"Creating" your "own" art?

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

  1. Rook

    Rook Black Belt

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    I think that people seem to found arts for all sorts of reasons, and the quality control that once kept the unskilled and unscrupulous to a lower level is largely gone. Today, you either already have lineage, or you have sports accomplishments and someone who has neither will have a hard way to travel just getting by without resorting to rather unethical means. The collapse of the challenge match system and the legal reprecussions for dojo wars, dojo storming and the like means that almost anyone can claim anything - and they end up lowering the credibility of anyone who would be capable of creating a new synthesis worth any study.
     
  2. Monadnock

    Monadnock 2nd Black Belt

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    I'll pretend to be one so I can answer.
    1.) To teach the way "I" move, they way "I" think, and the way "I" deal with the arts.
    2.) So many years of this, so manyyears of that, yadda yadda yadda...
    3.) I guess if I started one, I would claim nothing other than "Founder."
    4.) A few colors here, a few ranks there....

    My point being I guess, is that if someone puts a heck of a lot of time into training and then wants to go out and teach "their" style, all the power to 'em. Just name it so. One of my teachers is just such a person, and if the defacation ever hit the oscillation, I'd want him by my side before any of my other teachers for the plain fact that his art lives in him.

    What ags me is when some snob says "You can't use the term Karate, or Aiki-, or -Jutsu, or.....Well, as long as there is something else there to distinguish it is "your" version, I got no gripes.
     
  3. Rook

    Rook Black Belt

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    I wouldn't mind people doing this if they named it after themselves or using a name in normal english. What most of them do is end up using a faux-oriental name for their art, spelling things in kanji, using oriental titles, and generally doing everything to imply a connection to oriental traditions that they are not a part of.
     
  4. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    well said There are way to many claiming lineage and titles that they have no background in except in their own imaginations


    how true but some of them are funny as hell i one ralises how stupid they sound


    Sorry I just have a deep disrespect for all that make up false lines of study and claim studies in systems that do not exsist or ones they could have had no way of studying


     
  5. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    I kind of have to disagree with you on the above.

    When you see the words jujutsu you expect some sort of grappling. When you see the word karate you expect a hard style that has punching and kicking. When you see aiki you expect techinques that redirect an attack.

    You get the idea. By using certain words you kind of limit yourself to fall within that definition. Or you risk running counter to that definition.

    Example, you may want to include some aikido moves into what you do. But you probably also would want to introduce some jabs and kicks in as well. So it might be a little strange to use the term Aiki- for what you do.

    When you come up with a new term in English, you free yourself from having to fall within the definition and can do whatever you please.

    And even in Japan a lot of arts have been clumped together under terms such as "Jujutsu" but they have other names for what they do. Many arts seem to call what they do Te, Yawara, Koshi no Uchi or something else like that because they feel that what they do is very different from anyone else. We look at them all and they look a lot alike. But to those with great experience they are quite different.

    So it makes sense if you are creating something new to coin a term for it in English that reflects it. Something like the "Defensive Tactics" that a martialtalk member uses. I know Japanese better than any western soke I know of. But I would use an English term if I were to create a martial art.
     
  6. Monadnock

    Monadnock 2nd Black Belt

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    Well, an example of what I was getting at was, if I studied 1 or 2 types of Karate (for a long enough time) and decided to open a school with a style called "Mike's Karate," or even got real colorful with it and called it "Black Cat Karate," to me, that should suffice.

    Or if it were 5 years of Ueshiba Aikido, and 5 years of Tomiki or Yoshinkan, and I decided to my style "Caruso Aikido," what's the big deal? So rather than using all foreign words, as some have pointed out is deceiving, there are some English in there to differentiate.

    Obviously some would snicker, and prefer to go learn from a school with deeper roots or more direct ties to a school of origin, or from a teacher with longer training, but if I feel I have the salt what's to stop me? So long as I am open as to where I got my training and for how long.

