Bo Kata Help?

Discussion in 'Japanese Martial Arts - General' started by Drakanyst, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    It's more than i want to try to do on my phone, buy the body dynamos and even MUCH of the hand motions can be very much alike, whether the weapon is the empty hand, a stick barely longer than the fist, or a 7 or 8 foot long staff. You won't like what I'm going to say -- but you almost certainly need real instruction to understand this. That's just the way it works. As to internalizing the principles and developing instinctive use of a weapon... Well, your ideas are naive is the kindest way I can put it.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
     
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  2. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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    I can totally believe that I'm wrong about something. I can own up to that and move past it. But I have to have the proof that I'm wrong. I cannot just assume that I am.
    If you're up for explaining it, you don't need to go into specifics with text. A visual comparison should do. I think it's the only way I'm going to get past that "margin" concept I was discussing earlier.
    Also, I'm curious what specifically it is that sounds naive. Or is it just everything I say? xD That wouldn't surprise me either.
    EDIT: Nevermind I get what the naive comment was referring to now. I figured you'd probably disagree with that too, just based on the disagreement between the weapon and hand relationship thing. So....you DO think that weapons should be like an extension of the hand?
     
  3. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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    I went back and read it and it does sound kind of naive. :p It doesn't read how I meant it. I didn't mean you literally point your hands were you want the weapon to go. I meant that, once you understand the mechanics really well, you don't need to think about it anymore. You just do. You act. Point. Just like you would any other part of your body would strike in a manner you were used to, and how the other parts of your body follow suit and do what they need to. Exactly how you've trained. In that sense, I can think of a weapon like an extension of the hand. But again, IMO, it usually doesn't mechanically work that way.
     
  4. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Dude, no.

    Look, I'm not spending the time to go through it tonight, I'll probably come back to it in a couple of days, but for now, just no.
     
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  6. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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    Take your time. No rush. :D
     
  7. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    The question of whether weapons work should be seen as an extension of the body mechanics used for unarmed fighting techniques can be contentious. I think much of it comes down to which aspects you are focusing on. I can demonstrate certain aspects of body mechanics which are very similar for armed and unarmed work - and I can demonstrate other aspects which are very different.
     
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  8. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    I would like to enter an outside opinion for you in an attempt to maybe make things a little more clear. I practice Japanese sword arts, and have for about 20 years now. I've seen the same enthusiastic approach as yours from many people over the years. They watch videos, they talk with many people, and they do what they think is the correct thing on their own. I have one of those folks going to my dojo right now. Every single one of them that have come and practiced in the dojo have been terrible in the beginning. They all had to relearn how to do things properly.

    The biggest problem that all of these folks have encountered is that the weapon arts, at least the Japanese arts that I'm familiar with, all use movements that are NOT natural. They tend to be difficult to learn in the beginning because they DON'T make intuitive sense, and the body doesn't NATURALLY move in the manner required. It's counter-intuitive and not easy to see from a video. I can stand next to someone practicing and tell them that they need to balance their weight more, or turn their hips a bit farther to the left, or they are bending too much at the waist, or this foot needs to point more forward. If I'm talking to someone blind over the internet, all I can say is "you have to properly engage your tanden" and you have no idea what I mean, or how to go about doing it. Further, I have no interest in expending the necessary time and energy trying to explain it in such a way that a stranger over the internet can understand it. I reserve that level of effort for those that come into my dojo, and who may be able to return some of my expended effort to the ryu some day.

    It's possible to do what you're trying to do once you have trained long enough with a decent instructor to learn some solid foundations. Without something to start with though, you're just going to end up floundering around without any idea if what you are attempting is correct or not, as you have no real way to knowing.

    Hope that makes things a bit more clear.
     
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  9. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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    It does make it a bit more clear. I understand that many things can be next to impossible to explain even in person, let alone over the internet through text alone. I'm not trying to learn any art or complete system just by looking at it. That would be ridiculous. With regard to weapons, (sticks to be specific. of any length), I'm learning how to hit with them in the most efficient way I possibly can, and train to improve my ability to do that. I recognize that I simply cannot learn an art in it's full entirety. I'm not trying to. I can learn a way of generating force, or an effective combination of moves that I believe would enable me to defend myself. In the simplest possible terms, I'm learning how to hit things effectively with the objective of avoiding being hit myself.
    All of my discussion here is either an attempt to understand and improve what I can do better, or simple curiosity that I don't intend to act on. (For example, Okinawan staff technique, something I don't intend to use, or what weapons were used for what reasons on battlefields, etc.) And that will have to do until I start receiving proper instruction.
    In this way, nothing I'm doing can be wrong. It can be ineffective, or could be improved, but not wrong. Swinging a baseball bat for example, will have it's pros and cons for me. I can improve my swinging technique and ability to swing, and the bat itself as a weapon has pros and cons that I can learn. Even assuming there is an element of my swinging that isn't "correct", and upon correction would improve my technique, it wasn't exactly totally ineffective as a weapon before the correction. It just could have been improved.

