material used (I said it once and will say it again: Stainless steel is usually NOT used for *functional* swords!) and the heat treat. And don't forget about the blade's distal taper, which helps the sword feel well-balanced.
 
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Calm Intention

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Swordlady said:
BUT...there's more to a *functional* sword than the tang. It's also the material used (I said it once and will say it again: Stainless steel is usually NOT used for *functional* swords!) and the heat treat. And don't forget about the blade's distal taper, which helps the sword feel well-balanced.

You're being too kind to me, but I respect that very much.
Other than the fact that I 'really do' work out with all the weapons I had mentioned(every day), I'm unfortunately blank to many of the important things you've mentioned.
When you mention 'functional', if I'm only beating air molecules, where's my real concern at?
*a little aside here:
I've a pipe I keep at work(they aren't keen on swords:) ), and that substitutes as my sword(same length- somewhat more weighted), and I would say that that is very 'functional', and possibly more dangerous because 'it is not sharp'. Somehow, I think I've not the same respect for it as I do my sword, machette's, cleavers, etc.;; and I can't go a month without clocking myself in the skull:idunno: .
 

Swordlady

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Calm Intention said:
You're being too kind to me, but I respect that very much.
Other than the fact that I 'really do' work out with all the weapons I had mentioned(every day), I'm unfortunately blank to many of the important things you've mentioned.

Okay...you acknowledge that you have not been aware of what comprises a *real* sword. What are you going to do with that new-found knowledge?

Calm Intention said:
When you mention 'functional', if I'm only beating air molecules, where's my real concern at?

Because a two-foot (or longer) stainless steel blade can snap at any moment, even with a half-powered swing. Remember what I said earlier about the brittleness of stainless steel without the proper heat treat?

Calm Intention said:
*a little aside here:
I've a pipe I keep at work(they aren't keen on swords:) ), and that substitutes as my sword(same length- somewhat more weighted), and I would say that that is very 'functional', and possibly more dangerous because 'it is not sharp'. Somehow, I think I've not the same respect for it as I do my sword, machette's, cleavers, etc.;; and I can't go a month without clocking myself in the skull:idunno: .

So...what does that tell you, if you've been hitting yourself on the head? I also train with a bokken, and I assure you that it gets the same amount of respect as my shinken. And I haven't hit myself with the bokken yet.
 
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Calm Intention

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Swordlady said:
Okay...you acknowledge that you have not been aware of what comprises a *real* sword. What are you going to do with that new-found knowledge?



Because a two-foot (or longer) stainless steel blade can snap at any moment, even with a half-powered swing. Remember what I said earlier about the brittleness of stainless steel without the proper heat treat?



So...what does that tell you, if you've been hitting yourself on the head? I also train with a bokken, and I assure you that it gets the same amount of respect as my shinken. And I haven't hit myself with the bokken yet.

Hi SL,

I don't have a car, but I'm tempted to bring one of my swords to you for evaluation(we are both from Philly right?).
That pipe is very heavy...by the way; but true, if my focus was what it should be- at all times- I wouldn't inadvertently clunk my noggin now and then.
This is same with my double sticks vs. double machette or cleavers.
It could be that with the sticks, I go quicker, and also get mentally lazy- maybe somehow evaluating the potential harm to myself at some subconscious level?? Who knows.
*reminds me of my chess game, and playing a weaker opponent. A common flaw(whose elemental components are those of discipline and respect- no different from the arts or any competitive dynamic), is to go lazy in the face of something that you believe is no threat/challenge.
*That is another example of a character defect within me, common to many, and would be fatal in real life situations.
 

Swordlady

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Calm Intention said:
Hi SL,

I don't have a car, but I'm tempted to bring one of my swords to you for evaluation(we are both from Philly right?).

Hold on...did you say that you're in Philly? Why don't you stop by the dojo where I train? Manogue Sensei teaches the first Saturday of the month (the senior students teach class the rest of the month), and will be in class next Saturday. Send him an email through our website: http://www.flatfishdesign.com/yagyu/

Calm Intention said:
That pipe is very heavy...by the way; but true, if my focus was what it should be- at all times- I wouldn't inadvertently clunk my noggin now and then.

There is a heavy bokken called a suburi, but is not used for solo kata work. It is used for strengthening your arms. You should definitely NOT be doing anything with a heavy pipe that would result in you getting clocked on the head.

Calm Intention said:
This is same with my double sticks vs. double machette or cleavers.
It could be that with the sticks, I go quicker, and also get mentally lazy- maybe somehow evaluating the potential harm to myself at some subconscious level?? Who knows.