    I kind of see what you are saying that the Japanese names can be very specific, and that I, being an American, should just stick to English descriptions if that is what I am teaching-- an American guy's style. Leave off the "Karate" or "Aikido." I guess my contention is that if my training came from a Japanese style, I shouldn't necessarily drop all reference to it.

    Anyways, your point's heard and I am fairly logical and agreeable so if you explain more I might just listen. All of this is hypothetical anyways ;) I'm still not a sokey-dokey.
     
  7. Rook

    Rook Black Belt

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    I suppose if you had the credentials to form your own aikido or karate style and ONLY included material from that art, you would probably be ok as long as you made clear exactly what you were doing.

    I think thats probably fair enough. People look for all sorts of things in the arts.

    As long as all your training or all of your new art is just a variation on that one style, I wouldn't see a need to drop "karate" or "aikido."

     
  8. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    I agree with Kevin. As long as you are just taking things from various styles of aikido and such, then using that name is not really a problem.

    In fact, I think it is the most polite thing you can do.

    Let me explain. Certain styles like Tomiki aikido or Yoshinkan aikido have certain things that they have in them. And both those groups have headquarters with people running the systems. If you took something from Tomiki and taught it under the Yoshinkan title, the Yoshinkan guys might get a little mad.

    If I made up a style it would not have high kicks in them. I know some people can pull them off, but I would not want to teach high kicks to the typical person. If someone was claiming to teach my style and I found out they were teaching people to kick above the waist, boy would I be mad. It is my name you are using and it reflects on me. If I am famous and people are attracted to my name (like the Gracies, Bruce Lee, etc) then you are promising them to teach as I lay out. If you use your own name, then it does not reflect on me.

    But what you lay out really does not strike me as being 'creating' an art. I think of creating something as coming up with something new and unknown. It sounds to me that a person doing what you laid out is just trying to reconcile what he has been taught by multiple sources.
     
  9. Monadnock

    Monadnock 2nd Black Belt

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    Yea, I agree. A system built from the ground up most likely shouldn't be using specific names or styles.

    But just to toss this out there... Some words are "borrowed" from other languages and become part of that language. I haven't checked an unabridged dictionary lately, but I wonder if Karate will make it in there at some point.
     
  10. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    Karate seems to be one of the words that has been watered down so much by the media that people think of it as anything that has punching and kicking. But maybe if you expect to talk with people in martial arts about it, you should hold to a higher standard in what you do. If you are dealing with someone with no experience in martial arts, saying that you do a south American form of karate instead of copeira might work. But setting yourself up in either the karate forum or copeira forum with that title might cause a lot of confusion.

    You only need to look at the problems martialtalk had with the ninjutsu section a few years ago. Some folks wanted to say that ninjutsu was anything that had black outfits. And it was nice,but not needed, if the founder could say that he took a little of the stuff from Japan before starting his own art. Some of the things that guys like Rick Tew and his acrobatic kicks to the head, etc, just did not go over well in conversations with the folks who studied with the stuff in Japan.
     
  11. achilles95

    achilles95 Orange Belt

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    If mixing and matching eliminates the weaknesses of each art but keeps the strengths, then why not? However, I think I'd rather train well and become highly able in one art than train in several and be average at each.
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    How is a guy/al today creating a style any different than what the masters of 50-100 years ago?


    IMO, it is not. We just happen to be willing to tear them up for trying. I can understand if they have no skills, but to each his own. Let the public decide for themselves, that is why the UFC got started in the first place.
     
  13. Mr. E

    Mr. E Blue Belt

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    I think that 100 years ago, or even about 50 years ago, people who founded their own arts put themselves on the line a lot more to prove what they had. Even in the early 20th century you hear about guys doing things that could get them killed- as in dead as a doornail, proving that what they were teaching to students was something they could rely on.

    Chinese arts had matches that sometimes left people dead and far rougher than the rules of the UFC, Vale Tuado and others. The same goes for other arts.

