Self-Inquiry

Taido is a set of principles about being and doing. That’s all it really could be after all. Just like any other physical discipline (sport, dance, sex cult), Taido includes instruction on why and how to use the body in response to various types of stimulus. In...

Have Fun

I take Taido seriously for the most part, and you’ve probably noticed in these tips that I can be very intense when it comes to certain details. So far, I’ve given you a lot of detailed information on developing certain skills and attributes that will...

Geometry

For this installment, I want to talk about geometry. Yay! Since the last couple of lessons involved alignment, it seemed like a good time to discuss how Taido uses line. It would be virtually impossible to train Taido for any length of time without hearing of the...

Watch The Foot

OK, so last time I asked you to be mindful of your foot and knee alignment and glossed over some of the reasons that this is important from a biomechanical perspective. Good stuff, and if you actually practiced it, you should be noticing better control of most of your...

Lower Body Alignment

The last tip dealt with posture, which I basically used to refer to spinal alignment. If you have improved your posture over the past couple of weeks, you know that using your body correctly can have a big impact on your Taido. This time, we’re going to work on...

Posture

Some people have good posture. Others don’t. Students who already have excellent posture don’t need this tip. The rest of us need to get our acts together. Of all the difficult-to-break bad habits, poor posture may be the king. There are a lot of reasons...

Perfection

We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect. In fact, this is totally untrue. We naturally improve at whatever we do often, even if that just means we become very good at sitting in front of the TV. We are always practicing, even when we don’t think we...

Accuracy

By now, you should have incorporated regular logging of your training. You’ve probably noticed that you can move better when you’re relaxed and that you can relax easier when you breathe. If you’ve been doing the balance drills and dynamic swings in...

Swing

I hope you’re putting these tips to good use and beginning to see results in your training. This time, I want to give you a little advice on stretching that you can apply in every practice. As in the last tip on balance, I mentioned this one in my warm-up...

Balance

Work on your balance. Everyone knows that balance is important, especially in sports. Most sports movements take place on one leg, or by transitioning the weight from one leg to another. This means shifting our balance. In Taido, the balance shifting is extremely...

Breathe

Everyone knows that breathing is important in Taido, just as in… well, pretty much everything. Learning to use your breath is a big part of Taido’s taiki (“body energy”) idea. Every hokei includes techniques for learning to master the breath,...

Relax

This week, I want you to remember to relax. It’s probably the most common advice in the world as it can pertain to anything we do in life. Of course, learning to relax can improve your relationships, your health, and your mood. But what we’re most...

Log Your Training

I suggest you print these tips out or copy them into a small notebook you can keep in your gym bag. Making notes of your own observations will help tremendously. Just take a few seconds to remember each point before practice and a couple of minutes to write down your...

Taido Training Tips

You Need Reminders It happens to the best of us: we get caught up in the process of going to the dojo, putting on our uniforms, warming up, practicing techniques, etc. We get lost in the ritual of training and the time flies by. Unless we make a concerted effort, it...

Genkaku: What’s the Point?

Genkaku is probably the most-reviled rule in tournament Taido. Players hate it. Judges hate it. In fact, most judges never force genkaku in jissen. Many tournaments explicitly forbid it. I don’t think genkaku is all bad, but it’s definitely not my favorite...

Ebigeri: Where to Look

A few days ago, I got an email from one of the students in my email coaching program, and I thought it was worth sharing. I’ve got a question about this week’s Taido tip, you mentioned that the back should be straight during ebi geri. Why is this, what is...

Advanced Kobo Drills

After mastering the basic forms of a few kobo routines, you are ready to work with some advanced alternatives. The variations below build off of the basic kobo drills, but offer choices to one or both partners in how to respond to the other. Essentially, we are...

You’re Probably Stretching Wrong

I’ll get right to the point. Every dojo I’ve ever practiced at does stretches, but very few people at any of these dojo ever seem to get very flexible. There’s a good reason for this: most people are stretching wrong. This article is about stretching...

Stretching for Taido

I believe that attribute training is just as important as skill training. Most Taido practices are about developing skills – and this is probably the most efficient use of class time – but poor attributes (strength, mobility, endurance, and flexibility)...

Shooting Dice

I sometimes play a game with dice – I call it “the random new technique game”, and I’m going to outline it here so you can experiment with similar ideas. Using a random modifier such as a die or a deck of cards is nothing new, and I’ve...

Warming Up For Taido

A while back, I ran a poll about warm up methods and promised a follow-up article. You are now reading the follow-up article. I think most people are vaguely aware of the importance of warming up prior to engaging in demanding physical activities. Properly warming up...