Please tell me that your machetes and cleavers are dulled. Twirling around one sword Conan-style is dangerous enough. Twirling around two sharpened blades is just downright stupid, to put it rather bluntly.

With all seriousness, come down to the dojo next Saturday. It's very easy to reach by public transportation.
 
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Calm Intention

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Swordlady said:
Hold on...did you say that you're in Philly? Why don't you stop by the dojo where I train? Manogue Sensei teaches the first Saturday of the month (the senior students teach class the rest of the month), and will be in class next Saturday. Send him an email through our website: http://www.flatfishdesign.com/yagyu/



There is a heavy bokken called a suburi, but is not used for solo kata work. It is used for strengthening your arms. You should definitely NOT be doing anything with a heavy pipe that would result in you getting clocked on the head.



Please tell me that your machetes and cleavers are dulled. Twirling around one sword Conan-style is dangerous enough. Twirling around two sharpened blades is just downright stupid, to put it rather bluntly.

With all seriousness, come down to the dojo next Saturday. It's very easy to reach by public transportation.

Hi SwordLady,

Yep. All sharp(Ontario Machette's;cleavers are probably equally as sharp as my swords). Its all about my focus. I do not recommend any of what I do to the beginner.
I'm in the middle of workout right now in fact.
As I said earlier, I had/have an alchohol problem, and in the midst of all this, I've never(but two minor nicks), cut myself.
Why the alchohol? Bad depression.
I don't know if I will show up at your Dojo SwordLady, but its tempting.
You sound true to the arts(and its spirit), and that means alot to me.
 

Charles Mahan

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Calm Intention said:
Its all about my focus. I do not recommend any of what I do to the beginner.
But... you're not even a beginner yet... You really do need to either put it down, or for your own safety, get into a dojo so you can at least learn enough not to be a danger to yourself and others.
 
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Calm Intention

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Charles Mahan said:
But... you're not even a beginner yet... You really do need to either put it down, or for your own safety, get into a dojo so you can at least learn enough not to be a danger to yourself and others.

*I'll try again, I wrote for about 15 min, and it didn't take(??).

Anyway,
What is a beginner?
Someone trains in a formal setting for one year and just doesn't get it, is that person any more a beginner than myself?
For that matter, the trained person infrequently has mishaps(but accidents happen), do I blame their 'formal training', or lack of focus.
I get hurt, or have a mishap, is it do to my lack of formal training, or is it similar to the trained one who lost their focus momentarily?

I work out in pretty much solo settings, so the chance of someone else encountering me is quite small, and if they are anywhere near me, I change what I'm doing so as to protect them.

I understand your concern Charles, and as far as I see things, its not the 'training with sharp' thats the issue here, its forging a wrong foundation(imprecise movement).
If you missed it before, I've a background in chess and did gymnastics back in highschool, so I know how violation of the obligatory things is bad bad bad; and these re-inforced habits are difficult to break.....but I am aware.

I'm also aware that the Sword Arts martial discipline and spirit, is above the others, so I understand the concern being shown, and I apologize for my violation of the tradition.
If the day comes that I get involved in formal training, I will most certainly do the right thing at that time.


**SwordLady, I checked the website, and I know exactly where your dojo is- have passed it often, and even stretched my neck to see some of the action from the street.
I may attempt to stop by next week, thankyou again.
 

Swordlady

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Calm Intention said:
*I'll try again, I wrote for about 15 min, and it didn't take(??).

Anyway,
What is a beginner?
Someone trains in a formal setting for one year and just doesn't get it, is that person any more a beginner than myself?
I am wondering...do you have any formal martial art training? What frame of reference are you using, in terms of determining your own skill level - since you do not consider yourself a "beginner"?

Calm Intention said:
For that matter, the trained person infrequently has mishaps(but accidents happen), do I blame their 'formal training', or lack of focus.
I get hurt, or have a mishap, is it do to my lack of formal training, or is it similar to the trained one who lost their focus momentarily?
One of the difference between a trained person's mishaps and the untrained person's mishaps is that the trained person has an instructor who can usually point out what went wrong. Or that person could also pick up on the mistake on their own, and learn from it. The other thing to consider is that a trained person would most likely have some perception of safety in movement, and not try to do anything outside of that realm (hopefully).

An untrained person may not necessarily know what they did wrong, and may very well continue making that same mistake over and over again. You said that you twirl around sharp blades, sometimes two at a time - even though myself and others have pointed out how dangerous that practice is. I am familiar with the "figure eight" and have done it in class - as a bokken drill. And I'm pretty sure that you are NOT doing the "figure eight" correctly, if you wind up clocking yourself on the head.

