Begginner really needs help

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Drakeh, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Beginners may learn alot from watching a video of their style, however there is a very real possibility of trying to learn a technique too soon. If one was to watch videos of ONLY the techniques required for their belt level(or equivalent), they could pick up a an understanding of a technique, BUT if the instructor in the video performs a technique differently than the instructor the student will test under, it may cause confusion. As most people willl get bored watching the basic white belt\yellow belt techniques of a curriculum, they may go forward, trying to learn and work on techniques from perhaps blue belt or brown belt syllabus. Problem being, without the proper foundation and experience in the techniques of the lower belts, the risk of getting it wrong, or causing injury to self/others is pretty high. To use an example from judo, uchimata is a spectactular throw, but it is not taught to white belts for a reason. Make sense?
     
  2. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Okay, the video game first...

    First, a clarification of what the clips were about. The reason I posted them was due to Dancingalone's contention that multiple sources would allow a new student to check against the variations to see what should be done, or pick mistakes by cross-checking against each other.

    The idea was to see if people here thought they could learn this kata from the video sources... indeed, if they could tell which was the one they were supposed to be learning in the first place! That said, let's get to it!

    Cool.

    And cool again.

    Right. Both of you, martial artists of some experience (we'll come back to that, Toast), and both of you got technical details wrong, missed some major differences in the execution, and didn't pick up on some of the real errors present. I think that pretty well shows that a newby, with no experience, wouldn't have a chance of learning in this way, even by comparing the various performances.

    Now, to the answers.

    Honestly, which one is "right" depends on which organisation you're in, and who your teacher is. The first one (Hatsumi Sensei) is a variation, not the kata itself, so learning from it is not the right idea. The counter kick is meant to be with the left leg, not the right, and the pull down at the end is a free-expression finish that Hatsumi put in there.

    The second one (Tanemura) is the way the kata is presented in the Genbukan. The cross-step and staying on one leg is part of the way it is presented there, although variations where the counter kick is done with the right leg, or you land when you strike are also shown. You may notice that the angling for Tanemura is more severe than in Hatsumi's presentation... if you were in the Bujinkan, that would be "wrong", but for the Genbukan, it's "correct".

    The third one is, mechanically speaking, the most "correct" from a Bujinkan perspective. The kick is with the right leg, it finishes with the thumb thrust to the ribs, and so on... except the kamae is flawed, the counter strike to the arm is to the wrong target, and is the wrong angle, and so on. So the most "correct" one, put forth as a demonstration of the kata specifically, is also the worst one to learn from.

    Oh, and just to note, none of the kicks should be with the toes, it should be with the shin/instep (and when dealing with an old Japanese tradition, heavy or hard-toed shoes aren't really a part of the conversation at all).

    Right, to the rest of it.

    The way your first post comes across is in support of them, so that's the way we took it. I realise you're new here, but it may pay to look a little closer to what the thread is saying. Here we have a thread in the Beginners Section, with a title of "Beginner Really Needs Help", and an OP talking about not having the ability to attend a school, so wanting to learn from DVDs. When you then post, in the fourth post of the thread, that you feel DVDs are an undervalued resource in learning, it gets taken as support for solo self training with DVDs. I'm sure you can see why.

    I took the idea of a lack of motivation as being pretty much the same thing, basically "getting bored with it" equaling "losing motivation to continue". My apologies if that was inaccurate.

    Nope. In fact, that was one of the first tournaments I attended. I could pick it because I could see it. BJJ etc really isn't my thing, and that was before I trained in it.

    Again, I'd point back to what this thread is, which is not "how can you use a video reference", but a beginner with no real experience asking about learning from DVDs. All posts are read in that context.

    I'm saying that DVDs as a learning method for an inexperienced beginner is worse, in a range of ways, than a bad live instructor, or not training at all.

    The reason you have been asked for your martial background isn't an attack, it's to do with understanding where your frame of reference is coming from. What arts have you trained, and how long?

    Hmm, I don't quite understand what you mean there. You were asked if you have learned an art from video, then reference your first post, where you talk about a lack of obligations leading to a trailing off of the training... does that mean you tried, and couldn't do it?

    However, actually learning from a DVD is just a damn bad idea. That's what we've been saying, and arguing against your comments here on.

