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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Exercise without tears
Old 02-12-2017   #1
Roger Hicks
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Exercise without tears

How do you get your exercise? Assuming you do, of course. Quite a lot of mine comes from walking around with a camera, though there are a few other ideas in the new piece on my site, Exercise without tears, or a gym, but with photography.

There's also a new short story.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 02-12-2017   #2
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I carry a bag with a Nikon F4s and an F5. That does it for me.
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Old 02-12-2017   #3
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Weather permitting, I like to ride a bike when I have time. Otherwise, it's a 20min walk to and from the train on my daily commute, but that's really not enough.
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Old 02-12-2017   #4
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Run. About 6K, four times/week. Kayak too, in the summer.

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Old 02-12-2017   #5
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I move around a lot: living in a downtown area so that you walk more and do your shopping on foot; weekend walking expeditions with or without a camera. My number one exercise is swimming: in SE Asia and in Western Europe you'll always find a nearby swimming pool.
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Old 02-12-2017   #6
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I have three huskies and walk 22.5 kms a day, rain, or shine...
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Old 02-12-2017   #7
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So the huskies take you for a walk?

I understand they are an active breed and you must give them something to do or they will find something and you probably will not like it.

Wonderful dogs IMHO.

Neighbor rescued one and she was too old to walk her, so I purchased a 50 foot training lead and walked her. We had fun at the park. Problem was she kept escaping from the house and found sitting under a sprinkler at a shopping center 2 miles down the road. She said she was surprised the dog could go 2 miles. I explained how they pull a sled 70 miles! There is no fix for stupid.
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Old 02-12-2017   #8
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I'm 90% with you, Roger. One of the best decisions I've ever made was the decision to make photography what I do when I'm not doing something else. That means I carry a camera with me most everywhere I go, and I'm looking for ways to use that camera when I'm not focusing on something else in particular. That has come to mean commuting by foot, giving me about 70km of photography opportunities each week. Exercise is merely a consequence, which makes it far easier to adhere to than the guilt/shame that most people use to motivate themselves to move more. Cycling to retrieve quality bread is an even better motive to move.

One 5% difference is that I do actually like the transcendentalist notion of walking through nature as being an inherent good; still, liking the idea rarely translates into my going outside. The other 5% difference is that, in my experience, intellectual limitations never dissuade people from intellectual pursuits (and intellectual strengths never ensure that a given individual will engages of pursuits that exercise them). I find the company of those who aren't very smart but who are very interested to be far preferable to those who are extremely bright yet only care about, e.g., money, sports, or handbags. But I digress.

I do rather appreciate seeing an article on exercise that says, "nothing works for everyone, but here's what works for me." I wish more writers took that approach.

Cheers,
Jon
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Old 02-12-2017   #9
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One of the big reasons I do belong to the gym is the social aspect. Meet a lot of folks there for a pleasant interchange. Plenty to talk about since the election---and Roger--I really enjoy your writings. Thank you!
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Old 02-12-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
So the huskies take you for a walk?

I understand they are an active breed and you must give them something to do or they will find something and you probably will not like it.

Wonderful dogs IMHO.

Neighbor rescued one and she was too old to walk her, so I purchased a 50 foot training lead and walked her. We had fun at the park. Problem was she kept escaping from the house and found sitting under a sprinkler at a shopping center 2 miles down the road. She said she was surprised the dog could go 2 miles. I explained how they pull a sled 70 miles! There is no fix for stupid.
Exactly Ronald,

I've had huskies since I was 9, great breed!
Mine had never done any damage other than dig a few holes in the lawns and pull out a shrub or two, that interfered with their view into the kitchen window... lol

They are escape artists and do need a good fence!

cheers/k.
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Old 02-12-2017   #11
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Bring the 8x10 out more..
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Old 02-12-2017   #12
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Daily walk, 1 hour minimum. Sometimes with a camera. It's an exercise, a good exercise for the body, sometimes for photography as well: I call it photography at km zero!
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Old 02-12-2017   #13
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To start at the nadir, I can imagine few things more awful than paying large sums of money to take mindless exercise in a gymnasium, pedalling a stationary bicycle, rowing a stationary boat, or raising and lowering weights for the sake of raising and lowering weights.

But what I would never do, even if I could afford it, is join a gym.
Exactly the point. I don't know how I've been surrounded by gym guys, I've always resisted against joining. A part of me says I should, so I'd have developed my upper body musculature a lot. I do ride bicycle though.

Excluding social gathering, perhaps less productive, but doing the mechanical excercises and chatting with a companion does make the gym rather entretaining. The first, only, and last time I went to the local gym was with a friend under an invitation and we spent (rather pleasant!) 4h or so. Treadmill, Weight lifting, pool and Jacuzzi bath. The latter part was nice!
I really should do strength training but it is so boring, I have to pay to be locked indoors instead of enjoying outdoors.