Calm Intention said:
I understand your concern Charles, and as far as I see things, its not the 'training with sharp' thats the issue here, its forging a wrong foundation(imprecise movement).
Okay...you understand that you are picking up many "bad habits" with your self-training - and you continue with it anyway? And with very UNSAFE practices, no less?

Calm Intention said:
If you missed it before, I've a background in chess and did gymnastics back in highschool, so I know how violation of the obligatory things is bad bad bad; and these re-inforced habits are difficult to break.....but I am aware.
Answer me this: Do you think it would be wise for someone to get up one morning and decide to "self-train" in gymnastics? Imagine such a person attempting a vault - WITHOUT any formal training whatsoever. Can you see how things may (and probably will) go wrong?

Calm Intention said:
I'm also aware that the Sword Arts martial discipline and spirit, is above the others, so I understand the concern being shown, and I apologize for my violation of the tradition.
If the day comes that I get involved in formal training, I will most certainly do the right thing at that time.
Real JSA training is accessible to you now. So what is holding you back from pursuing it?

Calm Intention said:
**SwordLady, I checked the website, and I know exactly where your dojo is- have passed it often, and even stretched my neck to see some of the action from the street.
I may attempt to stop by next week, thankyou again.
You wouldn't be able to see any "action" from the street, since we train on the second floor. ;) By all means, stop on by and have a talk with my sensei. Ask him what he thinks about your current practice.
 
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Calm Intention

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Swordlady said:
You wouldn't be able to see any "action" from the street, since we train on the second floor. ;)

I know.:) Mostly upper body glimpses from the steps across at the Korean deli.

I once sat in at a school at 7th & Market years back, so I think I'm supposed to take my shoes off.

1.My skill level? none
2.Always a beginner, always learning, always a student- even when
trained.
3.clunk on head was not do to a figure 8
4.I'm certain your Sensei would not approve, and I wouldn't be looking for
any approval.
As I mentioned in another thread, I've possibly the best Aikido philosophy
book there is(Aikido- and the Harmony of Nature; by Mitsugi Saotome), so from the perspective of understanding that book, I do think I could assimilate well.
 

Chris deMonch

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Reading books about martial philosophy without the context of appropriate training generally falls short. The Heiho Kadensho, a central text of the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu by Yagyu Munenori, is translated and read by a much wider audience than the handful of people actively training in that style. However, this doesn't stop people for whom the book wasn't written from reading it however they want. I used to talk with people and they'd say, "well, I'm influenced by the Yagyu philosophy!" to which I'd say, "oh? So what's that?"
Same thing goes for Musashi's Go Rin No Sho, an Isshin Ryu karate guy (just an example) can read it, but it's doubtful he'll understand it like a guy belonging to Niten Ichi Ryu.
Anywho, active training trumps book pontification. Without the afformentioned training context all it really enables one to do is wax philosophical about things it's doubtful they completely get in the first place.
 

Swordlady

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Chris deMonch said:
Anywho, active training trumps book pontification. Without the afformentioned training context all it really enables one to do is wax philosophical about things it's doubtful they completely get in the first place.

Very well said. By the way, welcome to MT. :)
 

Kacey

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Chris deMonch said:
Reading books about martial philosophy without the context of appropriate training generally falls short. The Heiho Kadensho, a central text of the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu by Yagyu Munenori, is translated and read by a much wider audience than the handful of people actively training in that style. However, this doesn't stop people for whom the book wasn't written from reading it however they want. I used to talk with people and they'd say, "well, I'm influenced by the Yagyu philosophy!" to which I'd say, "oh? So what's that?"
Same thing goes for Musashi's Go Rin No Sho, an Isshin Ryu karate guy (just an example) can read it, but it's doubtful he'll understand it like a guy belonging to Niten Ichi Ryu.
Anywho, active training trumps book pontification. Without the afformentioned training context all it really enables one to do is wax philosophical about things it's doubtful they completely get in the first place.

Nicely stated. I'd like to know more about your background and training - would you care to post a thread about yourself in "Meet & Greet"?
 
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Calm Intention

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Flying Crane said:
Go To Swordlady's Dojo.

I may....I make no promise I cannot keep.
I'm certain I would enjoy the chance, but at the same time, I recognize that at this time in my life, I am not going to be dedicating the requisite time to become either Aikido trained, or Sword trained;; we are talking a long time.
 

shesulsa

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If you are not going to invest the required time to become trained, then why are you bothering, may I ask?
 

pstarr

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Absolutely. Go to Swordlady's dojo. If you truly want to learn a martial art and understand it both inside and out, you need to make a commitment.
 
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