Beginner again questions.

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Kframe, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    Hey everyone! Probably won't remember me, but I was kind of active here a number of years ago. I was doing the boxing/mma thing then. Well I had a string of bad luck with my gyms closing. Then I tried a few of the traditional arts. Bujinkan, then found a karate place that also had a separate judo school. Loved it. Then a few months after I started, I came to school one day and the doors were locked, the lights off and people confused in the parking lot. It never reopened.

    So I stopped training as a bunch of negative life stuff happened and my marriage started to deteriorate and that all made finding a new school a fools errand. Well, things are much better now, life is going well, marriage issues getting worked out, fire rekindled. Restarted my weight loss journey, as I spent the last few years eating my anger and pain.

    So, now here I am looking to rejoin the world of Martial arts. OH, I live near Fort Wayne Indiana. So I found a place I think might be where I want to go but need more information on the style. Robert bowles karate academy usa, Inc.

    That is just 15 minutes, given decent traffic from my place of work.

    Can anyone give me some details on the style? I have read online and a few older links here of some Controversy regarding Mr. Trias and the origins of his style.

    Does anyone know if the study of the forms/bunkai is important in this style?

    They also have a method of making a fist that is different from what I am used to according to images seen on google.

    How does it stack up compared to other forms of karate in the application of its techniques like the Uke(receiving) and other defenses/offenses?

    Thanks for any assistance guys, I will be scheduling the free class and will report back.
     
  2. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master Black Belt

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    First, it is great to hear you are getting back into MA's. I look forward to hearing about your new journey.
    It is not at all my style so I encourage you to buffer what I say. It sounds very much like a "self appointed" system. The fact that the site is very out of date says a lot to me. IMHO. 10th Dan? That alone is questionable to me. The claims on a quick Wiki search seems pretty weak.
    All that said, if you have a good vibe about the place, give it a open minded try. I found at least 30 schools on a Google search so I recommend you check more than a few out. Let us know how it goes.
     
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  3. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Welcome back Kframe! Glad to hear things are going well.

    It’s a legit style and a legit guy. Forms/Bunkai a good part of it as well.

    Go have fun.
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm glad to hear you're getting back in. Don't go putting any more schools out of business! :p

    Seriously, let us know how it goes.
     
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  5. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    Thanks. Seriously though, you wouldn't believe how annoying it is to have so many places you train at close with in a few months of you showing up.. Though I left the Bujinkan place because of the no sparring and almost no resistance thing.
     
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  6. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    Hey Thanks for your reply.

    I agree that it sounds a bit odd, but the guy was apparently very good at competition. It's true there are 30 different types of martial arts with in 50 miles of my location. Around fort wayne there is about 12 or so. I ruled out the ATA because that is obvious mcdojang. Which left me with a number of independent places whose instructors didn't detail their training history which makes me wary. Or charge you 150$ a month for just over an hour of available training time a week....

    I had looked at a hapkido place, but after watching their demo black belt extravaganza video, I was left unimpressed. Especially at the knife defense and striking defense. So I crossed them off my list. Here is the Hapkido demo I was talking about. Something about it just didn't set right.

    That left me with the Karate place I linked above, an ITF tang soo do place, and a KKW TKD place. Tried the free class at both of them, liked them both. Both instructors in great shape. What turned me off to both of them is the kata/hyung. Why would I want to train kata and not ever do proper bunkai? Seams like a waste of 15 minutes of class time. Also, what turned me off to the ITF was they practice their defenses/blocking/uke like this. Which is not practical or realistic.



    The TKD place was the best work out of the places I tried. Man alive the cardio never stopped. I was sore for a week afterwards.

    So that is where I am.
     
  7. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Do they only practice like that or is that one drill that they use?
     
  8. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    Regarding the ITF place. Based on the class I watched, and the numerous videos of their organization on the internet, that is how they practice their blocks. You can tell by their sparring that it does not work as literally none of the way they teach the blocks is seen in their black belts sparring.

    Regarding the Hapkido place, pretty much the same techniques trained as shown minus all the showmanship going on for the extravaganza video demo. Took a free class their as well, forgot to mention it.

    But it is those issues above why I crossed them off my list.
     
  9. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Unless you’re EXTREMELY lucky (emphasis on the extremely), no place is going to do 100% of what you’re looking for. Some may do kata for nothing more than increasing the syllabus and testing purposes, but do a ton of sparring. Some may do some kata you don’t like, etc. I’d love to be able to tweak my school’s syllabus by replacing a few kata with other ones, dropping the number of them, having “bare knuckle Friday” and stuff like that. Truth is the perfect place doesn’t exist and everywhere is going to have some trade offs.

    Pick a school, not a style. Who’s teaching, how it’s being taught, and who you’ll train alongside are going to be more important than the style IMO, barring some really stupid style some guy made up from watching YouTube videos.

    As far as all those places that closed... The only one you attended that stayed open was the place you left... there’s a common denominator here, don’t you think? :) Start training at a bunch of McDojos so they’ll all close too :)
     
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  10. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    LOL Actually the place I left has closed recently as well.

    I agree, I am being way to picky, but I have a distaste for wasted time. Im 37 which means my useful life with ability to be athletic is dwindling down. If I truly went with my gut, based on my interactions with them, it would be the two Korean places.

    Problem I can't find any video of typical black belt and above classes for either of them. I want to see how they move at that level not just the lower levels.
     
