Does pointing out old masters easily beat young men IGNORE that these masters are quite FIT?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by 7BallZ, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. 7BallZ

    7BallZ Yellow Belt

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    Inspired from a question I saw at AllExpert.

    Self Defense: strength, silverback gorilla, bob sapp

    Be sure to read the above link because its fundamental tot he question and my upcoming details are so entwined you won't comprehend the rest of this post without reading the AllExpert response by Marc MacYoung at least once.

    On the other far extreme often prevalent in the TMA, I notice many traditionals disregard strength believing that if you have technique, skill, and strategy, you don't need strength at all. This is especially true in the dumbed down standards of Western schools and the McDojo ridden markets of North America.

    To bring back the bull analogy mentioned in the link, is the old bull who prefers to slip sideways and attack from an angle STRONG? Despite being old age and weaker than the young bull he always beat?

    Because right now TMAs in the West have dumbed down to the point there is almost little emphasize on physical conditioning (esp strength training like pushups and weights) and like the asker in that question said man "masters" are saying its skills and techniques and brains you should all focus on rather than conditioning.

    If the old bull was 0 at strength, would attacking from another angle and slipping be ineffective no matter how well executed?

    I read an extremely overlooked fact about styles that rely on techniques and angle such is that the old school masters tended to be PHYSICALLY STRONG for their age. Sure a young weightlifter can probably overpower them in an arm wrestling match but these guys were in far better shape than most elderly of equal age and even many young kids today in obese America.

    In fact I recall the creator of Aikido was so strong that many of his younger and healthy students described his gripping power as monstrous that you felt our wrists or hands or ARMS period was going to break if he put pressure on it. And he was a dedicated weightlifter (or at least used weights heavily in his training) so he was out of the norm. I also remember reading that Mas Oyama, despite having arthritis because of old age, was still able to do lovely impressive feats and this is not attributed because not only due to his mastery of skills but also he was so physically strong in his youth that it carried to his old age and more importantly he never stopped training thus he was able to grow into an elderly years as still a reasonably fit person.

    Whats your take on this? Is the "old man easily crushing muscular young teen/college jocks in seconds" being proof of skill over strength incredibly overblown (and ignores key components such as these old men being light years ahead in healthy habits and physical state to their peers)?
     
  2. 23rdwave

    23rdwave Green Belt

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    Young or old, skill beats strength across all the martial arts. Strength plays a bigger part when the skill level is even.
     
  3. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    In this argument people I had found have a vested interest in proving either strength will prevail / skill will prevail, and maybe that position is determined by where that person sits them selves on that scale. I love Bob Sapp, Jx.
     
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  4. Human Makiwara

    Human Makiwara Yellow Belt

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    We are taught that skill outweighs strength. That said, sensei is a beast. Not only for his age but for any age. We do not slack on strength and conditioning but are taught that technique is paramount.
     
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  5. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Strength, mass, and the reaction times & agility granted by either youth or genetics matter. Anyone telling you they don't is selling something.

    Skill and training matter. They're a way to minimize or, in some cases, negate, the advantages of strength, mass, speed, and agility.

    There is no perfect sliding scale. 100 pounds extra mass is a huge advantage that will require a lot of training and skill to overcome. Can it be done? Yes. Will you be able to do it with X amount of training? I dunno, try it and find out. If you get beat down, then the answer was "no."

    And, of course, this well trod argument often fails to address intangibles such as dumb luck or the fact that even highly skilled, well trained fighters in their prime can (and do) make "dumb mistakes." Rousey had a 12-0 UFC career, ending 83% of her fights in the first round. Then she made a dumb mistake and now her UFC pro record is 12-1. Crap happens.

    No offense but, honestly, I think it's a dumb argument that deserves to be file-13ed along with the "Striking vs. Grappling" foolishness.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  6. Koshiki

    Koshiki Brown Belt

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    Anyway, I'd rather fight someone that significantly out-skilled me, or that significantly out-strength-ed me, than someone that significantly out-aggressive-ed me.

    But it's a silly question in many respects, because everything we're talking about is measurable in any real way. You mention 0 strength, but with literally 0 strength, you can't move.

    With enough skill you can negate or overcome strength. With enough strength you can overpower skill. With enough aggression you can blast right through a stronger, more skilled opponent simply because you are doing more, more rapidly, and you don't care about your safety.

    And all of that is highly dependent on luck.

    And you might argue that pretty much all of that most likely comes second to which person happens to hit first.

