Tip #12: 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 improve your Taido.

But in this installment, I want you to take a step back and do two things:

  1. Look at a somewhat larger picture of Taido, and…
  2. Have some fun with your practice.

One of the cool features of the Asia Pacific meet in Australia was the inclusion of an original hokei competition. In this event, competitors create their own hokei and perform it on the court. It’s always a lot of fun to try new things and see others’ ideas.

I create new hokei all the time, sometimes spontaneously. Sometimes they’re really cool, and sometimes, they just don’t work at all. Who cares? It’s fun, and sometimes, that’s more important than the details.

So that’s what I’d like you to try: Make your own hokei.

It can be long, short, fast, slow… whatever.  You can share it with others or keep it to yourself. You can try new things or put old things together in a new way. Up to you.

I’ve assigned this exercise to my students before, and the results are always interesting.

Try it for yourself, and if you’re feeling especially brave, post a video on YouTube.  Here’s one I came up with for a local tournament a few years ago:

I’d really love to see what you come up with too.

Have some fun with this, because Taido doesn’t have to be serious all the time.

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11 thoughts on “Tip #12: Have Fun”

  1. Very important point,Taido doesn’t have to be seri­ous all the time. We just tend to forget that too often.

    Nice post,thanks :)

  2. Hey that’s a cool re-arrangement :) Perhaps for kyu-grades like me, it’s a good way to “image and fight” the opponent in the hokei, rather than simply just “doing” a pre-determined set of movements.

    1. @HongNguyen Yeah, I think this is a good one for kyu-grades. Not too tough, but a little more interesting than the standard sentai.

      I think there’s nothing to prevent students from experimenting with new ideas. Of course, at shinsa or in tournaments, you have to do the standard version of the hokei, but in training, why not make it fun sometimes? Once you’ve practiced the standard hokei for a few months, change it up to keep things interesting.

  3. I think having fun is an essential point, even while being serious.Having fun can make you going further, much more further than pain, fear or anger. Creating new Hokei is not only fun, it’s also a good way to challenge ourselves and to reconsider what, why and how we practice technics and movements in Hokei. In Japan, in The Hanshi Taikai, a Championships for instructors, you can challenge yourself and the Taido world by presenting a new Hokei, a new training method or a new competition game, and that is fun !

      1. @AndyFossett Well, I presented a kind of reverse-Unsoku-Happo at the Hanshi Taikai last year, and I also plan to present a kind of “new” competition game sometime. I think I would present a new Hokei when I found a good purpose or utility for it, cause even if it’s fun to create, at the Hanshi Taikai, you are supposed to do a theorical presentation of your work the day before performing it.
        Anyway, if you want, I’ll try to post someday a video of a special Hokei I made for a wedding party.

  4. Hi
    I agree with you, you must be able to have fun and feel the joy, and it’s probably the alto we do. I have felt a long time (and probably others, did) that we have too little space in the competitions to be creative in hokei. I’m sure we would have a more intresant and uplifting events if we could have a contest for the hokei that was more free. (No obstacle to the traditional form is also there, it is also needed, I think) I mean competitions sponsored by WTF alts not only nationaella or type hanshi kai.

    Taido essence is to be / being creative, if you are creative enough, then you want to show what you created, and was not a better place than the competitions arena. I’m sure this would have positive effects on competition but also on Taido and its practitioners.

    1. @Mikaja Good points. I think everyone should be encouraged to create hokei. I’m not sure it’s feasible to have them in open competition, because they are HARD to judge, but perhaps there are ways to make it work.

      The only problem with overemphasizing “creative” hokei is that most Taido students don’t really understand what truly makes a hokei – it’s simply a matter of a lot of experience with the curricular hokei as well as some serious thinking. When I’ve required students to create hokei in the past, the tendency is to want to show off or to focus on the form at the expense of the meaning of the movements.

      Already in Taido, there are 19 (20? – depends on what you exclude) official hokei, which a LOT of complicated routines to attempt to master. In fact, I’m not sure I know anybody who can do all of them well (and I know almost everybody in Taido…). I don’t suggest we should master everything before we attempt creativity, but I feel we need to be careful about the basing creative stuff on firm understanding of the fundamental Taido principles.

      If there’s a way to get the best of both worlds, I’d really like to see it become a part of the way Taido is practiced.

      In the meantime, we can all make up hokei for our own amusement any time.

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