    I can understand not wanting to take the tedious time to explain, in text, through posts, something that the recipient probably wouldn't even understand anyway. If that's the case for an art's relationship between it's hand and weapon movements of an art, I'm alright with that. It's really not that big of a deal of a discussion. Or at least not to me. But translating that somehow into me being totally incapable of understandings mechanics of any kind at any level is nonsense to my ears. I'm tired of hearing it's impossible for me to improve my ability to defend myself. What I've done has paid off for me, and is continuing to do so. I don't understand why I need to keep defending myself about that. It's not relevant to much. I don't understand this insistence I tell me otherwise. I'd rather just discuss MA and training. At some point in this discussion, those things got mixed.
     
  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Pgsmith has touched on some of why I can't put it into text -- and there are several reasons I'm not going to try to post videos.

    But let me try anyway...

    The body is a collection of levers and pivot points, right? Those levers and pivots can be used to generate force in a variety of ways using various principles. A martial discipline combines a set of those principles along with a set of tactics, strategies, and philosophies in how to use them. Make sense so far?

    Add a weapon into the mix, and you simply add another set of levers and pivot points. Depending on how you integrate them, these new levers may simply enlarge or lengthen existing internal ones -- or they can add a whole new set of dynamics. But they're still going to be powered by the original ones, unless you start getting into things like firearms, bows and arrows, and the like which provide their own power. They're a whole different thing -- though there's some overlap. Not getting into now...

    Depending on how well you understand the integration and underlying dynamics -- that's how naturally or smoothly the weapon "extends the empty hand." Add to that how well the weapon principles are integrated with the unarmed principles... That's why I said it matters if the weapons are something simply grabbed and added in from outside, or are an inherent part of the system, too. If I were to try to simply grab some Filipino stick drills and exercises, without also understanding how they use footwork to deliver the weapon, stance and body structure to support it, even the philosophies that get into the targeting -- it's not going to smoothly be an extension of my empty hand. I use cooking analogies a lot... If you simply try to throw some Tex-Mex spices into a French dish... The results probably aren't going to be very happy, are they? The flavor profiles simply don't match, without some thought and work to align them. Same thing with trying to let a weapon be an extension of your body; unless the principles are in alignment, you'll have to switch between two sets of principles depending on what you're doing.

    Does this make some sense?
     
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  11. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    OK, re: the links about the weapon not being an extension of the hand...

    They do have a point. A weapon is not MERELY an extension of the hand. It does bring it's own principles in, especially as you move into edged weapons rather than sticks or other blunt weapons. There are principles involved in cutting, and those actually depend a bit on the type of weapon, too. A chopping weapon is used one way, a slashing or slicing in a little different way, and thrusts are another. So there are refinements or adjustments to the techniques to make them work. And, of course, there are some elements that can enhance a weapon's use beyond the mere empty hand principles. And, certainly, each weapon can bring it's own tactics into the game, too.

    Then there are the elements of range... And defending against a weapon is another question...

    But, if your weapon is integrated with your empty hand, the principles of using it are going to extend and flow from the one to the other. (Some arts run the other way... They start with weapons, and move to empty hand, taking the same principles and tactics, but adjusting them for the absence of the weapon.... )
     
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  12. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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    Yeah. That makes sense. :D
    Honestly though, none of that is new to me. It's a pretty spiffy explanation though. Nice job on that. :)

    It sounds to me like your saying an understanding of a weapon style's usage will allow you to employ a similar strategy or methodology as the hand method within that style. You aren't so much saying that the mechanics for applying the methodology or literally the same or nearly the same, but you aren't saying that the literal mechanics are entirely disparate from each other. Additionally, a hand or weapon style from a different system wouldn't flow as smoothly for them because too many aspects of the ideas taught dissimilar from the other, and could thus limit your progress in one or the other. Is my interpretation accurate?

    I could agree with that, if it's the case. I can see how, for example, learning boxing would in no way at all prepare one for using sticks. Now that I think about it, I've actually experienced that exact disparity myself, trying to learn boxing after learning a lot about sticks. Maybe that has something to do with the huge difference in opinion I have. :p
     
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Here's the thing with weapons: on a rudimentary level they are pretty obvious how they are to be used. With a bladed weapon you cut him with the sharp edge and you poke him with the pointy end. With an impact weapon like a staff, you hit him with it or thrust him with the end. With a weapon like a spear, you poke him with the sharp end or you hit him with the other end. These things are obvious. As such, it doesn't take long for someone with no instruction to pick it up and become familiar enough with it to become hazardous to the enemy, or hazardous to himself. You don't need years of instruction to be able to kill someone with a sword, staff, stick, spear or whatever.

    However, whatever you can figure out for yourself will be very rudimentary, will not be the most efficient and structurally sound way to execute your techniques, and you will fail to even come close to understanding the true potential and capabilities of the weapon. You might even develop habits that, while still being hazardous to the enemy, could result in damage to the weapon. You might develop habits that lead to repetitive-motion injuries to yourself as you practice. You might go about your practice in a way that leaves you vulnerable to actually injuring yourself with the weapon. You could see things on YouTube that were done by people who don't know what they are doing and when you copy their ideas, you get hurt. There are a lot of bad ideas out there.

    So yes, you can pick up the weapon and "kind of figure it out" and be hazardous to your enemy, but that doesn't mean that you have any idea of what you are really doing, or the best way to go about it.

    And yes, the fundamental principles of the training methodology should also be present in the weapon methods.
     