    It does mean that it is limited to the point of being less than useful in the learning of martial arts, though.

    Watch videos? Sure. Learn an art from them? Not in a hundred years.
     
  3. Toast_in_the_Machine

    Toast_in_the_Machine Yellow Belt

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    First, again, as I am new to this forum, I am unfamiliar with some of the conventions; I did just barge right in. (Yeah, that does say something about me.)

    Since I can’t quote within a quote, please forgive me for collecting your comments together. I think I get some of the repeated aspects, so I have joined disparate comments at my convenience. If this is a great social faux pas, please forgive me. I’m used to misquoting being one of the cardinal sins, but this board doesn’t let for quote within a quote easily, so I’m making do as best as I can.

    First to the “pointed question”
    No attack taken. No offense given. I would ask why you would think I would take it as an attack, but I assume several people have. The fact that I haven’t taken it as an attack may say something about me, but is probably meaningless. Currently, you do not know my background, and all I am is a bad screen name, so asking about it is perfectly reasonable. My statement given was accurate. I consider myself trained zero years in any martial arts until proven otherwise. You would be correct to assume the same.



    I am concerned with this being a beginners section, and I thought I was being careful to call out exactly what I was saying. Did I know that there was a risk that a supporting statement for video learning would be taken as support for trying to learn an art solely from DVD? Sure I did. I tried my best to couch it with lots of “mays” and I thought was carful with my language. I suspect that there have been too many similar posts that would allow me to play against type. Well, at least I started with some flair.

    It is interesting that the supposed support of DVD’s was what was latched onto and not the statement that it won’t work aspect from my post.

    To the subsequent posts, sure, I’ll cop to thread drift in the name of clarification. If I should have moved to a new thread, I sorry I didn’t. I went on the basis that as long as the conversation was civil, it could keep going as long it was, in general, around the subject.

    Now to our point of disagreement:
    I am not suggesting learning a martial art only via DVD as option A, B, C or P. However, I tend to leave the door open for broad hypotheticals, so I shy away from absolutes. I expect that even a beginner will think for themselves (that may be a huge assumption – but necessary for many human activities), so while I am encouraging the OP to use any and all video resources as available, I would not shut the door that there may be a situation where it may possibly be the best option.

    Could I construct a situation where someone is trapped in a swiss canton surrounded by religious fanatics who will beat the OP senseless if the OP shows their face, yet the OP needs to buy groceries and yet all they have is a DVD of self-defense. Should they watch the video or go out shopping?

    Putting myself in this unlikely situation, I would watch the videos. Somewhere between that farcical situation and the real complex situation of a life is the OP. Given the sparse information about the OP, I would suggest that they should maximize all of the tools at their disposal and look around to see what other tools they could utilize.

    If this means watching {insert eventually the name of the craptastic self-defense video I once saw where the students – girls mostly – raised their hands and spun, dancing style, away from a choke, yeah, I really did watch that one}, then so be it. It beats nothing. I’m sorry, but I have a point of dissention, something is better than nothing. Not that there aren’t almost always a plethora of unseen options, but I’d love to see an argument that nothing is better.

    With that said, I still say that video provides an excellent tool for a student of all skill levels to see and learn and I would encourage students of any and all types to take advantage of it as much as it fits.



    Have I tried it? No way. I’d say “do I look stupid to you”, but the answer is probably “yes”, so I won’t bother asking. (Damn, am I typing out loud again?)

    Again on a diversionary tact, the reason each person walks into a dojo is their own. Why some stay and others leave, may be hard to predict. Some students have seemingly all the support in the world, and yet they peter out. Others have nothing and yet they seem to persist for no other reason than to persist. Yet against these are students with support who succeed and others with no support who predictably fail. I was measuring the probability of success against the most likely scenario. A student who commits to a video based training could possibly, maybe, most probably not, but don’t bet against human persistence, succeed, and we would all be surprised if it could happen.

    For my part, I would contribute failure to learn solely from a DVD only endeavor not to a lack of teacher, but the lack of all of the other things that contribute to someone staying, and succeeding, in the martial arts. I see cultivating those things as important, or more important, than the teacher one has. There is a reason that a student who learns kung fu from running a Chinese movie theater projector only appears in a movie.
     
