17th July 2004, 01:29 PM
Someone made a good point in another post about learning on your own. I wanted to get some more opinions on learning from books or video as there are currently many many many many (did I mention many) books and videos on just about every martial art there is. I myself like to think of them as base material from which you can get a general idea but definetly not the whole picture. As examples I'm reading a book on about mastering Eishin-Ryu swordsmanship called flashing steel. Do I expect to complete this book and all it's exercises thus making me a swordsman? No. Do I expect to have fun reading the contents and trying the exercises? Yes of course. Do I feel that I would be ready to be more then a beginner after completing this book and repeting it's exercises at least 400 times each over a period of time? No because a book can't correct you when you do it wrong, if you do the technique properly it's only because you got lucky. However even if it's only marginal I do believe that you will have gained some ideas of the concepts and at the very least won't be totally alien to them while being trained. However I should point out that I'm the type of person who easily forgets an experience if I experience something that I feel is better. So I could easily be trained by a master while totaly forgetting anything in the book, it's just part of the way I am about learning. That's my thoughts on learning from books anyway though I like to hear what others have to say.