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  14. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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    I agree with 99% of this The 1% is at the bottom. I have the potential to injure myself by trying something I don't understand, or over time by doing bad training. I can become happy with bad habits. Even in the unlikely best case scenario, where I understand everything I'm doing and there isn't anything technically wrong with my technique, it can still only advance so far. I have no challenges to overcome or puzzles to solve. Even having an understanding of a theory, I cannot become effective at certain aspects of trying to strike a foe, or defend myself from one. Even if I become amazing at whatever I've figured out, I have no way to verify the quality of what I'm doing compared to a properly taught art, even if I could swear it seems to be of quality to me. Especially compared to what I find on the internet.
    That said, I'm pretty happy with my ability. Even acknowledging the possibilities that there are probably things I could learn or unlearn to improve my understanding or there could be things about my existing technique that could be optimized.

    The "whole extension of the hand thing" I'm not going to debate anymore. It mostly seems to have been a difference in way of thinking. Not understanding. It was interesting though. For me at least. My position on the subject has been slightly updated, and I learned something about myself. :) I can't believe no one mentioned the pata. Not once. xD

    By the way, the martial arts youtube cracked me up when I discovered it. I think I was.....16 at the time. All it occurred to me to do was to search "Bo Staff Kata" and I found nonsense a plenty. That was when I learned what XMA was. "Master Bater" doing crazy tricks with a graphite bo. xD
    One of the very few videos I could find that I thought was any good was from this guy named Adam Pecoraro. This isn't the same video of him, but I think it's the same kata.



    I didn't have good internet connection for very long, so it was one of the only videos I saw. Even then, I had things I was used to doing, and of course the video had an influence on me at the time and I tried to mimic it. Long story short, it wasn't doing it right. I knew that, so I dropped everything about it that I felt I couldn't do well or didn't understand the purpose of. Years of training later, I get it. It's not all that complicated really. I still didn't "copy" the methodology, but it did give me a good basis of comparison for things when I was younger. Got me thinking a little more heavily on things like flow and power generation.

    There is one sentence I don't agree with. I suppose the disagreement could be chalked up to semantics "So yes, you can pick up the weapon and "kind of figure it out" and be hazardous to your enemy, but that doesn't mean that you have any idea of what you are really doing, or the best way to go about it."
    I can see, feel, and "know" in a literal sense, what I'm doing. I can measure how hard or fast I'm hitting, feel where my feet are, understand the objectives of my movements, compare the usefulness of different techniques, so on and so forth. My strategy or mechanics can be bad, but I can still know, literally, what I'm doing with my body and weapon, and what the effects are. From that, it is possible to gauge the effectiveness of my own moves to a degree. I understand that can only be taken so far in isolation.

    Lastly, I'm not being foolhardy. I'm not diving headstrong into anything I don't know about or aren't confident in. I'm not ignoring my body when it hurts. Caution is taken with all new material. I rarely take on new material though, so it isn't generally a big concern.
     
  15. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Sure. You might want to settle in, though… this is gonna take a while…

    Yeah… again, you're out of your depth here. The guy you were talking to was simply describing things from his perspective (and, for the record, the idea that boxing isn't a "martial art" is a valid one, on a large number of criteria, depending on how you classify martial arts in the first place…), and as for the discussion of the "best form of punching", he was describing the way his art deals with the concept (which they, obviously, feel is the "best").

    Dude, when it comes to discussing people's opinions who have actually trained in something, when you have only played at pretend yourself, doesn't help you here… you don't have much credibility… and are here just showing how you simply are largely ignorant of everything we're talking about.

    Yeah, I get that… but, of course, when you keep coming out with the same stuff yourself, continually making the same basic errors, showing the same ignorance, arguing against what you're being told, and refusing to take on board what is said, then yeah, we're going to continue pointing out that you are completely inexperienced in this field.

    You can share opinions, but realise that they will not be seen as well-founded ones… and you can learn, if you take the opportunity to see that you currently don't know anything… especially what you think you do know. And, for the record, a large part of what you're mistaken about isn't something that can be explained in a simple, black and white fashion… it's different for each system that might be discussed… in a way, it's a case of there not being a single "right", but there being definite "wrongs"… and you're constantly on the "wrong" side of things… which means that the only real response is to point out that it's wrong, rather than cover the myriad of ways that might be "right".

    Again, in a very real sense, the first step to you understanding what you're being told will be for you to actually start training… until then, you have no basis for comparison.

    What else would you use? Education in what actually works… which isn't always, or even commonly, what "makes sense". And do I rely on what makes sense to me? Not at all… I rely on the wisdom of far more experience and understanding than I have when it comes to a combative system. All too often I see students do what "makes sense" to them… and it doesn't work.

    Honestly, what you think you understand is again without base. And cursory knowledge is, well, less than none in this area.

    Sure… but baseless, ill-informed ones. That really can't be left off.

    You might want to go back and re-read then… from the beginning, I've been pointing out that your ideas of how a combative system works is inaccurate, your take on what is "good" is deeply flawed, you ability to discern methodologies is lacking, and your self-congratulatory "training" are based only in your lack of knowledge, experience, and understanding.

    Honestly? No. But we'll get to that.

    You're thinking too literally, as well as missing entirely what is meant.

    Within a system, it should apply to everything. And that goes beyond "movement".

    Without you having any basis in any actual martial system, you are simply not in a position to follow any discussion. It's not about "techniques".

    That, and far more.