  4. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Just Contributing to the Conversation.
     
  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Cool, let's see what we have here...

    Ha, don't worry too much about it. So long as we can follow your points, it's all cool.

    Your initial answer was similar to evasions others have used about their background, which is why I thought you may have thought we were attacking you over it. That said, if you genuinely have no real experience in martial arts, I would wonder why you're arguing against the experience on the board as to the usability of DVDs in this context, where I am concerned, for instance, I have coming up to two and a half decades in the arts, covering a relatively wide range of systems in that time, from very old ones to very new ones.

    No, actually, you didn't say that DVD learning wouldn't work, you basically said that the student would fail. That's not the case, though, which is what we said back immediately.

    Your statement was based in a complete lack of understanding of the reality of the situation, though. And honestly, the reason you attributed is not the reason it doesn't work.

    Not necessarily, but if you truly don't really have experience in martial arts, I'd wonder why you kept arguing with myself and Frank, about 50 years between us, as well as everyone else on the thread that said the same thing to you.

    It shouldn't be an option at all, it is completely unadvisable. It is never the best option. It is the easy option taken by people who either cannot accept that training is not available to them, or who don't want to sacrifice some part of their life for that training.

    Go out shopping. The DVD will do them no good.

    Honestly, you'd waste your time, then. The OP should wait until they can train. They're a teenager, they have time. DVDs are not maximising anything, and are just minimising their bank account which could be saved for their start in an actual school.

    Nothing is better than poor education here, definitely. Ever heard the phrase "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing"? It can give an overdeveloped (and thoroughly undeserved) sense of confidence and safety, leading to a downright thumping if it ever came down to it. They would be better off simply relying on instinct without wasting the time on the DVDs. And believe it or not, that's one of the better possibilities.

    But that's not the discussion here. No one has argued against DVDs for reference material, it's just that that is not the discussion.

    So you haven't trained in martial arts, and haven't tried the video route, yet you're arguing with us when we are speaking from experience? Hmm.

    The reason DVD training doesn't work is that the essential aspects of training and learning a martial art (the constant feedback and correction, the tactile methods with other persons, the guided repetitions, the specialist attention to your personal needs, and so forth) are entirely absent from DVD based learning. Again, go back to the first answers you got to your first post here, we've been saying it since the beginning.

    Then you really don't have any idea how martial arts training works.
     
  6. Toast_in_the_Machine

    Toast_in_the_Machine Yellow Belt

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    You’ll have to forgive me, it isn’t, or wasn’t that I’m evasive on my experience. I’m sure if I continue to post here (which is probable) you’ll learn about my experience. But a bit about my related experience may help why I appear initially evasive.

    One of my other activities is rock climbing where “who” you are carries even less weight than martial arts (definitely a different sub-cultural vibe). I’ve seen SAR (search and rescue) people give craptastic safety advice and people who have held my life in their hands (when you are on belay you do actively have another person’s life in your hands) take risks I wouldn’t take. I’ve seen posts from people I respect; legends in the sport, people who have 50 years experience state something I vehemently disagreed with. (And for good reason too). I’ve even had to agree with people I consider borderline insane. All advice, especially internet advice, must be highly doubted and critically self-analyzed. This is because it is an activity with a highly active “Injuries and Accidents” thread where discussion about how someone effed up and died happens regularly. There is not a forum here where martial arts expert’s accidents are similarly discussed.

    Within the last couple of years three legendary climbers died. One was a free soloing expert (climbing without any rope for safety) who died free soloing (John Bachar) and one (Kurt Albert - http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01727/kurt-albert_1727692f.jpg) missed clipping himself in properly doing via ferrata which is often considered the “suburban mom” of climbing and lastly Craig Leubben who wrote the book on building anchors died when a piece of a glacier crashed down on him. I’ve tried a line Bachar’s soloed it was way too hard for me (people free solo well below their max level), Kurt Albert basically defined the modern climbing style which I and others do and Craig’s book was key to mine, and most other newer climbers, ability to build safe anchors. I’ve trusted advice that Craig gave with my life. Anchor building advice compared to “should I watch this DVD” advice has a level of danger difference that I’m sure you appreciate. It is my responsibility to take Craig’s advice and internet advice and mentors’ advice and ensure that my anchors don’t fail and kill me or my family. I’d say “I haven’t died yet” but not being dead isn’t a guarantee that you are doing it right or that you won’t be dead next time. The best I can hope for is as complete an understanding of the physics involved and the reasons around standard practices as possible. It is this mindset I bring to martial arts.

