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I have been studying for 5 years but mostly practice by myself. I occasional go to my local school for sparing but practice primarily by myself. What ways can I learn new taolus and training exercises without help of my teacher?

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    Welcome to Martial Arts! There are several questions about self-training on this website. I think you may find some interesting answers in this question. If those answers don't help please edit your question and clarify what it is you are looking for. – THelper Apr 27 '16 at 6:25
  • What are the goals of your training? Are you wanting to train for self-defense/combat effectiveness, or are you more interested in the art aspects? How rigidly do you want to cleave to the curriculum of your school? Also, what are the reasons you are unable or uninterested in learning directly from your school? – Zen_Hydra Apr 27 '16 at 19:03
  • My main goal is just health I suppose. Kung Fu provides spiritual benefit and physical benefit. Im interested in all aspects of Kung Fu but primarily focus on the eternal side of the art. I am unable to commit to my local school due to my scedule with work and college. However I am also not a fan of my schools teachings. They mostly focus on aggression and violence even though there is so much more to learn than how to inflict a terrible injury. I primarily study fukein white crane style but have now ways of learning new forms without the help of my teacher. – Ian Cloyd Apr 28 '16 at 1:16
  • I go to sparing every 2 or 3 weeks and that does help with my applications but i want different ways for practicing on my own and learning new forms. – Ian Cloyd Apr 28 '16 at 1:18
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A lot depends on where you are at in your training. If you are well on your way to mastering the fundamentals of your art, you can probably deconstruct forms from a video performance. A quick search on YouTube provides thousands of results. You can also ask your instructor if he/she has any video training aids. It might also be worth talking to your instructor about your situation. They may be willing to let you record video at the sessions you can attend, and you can work off of that when you can't attend.

If you aren't at the point in your training where you have a good understanding of the correct postures and mechanics of the techniques involved, working off of videos (and without feedback) might do more harm than good. You certainly wouldn't want to put muscle memory to a misinterpretation. Even without a deep understanding of the style's fundamentals you can spend your time without instruction honing your strength and flexibility. A huge part of the martial arts hang upon one's physical fitness. There is so much you can do to improve your overall fitness and flexibility in support of your martial arts practice which doesn't require any materials other than your body and gravity.

Another point worth making is that quantity =/= quality. You don't need a large volume of material to become extremely proficient, and if you already have a decent number of forms in your repertoire you can spend your time mastering them. Once you have a deep grasp of what the elements in the forms are, you can construct your own variations. These arts were all created by people, and not with any sort of special insight. There is no reason you can't do so as well (especially since you are looking for health benefits over combat effectiveness).

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  • thank you for your insight i think i will ask my teacher if he could do demos for me on video. Sounds like a great idea. You make a fare point that these forms were created by others who didn't necessarily have special insights so considering that I have a lot of experience with the forms i have already have been working on there is no reason why i wouldn't be able to create my own variations of these forms for myself. Perhaps if I develop a form i am confident with I can test it in sparring at my local school and see how it does and how I can make it more effective. – Ian Cloyd Apr 29 '16 at 1:34
  • @Ian Cloyd You are welcome. I'm glad I could be of service, and good luck with your training. – Zen_Hydra Apr 29 '16 at 13:41

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