    You don't seem to have been able to believe, accept, or move past it yet… and it's got nothing to do with assumption. You've come along to a martial arts forum, and are being told the same thing from a number of different people, of different backgrounds, different arts, all telling you the same thing. And when a bunch of experienced people tell someone with little to no experience something that contradicts the understanding of the inexperienced person, it's a fairly safe conclusion that, well, you're wrong.

    The only way to explain it is to be specific… and honestly, text is not the way to do it. It's experienced. Until you have a basis to work from, there isn't much more to say other than to tell you the way combative systems actually work.

    Well… yeah. It's everything. From your first post here, honestly.

    That's not the only thing that was referred to… as I said, it's in everything you've written since you started posting here. But, to answer your question… yes. In my arts, we have a phrase.. ken tai ichi jo (劒体一条), which roughly translated means "the body and the weapon are united as one".

    Yeah… you've skipped over a bunch of steps there, and are really talking about something largely unrelated here…

    Look, I know Jackie from a couple of Facebook pages… she's a lovely girl, but it should be realised that she's still relatively new to all of this… and frankly, much of what she comes up with is flawed in and of itself (a product of too much thinking too early, rather than training and discovering… not uncommon, really). In the case of this blog post, she's missing what is actually meant by "the weapon is an extension of the hand" (or body) by thinking it's about contrast of comparisons between empty hand and weapon work. That's really not what is meant at all…

    This guy I don't know… but he's making the same mistake Jackie made (and you're making) in not understanding the phrase. Both of these blogs are focused on FMA approaches… and the misunderstanding is not uncommon there, it seems. But the actual meaning of the phrase isn't that the techniques are the same, it's that the weapon shouldn't be considered separate from the rest of your body or limb… yes, the mechanics will change (but not in all cases… footwork, for instance, often remains largely the same) to take advantage of the different properties of the weapon (both in your hands, and in your opponents, if they're armed), but the main point is that you should move beyond the idea of being a person with a weapon, and simply make the weapon a part of yourself and your action.

    In other words, these are not examples of people supporting your ideas, but a couple of cases of misunderstanding of the phrase in the first place.

    Yet you still insist that you can figure it out for yourself… ignoring what Paul said entirely.

    Yes, it would be… however, thinking you can gain any understanding without learning an art (specific) in the first place is just as ridiculous.

    No, you're not. Your trying to do what you think is the most efficient way… but that is dependant on context, and you don't have any. So, frankly, you're improving your ability to do nothing.

    Defend yourself? Seriously? Dude… you carry a bo wherever you go, in case of attack by a samurai?

    Get some reality. Please.

    But, for the record, you have absolutely no way of knowing if anything you do is really generating force the way it can be done, or if your combination of moves is even partially "effective" (whatever that means… context is important).

    And, again, without a specific context, in the simplest possible terms, no, you're not. You're playing with what you think such things are, with no way of knowing just how far off you really are.

    What you can do better is to stop thinking you know anything about bojutsu, and get to a school. As far as the idle curiosity, you don't have any way to put it in context… which makes it less than useless to you. It'd be like having the knowledge that a Xhosa Uhadi Bow is a traditional instrument… but not knowing what it's an instrument of, how it's used, where it's from, or anything else.

    And then some.

    Oh, so much irony in so few words… yes, absolutely many things you do can be "wrong"… including holding the belief that nothing you're doing can be "wrong"…

    Son, I heartily recommend you shelve this line of thought… it's just delusional.

    Oh, good.

    Really? For the record, that's not the case there… the case there is that each art will do it in it's own individual way… and, largely, it's something that must be experienced to be understood. When you learn a system, starting with one aspect (such as unarmed methods), then you progress to another area (weapons), you can then start to see where it all joins together… until then, the only thing to do is to tell you that that's the way it is… and hope you show enough insight to be able to follow such a simple explanation.

    I know it's nonsense to you at this point… but you have to remember that you don't have anything to contrast your personal ideas with. In many cases here, you're dealing with people who are not only students of their arts, but instructors… and we've seen people such as yourself come in, thinking that because they've played with things in their backyard, and think they have an idea of what they're doing, they think that it's "effective", or "works", only to show that they're damn lucky to be holding the right end of a blade.

    It's nonsense to you right now, but to us, it's old news.

    Bojutsu isn't about defending yourself, mate… if you think that's what you're doing, you really have no clue.

    Really? You've defended yourself against an opposing swordsman using bojutsu, have you? It's paid off, has it?

    Again, it's great that you think you're getting something positive out of your playing… but don't confuse it with actually training, studying, or being experienced and educated in this topic.

    The only person bringing up "self defence" here is you… no-one's made any comment about it… so I'm not sure why you think you need to defend such a bizarre idea either…

    Great. And when you get some, we'll be happy to discuss it with you.

    Look, at this point you're an interested outsider… which is fine… good, even. But you're trying to also be an informed insider… and you're not. We do train martial arts… you don't. We have a frame of reference to discuss martial arts and martial arts training from… you don't. And, until you get one, you're simply not in a position to discuss such things with us. If you have questions, that's encouraged… but discussion is honestly a bit beyond you at this point.

    No, they didn't. The discussion is bojutsu in particular (although your ideas of martial arts training itself needs some attention), and that hasn't been left off at all. The conversation has simply been firstly to establish if you have any genuine experience or understanding, and, when it became apparent that you didn't, has been a number of attempts to show you exactly why your lack in this regard is a hindrance to the conversation you think you're trying to have.