I bicycle, particularly to enjoy the outdoors and it's a nice way of moving, faster than on foot. Another note is that I dislike driving because of the concentration and tension it requires.
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Old 02-12-2017   #14
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radical cam---hmmmmm---better check into that alternate interpretation! Not one I'd thought of-- :-)
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Old 02-12-2017   #15
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When I retired from full time work I did something I had been toying with for years. I took up iaido. Iaido is the art of Japanese sword handling (or the art of "drawing the sword" as the Japanese call it). It is all very Zen and reminds me somewhat of Tai Chi - but with 30 inches of razor sharp steel. (OK we use a blunt sword for most training to avoid losing too many arms and heads).

Does it work as an exercise? Well the guy who teaches us is 84 years old and probably more fit than I am and I am 20+ years younger than he is. He is certainly more fit than 99.9% of other 84 year olds. I took it up because I have long had a love affair with Japanese history and culture not so much because I wanted exercise - but of course I did it for this too. But if I just wanted exercise I might have been tempted to join a gym (again).

Here is my point, Roger has exactly the right idea in this regard - if you want to exercise do something that interests and engages you and use this as your opportunity to exercise. Do something you love. Exercise is painful and often boring. That is why 80% of gym memberships are not used after the first 3 months (well, mine probably wasn't used after 1 month). But if you are doing something that you really enjoy it stops being "exercise" and becomes "living".
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Old 02-12-2017   #16
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^"fad gadget" , Would these possibly be yours ? Peter
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Old 02-12-2017   #17
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BLESS YOU, Roger! I saved the article to my downloads and I can assure you, I will read it and re-read it, often. At last, I find somebody who thinks about exercise the way I do. And my favorite way of getting exercise is walking around with a camera. That's how I get my exercise. And yes, I have belonged to a gym (not my style, I'm too indolent) and I didn't think much of team sports when I was in school, although I did like running track because I went out for events like running the mile, which isn't about teamwork.

Anyway, wonderful article, and a fun read. Thank you once again!

With best regards,

Pfreddee(Stephen)
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Old 02-12-2017   #18
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Lovely article, Roger.

For past two years my wife and I have been going to the gym five times week. We go early morning around 8 – 9 o’clock for about an hour and a half. It sets us up for the day.

Sounds a lot, but it’s nothing strenuous; a bit of cardio, weights and floor exercises. As a result, we’re fitter and leaner, and my hypertension has come down dramatically.

Also, we walk, usually about 3 - 5 miles a day. When in London for the day wandering about we can walk twelve miles.

Each to their own.
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Old 02-12-2017   #19
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I wholeheartedly agree with exercise for its own sake is not enjoyable.

When I was young I absolutely hated running. It was something I avoided doing at all costs. But then I was camping with a friend, and there was a lookout that was 5km on a narrow trail from the campsite and it would be wonderful at sunset and we could make it if we ran. He said we wouldn't have to run fast, just a little faster than a brisk walk. I hated it for the first 4km or so and then all of a sudden it was so relaxing and peaceful, almost meditative. We ran back the campsite in the dark with head torches. Even better.

Now I run as often as I can, but the first few k's is always a battle until my body and mind settles into it. It is relaxing and meditative, and if I don't go, my wife tells me I have to because I get unbearable. If you told me when I was 20 that running was relaxing and meditative I'd have laughed at you, but here I am.

I bore anyone who'll listen with how excellent running is and I've introduced a few people into the LSD running regime (Long, Slow, Distance). I've also worked out why I, and so many other people) hated running. The first reason is we think we have to go really fast, and the second is that because we try to go too fast, it hurts and we stop before we get into the zone. I was taught the way to start running was Easy (don't try too hard - you should be able to talk), Light (you shouldn't be able to hear your footfalls), Smooth (you shouldn't be bouncing up and down), and then Fast (once you've successfully mastered easy, light, and smooth, then you're already going fast).

The big problem I have with running is that is strips you of muscle mass. I grew up windsurfing and used to have biceps, now I have noodle arms. So I make sure I do as much incidental exercise as I can that involves some sort of strength aspect. I've been known to drop an do so push ups once in a while when I get bored...

I also walk to work (5km each way) a few times a week and try not to drive if I can avoid it.
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Old 02-12-2017   #20
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Historically, we have gotten exercise from routine necessary activities (farming, hunting, travel by foot, etc). That would still apply today if we have roughly equivalent activities, as you describe, Roger.

I have never been a fan of team sports, myself. When I was a young boy, I heard about Little League (baseball) and I prayed that my parents wouldn't think it a good thing for me. I saw my summers off from school as a sacred time to play and have fun. Having an adult constrain me to a prescribed activity and tell me, "You go over there and you do this," was not my idea of a good time. I got enough of that at school, already.

