Learning The Martial Arts: Taiden, Kuden, Shinden

A model for learning the martial arts.

In the dojo there is always a forward facing and a rear facing, things that one can see, and things that are just *understood*.

The forward facing aspects are easy- just watch a class- practicing techniques, learning and growing, being part of a supportive martial arts group to help realize your goals.

The rear facing aspects are elements of the learning model that make that happen which are not always talked about or pointed out, but *are* a part of every training session- the literal engine of that session.

Let’s explore a bit of that model in this post so you can see it in your own training and get a further idea of the methods we practice.

Much of the learning in the martial arts is taiden- body transmission.

The teacher or seniors in the dojo perform a technique or a kata and the class models it- alone or with a partner depending on the waza.

Watch it and perform it- which works quite well given the martial arts are a physical body movement of arts. Body transmission can also include the teacher coming over to make any corrections or adjustments in the student’s movement.

Kuden is next- verbal or secret instruction to power the technique.  This could be feedback as in you can also do this, or now that you can do this, do this and this, etc.

Shinden is a layer over both taiden and kuden- shinden meaning heart, the *true* transmission of the martial arts. Shinden is a feeling- the *feeling* of having a waza done to you, and in *feeling* it understanding how it takes your balance, distance, and timing. Feeling the place it puts you in, understanding that martial arts technique through experience of having it done to you.


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