    If none of it is news, the how come it is highlighting exactly the issues in your posts?

    No, that's not what he's saying.

    Not quite, no. What JKS was saying is that weapon usage, in an integrated system (one that has multiple aspects, unarmed, different weapons etc) will have a lot of cross-over, with the mechanics (and tactics) altering to suit the weapon itself… and that picking up an "alien", or un-integrated form of weapon (a BJJ guy picking up a sword, for example) without having an understanding of the weapon itself, or a basis for it's usage, leads to the issues suggested earlier in the thread. "Flowing smoothly" is kinda the least symptom of the problem.

    "Learn about boxing"? Have you actually learnt anything from an actual teacher? Maybe that has something to do with the huge difference in opinion you're finding here?

    Yeah… and that's only one of the myriad issues with that approach.

    Then we have nothing to discuss with you. We aren't "happy with bad habits"… we work hard and long to rid ourselves of them… that's the point of the training. If you're "happy with bad habits", you have no place in martial arts, and no place holding a weapon.

    Frankly, this attitude alone is indicative that you have no place in this discussion.

    Okay… first off, you can't do any of that. Believe me. Secondly, yes, that's part of what we've been telling you… and without any type of genuine external verification, all you're doing is playing games.

    It's great that you're happy with your ability… but again, do not mistake it for actual skill, understanding, experience, or similar. The number of people who believe they're really good dancers, despite all evidence to the contrary, doesn't bode in your favour… and it's not a dissimilar idea.

    Mentioned the what?

    Good god, that was horrible!

    Dude, that's yet another case of someone with no idea of weapon usage making garbage up. If you think that was good (not just the performance, if you think that "kata" has any credibility or legitimacy at all), then you really don't have the first clue what you're looking at. I mean… it's a "Kickboxing and Fitness" school… what credibility do you think their weapon usage is going to have?

    It's garbage, and the martial equivalent of baton twirling. Do not, I repeat, do not base any ideas of how a bo should be used on such tripe.

    No, you can't. You don't have any point of reference to understand what "good" feels like. You can see, feel, and "know" what you think is good… which, without having some incredibly highly developed sense of self-appraisal combined with practical experience and education in what "good" actually is, is far from being the same as saying what you "see, feel, and 'know'" is actually good.

    Okay, you can feel where your feet are… do you know where they're meant to be? Or how the muscles in your legs are supposed to feel at the time? Or which fingers do the gripping of the weapon? Or where your centre of balance should be? Where internal tension should be felt? What you're meant to be doing with your sacrum?

    In other words, do you actually know what you think you know? My money would be on no…

    If your strategy (not sure you get what that word actually refers to…), mechanics etc are bad, but you can know what you're doing, why are you doing things that are bad?

    Again, you simply don't have the self-reflection to do what you think you can do here… don't take that as an attack, that's the same for everyone. You, simply, don't have anything to inform you of what you're looking for.

    You may not be being foolhardy, but you are being foolish if you think that you're doing anything of value here. And, despite your confidence, you absolutely are diving headstrong (headlong, perhaps?) into something you don't know about.
     
  16. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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    You've misinterpreted quite a bit of what I said.

    I'm not trying to learn "bojutsu" I've stated that many times. I'm "practicing" how to "fight with sticks" for "self defense". And yes, that isn't preposterous for me. I live in an really rural area and I carry a walking stick literally every time I walk out my door. Where I live, I carry a 5 "8 ironwood staff for walking. Great hiking tool. Walking to actual destinations, a jo length ironwood walking stick is more practical and sociable. Great defense against animals or unruly people. It was a lot more so a concern when I was younger and not powerful enough to defend myself or run from adults.
    Mostly though, it's a great way to cultivate my mind and improve my health. Work through my thoughts, think critically, build strength and skill, etc. It's plenty enjoyable for various reasons.

    This bit about "being happy with bad habits". That meant that I can become happy with mechanics that are inefficient or could be better without realizing the problem. Not that I don't care that they exist.

    This is a pata. It's an indian weapon. It's essentially a sword attached to a gauntlet, and the point of bringing it up was to illustrate what it would literally be like to use a weapon like an extension of your hand, instead of principally. According to Wikipedia, it was a good anti cavalry weapon for infantry.

    [​IMG]

    There is a lot more you misinterpreted. I could get into it and the debate but... I really don't see the point anymore.
    All I wanted was the historical context of Okinawan staff fighting, with no intention of using it. In hindsight, I see how what I said later about "what I'm doing" made it sound otherwise. And it spurred into all this other... stuff.

    I've already stated that you aren't going to dissuade me from what I'm doing. I've stated, so many times, that I understand it's far lesser than proper teaching. I've also stated that I intend to find that teaching as soon as possible. The best you can do is give me advice or knowledge on how to improve in the mean time. Which I now understand, there is no version of this where you do that. I would think a forum would be a great place to get that sort of information. For the most part, it has been.

    In regards to what you have actually explained, thanks.
     
  17. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    La la la la la la la la ..... :)
     
  18. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Personally, I'm not sure of that… frankly, I feel it's the other way around.

    Then you're on the wrong thread.

    Then you're delusional.