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Old 02-12-2017   #21
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Being a plumber I get plenty of well paid exercise every day. Notwithstanding this each Sunday my mate and I head go for a hike in the Adelaide Hills varying between 4-6 hours depending on the weather. Also 7 to 8 times a year I go away for the weekend with a group from the Friends of the Heysen Trail hiking on the, you guessed it, the Heysen Trail. All this keeps me in pretty good shape. And my annual break is always spent tramping in New Zealand. I spend 3 weeks there, generally flying over on Boxing Day and coming home mid January.
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Old 02-12-2017   #22
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My favorite blog http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/ It has taught me so much about what Roger is talking about.

If you can, park your car, walk or cycle. I have lived without a car since 1995. A bonus of saving maybe $100,000 or more.
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Old 02-13-2017   #23
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I live on five acres ... that'll do it every time!
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Old 02-13-2017   #24
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I commute by bicycle: 30 miles a day, five days a week. If weather permits I'll carry a camera with me, and I also keep a few cameras at work for lunchtime walks. What I need now is to find a suitable chest holster to carry my Hasselblad.

I can't think of anything more boring than going to a gym, or more unpleasant than running. Cycling keeps me fit, gives me time for my own thoughts, and lets me avoid taking the train - wins all round as far as I'm concerned.
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Camera & Bike Rides
Old 02-13-2017   #25
russelljtdyer
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Camera & Bike Rides

My preferred methods of exercise is bike riding and kayaking. They're ways to exercise while sitting down. In addition to trying to lose weight and staying healthy, I have some other motivations to ride my bike. One is to go far to impress my girlfriend and others. Yesterday I rode for a little more than 80 km (50 miles). Another motivation is to take pictures while out for a bike ride, photos I can post on-line to impress friends. While riding, I'm looking for an interesting photo. I'll go farther and off my planned route to find a good shot. So, in part, photography drives me forward. Below are shots I took in the past few weeks:


Edge of Nosadello, Italy


Farm in setting sun near Roverbella, Italy


4th Century Church in Palazzo Pignano, Italy

These were all taken with a Sony RX100-M3 camera. It's easier to transport on the bike than a Leica M9 or M3.
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Old 02-13-2017   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
I wholeheartedly agree with exercise for its own sake is not enjoyable.

When I was young I absolutely hated running. It was something I avoided doing at all costs. But then I was camping with a friend, and there was a lookout that was 5km on a narrow trail from the campsite and it would be wonderful at sunset and we could make it if we ran. He said we wouldn't have to run fast, just a little faster than a brisk walk. I hated it for the first 4km or so and then all of a sudden it was so relaxing and peaceful, almost meditative. We ran back the campsite in the dark with head torches. Even better.

(...)

The big problem I have with running is that is strips you of muscle mass. I grew up windsurfing and used to have biceps, now I have noodle arms. So I make sure I do as much incidental exercise as I can that involves some sort of strength aspect. I've been known to drop an do so push ups once in a while when I get bored...

I also walk to work (5km each way) a few times a week and try not to drive if I can avoid it.
Agreed on that. Curiously there's been a bit of "running mania" the last years around here. I have a friend who is a gym instructor and he corroborates it, too many people take up running without proper knowledge and for the sake of it.

Now, for a sunset I'd run too. As I said also, excercising with a buddy is much better because it adds a purpose.

The observation about muscle mass is quite relevant to me. I am lightweight and developed lower body because of cycling. Last summer I began to do some push ups and strengthened a bit my torso and arms.
I'd like to develop these muscle groups more, but it's a bit of a bummer because it's not as convenient as bicycle.

Perhaps rowing, kayaking or stand up paddle next summer.

The bicycle is a nice medium to arrive far away locations.
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Old 02-13-2017   #27
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I ran for years, now I walk daily or try to walk daily, and I do a series of core exercises, followed by push ups. No gym for me, but I'm thinking about a membership at one close to home (walk); if it is clean.
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Old 02-13-2017   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto-Uno View Post
^"fad gadget" , Would these possibly be yours ? Peter
Hi,

No, but there's someone else on the north shore that has 3 as well.
I see them along the Capilano River trail sometimes while I'm out.
One of mine's a pup, 4 months old now.

cheers/k.
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Old 02-13-2017   #29
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^ Thanks for getting back on this , these were actually from the Kitsalano (sp) area.
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Exercise without tears
Old 5 Days Ago   #30
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Exercise without tears

I resumed running - short distance and long distance - in 2010 after a lapse of 25 years and after a rather catty acquaintance was amazed to hear I was going to enter a charity event and doubted my ability to run with colleagues in a relay along Hadrian's Wall. Her comments ensured I would do it - and do it in style, just to prove her wrong.

