I would always recommend you all to learn Shodo with a qualified calligraphy teacher. Even if each teacher has a different way of teaching, it is far better than learning at home alone with books and a youtube channel.
If you haven’t got any teacher near by, it is worth finding a good teacher and travel to learn the techniques every few months preferably.
The calligraphy books and the youtube channel are only supplying extra information to compare and provide possible input into your learning process.
I find it is a pity and heart breaking when an enthusiastic person tries to learn Shodo for a while by oneself – and sadly all what he/she did was just wrong movement.
One can not learn the art of Shodo by your self at all. You could maintenance it once you buid a solid foundation but not start it from scratch just like other Do-Art (Judo, Karatedo, Sado, Kado..). It is not possible because one needs to see the hands on guidance and practise it together in a specific process to complete the stage.
The way of doing basic techniques you learned from your teacher should always remain the same. Otherwise it would become terribly confusing if you pick up other ways of doing a particular technique.
I have some students around Europe who come and learn in some intensitive private sessions or workshops a few times a year. (at least once a year) They are from all levels like beginners to the master class and have various backgrounds and professions. Surprisingly they all keep up their skills and keep brushing up new techniques everytime I see them.
I am more and more convinced that my original method is working for many – including some Japanese students young to senior.
And I am constantly discovering new elements in the art of Shodo as well as the way of teaching.
These are from one of my distance learners, Marco-san in the U.K. – Seishos are corrected and feedback is given.
If you live in Germany, France or Switzerland- U.K., Europe, you are always welcome to learn through my method and later you could continue your practice by distance learning.
I first prepared three calligraphy texts for Kakizome, the new year’s calligraphy. And one Sumi-calligraphy for the Rooster year!!
“Tori doshi 酉年”: the year of Rooster.
“Toridoshi” in Kanji.
Top one: Rooster, below: Year
This Kanji Rooster, only used for zodiac calendar.
“Toridoshi” in Hiragana
The Kanji, Tori.
The text for kid’s calligraphy class.
“Tori 鳥”in Sumie-calligraphy style.
This Kanji literaturely means bird.
The new year calligraphy is always quite playful. To begin with, we talk about our Christmas holiday how it was, with a cup of green tea. And warming-up, practise practice and practise…
At the end of lesson, I ask students what their new year’s theme/resolution is and let them pick a word that describes the theme, like “peace”or “stress-free” and so on… And I translate the word into Japanese and pick a best matched Kanji for the word.
Student then calligraph-s the name, date and the Kanji on the best Seisho piece at the end.