A Lifetime In the Arts.

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by MJS, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    This is sort of a part 2 thread, from another that I started in this area on training philosophies. Usually people will say that looking outside the box, will take away from their base art, that there is more than enough in one art to last a lifetime.

    So, what does everyone think about that? Does it really take a lifetime to master an art? Will looking at anything else, take away from that study, take away from the concepts and principles in the base art? Is anything and everything that you will ever need, contained in your base art, but it will take you a lifetime to dig and search for it?


    Some will say that those who don't spend that lifetime are looking for quick fixes, instead of taking the time to really understand what is in your art.

    Myself, I'm split on this. Anytime someone asks whats after black belt, I usually say thats the time to start over and really start looking at your techniques, katas, etc., and fine tuning them to better understand whats contained in them. I do this to a point, but I find myself looking at the other arts out there as well. I'm still loyal to my base art, but as I said, instead of really looking at how many grappling applications I can pull from my stand up techniques or from my kata, I turn to a grappling art. Does this mean that I'm looking for that quick fix? I suppose I am, to a point. Many times, I like to reference other arts, usually ones that specialize in a particular area, to see how they address a certain area, take those ideas, compare them to what I'm already doing and see how I can blend the two, while still staying with my base art concepts.

    My view on the lifetime in the arts, is not necessarily working just one thing, but instead dedicating myself to training and learning from anything and anyone that I can, for as long as I can.
     
  2. bluekey88

    bluekey88 Senior Master

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    To the question of "does it take a lifetime to master na art?" I think the answer is yes and no. Partly it depends on what your definition of "mastery" is. It does not take a lifetime to get really good, though it may take a long time. In fact, taking time to crosstrain and do other things can enhance ones abilities in their base art...so that's a good thing.

    It can take a lifetime to discover, assimilate and appreaciate all the secrets an art has to offer. In fact, I feel that is a pursuit that is endless. It's not just confined to MA's...any endeavor is this way. One can dedicate themselves to doing anything and the pursuit can give rewards for as long as the one continues with the endeavor. It's virtually limitless. Obviously, when one is crosstraining or doing something else, one is not actively pursuing the base endeavor. However, as I said before, the perspective gained from other pursuits can shed light and help with the "dioscovery" process. Also, the prusuit of the base endeavor (be it MA, music, woodowrking, reading, staring intently at trees or whatever) can enhance ones appreciation and abilioty in other areas (I find this a lot with mysic and MA...lots of interesting crossover and overlap between these two areas).

    Peace,
    Erik
     
  3. KempoGuy06

    KempoGuy06 Grandmaster

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    i think that it does take a life time to master an art. MA's are rivers they are constant but also ever changing. Throw in a big rock or dam them up and they either flow around, branch off or crash threw. Some may dry up and die out but others are formed. This is where crosstraining comes in, you may get to a point where you have learned everything in your art but not mastered it so you set out to study and study to master that stuff but you get stuck. what do you do stop practicing or branch out and find other arts to help enhance what you know, to revise and change what you have learned whether it be something simple like a different kick or angle or something big like an entire form.

    B
     
  4. MahaKaal

    MahaKaal Orange Belt

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    Understanding principles and concepts can be done reletively quickly, however making them work interchangebly and seamlessly takes much more time and practise. Once you achieve this, it takes a lifetime to refine your timing, appreciation of distance, apprecitation of potential strikes etc.

    Time is unlimited, there is no end to it, therefore your timing can never be perfected, as one persons skill level gets sharper, your timing needs to be higher to see how to defeat this person. The greatest challenge is to continue to train and refine your timing so much that the way you move (or not, depending on how good you are) is so efficient that your opponent doesnt even see your strikes or strategies coming.

    Having been training for 5 years now, I still feel years and years away from where I hope to be, knowing that when I do get "there", the rest of my life will be spent in refining my timing. I dont see any chore in this, as I am following something I love and dont care how long it will take me, so therefore not taking any short cuts or quick fixes.

    There is an ocean of knowledge out there with regards to martial arts and the science behind it, this is why I believe it is a lifetime hobby which will continue to get better with age and experience.

    MahaKaal.
     
  5. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Knowing it, and owning it, are two different things, and this takes time. I understand that I may be a dying breed, and I can live with that. For me, I came up through the ranks in the early 60s, and got very set in my ways. For good or bad, back then, you pretty much stayed with your foundation art, because there was nothing else out there. Boxing and wrestling were there, but we geared training around beating them, not joining them. J Now a days I know you have to stay versatile to survive in a business atmosphere. I look at everything from a self defense view point, and that is why I appear to be a bit narrow minded. I am more of the mind set, that I want to know what is out there, and see how my base art deals with those situations, based on my kata. I am in no way trying to be negative, or argumentative, but merely stating a view point. Back years ago arts stayed pure in the respect that they did not intermingle very much. I do feel that the newer breed of MA is more conducive toward competiveness, and maybe this is a good thing. Where I am concerned, this may have to do more with the “old dog, new tricks scenario”. With respect. :asian:
     
  6. morph4me

    morph4me Goin' with the flow

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    I think that part of "mastering" an art is identifying it's weaknesses and working to overcome them. There is no perfect art, all of them have weaknesses. There are practioners who have found ways of overcoming the weakness within the structure of the art they are studying and others have gone outside and found the arts that are strong in the areas where theirs are weak, and filled the gap that way. Your approach will be dependent on your outlook, if you're a purist, you learn to address the weakness within the confines of your art, and you become a better martial artist as a result. If you're more practical, you find other arts that address the weaknesses in your own, and you add them to your art and, as a result, you become a better martial artist. Both approaches have merit and can lead to "mastery" provide you continue training in your base art.