    So yes, with 0 strength, all your skill, aggression, and sheer dumb luck will likely be in vain; if you literally cannot move, you literally cannot fight. With 0 skill, it doesn't matter how hard you hit, if you are so slow and awkward that an untrained fool can just walk away from your strikes. With 0 aggression or will to fight, you just stand there, no matter your skill or strength. With 0 size you literally do not exist.

    But none of these things exist in absolutes. No one has 0 strength. There's a range, but generally it's within a comparable spectrum, even though there can be a large differential. On a 1-10 scale, most people have, say, between 4-7. Same goes for skill. Same for size. Same for aggressiveness in a certain instance. There are dozens of primary, important aspects in a "fight," a few of which are skill, size, and strength.

    When people focus on one, it's to draw attention to that aspect. When an older, weaker, slower person defeats a younger, stronger, faster person, we're surprised, and we focus on what created the unexpected result; was it skill, was it luck?. Same goes for a young, untrained person winning against a highly trained individual; was it natural physical ability, or did they just get lucky?

    So you're right, we're not seeing skill beating strength or vice versa, we're seeing the dozens of variables of one fighter overcoming the dozens of variables of the other, likely with quite a bit of luck, and to claim a victory was all due to skill is rather foolish.

    But what does it matter? We know that skill, strength, speed, agility, reactions, aggression, luck, size, weight, environment, tools, distractions, mindset, etc, etc, etc all have a large impact on how violence turns out, to varying degrees depending on the situation. It's not a question of skill versus strength.

    The topic is a bit like economics in one respect. You can't possibly look at the whole picture, so you focus on one element at a time, and make guesses about how it would affect things, ceteris paribus.
     
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  7. BujinBos

    BujinBos Yellow Belt

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    Why is this just not common sense? Technical skill will provide one with an advantage in an altercation. Greater physical attributes will give one an advantage in an altercation.


    It is up to the individual to determine how much time and effort into each for their own personal advantage. If you want to have more physical advantage then exercise. If you feel like your time is too limited, don’t. But understand the consequences and your personal limitations no matter what you are doing.
     
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  8. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Strength + Technique + Experience + Mentality (variously equated with terms like focus, controlled aggressiveness, emotional content, etc.) = best chance of success. Some arts emphasize some of these more than others, but you really need them all.

    Now if you go beyond "technique" to technology, the equation changes a lot. Weapons, for example, can reduce the need for strength. Clubs, somewhat. Blades, more so. Projectiles, a lot. Then there's the geek remotely piloting a drone, or my personal favorite, Giant Robots! :D

     
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  9. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Skill can beat strength.
    Strength can beat skill.
    A lot of other factors can also be decisive. Tactical preparation and superior weaponry are probably more important than either strength or skill in most situations.

    As far as the "old masters", anyone who has spent a lifetime training is going to try optimizing as many factors as possible in their favor. They may not have as much strength, speed, flexibility, or endurance as they had in their youth, but they will still try to maintain as much of those athletic attributes as possible under their current circumstances.
     
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  10. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    ^^^ THIS

    .
     
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  11. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a perfect example of why different arts are useful for different circumstances. When fighting Kaiju, you want an art which includes training in piloting giant mechs.
     
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  12. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    In general, the initial question is not easily arguable, as there are almost endless variables. And you really need to have technique, skill, and strength, all, to be the best martial artist you can be.

    Technique must be correct or skill cannot be attained. A greatly skilled person must first correctly learn a technique to be able to use skill. Strength may overcome poor technique or lack of skill, but cannot by itself defend against correct technique skillfully applied. Combine the three and you become a very daunting opponent.
     
  13. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I think what this boils down to is "some people can beat up other people."
    Shocking revelation!
     
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  14. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    In MA, there are some abilities that will increase with the amount of time that you have invested. Whether that line is linear, exponential (keep going up forever), or standard distribution (go down after the peak) may be questionable.

    Skill such as "head lock", if you spend 30 years on pole hanging, your head lock strength will be stronger than those who only spends 10 years on pole hanging.

     
  15. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Young people are carefree and will often exhibit poor skill, but if an old person decides to fight back, their shots are clean and their shots are final. That is the difference. An old Marine knows he is in big trouble if he loses, so, he is actually more dangerous than he was when in the service. :)
     
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  16. Rmada

    Rmada Yellow Belt

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    Is this the Martial Talk version of "rock paper scissors"? ;)
     
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  17. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think every martial practitioner should be training to improve their skill as well as their individual attributes. Train technique, cardio both aerobic and anaerobic, train strength. Every one of us should constantly be trying to improve and get better!
     
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  18. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I assume because people cant just loose to better guys. There has to be some sort of emotional escape clause.123
     

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