  11. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master Black Belt

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    Although sensationalized for the demonstration, that is the typical one, two, three step sparring taught by many Korean styles. It takes getting used to and does require a more mental guard to be realistically effective. Something that is not taught very often anymore.
    Your Ryu school got some positive support from other posters so it sounds like the logical choice. At least for a start.
    Keep in touch.
     
  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Why not ask to watch a class with some folks at that level?
     
  13. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    That kind of blocking is not for sparring. It's more emergency self defence.
     
  14. Mitlov

    Mitlov Green Belt

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    Nobody will block in sparring like they block doing basics or forms. Not Shotokan karate, not ITF Taekwondo, not anyone. It's like how you learn to play scales when playing the piano, but you would never actually play those scales during a piano recital. I wouldn't rule a karate or taekwondo school out based upon that. The real question in my mind is, did you enjoy the sparring and the training overall? If so, don't focus on the one aspect of training you don't like; every school will have something about it you don't like.
     
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  15. Never_A_Reflection

    Never_A_Reflection Blue Belt

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    I got my start in Shuri-Ryu, and I have to give it credit for that. I still have a number of friends who train in it, and they are dedicated, hard-training martial artists. As for the style, itself, and Trias, there is certainly a lot of controversy, and to be perfectly honest, there should be--there is a lot of misinformation being taught as truth in that style. I will say that I think Trias meant well--he was trying to put together a sort of "universal" karate style, that blended all of the good parts (as he saw/understood them) of various styles. For that reason, you will find the curriculum made up of kata from a bunch of different karate styles, and they have all been modified (some quite heavily) to fit Trias's idea of what karate was for and how it worked. You will also find some boxing and Judo methods included, because he cross-trained in those arts. The Japanese terminology is often incorrect, or at least mispronounced, as Trias didn't speak Japanese, and had an accent which made likely made understanding his attempts at Japanese a bit rough. The focus of training tends to be on perfecting the minute details of every technique to fit the ideals Trias set for them.

    The practice of kata and bunkai is very big in Shuri-Ryu, but the vast majority of Shuri-Ryu schools only teach the kata applications which Trias included in his book The Pinnacle of Karate, which was meant to be a guide from white belt to 1st Degree Black Belt, but has become the Bible of Shuri-Ryu. Those applications are, to be blunt, absolutely terrible, from a practical karate perspective--they are the same kind of thing you see in those JKA bunkai videos. You will be required to memorize the standard applications, and be able to demonstrate them in multiple ways including "point method" (non-verbally commanding a partner how to attack you during the kata) and "verbal interpretation" (explaining each movement, angle, direction, and position as you go through the kata, along with explaining each attack for your partner). They develop a very good understanding of exactly how to do every move in every kata, and they do have an explanation as to why, I just don't find those explanations to be very useful, since the applications aren't practical. There are a few Shuri-Ryu dojo out there who have been branching out into better kata application, lately, but that doesn't seem to be the norm.

    Shuri-Ryu teaches you a wide variety of fist methods from several different styles, and the "Shuri fist" is just one of them, but I assume that's the one you're referring to. Funakoshi called it the "farmer's fist," IIRC, and it is included in his book. Nothing terribly difficult, but it takes time to get used to it--you just lay your index finger flat against the meat of your thumb, while the rest of your fingers curl into a fist. I find it helps with wrist alignment and stability, and helps get your second knuckles out of the way when you punch.

    In general, the way Shuri-Ryu people move and apply their techniques is pretty much the way you will see Shotokan people do it, with a few slight tweaks here and there. Trias did require his instructors to teach a certain number of "self defense techniques," which were not set, so individuals could come up with their own. I find that these are usually pretty functional and effective techniques, but they make no effort to connect them to the kata. Shuri-Ryu also has three sets of (basically) ippon/sanbon/gohon kumite drills, which they call by Japanese names which don't make sense; Ippons, Taezus, and Kihons. These are all very short sequences of techniques, generally made up of the same type of techniques you learn from their kata application, which you will be required to not only learn, but learn how to step so that you can eventually do them while transitioning between up to 8 attackers coming at you from the compass points. The Ippons are supposed to be done for developing power, the Taezus are supposed to be done for developing speed, and the Kihons are supposed to be done for combining the two.
     
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  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm having trouble picturing what you're describing. Any chance you know of a picture you can point me to?
     
  17. Never_A_Reflection

    Never_A_Reflection Blue Belt

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    From one of Funakoshi's books:
    [​IMG]

    From one of his older books:
    [​IMG]

    And one I took some years ago to have a clearer example:
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I might tinker with that a bit. I have some arthritis creeping into that finger on my dominant hand, and have been looking for ways to avoid aggravating it when it's flaring up. I have no idea if this will be of any benefit, but it does feel like there would be different impact on that finger.
     
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  19. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    But the question is, if they don't spar with them and they don't come out under pressure, why train them like that in the first place? This question only really came to me after watching and reading a bunch from Mr. Abernathy on the proper way to use those movements.

    I did like the classes, they were fun and enjoyable. But again I worry about training things for years in a way that really does not work. I have their email, so I will shoot them a message and see what I get.

    I Know I am being way to wishful and will have to settle for what is available. I will keep you all posted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  20. Kframe

    Kframe Black Belt

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    I never thought about that at the time. Also I didn't think anyone actually allowed that.
     

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