    The approach that I don't see leading to any kind of "mastery" is the year or two in this art, a couple of months in that art, another year in the next one. You can accumulate alot of knowledge and probably some skill, but not what I would consider "mastery".
     
  7. IcemanSK

    IcemanSK El Conquistador nim!

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    This may sound as if I'm being negative, but I don't mean it to be that way. To me, I believe it takes a lifetime to master an Art simply because one can loose the skill one aquires through not training. Also, one learns new training methods that one aquires throughout a lifetime. There isn't ever a point at which one can say, "I've learned everything there is to know about an Art" any more than one can say that about perfecting playing the trumpet.

    New understandings come with time spent doing it. Boxing trainers in their 80's have produced champions. They are not physically capable of what they could in their 20's, but they can still be fountains of knowledge for a young fighter.

    For a 1st Dan to say to me "I've learned all I can from my Art" I'd simply assume that they are bored & not being challenged enough. That is often a time when someone would look at the "greener grass" of another Art, or school. Take that 20 year 1st Dan & have him not train for awhile (a year, 5 years) & he will find out quickly that his body has "forgotten" a lot.
     
  8. morph4me

    morph4me Goin' with the flow

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    I don't think you're being negative. There are those that have 20 years in the arts, and those that have 1 year in the arts 20 times.
     
  9. pesilat

    pesilat 3rd Black Belt

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    Here's how I look at it personally.

    I think it's vital to have a "core" - a solid foundation in one system. I think it's useful, though, to have supplemental training.

    If you look at it from the level of principles then everything draws on the same principles. How they apply those principles is what differentiates one system from another.

    So I find it useful to see how other people apply principles I use in my core training. It helps me understand my core even better.

    Essentially it means that I'm *always* training in my core system even when I'm attending a workshop in something that might seem completely unrelated.

    Mike
     
  10. Ironcrane

    Ironcrane Blue Belt

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    As far as the first half of this goes, I don't think it will. Almost every Martial Art that I can think have has borrowed something from a different Martial Art. As for the second half, it really depends on what you want from it. I've met just as many Martial Artists that don't cross train, who are perfectly happy with what they do, as I have, those that do cross train.

    [/quote]
    Some will say that those who don't spend that lifetime are looking for quick fixes, instead of taking the time to really understand what is in your art.
    [/quote]

    I think this is just making an excuse to not cross train, and looking down on those that do.
     
  11. ackks10

    ackks10 Purple Belt

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    i can only say this, "you never stop learning"
     
  12. JadecloudAlchemist

    JadecloudAlchemist Master of Arts

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    If you set up an unreachable ideal then you will never reach it. So how the defination and idea setting of mastery really defines things.

    It is common for someone who knows Kenjutsu(sword) to study Shodo(calligraphy) if you can see the that everything is one then looking at something else is just another tool or exercise for the art.

    The base art is like a canvas everything else is paint.
    You need both to create a picture.

    That is just my take on it.
     
  13. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    No, it does not take a lifetime to master an art. You hit a certain point where you can only execute a technique but so perfectly and can only do but so many permutations of it. Crosstraining also exposes one to other arts, so if you are competing in open tournament, you have the understaning of other arts to be able to better apply your base art against them.

    As to whether or not everything you will ever need is in one art, it rather depends upon the art and the individual. There are some arts, such as hapkido, that are very comprehensive and involve stand up fighting, striking, kicking, grapples, throws, and some groundwork, along with a wealth of tradition and even some weapon forms. But practitioners of those arts can generally always benefit from exposure to more specialized arts, such as taekwondo, BJJ and kumdo.

    This is an elitist mentality and quite honestly, nonsense. It is like when some country a decade and a half back declared a moratorium on learning of new ideas because all that had needed to be learned was known. It is also a rather cultish way for me to keep a student who may legitamately have a need for something that I cannot provide, but am too selfish to allow to go seek it from someone who can.

    Personally, I am a believer in having mastery of one art, one that is the most appropriate to you, one that compliments the way you fight and think, and perhaps even compliments your body type and physical attributes. Whichever, it should be the one that you are most comfortable with, that just resonates with you. Then, study others along your martial journey. After all, it is your journey. In this, you don't become a jack of all trades, master of none, and you have a greater appreciation of other arts, taking things from them that compliment your own.

    Daniel
     
  14. championmarius

    championmarius Yellow Belt

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    To take the questions in order.

    1: I would say yes and no, it may only take a few years to learn the art, but a lifetime to make it yours. Constant revision, development, refinement, introspection etc. The art you learn is never the art you know.

    2: I don't believe so, I feel that looking at things outside of your curriculum may help you get a new perspective on your foundation concepts. Take the new scenario/concept/idea and compare and contrast with your foundation, see where it stands.

    3:For some yes, for others no. Like I said, the art you learn is never the art you know. Some may not be comfortable with some of the component parts of the art, but find a more amenable solution elsewhere, I don't think this is bad. Each person is different, so their art(s) must be just as different and personalized.

    This echoes my personal feelings on the matter, I couldn't put it better.
     
  15. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    people need to stop worrying about it & just train how they want to.

    jf
     
  16. qwksilver61

    qwksilver61 Brown Belt

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    I say yes.....a person can master the mechanical aspects....discipline of the spirit takes more time.....when you can incorporate the two,I believe then you have achieved mastery...one of my favorite examples...Sosai Mas oyama
    young,new...wonder..amazement...complex...light bulb goes on...kill the ego...observe...reflect...soul search...back to simplicity..combat effortless..humanity and wisdom achieved.Study people...study yourself,don't be in a hurry to inflict damage.
    more is not always better.123
     

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