    Then you're trying to live out a fantasy.

    Oh dear lord… look, for the last time, I'm happy that you think you're getting benefits… but there is no way to validate anything that you think you're getting, and bluntly, it's doubtful that you're actually getting what you think you are. Frankly, you're playing with sticks. That's it.

    That has to be one of the most ludicrous things I've read in a while… and I've just gone through all of Mad Dog's posts… if you're "training for self defence", why on earth would you be happy with something that's less than optimal? Dude…

    That thing? Why would we mention it? Just because you brought it up due to your lack of comprehension of the concept of "extension of the hand"? It has nothing to do with this thread, so we ignored it.

    Yeah… I'm not sure of the point in trying to explain things to you either…

    The context of Okinawan staff fighting is exactly that… that it's Okinawan. Different Ryukyu Kobudo systems will have slightly different contexts… but without getting specific, that's as far as we could go. And, once you get specific, you'd need to talk to the practitioners of the specific systems themselves… and even then, not necessarily get an answer.

    You don't know what you're doing, and frankly, that level of self-delusion is almost impossible to dislodge… so I didn't have high hopes.

    No, it's not… it's impossible. Not far lesser. Simply not possible. All you can do with the method you're applying is play with sticks.

    Honestly, I'm not sure you'd even know what to look for… but I do hold out hope that, maybe, someday, you will get yourself to an actual school. Maybe then, after a while, you'll come back here and actually understand what you've been told.

    There is no "meantime". You're not doing anything. You're not training. You're playing with sticks. You haven't started yet, so there's no advice to give. But the primary piece of advice, should you start, will be to listen to your instructor… there isn't any "generic" advice that could be offered, as it could easily not apply to any specific system you might start.

    Actually, quite the opposite… I've given you frank and honest advice from the beginning. It simply hasn't been what you wanted to hear… and bluntly, that ain't on me, and it's not concern of mine.

    You have no idea of the amount of information you can get here… or even what you've already been given. Sadly.

    Sure.
     
  19. Orange Lightning

    Orange Lightning Purple Belt

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    I've been getting the sense that, on many posts, where aren't even talking about the same things. Not only do we disagree, but are sometimes talking about different things entirely. That possibility leads into a few other points I'm going to make.

    What I am actually trying to do doesn't have anything to do with what I was originally trying to learn. That historical crap I was talking about earlier, and to be able to know quality when I see it. Because, odds were, when I found someone that teaches staff, it would be Okinawan. I asked questions that I thought someone would be able to answer, and instead, we're talking about how terrible self training is as it pertains to me specifically.

    In what way is using a walking stick delusional or a fantasy? They are great hiking tools. It's the fact of the matter. They assist one in walking. They can also equip you with greater force than if you went barehanded.

    Neat uses for a walking stick - Walking (something you're going to be doing a lot), particularly up or down hills, a ward against spider webs when you walk between trees, getting sticks and brush out of your walking path, getting over or through bodies of water, knocking fruit out of trees, an improvised digging tool, or touching things you don't want to touch with your body (water, fire, dirt, a plant, whatever).
    All that, as well as being able to bludgeon things quickly and forcefully from a relatively safe distance. In a fix, it can be made into a stabbing implement (again, for whatever reason). It can be used to make yourself look larger to animals, and can make a lot of noise by smacking it against things. I once scared a bear away by smacking a stick against a propane tank. :)

    Um....you made a comment about me doing bo and jo training being delusional if I planned on using it primarily for self defense. (which was also a misinterpretation from an earlier post, but I suppose it's my fault because I mixed the discussions of "self training/self defense" and learning "how to fight with sticks" have worded that one better). My response was to point out that it wasn't so. Self defense with a stick is a pretty unlikely thing to occur, particularly with a 6 ft staff. This response was to point out that while yes, the possibility of actually using it to fight anything are extremely low (barring using a shovel or something for crazy circumstances), I still do it today for it's other benefits.

    You interpreted that the same way as you did last time. It isn't what I'm saying. I'll try to frame it differently.
    I am not happy with less than optimal technique. Without feedback, it can be harder for me to know if I'm making mistakes. If I become aware of a mistake that I'm making, obviously, I try to get rid of it. But I understand that the odds of me not being aware of things I could do better is high. I'm not "happy" with that aspect. I mean can get used to doing things sub optimally, unaware that it isn't optimal. Outside of research, training epiphany, or a natural progression of skill, I can't know for certain if I'm doing anything the best way it possibly can be. Like you keep saying. That doesn't mean I like it. That doesn't mean I'm not trying to see things I could be doing wrong, or could do better.

    :) That's a good enough answer for me.
    Honestly though, I'm beginning to doubt that the kind of context I'm trying to find exists simply because they were farm tools turned weapons. Not weapons designed originally for fighting that were allowed to be conspicuous about the fact they were, indeed, weapons. In this way, the context of something like....the tips of longswords and arming swords in Europe getting smaller to go through smaller holes in armor, or why Scandinavians used a particular kind of shield, the tactics of certain types of archers or crossbowman, etc. Since Okinawan weapons weren't supposed to look like weapons and weren't originally designed to be weapons, this "context" I was asking about seems to have just been a desperate necessity for the best they could make or get and practice in secret, and not so much a design of making the best weapons to fight certain challenges.
    Although, I am still curious about these stylistic specific contexts, I understand it can't really be explained this way.

