How does one improve????

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Please reality, Apr 22, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Recent conversation has got me thinking on this topic. How does one improve in these arts? So much is misunderstood even today, so it seems that there is a hard row to hoe for those looking to improve themselves. There are a few hints I've gleaned over the years but it would be interesting to hear other's opinions. I would say that the biggest components of making positive steps forward are:

    1) Know what you want to improve on.

    2) Know whether you are on the right track and if not, know to get off and find another.

    3) Utilize as many resources as possible in your study.

    4) Practice until it hurts.

    5) Learn to let go.

    6) Understand the progression and what comes with it.

    7) Strengthen one's will, drive, and desire and dissolve it when the time comes.

    8) Don't hold onto crutches.

    9) Learn to be sensitive.

    10) Never give up but be smart about your tenacity.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  2. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    My advice is to keep practicing and learning new things. And new variations on old things. The nice thing about any art is that you can spend your whole life working on it and never run out of things to try. :)
  3. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    I appreciate your ideas and agree. However, there are several mitigating issues involved with concerns these arts in particular, and navigating the path is a bit less obvious for many.
  4. Grass hopper

    Grass hopper Valued Member

    I've found that I improve the most and am happiest when I don't force it. I try to keep myself from saying "I should be able to do this at my level" and just continue to improve on everything I can.
  5. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    My suggestion is:

    - 1 is better than 1,2. 1,2 is better than 1,2,3.
    - Try to reduce your risk to the minimum.
    - Try to consider all possibilities.
  6. llong

    llong Valued Member

    I'm happy to see this thread. Unfortunately, I don't know how to improve, other than going to class.
  7. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    I think the best way is to rigorously apply an effective process of improvement and keep your objectives front of mind

    Various steps of progression are nicely laid out in the ryuha and form pretty effective benchmarks of skill - giving good reference points along the way to the movement of Soke and the shihan. Without these I think that you're always going to bite off more than you can chew

    A lot of the debate/differences of perspective comes from the fact that people are aiming for different things. Often I think without realising it

    A lot of the slow progress comes from the fact that many people haven't clarified their objectives in their own minds & really thought through how best to achieve them I think
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  8. gapjumper

    gapjumper Intentionally left blank

    • Empty your cup.
    • Keep going back to check your basics.
    • Pay attention to your posture and footwork at all times.
    • Get feedback from your teacher(s)
    • Look for your gaps.
    • Don't patch poor technique with speed and tension.
    • Don't try to learn from youtube! :)

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  9. thauma

    thauma Valued Member

    There is an old saying 'practice makes perfect' that is often quoted or applied to situations such as this (improvement).

    However this is indeed incorrect, for if you practice incorrectly you will accentuate any errors and firmly embed them into your training path.

    A better take on this would be 'Perfect Practice make Perfect' therefore removing the chance of embedding bad practice / errors / technique and most importantly understanding.

    So simple repetition, building muscle memory, and learning and reinforcing by hours of 'pained' training will certainly reinforce and aid your ability to reproduce what you have practiced, but the key is to make sure that the basics are always perfect and firmly ingrained into everything that you do. Then when you add to them with advance techniques / learnings it is only a matter of simple fine tuning.

    10 perfect repetitions are better than 100 poor imitations.
  10. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Okay, so now I will expand on these 10 points.

    Following steps like these should lead to improvement.
  11. mattt

    mattt Valued Member

    Yes, I think that point 1 is the key, without it the other (very salient) points are worthless:

    Define why you are training, and what you want to learn, then go about achieving it.

    I think that the answer might well change with many folk, as even good intentioned people may have started out in a Ninja Boom or for Self Defense etc and since have moved on from there to another reason for training.
  12. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    These different categories aren't mutually exclusive, but you can't fool yourself in your training. If you practice one way when your goal is another, there is a disconnect. Of course your goals might change over time too as you said.
  13. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    You have to ask yourself the following question, "To improve my skill, do I want to be faster or do I want to be safer?"

    If you want to be

    - faster, the simpler the technique and the more risk that you are willing to take, the faster your technique will be.
    - safer, the more areas that you can cover, the safer you will be.

    Let's take the wrestling "single leg" as example.

    If you just shoot at your opponent's leg when the timing is right, you can take your opponent down in no time. The only concern is you may have to deal with your opponent's punch, elbow, kick, knee. Your opponent may even pull his leg back and lead you into the emptiness - kiss dirt.

    If you pull your opponent's arm, you can force his body weight to shift into his leading leg. If you let your leg to jam your opponent's leg, at the same time, you redirect his arms into a temporary position that won't give you any trouble. When you shoot in for single leg, you can reduce your risk to the minimum. Since you have to

    - grab and pull your opponent's arm,
    - use your leg to jam his leg,
    - guide his arms,

    That's a lot of extra moves (get into clinching). it may slow down your "single leg".

    So what's your definition of "improve"? Faster technique or safer technique?
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  14. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Actually, we are discussing improving in ninjutsu, not so much on a technical level(though that is necessarily a part of it), but considering the proliferation of nonsense out there that gets bandied about as real, authentic ninjutsu, it makes it hard to find a real source of knowledge. Add that to the mystery surrounding the art and seeming lack of a curriculum and different takes on things that many teachers have, and you have an endeavor that might be hard to improve in.

    Oh, and to answer your question, faster without safer isn't really faster. If you don't have speed, power, and position, you aren't really improving your arsenal as there will always be someone faster or you could make a mistake, so you need prudence. I think that was one of my 10 points.
  15. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    I know nothing about ninjutsu. I did spar against a local ninjutsu school instructor once. It just sounds like a Karate system to me.
  16. hatsie

    hatsie Active Member Supporter

    Spot on!semantics aside. You've obviously done your research!:)

    I think it's a bit like performing a technique! As my old instructor used to say "if you get the first bit wrong, the rest doesn't matter" he meant move/don't get hit!
    I liken this to having the right teacher, who can accuritly transmit these arts. That is the fundamental and seemingly near impossible ( I said NEAR)
    Otherwise you will improve on 'something' following the other advise given, but that may not be soke's art.
  17. gapjumper

    gapjumper Intentionally left blank

    What school was it?

    Did it look like "karate" too?

    If so he was probably calling it ninjutsu falsely.
  18. gregtca

    gregtca Valued Member

    Pr has made good points , training fast or slow not really that important varies with age , soke isn't very fast , but he's just not there :), be true to yourself and find what YOU want /need , oh and you must have the capacity to train, being sensitive to yourself /other and your surroundings I think would be a good place to start and end
  19. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    The instructor is a Korean. That was almost 30 years ago. Not sure that school is still there or not. They also taught Taiji and they told me it came from Korea Shaolin Temple. I remember that clearly because Taiji (Tao and Chinese) + Shaolin (buddhism) + Korea + ninjutsu (Japanese) just don't mix well together.

    It was the time when ninjutsu started to get popular.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  20. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    I think a lot depends on training basics over and over, even if you've been doing this for years. I also think that too many people are focused on learning new and exciting things instead of fine tuning the basics.

    What I've found for myself to be of great help is analyzing my training afterwards. During class I practice to the best of my abilities, and later I mentally revisit my training, examining what went right and wrong, and why that could have been the case. Doing this has allowed me to find areas where I came to non intuitive conclusions which have significantly improved execution of my techniques.

    Those 2 thing are imo keystones of improvement.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page