Discussing a Myth: On Fighting

Discussion in 'Kenpo - (EPAK) Ed Parker's American Kenpo Karate S' started by Sami Ibrahim, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    In some American Kenpo circles an Instructor says "I can teach anyone to fight in a relatively quick time frame" and this is usually followed up by explaining that the reason students stay in the art beyond that point is for other personal reasons.

    On the surface this may seem like a harmless statement that is elevating a pugilistic endeavor into some noble and higher purpose but actually it is not true. It is a misleading statement about fighting and can cause some to shift the focus of their training from the practical to the impractical, leaving them vulnerable.

    Fighting skills are subject to the law of daily decrease, each day that you sham out of effective training is a day your skills decline. Just as Martial skill is built brick by brick, day by day with time and effort, the daily decrease comes along and kicks your building down when your no longer maintaining it. Also to say that you can teach someone to fight in a relatively quick time frame implies that their is this imagined end to fighting ability.

    "OK little Billy, you have complete your fighting lessons you are now and forever the greatest fighter in the Galaxy and can focus your training on frivolous or fancy stuff at your leisure."

    Sounds pretty stupid when I say it like that but that is basically what teachers are doing when they down play the importance of fighting in regards to Kenpo. Your training should always be elevating your fighting skill, your not supposed to give your students false confidence that they have "arrived" and are now capable fighters because the next stop for them is the XMAs lol

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    it depends if you are actually going to fight someone. If you are then train hard on high percentage basics or you will get your face punched in.

    If not train whatever intrests you.
     
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  3. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I've never actually heard anyone say they can train someone to fight in a relatively quick time frame. Not anyone I'd listen to, anyway. Never heard a Kenpo teacher say that. And I know a few.
     
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  4. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    Never heard that at all. In fact I've only heard the exact opposite saying how you never stop learning
     
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  5. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    Would the time it takes to train someone to fight an unskilled and untrained opponent be relatively quick time frame, in comparison to teaching them to fight a highly skilled opponent?
     
  6. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    The kenpo claim, you reference, is that a student will have the ability to defend themselves, in a relatively short time, and that involves the
    idea of not entering into random combat. :D
     
  7. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master of Arts

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    This saying is a perversion of some thing I have heard from many of my teachers. But the saying as I heard it was that people join a martial art to learn to fight but stay for other reasons.

    I would add I could teach someone to fight in a few hours. But that student will stink at fighting. So yeah you can teach quickly, the student just wont be any good.
     
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  8. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Teaching someone to fight and be proficient probably won't happen in a very short time.
    Teaching someone some self defense... good effective self defense tactics and actions can be done in a rather short period of time. But then fighting and self defense are two different animals.
     
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  9. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    People tend to over-complicate fighting. You don't need a sophisticated system to be able to fight, and fighting skills shouldn't take a long time to develop. Of course it depends on the individual. Some people will never be able to fight no matter what training they get. Other people are strong athletic, and aggressive and have a natural instinct that makes them an effective fighter with little or no training.

    So, it depends. But overall, effective fighting skills shouldn't take too long to develop, even tho that may not mean being ready to fight in a MMA championship. And yes, these skills can be refined for a lifetime.

    Personally, people who dwell on their fighting skills too much kinda come across as paranoid, in my opinion.
     
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  10. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    Hi Flying Crane,

    It's me the paranoid guy lol. I come from a world where the bad guys are really good at violence and the majority of martial arts practitioners are not. Violence the never-ending study is not something that you take a crash course in for a month or a year and suddenly you can afford to focus your attention on unrealistic stuff, yet some instructors realize that training students consistently to deal with real violence is hard work so instead they act as if the students are already past that primitive fighting stuff and now they can focus their attention on less demanding things that don't require any kind of pressure testing or bloody noses and bruises which are bad for business.
     
  11. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Huh. I had no idea that Washington was particularly dangerous. Where in Washington do you live?
     
  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Sort of. This is the first takedown you will learn for MMA

    . and it is the same takedown that takes years to develop. If you want to use it at a top level.


    One is simple, one is incredibly sophisticated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
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  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I wasn't aiming my my paranoid comment at you personally, it was just a general observation that I have had.

    I understand that you come from a military background, I have seen your postings and probably had some discussion with you over on kenpotalk. We are shaped in a large way by our experiences. From what I have seen, people with military or LEO experience often express what I would call an elevated awareness of potential violence. I understand that the background gives these people an awareness that others may not share, tho sometimes it could be unnecessary.

    I have no military nor LEO experience, tho I have lived in a bigger city for some 20 years, much of that in neighborhoods that were not downright bad, but did have their share of grit. I've had people mess with me, but I've always been able to dodge the real violence. I know it is out there and I am alert to it, but I am also confident that most of us can get thru life, or most of life, without physical altercations. For most of us, for most of the time, violence simply does not find its way into our lives and it is often easy to avoid. If a grown adult keeps getting into violent encounters, and it isn't part of his profession, then either it's time to move to a new neighborhood or it's time for some self-reflection to figure out just what in the hell he is doing wrong in life, because likely he is the problem.

