"Creating" your "own" art?

Discussion in 'The Great Debate' started by Bester, May 5, 2005.

  1. Bester

    Bester <font color=blue><B>Grand UberSoke, Sith-jutsu Ryu

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    Why do people feel the need to "create" their own art?

    I keep seeing people posting how they took a bit of this, and a bit of that and rolled it into a "unique and deadly effective art".

    Why?

    Can their mix-n-match approach using low-to-mid level techniques from a dozen arts they dabbled with really be "better" than a solid and serious study of 1 to 3 traditional arts?

    The Japanese don't seem to have done that.
    One doesn't see grappling in Iaido or spinning back kicks in Jui Jitsu.
    Italian Fencing doesn't include takedowns and drop kicks.

    So, why do all these "new" arts?

    If I want to learn solid kicks I'd study Muay Thai, or TKD or Savate.
    If I want solid punching, maybe boxing or a traditional karate.
    Ground game? BJJ
    Weapons? Stick is definately FMA, knife too. Sword, is fencing or Iaido-Battojutsu.

    Why would I want to study someones puzzlebox with a few limited techniques, when I could study the original and get it all?

    Sure it takes longer, but I get all the pieces the "mix n matcher" missed, didn't understand, wasn't able to do or flat out was too stupid to "get".

    So, why do they do it?
    Vanity? A desire to say "I made this (up)"? The ability to wear (and misuse) a fancy title in a language they usually hardly understand?

    Often, these "innovators" quote Bruce Lee, and point to his "mix and matching" as somehow making their own "right". Difference was, Lee had a legitimate and solid traditional background, which combined with an above-average ability and being in great physical shape allowed him to do things most people cannot.

    That's another point. Lee was in great shape.
    Why do most of these "mix n matchers" look like they are better suited for a couch than a training floor?


    Personally, I have no respect for these clowns.
    Fat, arrogant and in too many cases, plain stupid people who can't hack it in a real school, who want to compensate for their own shortcomings by a fancy title, lots of wall candy, and parlor tricks by which they dupe the unsuspecting into thinking they are some kind of "Master" while they toss around foriegn words they don't know the real meaning of.
    When they are in fact little more than "wanna-bes."

    Shame on them. Shame on them all.
     
  2. Jerry

    Jerry Blue Belt

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    That seems to be an assumption. Can a person with a "solid and serious" study of a primary art add to it things he's found elsewhere?

    Where do you think Jujitsu came from? What to you think Ushebia did creating Akido from Akijitsu, or Kano creating Judo from Jujitsu? Chen developed his Tiaji from Yang-style.

    Every art in existance was made as a new art by someone at some time... and these people were not dieties who made "the perfect art". As their students and their student's students learn the art, they bring their own take, and their own experience. If there is sufficient divergence, a new art is born.

    Why would I want to put in a little study time on a half-dozen arts and then try to integrate them when I could study an art from someone who spent a lot more time than I have doing just that... and preferrably then passed it down a generation or two for refinement.

    And there are several knife arts I like more than any of the FMA I've seen.

    I think this is pretty telling of your position.

    According to you, everyone who creates a new art does so after only sampling little pieces of other arts.

    According to you, everone who creates a new art misses or is too stupid to understand things that you will understand. (you are better than everyone who has created their own art).

    The various NHBs seem full of people with conglomerate arts. People now actually teach under the moniker of "MMA" as a single art. I didn't notice too many pot-bellies... but then again I wasn't watching all that many.

    You know I've seen a lot of fat people who didn't make their own arts either. Are you simply trolling and I've been dumb enough to feed you? Considering your name, listed art, and tag; I think I have. Shame on me.
     
  3. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    Errrr.... Don't you mean Yang created his taiji from Chen?
     
  4. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Actually, he olnly had a few years training before going his own way.

    Umm... I don't notice too many couch potatoes doing MMA... Sure haven't seen any in UFC or Pride....

    What are you watching?

    I've seen a lot more fat out of shape folks doing single style traditional stuff then mixing Muay Thai with anything, which you gave as an example in your rant...

    Plus you are missing a really important part of this. Doing Muay Thai, Boxing and BJJ too a high level does not mean you can integrate them. For this you need to combine them into a single "system". Now if you want to add weapons too....
     