    While I understand the respect that many martial artists hold each other in, I don’t take at face value any advice I see. Period. I don’t care who it comes from or in what context. I doubt it all. I assume the fallacy of appeal to authority every single time someone even mentions that they have any experience. Part of my “assume I have no experience” is that I assume you have none. I have noticed that a feature of the forum is that you see who looks at your profile. I wouldn’t look at anyone’s profile except to PM them and I intentionally ignore the metals and icons that show who here has more experience talking here. I absolutely understand that within many of the sub-cultures of martial arts there is culture of strong hierarchy. I get it and I get why. I just do not accept it personally. I realize this puts me at conflict with the community and if you or others reject any and all of my posts because I don’t make any appeals to my experience, so be it.

    I also realize that I come at martial arts from a different view than most, if not all, of the other people here. When I said “I haven’t gotten into a fight” it was spoken with the greatest of pride, because it is a reflection of what I consider success. I consider myself a type of martial artist not because of the training I do, but because of all of the other steps I take as part of a holistic lifestyle. Yeah, I used “holistic”. I’d use another word, a better word if I could. My approach and my points are driven more from this perspective, I know it doesn’t easily come across in posts. Hell, it is hard to understand face to face.

    There is an old cliché about the triangle of “person” – “support” – “situation” in that you can never fully attribute success or failure to any one of the points in the triangle. Culturally we tend to call our successes to the “person” and our failures to the “situation” although it is always the unique combination of the three that determines success or failure. I tend to talk about all three together which leads back to…

    Since I am about half of the discussion, and that has been my point from the start, how can it not be the discussion here?
     
  7. Toast_in_the_Machine

    Toast_in_the_Machine Yellow Belt

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    Is the kick supposed to be to the knee, back of the leg, or the pills?
     
  8. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Break the DVD in half, use the jagged edge as an improvised weapon until it wears out, then use other half as backup. Quickest way to get SD value out of a DVD.
     
  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Would you advise someone to try to learn rappelling or climbing primarily from books or videos? I doubt you would. There are things you simply need to do or be shown properly in person, right? It may not be done in the hierarchical manner of many formal martial arts classes but it still happens. Not all ma instruction is done in rigid formal classes. That's not the argument against DVD training. The simple fact is that wit the exception of a few rare gifted individuals, it takes the active guidance of a senseihovey - one who has gone before - to get it right. Videos don't interact; they can't help you know how something feels. There's a reason that learning many techniques starts with receiving them.

    Sent from my Ally using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  10. Toast_in_the_Machine

    Toast_in_the_Machine Yellow Belt

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    Well, sort of.

    Some people climb to “chase grades” climbing harder and harder rated climbs. Some climb to climb a specific way (say “trad” climbing where you climb from bottom up and place all of your safety gear or “bouldering” where you look for the hardest possible way that you can actually get up a large rock.) Some people live in great climbing destinations (Boulder Colorado comes to mind) others live in flatlands (Kansas). Some have great facilities for climbing (i.e. Stone Summit in Atlanta) others need to make due with a home “woodie” (mini wall).

    The fact is everyone is doing something slight abnormal. So the “live and let live” vibe is strong. I don’t free solo. I have too much to lose, but I don’t begrudge any who do. It is their life, if that is what they want, so be it.

    To someone who lives in Kansas who will get a one week trip to Boulder once a year and only has a home woddie. Video provides their only opportunity. And yes, a person like that can learn all they would need for their trip to go well. They won’t climb the big grades, but they can be safe and have fun.