    Now, as I said, fighting skills can benefit from constant honing and practice. But let's be honest, it does not take years of training before someone ought to have some decent level of functional ability. As I stated, that does not mean they are ready for an MMA championship fight. But yes, they ought to be able to fight. It does not take forever to develop that skill. It just is not that difficult to hurt someone. Yet at the same time humans are surprisingly tough and resilient. Interesting paradox, that is.

    Now, you reference some unrealistic stuff. I don't know just what that is. The methods that I train does not have such stuff. It is practical and useful.

    I have seen things out there that struck me as impractical. I don't train that stuff, and don't know why some systems might keep that kind of material. Maybe some people simply should not be teaching others if they keep unrealistic material in their curriculum. I am sure ones own perspective give guidance as to how that might be judged, and there won't be complete consensus on what any of that is. What you may feel is unrealistic, someone else may find to be quite useful. But still, it doesn't take long to learn some useful and functional fighting skills.
     
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  14. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    Yes... but it's important top remember that "untrained" and "unskilled" are two very different things. There are a lot of people who are good at fighting (and/or good at assaults, which isn't necessarily the same thing), but have never done any formal training.
     
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  15. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    There are degrees of functional. And as this is going to work towards "Yeah try that stuff in the ring and see how functional it is" I may as well kick off in that direction.

    At the moment we are doing our 12 week program and will have to get people ready to fight full contact MMA in a very short time.

    And to do that in the very short time we have we will have to cement the absolute basics without any fluff what so ever.

    It will be about standing and striking effectively under pressure. 1 or 2 takedows 1 or 2 escapes a d then just grinding that untill they have a skill set they can use.

    This will be a successful method up to 5 or 10 fights in. For self defense it is successful forever.

    After a few fights you will need to have some variety and will start training the more unrealistic stuff.

    But it is amazing how concepts like punching straight can beat martial artists with years under their belt. And a thousand more techniques.
     
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  16. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Agree! If you just want to be able to handle someone who has no MA training, it should not take too much time. If you want to fight against Mike Tyson, that will be a different story.

    One day a guy walked into my school. He had no MA training in the past. He wanted to learn fighting. But he didn't want to learn any basic and form. We met 4 times a week, 2 hours each session. When he came, we put on gloves and tried to knock each other down for that 2 hours. The whole training lasted for 8 months. 8 months later, he came back and told me that his training worked. He got into fight in a bar. A guy tried to hit him. In the whole fight, that guy could not even land a single punch on his body. That guy finally sat down on the couch and could not figure what had just happened.

    If you want to learn how to fight, you just fight. That definitely can be a short cut for fighting ability training but I won't call that MA training.
     
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  17. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    I live on Joint Base Lewis McChord, on the Fort Lewis side, that is near Lakewood WA the zip code is 98433. Your assumption that I was making reference to Washington is wrong, it was in reference to my travels throughout the world. As I get ready to retire I have been paying more attention to how people with limited or no exposure to violence think and at last I am starting to get it (I am rather dense) I cannot expect people to take training for violence seriously when it is such a foreign thing to them, I may as well tell them to prepare themselves to slay a fire breathing dragon.
     
  18. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Why do you think people don't take it seriously? They may do things differently than you do them, but that doesn't meant they aren't serious about it.
     
  19. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    I've no bone to pick with Kenpo on this (the O/P), but I've heard other art's instructors, not only/just Kenpo, say that sortr of thing to their student body.

    Fighting skills are, to a point, frangible and decrease with time. I would say that, once a person has practiced in something for 30 years, most of those fundamentals are now ingrained and part of the person and won't be forgotten. That's not to say that the physical ability wn't erode, but if they had to erupt into violent action, they could. Then, maybe they'd fall over from exhaustion, have a stroke, have fifteen muscle pulls and joint strains, etc.

    But, to tell folks, "You are now Billy Bad-*** since we've awarded you the speckled hen certificate, waved the wand of Badjiju over your hands and feet, and given you that awesome magenta belt," it's a bad idea.
     
  20. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    I think it is because I see a huge disconnect between what real violence encompasses in its multitude of manifestations in comparison to what many martial arts practitioners do during training. I do believe in and respect progressive learning but often students never even progress to the edges or boarders of realistic training.
    Violence is unscripted, it is not fair, honorable or flowery (also its painful), generally speaking rabbits don't attack lions, gold fish don't attack sharks and experienced violent human predators don't attack people that can easily defeat them either but listen to how far in fantasy land many martial arts practitioners heads are when they discuss how after a couple of weeks on a sanitized, soft, flat surface drilling a couple of scripted moves they got that fighting part down and out of the way,
     

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