  5. TimoS

    TimoS Master of Arts

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    Unfortunately it seems that most of these creations are these mix-and-match types that you mentioned, but sometimes there are people, usually with a solid background in traditional arts who have no other choise than form their own style, because of various reasons. Granted, these are an exception rather than a rule

    Well, actually, in iaido and other traditional japanese sword arts there is a lot of grappling "hidden", meaning if you perform the same moves unarmed, you will see e.g. wrist locks. I liked what my sensei said during one camp: "you cannot understand jujutsu without a sword".

    And spinning back kicks, while probably not a common technique in (traditional) jujutsu schools, I would still say that you can find it in there
     
  6. Adept

    Adept Master Black Belt

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    Short answer: yes.

    Longer answer: If two fighers of equal skill and physical measure spar, then the one with wider range of skills and techniques has an advantage.

    What you seem to be getting at is not the people who mix-n-match skills to their own satisfaction, but people who mix-n-match skills, and the repackage them as a seperate, new traditional art. Which in effect defies the purpose of mix-n-match in the first place.

    People see a hole in their training, so they go somewhere and fix it. This is different to someone who sees a hole in their training, fixes it, and then trains other people in the belief that their range of skills is now complete. Which is impossible, since not all techniques match peoples bodies or attitudes, and not all techniques will match someones goals. You might have an excellent tourney fighting system, but that will not always make the best RBSD system, and vice versa.

    The thing about Bruce Lee was not that he had excellent physical conditioning or a background in martial arts. It was that he wasn't trying to create the best style, but create an attitude that would mean the end of set, strict styles altogether.

    By the by, what is a low to mid-level technique, as opposed to some super-secret black-belt only techniue?
     
  7. TimoS

    TimoS Master of Arts

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    What if there really is no hole, they just think there is a hole ? That, in my opinion, is the case mostly. People haven't trained long enough in a traditional style and they think the style is lacking something, so they go elsewhere to get the part they think is missing. Then they get parts of two (or more) systems that don't really fit with each other. I am not saying that all styles are complete, but in many cases people just don't have the patience to learn what there is to learn from a system and then they go elsewhere to get something that is "missing"
     
  8. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Both you and Adept have brought up some very good points! I've heard people say that there are no holes in a given art, but only in ones training. In other words, just because its not something that one person has covered, that does not mean that someone else has not covered it in their training. A good example would be with the art of Kenpo. I've said many times that there is a lack of ground work. However, once I had things explained to me, I saw that there was in fact some grappling in Kenpo. Not to the extent of BJJ, but there is some there.

    Now as for creating that new system. Personally, if someone is going to train in mult. arts, that is fine, but I don't think that they should run out and "name" what they are doing. I train in Kenpo as my base, I train in BJJ to further round out my ground game, and I train Arnis to further expand on my weapons. If someone asks what I train in, I tell them. I dont say "Well, I do my own style that I created!!"

    As for not training long enough. I feel that one should not have to wait 20 years before they are able to defend themselves. I also think that they should focus on one art at least to the rank of Brown Belt, before they begin looking at something else. There are many arts out there...why not look at what they have to offer? Not always to cross train in them, but to simply cross referrence. That is the difference.

    Mike
     
  9. sammy3170

    sammy3170 Guest

    Bruce Lee only studied for about 5 years between the ages of 13 and 18 before he ventured to the U.S. If he wasn't a movie atar etc his art would have been popular but no where near as popular as it has become. I say if you see an instructor and like what he teaches and you like him as a person who cares what the art is.
    cheers
    Sammy
     
  10. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    Money and Vanity..
     
  11. Bammx2

    Bammx2 2nd Black Belt

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    As the man said..."before I started in the martial arts,a kick was just a kick and punch was just a punch.When I started learning,I found it to be a whole lot more than that.When I mastered the art,I realised a kick was just a kick and a punch was just a punch." Bruce Lee.

    Personaly,I had a BB in shotokan and shorinryu,for starters.IMO...great traditional arts!
    Til I got my eyeball socket bashed in by a grappeler.
    Lacking? I think so.
    So I studied jujitsu,judo and other grappeling arts.
    I combined them to complete ME.
    So now I have a "new style"...what do I call it?
    shojuryndo?
    I have been in the MA for over 30 years now. Most traditional style don't work for ME.
    From my experience,which is limited compared to some,I found you have adapt to the style.Why can't the style adapt to you? "Because thats the its been done for 500 years and there's no way that can be wrong"!
    Archery was great for 500 years til that sam colt feller moved into the neighborhhod[​IMG]
    So now I can provide something different for other people to try based on all my years experience(and it has not just been in a dojo).
    I had someone tell me once.."You MUST have a BB in a traditional style before you even attempt anything else.But once you have a BB in a Traditional style,why do you need to go elsewhere?"
    Comming from a "6th dan" who claimed..."once you master you kata's,you will be INVINCIBLE in a street fight"!
    :shrug:
    And before anyone even thinks about jumpimg on that statement....NO...not all instructors are like that!
    He just happened to be the ONLY instructor for 30 miles(which is huuuge in the UK) til I came along.
    But to be fair,I have a wallet full of cards for traditional instructors for those who don't like what I have to offer.