    I did I state that I "knew what I was doing"? I mean, I think I do, or at least I know about what I know, for a lack of better of a better description.
    Whatever though. This subtopic doesn't have anything to do with anything. As far as "self delusion" see the bottom comment.

    XD You think that it is literally impossible to improve past the square one of complete inexperience? You think that, even if it doesn't resemble effective martial technique, it's totally impossible to get better with the simple mechanics of how it works? Sliding the hands? Switching grips? Switching sides? Pushing and pulling on both ends for more power generation? Putting your weight behind strikes? Concepts like leverage and recovery speed?
    That's hilarious. As if it's LITERALLY impossible to get even marginally better at something with experimentation and practice. Of course it gets more complicated than that, but the simple mechanics of how a stick works really aren't that complex. Techniques can be come advanced, or it's application harder to grasp, but the mechanics themselves are basic things. Yeah, progression is going to suck and the end result will always be far worse than proper teaching but....xD It's like your saying it's impossible to understand that I overcooked my eggs unless someone tells me.

    Sure dude. Fine. It's "playing with sticks". And one can get very good at playing with sticks, and those abilities can translate to a faster understanding of effective techniques when they are finally found.

    I realize that any "techniques" learned alone have a good chance of being ineffective, but I don't see how you can debate that you can't get better in the slightest, in any way shape or form in these basic mechanics. There's obviously a lot more to it than that though.
    I would contend, at the very least, a person practiced in such mechanics would advance at an accelerated pace if they were familiar with such mechanics.

    Actually, that's something I mentioned earlier that you never answered. If for no other reason than to be able to know, at least to within a respectable degree, good staff teachers when I see them. I would like to know more about Okinawan staff fighting as it is the most likely type of staff fighting I'm going to find. I don't intend to implement or "self teach" any of it because I don't find it useful to me right now, but I may later when I see it and actually learn it.
    And I'll most definitely find a school. Eventually. Oddly enough, I was going to go check out a TKD place today that got recommended to me, but something came up and I'll have to go next week.

    :D Good advice! :D

    Frank? Yes. Relevant? Sometimes....kind of.... in a way, but rarely on what I'm trying to ask.

    Well, you're right about one thing. It's not wanted I wanted to hear. But not in the sense that you seem to think. I didn't expect you, or anyone else here for that matter, to agree with me about an aspect of self training. I didn't expect to even talk to anyone on the site about the subject. I actually expected your exact position. I've never really wanted to discuss self training or my own ability. For some reason, you really want to tell me that my experience doesn't add up to much. Which.....I don't entirely disagree with. I disagree about the benefits of self training as a concept, but I don't disagree that it places me far beneath someone who is training properly.

    ....Ok? Did I say something counter to that?
    As far as this information is already given is concerned.....This is something that's hard to explain in text. It's not exactly that I think you're totally wrong. It's more like...... I have way more concerns that, for whatever reason, the information you're giving me doesn't apply or isn't relevant to what I said. I'm saying this disregarding both our positions on a subject. It seems to me we are misinterpreting each other because we aren't always talking about quite the same things. It might be similar, or different but related, but not often sharing the same image of what we're actually discussing. Or having different terminology for some things, your terminology obviously being more credible than mine. Pertaining to martial arts, there have been many times were I assumed I was misinformed or totally wrong about something due to the information given to me by someone like yourself, only to be validated as correct, or at least partially so, later. The reasons for that have been varied and sometimes confusing. Such reasons can allow us to both simultaneously be correct because we aren't actually talking about the same thing. Or one of us right for their own context, and wrong for the other persons.
    So, in a situation where I don't think we're exactly talking about the same thing (like this one), I need to know for myself. I need contexts, examples, research, comparisons, so on and so forth. In this conversation, there is too much uncertainty for me in what precisely you're talking about to assume it's totally correct in all cases, assuming it's even relevant, with no grey areas or exceptions. And that's not even taking opinions, or whether or not what you're saying is an opinion or a fact, into account.

    This is not meant as a dig. There are clearly misunderstandings, and I need more information to confirm things for myself. You seem like a pretty credible source, but this discrepancy in communication as well as a massive disagreement about some things and disagreements about other things I'm not even talking about has made this....a conversation to wade through. Seems like you feel the same way.
    Are we done playing brick walls yet? We aren't going to come to a consensus on this "self training" thing. You mostly answered my context question as best you could, without getting into specifics. The only unanswered question I have is how to spot good Okinawan bo teachers. Or is that different for the different styles too?
     
  20. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    This is getting long… so I'll try to be brief, where I can.

    Possible. I'm talking about the combative use of bo, you're talking about playing with sticks.

    Odds are, if you find someone who actually knows Ryukyu Kobudo, you won't just learn Bo. It's rarely, if ever, taught by itself, but is part of a larger system… sometimes as a more "pure" Ryukyu Kobudo system, as one of a number of weapons, or as a "tack-on" to a karate system. Finding a school that teaches Bo by itself is a real rarity… in fact, the only ways I can think of are Japanese (Chikubujima Ryu, for example), French (La Canne) and Portuguese (Jogo de Pau). The most common staff fighting method you'll encounter is not actually bojutsu, but Jodo/jojutsu… and can be found as both Seitei Jodo and Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo/Jojutsu. None of which are really anything like Ryukyu Kobudo's methodologies, nor are they anything that related to modern self defence requirements. So your assumptions as to what you would find aren't really that accurate either…

    Oh, and again, you don't know quality, and can't recognise it based on your posts here. And I have no idea what you think you're talking about with that reference to "historical crap"… really not the way to describe things with me…

    The fantasy is that you carrying a walking stick is in any way related to combative use or self defence with a staff. Look, this type of fantasy is not uncommon… the fantasy of power… but it's still a fantasy.

