Do you find some arts easier than others?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    My primary art is Taekwondo, and if I may say so myself, I've excelled at it. I have naturally good body mechanics with my strikes, I learn the forms really fast, and the impractical fancy kicks come easy for me. When I was an orange belt, I watched a black belt trying to teach another black belt the 540 kick and I landed it on my 3rd or 4th try.

    Then I started hapkido. As much as I buttered myself up with confidence (or maybe arrogance) in the last paragraph, I'm going to caveat with humility in this one. Hapkido is incredibly difficult for me. I've never been good at finding pressure points, half the time it takes me several tries to figure out how to lock the joints the right way, too often I try to use my strength instead of my technique. I find it significantly more difficult than Taekwondo.

    The real funny thing is we can eliminate the instructor as the variable, because my Master is the same for both arts.

    Does anyone else who's trained multiple arts experience this? Where you go into one art and it all just comes naturally to you, and then you go to another art and it's like you might as well be a baby giraffe trying to walk?
     
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  2. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm naturally bad at all of them. Fortunately it's possible to overcome a lack of natural talent with enough years of focused practice.

    Regarding your own situation, I'd suggest that you're making a bit of apples to oranges comparison. The things you describe that came easy to you in TKD are all matters of controlling your own body. Contrariwise, the things you're struggling with in Hapkido are matters of controlling someone else's body. The kinesthetic awareness required is different.
     
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  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Some art are easier on the body than others. For example, you can train the XingYi 5 elements for hours, you won't get tired much (no kick in it). You can drill 1,000 XingYi Pi Chuan in 45 minutes non-stop and still end with breathing normal. But if you train long fist with tornado kick, you may breath fast within 10 minutes.

    - A jumping kick takes about 3 times amount energy to do than a non-jumping kick.
    - A non-jumping kick takes about 3 times amount energy to do that a punch.

    It depends on the amount of jumping kick and kick in your MA style.
     
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  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    So you are not as good at a new skill as you are at an established skill?
     
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  5. wab25

    wab25 Brown Belt

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    The second art is always harder for me. I have conditioned my body to respond one way, now I have to overcome that training to make it respond another way. I tend to learn more about both arts doing this, so the effort pays off.

    In TKD like arts, you learn the technique first, by itself. You are attacking a static target, that is your mirror. Its not even there really, just your imagination. Once you learn the technique, hitting that static target, you then get to learn to hit that target on other people, usually moving people. When trying to hit other people, you have to adjust. Other people are taller, shorter, thinner, bigger... Also, they all move differently.

    In Hapkido like arts, you have to learn all of that at the same time. There is no partner, that mirrors you exactly: height, weight, proportion, movement... So you have to learn the technique on a moving human being, and as soon as you start to get it, you get a new and different human being and start over. Think of it as learning TKD in slow motion sparring, with different people all the time. That is, you don't get to learn punching and blocking, unless you are hitting and blocking in a slow motion sparring session. And every time you miss a punch, telling yourself you did it wrong, because he moved or blocked.

    One way is not better than the other. They are different skills that have to be trained in different ways. I am going the opposite way, from Danzan Ryu (very Hapkido like) to Shotokan. I feel that same bit of confusion learning the punches and kicks, even though I have many of the joint locks, throws and constrictions down. It all depends on where you started.
     
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  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Back when I had my fighting club, My fighting club had both a TKD black belt (Sandy Nash) and a Hapkido black belt (Donny Brown). Sandy liked to use his side kick to kick on brick wall. Donny liked to carry a bottle of red pepper for SD. Those were some good old time (1973 - 1976).

    I feel the opposite. When I was 5, my cousin taught me some joint locks. I could pick it up almost in my 1st try. Later on I have learned all the 40 joint locking techniques within about 4 hours. But it took me a lot of training time to learn the TKD "jump spin back kick" and "jump spin hook kick".

    Some people may say "Taiji is not easy". I will say the TKD jump kicks can be harder. Even the floor split training will take a good amount of training time.





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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I find grappling more complex than striking, in general. Basic strikes are easier to learn and do competently than basic grappling. On the other hand, early defense against basic grappling is easier than early defense against basic striking. So we end up needing to work much harder for competency in takedowns, throws, locks, etc.
     
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  8. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

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    The same instructor can be better at explaining certain dynamics than others. Personally, I think it's more the instructor than the style itself. I've taken the same style with two different instructors and I progressed much faster with one than the other. I've experienced the same with academic learning as well, some instructors are just better teachers or their style of teaching is more compatible with our learning comprehension.
     
