Solo training for self-protection

Everyone has a more or less developed instinct to defend themselves, and these instinctive skills can be developed into functional skills with focused awareness and practical solo training (Hitori Geiko; 一人稽古).

Even with minimal instruction, it is easy to figure out which parts of the body can be used as weapons.

Combative striking includes the use of both hands and feet, and can be trained solo against a suitable tree.

Shinden Fudo-ryu Tanren Undo

Soft body weapons can generate lots of impact on hard surfaces without any major discomfort or risk of injury to your own body. Try the lower part of the palm, parts of your forearms, your heels, thighs, the edges of your hands and feet, etc.

Do not use the tips, elbow tip or knee bowls against hard surfaces. This should be obvious. To some extent you can feel what you can do with the forehead and the thighs.

Training Tips

  • Take it easy at the beginning, warm up your strokes and see what you can do. Do not hurt yourself!
  • Move around the tree while using different types and body weapons.
  • Target the tree with the whole body – high, low, at multiple locations simultaneously, etc.
  • Use minimal movements with maximum force.
  • Test how fast you can hit with maximum power (without damaging you) as you move around the tree.
  • Hold both hands in front of you.
  • Imagine how to avoid, absorb and neutralize an opponent’s attacks.

Keep in mind that goshinjutsu (self-protection skills; 護身術) must be functional – safe to use, effective and should be used with minimal energy consumption.

Imagine having to fight for your life (or someone else’s) against a violent attacker. Do not risk your life by doing any cheeky techniques and do not be cocky.

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