    So adapting 13th century art into something that would be a little more effective in the 21 century is perfectly fine.
    Screw the narrow mindeness of those who think different.
    shame on them,shaaaaame one them.
     
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  12. Jerry

    Jerry Blue Belt

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    Really? Though your statement is a little vague: assuming I understand it, I don't agree with it.

    There's a certain element of "rock-paper-scissors". If I have one fighter with two skills, and one fighter with one skill, but it's the right skill for the fight; then the fighter with one skill has the advantage.

    Of course, I could be misinterpreting you. Statistically speaking, the one with more skills is more likely to *be* the one with the right skill.

    Under this logic, no one's skills can ever be complete. You present the following options:

    1. Study one art and have incomplete skills.
    2. Study several arts to try to patch holes in your training and have incomplete skills.

    Since no person can have complete skills, why such the resistance to the fact that no person has them?

    And when you teach your son from teh three primary arts, and the half-dozen innovations, and the few dozen things you got from 6 other arts at a seminar... which art are you teaching him?

    I'm in a Silat art which is very heavily from Willaem DeThoures... of course, it's also got a good deal of stuff from my instructors time with Colangelio, and his years with Savelli, and his decade or so in Neijia arts with a couple of instructors before finding the Silats, and now his experience with Systema has been added to that. What art is he teaching?

    Of course, being in a Silat art, I come from a culture where most everyone integrates what they learn and develops on their own from it. There have been several references to Bruce Lee and whether or not he developed his own style... it seems to me his message to everyone was o develop their own style rather than be held down in the "classical mess".

    When you cross-train (or often even when you don't), and then the manure hits the fan ("goes pear shaped"), you don't likely pick one art and fight with it. You fight with an agmalgamation of what you know. What art is that? If that's what's useful to you, why would you not teach it? What would you call it?
     
  13. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    So if I study a traditional style, and then study the same style, but a different instructor with a different take on it. Perhaps very different interpretations and specializations in what they do. Then combine the two in my own use and eventually teach stuff learnt from both is that ok?

    What if I consider my "style" to be martial arts in general? I train with different instructors who have different specializations (punching, takedowns, weapons, submission, etc.) and integrate these skills. How is this different?
     
  14. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    Yes. Now, this has to be hit with a question though.
    Are you still calling it the same thing? For example, if you are studying Kenpo, and learn from say, Larry Tatumn, and Huk Planas, do you still call what you do Kenpo, or did you change the name to say, South-Form Kali-do?

    It would depend on your presentation.
    Also, has anyone been able to verify the arts you claim to have studied?
    How many blackbelts do you claim, how much wallpaper, how many names do you drop?
    I think there is also a difference between integration and claiming to be a creator.
     
  15. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Same style

    No name dropping, no claims to creation, no style name, no rank claimed. Just "Martial Arts" and if asked about training try to be as honest as can be remembered.
     
  16. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kaith Rustaz
    Yes. Now, this has to be hit with a question though.
    Are you still calling it the same thing? For example, if you are studying Kenpo, and learn from say, Larry Tatumn, and Huk Planas, do you still call what you do Kenpo, or did you change the name to say, South-Form Kali-do?




    NO........ not same "style" ...... different "styles" but same SYSTEM

    :asian:
     
  17. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Now your just playing a word game :p
     
  18. mj-hi-yah

    mj-hi-yah Senior Master

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    I like this distinction. The basic system is the same, Kenpo in this example, but the style will vary because of the influence of each instructor based on their various strengths, weaknesses and interests, or their style of doing things. :asian:
     
  19. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    Absolutely!

    Yes, as Mr. Parker used to use the example of artists. They all use certain utensils in their craft (system) ... (brush, paint, and canvas), but what distinguishes them apart is their individual style and method of execution or use of the utensils.

    :ultracool
     
  20. Goldendragon7

    Goldendragon7 Grandmaster

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    No, not really.

    :supcool:
     

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