  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Very well said. You beat me to the "naturally being bad" part as I am definitely there. @skribs , are you trying to reconcile the two styles into one? It is a bad idea. Kali was so different blending the two was not an option. So I never had that specific problem learning Kali the is a lot to learn and it is very, very unique especially from TMA. But the times I have worked out in styles with similarities I seemed to require more attention because I had to first remember to "not do the move my old way" and then learn the new way. It took double the mental concentration when there were similarities for a while. I am a big proponent of cross training but you are experiencing one of the pitfalls for some. Do you jump right from one style class to the other? That could make it tougher as well. Like Tony said, you are jumping from being a TKD out fighter to something different. Get all in or all out.
     
  10. gucia6

    gucia6 Yellow Belt

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    I train mixture of karate, jujitsu and aikido and indeed finding pressure points is the most difficult for me. The joint locks give me some sort of mental pressure, because a bit too much force or too sudden movement can easily break my partner's wrist.
    But I don't see any general rule to what is more or what is less difficult and in which of arts. There are some movements and forms that I am able to execute pretty well from the start, there are some I am struggling to figure out for weeks. There are some I am good doing them on right side, but bad when doing on left.
    Then there is also the factor of different practice partners. Some are skinnier, some have more muscle, some are extremely flexible. In practicing pure forms with very low resistance when both sides know how to move is different when the other side uses his/her all and is like unmovable brick wall.

    But I would definitely find any other new art somehow more difficult than the one I am training in for a while.
    It is like learning new language. In the beginning it seems awfully complicated, but after some time of studying and practicing you are able to hold a conversation.
     
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  11. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    When it was also a new skill, I learned it fast.
     
  12. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    He explains them both fine. Actually I feel he explains the hapkido better sometimes. It's just harder for me to learn.
     
  13. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    A lot of people say grappling is more natural. When kids get into a fight, what do they naturally do? Grab and push and throw.
     
  14. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Some. Others punch and kick.
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't think of anything in grappling I'd consider as easy to learn to do as a basic punch. And I can't think of anything in grappling I consider as difficult to learn to do as a jump-spin kick. But I think those extremes are telling. Most of the techniques (not the forms) in striking are individually simpler to learn, IMO, until you get to the complex things. Turning (spinning) kicks are at least as complex as the average grappling movement. Jumping kicks are about as complex as the simplest grappling locks (I didn't use "movement", because the simplest grappling movement would be something like grip fighting).

    The forms and drills involved in many TMA increase the complexity of the art, and I suspect that's partly on purpose (the way they are often taught today - not sure whether that was part of the original purpose or not).
     
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  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It's more natural, but more complex. Think of the first three or four things you learned in strikes (techniques, not forms). Compare their complexity to the first three or four things you learned in Hapkido. And then consider the specificity needed for a given grappling technique to be applicable - especially things like wrist locks - because that's part of learning the technique to competency.

    There may be a confounding factor here, too. I seem to recall (perhaps incorrectly?) that most of the Hapkido students there are already graded in TKD. So he may be teaching to their level, dealing with them as advanced students learning a new portion of the curriculum, rather than treating them as beginners. That's if I'm remembering that correctly.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I do think grappling is (well, was when I was a kid) the more common beginning of a fight, unless someone was REALLY mad. But that grappling was push and tackle (not throw), which is the brute-force side of grappling, and I can't think of any grappling style that realistically includes running tackles and things like that, because they have too high a failure cost.
     
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  18. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    The rule is you have to either be a TKD black belt, or be an adult. I started Hapkido when I was an orange belt. However, it is true that a lot of our students were TKD black belts before they started, and I was a TKD black belt before I got serious.

    However, I think it comes down to a couple things. Class size and passion. In Taekwondo we often have 15-25 students per class. In Hapkido the biggest class we've ever had is 7. So we are able to get more detailed information and feedback. And with TKD, his passion is mostly in teaching kids, and even though his teaching style is a little bit different with the adults, it's clear his passion is teaching kids. His other passion seems to be Hapkido. (Not to sound like he doesn't like teaching adults TKD, but hopefully you know what I mean).
     
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  19. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Unless you consider football a martial art.
     
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  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I can see how that would color the teaching approach. I suspect I'm much more interesting when I teach grappling than striking. I consider them equally important, but I personally enjoy the nuances of grappling much more - and the "fiddling" that comes with delving into things like aiki.
     
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