    I think that I would have more respect for many of these self- proclaimed masters if they put their own selves on the line before teaching students that assume that what they are being shown will save their lives. The guy who came up with the stuff probably will never have to find out and it is the students who will have to pay the horrible price if the founder is an idiot.

    On the other hand, it is somehow hard to get that type of experience and not have some sort of mental and/or social problem. But I still have problems with the idea that the first person to try out an art's new knife defense in a dark alley will not be the guy who developed the technique or training system.
     
  14. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Creating your own style is inevitable if you train long and hard and take the time to internalize what you've learned. You aren't the same person as your teacher or that person's teacher and so on. Your experiences, training, physical characteristics and mental and emotional structure will come up with something different than what came before.

    Does it need a new name, salute and forms? At some point it will be different enough from what came before that that's appropriate.

    Will it be any good? That's a different question.
     
  15. Mr. E

    Mr. E Blue Belt

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    Here is a question....

    Has anyone every found out that someone they used to train with has started his own style and your reaction is a complete lack of surprise?

    It has to me a few times.

    There just seems to be people that when you are there in class their minds are obviously already figuring out how they will teach this to others. They are in class, but their minds are somewhere else.

    They don't really strike me as students. They are teachers before they ever know anything. As a result they never seem to learn much.

    These are the guys who five minutes after the teacher has shown something for the first time are running around (mis)correcting other people. They are the guys that keep talking about how they did things in other arts when their inability to do what the current art demands comes to light. They are the guys that seem to be in places just so that they can say they have been there training with that teacher.

    I thought of this thread since I just got a note that someone I have run into has started his own style. The guy was not qualified to teach anything the last time I saw him, much less start his own style. But based on the way he acted, I just could not generate any surprise when I heard the news.

    Anyone else run into this as well?
     
  16. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    Sure, they're the guys that usually make it as far as a yellow belt in 5 or 6 styles, mash everything together and suddenly call themselves "soke". It's the inevitable afterbirth of the mega-ego in the martial arts.
     
  17. bluemtn

    bluemtn Senior Master

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    Ok, so here's a question on something that was mentioned a while back in this thread, and this question is a bit of a "hypothetical" one- not that I have any plans of doing this.

    If you were creating your own system, why would you build it out of 2 styles of a system? (like Aikido or Karate, to name two). What purpose would it serve? I realise that not all are exactly the same, but still... To me, it would be kind of defeating the purpose.
     
  18. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    This has got me to thinking(your statement). I am not sure for the exact reason why people blend two or more styles, other than they don't have what they feel is a complete style and they feel they have found the missing pieces. I still get hung up on when a style stops being one style and makes a transition to something completely new. Take the Chito-ryu that I have been training in for several years. It looks nothing like it did when I first started learning it. We have made so many changes and added along with removed so many techniques that it is deffinately not the same style it was, but is it truly a different style? Or is it just another variation of the parent style? I am not sure at what point it made the transition or if it has transitioned, but it is a deep thought.


    Just a little to think about.
     
  19. FearlessFreep

    FearlessFreep Senior Master

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    I'm rather inexperienced when it comes to such things but it seems that most arts have a philosophical basis. Whether it's Taekwondo or BJJ, they have a goal or a principal of how to be effective. They also tend to blend at certain points as the body has only so many ways the human body can move.

    So it seems to me that if one were to create an art, then you should probably start with a goal (say.. self-defense) and a general philosophy of how to be effective at that goal. From there you would develop strategy and tactics to meet that criteria. The last step then is to integrate or adapt techniques that implement those tactics.
     
  20. TheOriginalName

    TheOriginalName Blue Belt

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    I just wanted to add one word into this discussion....

    Synergy!!

    And for those who do not know what this is..."the total is greater than the sum of it's parts"

    I think this is what a mixed martial art is attempting to get at...123
     

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