    Yeah… look, no-one's argued against using a walking stick as a walking stick, you realise… just this whole "I'd use it to fight with as well!" thing.

    And here you venture into areas you're not cognisant of… you're throwing around a number of ideas without having the required understandings of the realities associated.

    And you're still playing with sticks.

    Get to a school. That's your only option if you actually want to have something real to base your ideas on.

    Yeah… you're a little out on a number of counts there… in fact, the only thing you get right is the idea that what you're looking for doesn't exist… as, well, it doesn't. You're looking for something that fits your fantasy. Reality rarely does that.

    I get that you think you know what you're doing… but, gotta tell you, you really don't. And this "subtopic" is the heart of your issues, honestly.

    No, I think it's impossible to create something from nothing where the contextual crucible required doesn't exist anymore. As for the mechanical ideas you're looking at… what makes you think you're even close on any of them?

    You can get better, sure… but the question is what you're getting better at. And really, if you're getting it wrong in the first place, you're only getting better at doing it all wrong. Is that really better than not doing it at all?

    Here's the thing… mechanics are specific. And they are the hardest part to get right. They're fundamental, not basic. But, most importantly, your very base ideas are incorrect, as are your assumptions on how these things work.

    Not if you have to retrain everything about the way you handle a staff… in fact, it actually slows down your understanding and skill development.

    But most importantly, this thread is not about you playing with sticks… in fact, none of this forum is. It's about the actual methods and arts, proper training and knowledge, real education and experience. What you do to make yourself feel good is really not what this site is about.

    You're not familiar with any actual mechanics, though… that's the point. You're making up what you think it is, but that's it. And I get that you don't see how I can debate against what you think you know, but, and here's the kicker, that's because you don't know what you're talking about, and are focusing on the wrong things.

    You need experience to be able to tell, which is what I answered earlier. No, it wasn't the answer you were looking for, but it's the reality.

    You might want to read earlier in the thread before thinking you're going to get something of value from a TKD school in regard to Bojutsu…

    Sure.

    It's been far more relevant than you understand.

    Get some actual education and training, and you might find that your way of thinking changes to one closer to mine.

    In every post, and every PM you've typed.

    Oh dear… look… in this conversation, we have two people… one who has a few decades experience, and one who has none. And, while it's gratifying that the one who has none has conceded that the guy who knows what he's talking about isn't "totally wrong", it's also a little concerning that you still think you're able to discern what's relevant or not.

    Which would be a mistake.

    I'm talking about study of staff usage… you're not.

    No, my terminology is correct and accurate… yours is misapplied and misunderstood. But, when all's said and done, that's the least of the issues here.

    Validated how? With your solo methods? How, as I asked earlier, does that actually validate anything?

    No.

    You have no experience in this context. It's not actually possible for you to be right. Nor to be able to counter what I'm telling you.

    Shinto Muso Ryu was founded by a practitioner of both Katori and Kashima traditions… however, it's context/methods/mechanics are rather different from both it's source schools… and different from other systems as well. For example, Shinto Muso Ryu treats a staff as if it's a flexible weapon… and focuses on controlling methods, both in terms of ma-ai and physical controlling techniques. It is practiced against both long and short swords, as well as against an opponent armed with both swords at once… not against anyone unarmed… and incorporates a range of other skill sets as auxiliary systems.

    Katori Shinto Ryu, as with many Japanese systems, treats bo as being, not so much a weapon in and of itself, but the methods used when a longer weapon is broken, such as a spear or naginata. Kukishin Ryu originated with the idea of a broken naginata, but evolved over it's time to have bo (specifically) as a primary focus, or central aspect to it's methods… and is incredibly different to Katori, for example, with very different postural concepts, power mechanics, tactical application, training ideologies, and so on.

    Takenouchi Ryu again has quite a different approach… as does the Bojutsu of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu… and that of Araki Ryu… and Kiraku Ryu… and so on. And we're only dealing with Japanese systems there. Okinawan is different again, and will have large or small changes depending on the particular system you're looking at.

    In other words, until you're talking about a specific system itself, you don't have a context to discuss. That's part of what I've been trying to tell you.

    No, you don't need more information… you don't have any context to use as a frame of reference… you need that first. So, you need experience. Not information.

    Just remember, information is not knowledge… nor wisdom. It's just… words.

    The self training thing is only relevant as you only have that as your frame of reference to what staff work is like, or about. I've been trying to get through to you that your frame of reference is nothing, and completely irrelevant. That's the problem… trying to base your interpretation of my answers on your lack of experience or knowledge, when I'm pointing out that you need to let go of what you think you know in order to understand what I'm saying is where that whole side of the discussion has come from.

    But, how do you learn to spot good Okinawan bo teachers? Learn what Okinawan bojutsu is first. And recognise that you, most likely, won't find it near you.
     

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