In his writings, “The Merits of Karate,” Miyagi Chojun Sensei wrote that “A Large Space is not required” and that “It can be practiced alone.”
One of the most surprising things to visitors and new students at The Jundokan in Okinawa is that, until recently, there were no scheduled classes. Solo and one-on-one training was encouraged as a way to provide an individual level of progress to each and every student.
In a structured class, slower students are forced to keep up with the class and faster students are slowed down in their progress. This interruption of personal training pace is countered very effectively by teaching each student to “self-study” under the guidance of their instructors and seniors.
Additionally in our busy modern lives, there are many times when we may not be able to attend a scheduled class, but don’t want to let our training slip. For this reason, it is very important to learn to train alone and in small groups between classes.
This is difficult for new students, so at Syracuse Jundokan, for example, we have scheduled special time on Saturday for members to solo-train under an instructor’s supervision. As students become more experienced, they are able to train whenever they have space and time available, thus greatly improving their opportunity for rapid personal progress.
When solo training, it becomes much easier if you create a mini lesson plan for yourself to help you stay motivated through the session. For example:
10-min Hojo Undo Sanchin 5 times Kata 3 times each