    But for someone who wants to be considered the best climber in the world, then Kansas simply won’t do. That person must commit their life to their art, pursue it, dedicate their whole body to it (you can spot a pro climber – it is all in the forearms and the lack of body fat). Many go thru a “dirtbag climber” stage where they live for nothing but climbing. They climb and they climb and they climb, the best get recognized and the rest go home. But to say that the Sharma’s or Ondra’s of the world are the only climbing game in town is to miss out on the richly textured ways in which many people climb only because they like to climb. Most don’t chase grades, they just like doing climbing. (Ok almost everyone wants to be at lease just little better, but still…)

    I see martial arts like that. Sure there are pros. Sure there are people trying to be the best they can be. But anyone who steps out into this mildly insane process is a brother of mine. I don’t wish for them to follow me, my path is my own. Their path is their path. The only advice I really have is to enjoy and to use everything and use all of the tools at your disposal.

    Besides, if we were to sit around and define the best martial artist in the world, sooner or later someone would say “Warren Buffett” and we would all have to admit that money is the boss of us all and that man is safer than all of us.

    But since I maintain a bit of insanity, and I like hitting mitts, and I like kicks coming at my head (OK I like sending kicks better, but still), I don’t begrudge some kid in podunk Kansas his only way to have some of the vibe. If it sucks, and it will suck, so be it. If that was the way that that person found his way to a better martial arts, then all is good.

    And to those who say “a little training is a dangerous thing”, it sure is in climbing, far more than turning a martial arts DVD fan into a potentially false tough guy who gets killed. Again, lots of experts death in climbing; not so many martial artists die. If anyone has any news of any high level martial artists dying in a fight, I would love to read the incident analysis. (Old habits die hard.)

    But, once the martial arts itch is scratched, who knows where it will lead. And is a little (bad) training potentially bad for someone? Sure it is, but for most of the population, that little buzz, that little kick, that push on the side of the neck that makes a stronger man tumble. Isn’t that what this is about? If they get it from a Hollywood movie, an instructional DVD, or a youtube video, so be it. It is all is good in my book.
     
  11. Toast_in_the_Machine

    Toast_in_the_Machine Yellow Belt

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    Again, sticking with only watching the style you are teaching: So your recommendation is to watch videos until boredom (or before). Never watch someone doing it differently so they can compare with what they have been told to because people seeing something different become confused. And never watch something outside of their belt level or style.

    Can I then assume that the white belts never see the advanced students in class, because they would be confused if they saw done by a higher rank or not done correctly?
     
  12. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Lets see how many Practitioners everyone can Name on this Site who've been doing this most of their Lives, and still are to this day! :)
     
  13. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Thats not quite how it works or what He meant - Theres a Reason You dont just Learn everything at the same time.
     
  14. mook jong man

    mook jong man Senior Master

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    I started June of 1989 and I'm still training , and will continue so long as I remain in good health.
    Actually truth be known , even in bad health I would still find some way to train , it's well and truly in the blood now.
     
  15. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    I made no such argument. (Feel free to quote me if you feel I did.) I said I believe even non-martial artists could see a performance of kata from someone like Higaonna Sensei and rate it as superior to another despite perhaps not being able to express what makes the performance superior. I also said I believed some raw mechanics like a front stance could be learned from a good instructional video paired with a student who has the ability to make use of the video.

    I'm not sure that's such a great test in the first place. We can agree surely that different systems and styles have different rules of thumb. Some prefer an entirely straight posture - others like to hunch the shoulders and bend forward at the waist. Neither is necessarily 'wrong' - it depends on the goal at hand and what the system's founder decided was most important to him.

    So as someone who does not practice Bujinkan-related arts I could not discern which I 'should' be attempting to learn from. I've no idea what is 'right'. I DO know I prefer the Tanemura video for the reasons I expressed already, and more than a little of the reasoning comes from the fact that it is more of an instructional video than the other two which is perhaps something you've overlooked in your analysis of my answer. I believe distinctions should be made between demo videos and instructional videos as they serve different purposes.

    I imagine the same is with a beginner. Of course they won't be able to tell which version of Koku they should be following. They won't know whether to buy Higaonna's videos (assuming they're attempting to learn from them) versus Joe Blow's. They might not even understand the differences between karate styles nor may they even care about them, which is fine.