As a result of my resumed hobby I all but stopped taking photographs. Anyway, I have calmed down a bit and now treat my rest or cut-back weekends as a chance to take a relaxing walk instead of running long distance or doing military fitness in the park. On the walk the only fitness equipment I carry is a Leica M6 armed with a 35/1.4 Summilux and loaded with Ilford FP4 film. (OK, I sometimes use a Fuji X-Pro 2 which is sort of the modern equivalent but it's not as fun.) I use a yellow filter in the unscrewable hood and love the fact that as with fitness gains you have to wait a couple of weeks to see the full results. If I had to choose between strenuous exercise and contemplative exercise... well, I'd rather have both depending on my mood and degree of freshness, but if it had to be one or the other I would opt for the calm and creativity of the photo bimble.

Exercise and photography: both obsessions and that reminds me of what someone on here puts at the bottom of his posts: "There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness."
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Old 5 Days Ago   #31
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gyms are to exercise what pubs are to pints

i don't know a more efficient way to exercise than at a gym, though prefer the outdoors for it.

weight training, circuit training, cardio, whatever you need, you can get it done in 30-45 minutes and then get out. few times a week keeps me as fit as i need.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #32
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Weight training at whatever gym is close and inexpensive changed my life. I think of it as my church - a physical, mental and emotional 'zeroing' that I now struggle to do without. No goal, just an hour or two of being entirely within my own flow state, 3-6 days a week.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #33
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"Striving for any form of excellence other than physical is for the most part incomprehensible to those whose intellectual limitations confine them to the physical."

Inspirational, just inspirational. Thank you.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #34
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Had a minor stroke in 2011. Left me with a weak right arm (I'm right handed).

Once physio got my arm working again I thought I'd try archery to help improve things; so I bought a 25lb pull bow (kid's weight).

My targets have a rock backing, so many arrows get destroyed, but now I can easily swing my M6 from my shoulder and hold it comfortably without trembling.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #35
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Roger, I read your article and agree entirely about gyms even though I actually enjoy using them; it's still nicer to be outdoors in a more relaxed mode as in your photo walk or shopping bimble. By the way, you must read the book 'Norwegian Wood - chopping, stacking, and drying wood the Scandinavian way' by Lars Mytting.

All the best,

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Old 1 Day Ago   #36
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I find that the secret to exercise is to do something that takes your mind off the fact that you are sweating and in pain. So I took up Iaido 3 years ago.

I have long been interested in Japanese culture - after a childhood spent watching "Shintaro the Samurai" on Australian TV, I suppose. Iaido is a form of Japanese sword training which is heavily influenced by Zen and is sometimes called the "art of drawing the sword". Which sounds prosaic but is really developed from Samurai training to be able to quickly respond to a threat by drawing the sword from the scabbard in a smooth dynamic motion to block and then counter attack.

I find it a very cool and interesting way of exercising which is also quite invigorating but not violent (strangely enough) as this form of training is most often not practiced as a competition between persons, but is practice one conducts by oneself against an imaginary opponent - in our school at least though other forms and schools have different modes of practice and training. We train with a steel or alloy training sword (usually blunt in which case it is called an "iato") or a wooden "bokken" on those occasions when we do train with another person to avoid those unfortunate accidents involving heads rolling across the floor. :^) Even when training with another, the aim is not to win - but rather to perfect ones technique to the highest degree possible. To this end people perform the sport for 20 or 30 years and still claim to be learning new skills. Its the kind of activity which focuses on tiny matters of technique all aimed at producing an elegant and flowing but powerful set of movements which in the real world would have one day meant the difference between life and death. The idea behind this was that fast flowing movements meant the ability to defeat an attacker and being elegant in movements demonstrates mastery and power which helps avoid fights (not that this is something we have to worry about - I usually leave my sword at home when visiting a bar or restaurant :^) ) But that's the theory anyway. This is not a practice that involves big showy jumps etc like we see in the movies - its about projecting an aura of mastery that psychologically dominates anyone who might be inclined to be threaten and hence faces off danger. Again that's the theory at least.

It is if done well it is also very elegant but like, say, ballet it involves a good deal of core body strength and stamina. It is not really an aerobic exercise. But does it work as exercise? Well I will say this - the master of our dojo is 85 years old and still going strong.

The "togs" we dress up in look cool too and for me this is part of the enjoyment. Getting togged up is part of the ritual of becoming a "sempai" and putting oneself into "samurai mode" for an hour or two.



This video gives an idea of how it all works though details differ between schools.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciXR3c-BDVw
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Old 1 Day Ago   #37
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Mostly with this...but also like Roger I do a lot of walking with camera gear...
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Sam
"tongue tied & twisted
just an earthbound misfit...I..."
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