A Little About Breathing

rather than simply pointing out flaws, i’ve always been of the opinion that we should present better alternatives. i feel that the exercises i will outline below can lead students to develop a better method of breathing for taido. i find that these exercises lead to a very natural way of breathing while moving that is highly adaptable to taido technique (adaptation being one of the five tenets of taido’s philosophy). because i want to encourage others to experiment with these exercises (and because providing evidence that the current theory is inadequate is tedious), i will first present my “better alternative” before attempting to nitpick shukumine sensei’s method in a later article.

Games for Jissen

Jissen is not simply a matter of one person controlling another person. Both players have the same goal: hit the other dude without letting him hit you. At lower levels, it’s often enough to simply bully your opponent, subjecting him to your will. But a strong...

unshin

i recently spent five days talking and training with two of members of the hanshikai, and let me tell you this much – they are crazy excited about unshin. everything we practiced came back to a very select number of themes, and the possibilities of moving in...

Stretching Menu

Since posting the Stretching Challenge, I’ve gotten some good feedback and comments. I really appreciate everyone sharing their own experiences here. On the challenge post, I embedded a video of me performing and explaining the essential components of my current...

Stretching Challenge

If you haven’t been following Taido/Blog lately (and shame on you if that’s the case), you should read the first two posts in this series before continuing. Here they are: You’re Probably Stretching Wrong Why Flexibility is Important in Taido Those posts really lay...

Stretching Update

Just to let you know, I have not forgotten to add the next article. I promised in Why Flexibility is Important in Taido that I would post again soon with some specific recommendations for improving your flexibility, and I am working very hard on getting that done. The...

Why Flexibility is Important in Taido

In my last article (You’re Probably Stretching Wrong), I wrote that the standard 5 minute warm-up stretch is inadequate for building flexibility. That’s no big deal – we can just stretch for longer. How much stretching are we talking about here...

The Broken Record Drill

Maybe I’ve gone kobo-crazy, but I believe intelligent and creative use of kobo-derived drills can have incredible potential for improving students’ Taido skills. This isn’t necessarily a new development, but it’s something that I have used...

Kobo Jissen

This drill set straddles the line between kobo and jissen, and I would suggest you practice them with both attitudes. In kobo, you are trying help your partner improve his skills; in jissen, you want to defeat your partner’s attempts to use his skills. Both are...

How to Fly

Fact: Taido uses lots of jumps. If you want to be able to take full advantage of Taido’s unshin, tengi, and ungi, you will need to have plenty of jumping skill at your disposal. This article is about building these skills. Before I get into my recommendations...

Continual Training

What if I told you that you could practice Taido for over 100 hours every week? Would you be afraid? How do you think your performance would improve? Assuming that all this extra practice didn’t interfere with your job or family life, how would you imagine you...

How to Practice

there is an outlined method for practicing taido movements. i have also spent a good deal of time researching various training and practice methods as well as general educational theory. using the standard method as a framework, i have made additions and adjustments that i think are applicable to most skill acquisition scenarios we are likely to encounter in taido practice.

Kangeiko

Growing up in Uchida Sensei’s dojo, kangeiko was always one of my favorite Taido traditions. Everybody came to kangeiko, even if they couldn’t make it to practice very often during the rest of the year. It was always like a family reunion. And the workout...

Kobo Drills for Jissen

In Japan, Kobo is not a practice method – they are a testing requirement. Nobody here practices kobo with the intention of improving their skills or building their technical base for jissen. Instead, most students spend a portion of the two or three practices...

Notes on Working Drills for Jissen

This is just an easy list of guidelines that will help you get the most out of your kobo and jissen practice. I figured it would be good to tidy up my series on drilling methods with a concise listing of what I think are the most important points, in no particular...

Drills for Unsoku and Unshin

There are a lot of things that make jissen a fun and challenging game, but the biggest thing that makes jissen difficult is that we must make our movements respond to those of our opponents. I’ve covered how to practice the individual unsoku and unshin movements...

A Working Definition of Kobo

how not to think of kobo First, I want to write a few words about what kobo are not. Kobo are not answers to various techniques. The way I see most people practicing kobo is based on this idea that they are algorithms for defeating various high-percentage techniques....

Using Incremental Progression

The Problem with Traditional Kobo The usual style of training kobo is based on the idea that “if he does that, you respond by doing this.” It ingrains patterns that may not always be to best response to a particular situation. The first thing we need to do...

Incremental Drills for Jissen

Compared to the various Kobo Drills, the ones on this page look more and more like jissen, and by extension, they look more like the drills you typically use for jissen practice. They are not the drills you typically use. If you do them the way I am suggesting, you...

Basic Kobo Drills

These basic kobo drills are designed to on work on specific weapon deployment and defensive response. The drills on this page build on the abilities to implement unsoku and unshin in relation to your partner (these come from practicing the Drills for Unsoku and...

A Kobo Parable

I love coffee. Always have, as far back as I can remember actually knowing what coffee tastes like. So when I was looking for a job during a break from school, it was only natural that I should apply at Starbucks. I did and was hired. Actually, I worked at Starbucks...