    The question I am interested in is whether they could get anything meaningful out of an instructional video, and surely any viable test would involve basics first rather than a relatively complex scenario such as Koku. A good instructional video will include both demonstrations of good technique while explaining what makes it good in the first place. It should probably also explain and demonstrate a lot of common pitfalls and mistakes made by in-studio people. It should have a wealth of information on it that frankly would make the DVD commercially inviable due to the resulting length and subject matter. Who wants to buy and watch a DVD on just body mechanics? Not many in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  16. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I suspect video training on your own is a quick way to a close encounter with gravity... In fact, I know it is. Book learning alone isn't enough in climbing; I've proven it. No -- I haven't done any serious climbing, but I've played and scrambled a bit. Enough to realize that without some actual experienced guidance -- again, possibly informal! -- you're going to be taking some huge risks when you move into more serious climbing.
    You're closer to the right track there... Like any endeavor, to reach heights of excellence, you have to dedicate yourself beyond the average or routine person. To learn some styles of martial arts, your only choice is to go where they're being taught. Just like to be a really great climber, you have to travel to mountains, not the foothills of the Piedmont region of Virginia. (Just an example; I know there is some deceptively good climbing in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains.) If you're training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, at some point, you must go to Japan. If you want to learn many of the Filipino arts -- at some point, you're going to the Philippines. And so on...

    Can somebody learn from video? Yes. But their learning will be stunted and incomplete. Even if they work with another person -- if that person doesn't know anymore than the video learner -- they WILL miss keys. As I said, a key part of learning many martial arts is receiving the technique before you do it in order to learn how it feels and to perceive how it works. You can't get that from a video.
    Unlearning is very difficult when you've internalized something wrong. And having it wrong can make it hard or impossible to get something else wrong. To go to a ridiculous extreme -- if someone tries to learn rappelling and figures they've seen people on videos improvising a rope and seat out of whatever, so they try to use a shoelace for real, it's not likely to end well, is it? If you try to learn martial arts without having someone with the right experience teach you -- you'll almost certainly miss keys that are vital for success.
     
  17. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    All this really shows is that you don't get martial arts training and the way it works, honestly. And as far as assuming that everyone here has no experience, so you can take the posts on their merit, that's a rather flawed approach, as you're likely to dismiss things that, while perfectly valid and correct, don't gel with your take on things, especially when they come from someone who has, frankly, far more experience and understanding than you do. I'd suggest getting more into learning about who is telling you things, as that can tell you whether or not to apply much weight to it.

    With people like myself, Frank, MJS, JKS etc, the years we have put into this are what give us our perspectives, saying that you don't agree based on your lack of experience, and dismissing ours as you are assuming the same experience level that you want us to assume of yours, is frankly arrogant. It's a form of superiority complex, and won't help discussion.

    You've been half the discussion as you've come at this with a frankly flawed idea to begin with, and we've been correcting you. You've continued defending your tact, and we've continued to explain that you're off base. That doesn't make your take on the conversation the discussion itself, nor the context of it.

    Frankly irrelevant to the point here, but, no. Oh, but I have no idea what you mean by "the pills", by the way.

    You're really not getting the way learning works in this context, I feel. There are many reasons to watch many videos on many systems, but not to "learn the system". As far as becoming confused, again, I don't think that you get what that means when it comes to learning a martial system.

    Ah, sorry about that, I was getting a little mixed up between the "tell the difference between Kid A and Kid B" comments and Toast's contentions.

    Which was kinda my point. Toast put up the idea that watching various versions would help the potential student figure out which was right, and which wasn't, but it really isn't that simple.

    Exactly. Now, while these aren't actually "instructional" videos, they are designed as specific demonstrations, or part of a teaching seminar. The question is which would you learn from, Hatsumi, Tanemura, or the Akban group? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way)

    Which just adds another level of issues to the idea of DVD learning.

    Koku is the first, entry kata in Gyokko Ryu. It is the beginning, which is part of why I chose it.

    In terms of if a completely novice student could get anything meaningful out of such productions, honestly, I'd say little more than intellectual, really.

    Toast, I'm going to ask one more time, as going through your posts I see a large number of things leaping out at me, so before I jump to a conclusion, can you clarify if you have any actual martial arts background at all? Not dismissing anything you feel is unimportant, not looking at a personal philosophy of how you decide to classify them (Warren Buffet as a "great martial artist"? No, not a damn chance, unless you can tell me his ranking in a school), or anything similar, I'm interested in if you have any real experience at all. Clearly and concisely would be good.
     
