Should a Student Practice on His Own, or Not?

Gwai Lo Dan

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Since the forum isn't too busy these days, I'll throw another topic up for discussion.

Should a student practice on his own, or not? Does belt-level matter? Should the student only practice what the instructor/master says to practice?


I had contemplated joining a club once, and I mentioned that I looked at TKD differently than perhaps most students. For me, TKD in the school was part of my TKD, but I also practice and try to improve at home by myself.

I was told that the school doesn't like students to practice by themselves, due to getting into bad habits that may be hard to break. The school's opinion was that students are ok to stretch at home, but not practice.

Do you agree?
 

Dirty Dog

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Couldn't disagree more.
Although we tell students not to practice things they haven't been taught (in other words, don't try to self-teach from YouTube or books - even if it's one of the books I've written) we absolutely expect them to practice the things they've been taught.
 

Drose427

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This is the first I've heard of a school telling students to NOT be practicing outside of class..I disagree with that 100%. To me, that seems like something a mcdojo would say to keep people paying longer... I dont see how someone could truly improve without practicing at home.
 

RTKDCMB

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or not?




I was told that the school doesn't like students to practice by themselves, due to getting into bad habits that may be hard to break. The school's opinion was that students are ok to stretch at home, but not practice.

Do you agree?

I 100% do not agree at all one bit. That would be like going to University, going to the lectures and not studying at home.
 
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Touch Of Death

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While I want to agree with The Dirty Dog, listen to your teachers. If I had spent half the time I spent trying to do TKD style kicking on my kenpo kicking I would have ranked long before I did. They can tell when you are getting info from other sources. Be it movies or your friends. Try doing it the way they say. :)
 

Gorilla

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I have heard this before from controlling Masters who think that they are the final arbiters of good technique!!! Their students are usually limited! Create your own technique that works for you! In the sport world it will set you apart!
 

Touch Of Death

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i have heard this before from controlling masters who think that they are the final arbiters of good technique!!! Their students are usually limited! Create your own technique that works for you! In the sport world it will set you apart!
:eek:
 

dancingalone

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I was told that the school doesn't like students to practice by themselves, due to getting into bad habits that may be hard to break. The school's opinion was that students are ok to stretch at home, but not practice.

Do you agree?

No, I don't agree. At some point you have to internalize the lessons you learned in class, and realistically that won't take place in the meager 2-3 hours a week most people spend at the dojo. You have to do a lot more than that to master the material and that means plenty of organizing extra practice time with partners as well as lots of solo time. When you have a student population that you only see 2-3 hours a week, out of necessity most of the class is spent on instruction, REVIEW, and correction - not practice.
 

Thousand Kicks

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Like everyone else, I think the only way to truly improve technique and understanding of your art is to spend time practicing by yourself. However, there are good ways to practice and bad ways to practice. My advice to people is to spend a little time before you work out to figure out what you want to do.

Individual training is the best time to work on details. You could take 30 to 45 minutes and do Palgwe 1-8. But what have you really done besides review the patterns. I think you get much more out of spending 30-45 minutes on one of the Palgwe forms. Break it down into sections. Oberseve each stance. Focus on striking at specific targets. Focus on your breathing. This type of practice is generally not done in a class setting.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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At some point you have to internalize the lessons you learned in class, and realistically that won't take place in the meager 2-3 hours a week most people spend at the dojo.

Most of the dojangs I've seen have different pricing for 2 times per week vs 3 times, vs 5 times. I suspect part of the issue is schools don't want people to pay for 2 times per week, then practice 2-3 times at home with other people from the dojang.

My personal thought is that practising exclusively at the dojang is beneficial only to the naturally athletic. The other 90% would be better off pracitising a challenging (to them) kick 100 times at home on a bag or pad, focussing on getting more balanced and coordinated.
 

dancingalone

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Most of the dojangs I've seen have different pricing for 2 times per week vs 3 times, vs 5 times. I suspect part of the issue is schools don't want people to pay for 2 times per week, then practice 2-3 times at home with other people from the dojang.

I think that is plausible, but perhaps an unfounded fear if marketed properly? The dojang is usually equipped with mirrors, striking pads, and other equipment. It's much preferable to practice there if possible rather than going to someone's crowded garage or even a park. The smart school owner will have figured out a way to leverage this if he has the facilities and staff to be open for extended hours.

My personal thought is that practising exclusively at the dojang is beneficial only to the naturally athletic. The other 90% would be better off pracitising a challenging (to them) kick 100 times at home on a bag or pad, focussing on getting more balanced and coordinated.

My Goju-ryu students are expected to put in the personal time doing Sanchin and hojo undo (body strengthening exercises) to build their capacity for high level study. They simply won't progress in rank if they don't. I've never taught Goju-ryu commercially however, since I don't know that I can sell it in my market.

Basically, I agree.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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My Goju-ryu students are expected to put in the personal time doing Sanchin and hojo undo (body strengthening exercises) to build their capacity for high level study.

I'm always surprised that schools market TKD as a way to get in shape. To me, the cardio, flexibility, and appropriate body weight are done at home. I go to the dojang for the TKD, not conditioning - I don't need to pay someone to get me to do pushups for instance.
 

K-man

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I'm with the others here. There just isn't enough time in class to cover all the material comprehensively in the restricted time available. At home you can practise your kata or forms, you can work on your stances, work on your basics but most important is to work on your fitness. My guys often say "we should do more to get fit". My response is get fit in your own time. We don't have enough time for learning as it is.
:asian:
 

Tames D

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Since the forum isn't too busy these days, I'll throw another topic up for discussion.

Should a student practice on his own, or not? Does belt-level matter? Should the student only practice what the instructor/master says to practice?


I had contemplated joining a club once, and I mentioned that I looked at TKD differently than perhaps most students. For me, TKD in the school was part of my TKD, but I also practice and try to improve at home by myself.

I was told that the school doesn't like students to practice by themselves, due to getting into bad habits that may be hard to break. The school's opinion was that students are ok to stretch at home, but not practice.

Do you agree?

It's ok to break the rules.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I was told that the school doesn't like students to practice by themselves, due to getting into bad habits that may be hard to break. The school's opinion was that students are ok to stretch at home, but not practice.

Do you agree?
I don't agree. One day your teacher will be gone and you will have nobody's "order" to follow. You are the master, your school/style is your slave.

When I took my Karate class, in the class, my instructor asked us to do push up, sit up, running around the room, ... I asked him, "I can do all these at home." He said, "Most people don't".

I believe in you

- learn in school.
- practice at home.

Others may believe in you

- practice in school.
- do nothing at home.

I strongly disagree "not training at home" no matter what style that we may talk about here.
 
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skribs

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I 100% do not agree at all one bit. That would be like going to University, going to the lectures and not studying at home.

RTKDCMB, that’s how I passed most of my classes :p

If I did not practice at home, I would not be nearly as good as I am, and I would not retain forms and one-step drills nearly as well as I do having practiced at home. Even something as simple as reviewing new patterns as soon as I get home helps me keep them all in mind. My master encourages us to practice at home to become better.

While on the one hand I do see the problem with practicing the wrong technique with no one to correct you, I think it is entirely egotistical for a school to ask you not to practice at home.
 

wimwag

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I 100% do not agree at all one bit. That would be like going to University, going to the lectures and not studying at home.

Agreed. My Sensei and senior students all tell me to practice at home, but to stop if I am unsure of anything.
 
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