  18. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    It does interest Me that Hes dancing around His Experience like it actually means anything more to Us than Context; Almost like We could somehow use it as a Weapon. Which is marginally amusing.
     
  19. Toast_in_the_Machine

    Toast_in_the_Machine Yellow Belt

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    I’m sorry if my post came off as arrogant or disrespectful. I was trying to explain the context to which I came to martial arts.

    The reason I went into the explanation about climbing is that when you are 50 feet of the deck and at the “crux” move and you are pumped and your last clip is so far below you that it means if you blow the move you are going for a ride where your belayer better do a great catch or you will have a groundfall, your teacher isn’t going to be able to come up and say “your weight is a little high, tense your muscles in your left leg and shift a bit to your right.” The student is fully responsible for their training and must develop a great deal of proprioception. It is a self-reliant activity where the individual owns their development and their motivation. There are no belts or levels. There are no team extreme competitions with pretty synchronized moves. There also is no history of needing the person next to you being able to stand firm in a skjaldborg. In climbing, you need to explicitly not count on anyone else as compared to much of martial arts history.

    Climbing moves are graded across a consensus of individuals, but even with in that a hard “offwidth” (think scraping up a chimney in by inch, it is a very masochistic hobby) is very different than an equivalently hard “face climb”. The best climbers must have not only a passion for the activity but a great introspective nature to be able to question a move and feel what is right. And what is right is worked and worked and worked until a specific move flows. Climbers will often work a route right at their limit for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. When they are on the ground they can ask for help and they can watch someone else execute a move, but they must, on their own, figure out how they execute the move. No two people ever climb the same route in the exact same way. Coaching is a form of suggesting how someone might, but it is the student who must do.

    There is an excellent DVD / book combination call “The Self Coached Climber”, it is standard fare for a recommendation for all new climbers. It has way more than any new climber could digest and most people re-read it at different stages in their development. One of the hidden gems of the DVD is where the filmed two pro climbers trying to “redpoint” a route (working it repeatedly over the course of several days). Then, from the same angle, with the same climber the DVD breaks down why the climber was able to execute the move one time and the next time they failed. The camera revealed the subtle movements and weight shifts, it helped me greatly progress in building my proprioception which has in turn helped with things like my stances and blocks.

    These activities in my life have colored my perspective. I bring a strong “student focused” aspect to my martial arts training (it is the student that owns their own martial art). I am always interpreting what I am taught with the filter of both my life history and my expectations for my future. My odds of facing three thugs on a train are virtually nil, but it is fun to train for multiple attackers in a confined space. I do, however, put more effort into those things that will more likely benefit me and my life. I do martial arts as an integrated part of my broader view of how to best live my life. The WIIFM filter is always on. If that is wrong in your eyes, so be it. My hyper critical mind makes me a crappy student for many things (I’m much better about not speaking up at corporate training after years of pointing out obvious flaws to the detriment of my career) and I willingly accept that I will never master any single style. If you think is a less efficient way to learn, we can certainly discuss. If your assumption is that I would miss things because I lack the experience to judge what is right and what is wrong, you may be right. However, after spending years developing several skills (not just climbing) in this self-directed style and self-sufficient manner, to say that I would make the same miss as an arrogant teenager is to underestimate my personal development.

    I think training of how to learn skills is in itself; a specific skill that needs to be cultivated. I have trained for it, I’m fairly good at it, and I recommend it.

    As to the superiority complex, again, I apologize if it came off that way.


    And as to the “pills”, sorry for the cheezy reference. Here is the joke:

    And the reason for asking the clarification was that I was curious as to why once you have slipped the front kick would you not go for the thumb thrust to the ribs. I was curious if the kick was more for destabilizing the return to the ground of the attacker’s foot and slowing their ability to react or if it was intended as strike at a sensitive area (back of knee or pills). It does have nothing to do with anything else here, I’m just curious.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  20. Toast_in_the_Machine

    Toast_in_the_Machine Yellow Belt

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    I proudly state that I am a 1st degree dan from a McDojo. (among a few other minor things.)

    I didn't intend that it was dancing around, it was more that, to me, there were other bits that interested me more in replying to. There have been many statements, questions, and people I wanted to reply to, but I didn't. If that lended to the appearance that I was dodging the question, I again, appologize.
     

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