How much do you feel technique evaluations are subjective?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Acronym, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. Acronym

    Acronym Master of Arts

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    This is a very interesting topic not just for TaeKwonDo but since TKD is what I primarily do I will post it here.

    Just to take an example outside of it: Freddy Roach, the famous Boxing coach, had a heavy bag clip up with a pretty famous fighter hitting the bag.

    It looked solid to my minds eye, yet some coaches commentating on youtube felt it was terrible, others polar opposite.

    It's pretty amazing how opinions can divide as much as bad or good over an elite competitor, it's not even a disagreement in spectrum...

    So basically, is there any objectivity in martial arts? I'm starting to feel that there really isn't.
     
  2. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There's objectivity in specific styles. Not really objectivity in martial arts as a whole, as what is good for one art is bad in another. Typically as a result of underlying concepts for the art.

    There's also people who will say someone that is good in a martial art is bad because their technique isn't textbook. For instance, in boxing, dropping your hands is bad technique. And definitely not what the textbook, or any trainer, will teach you. But for someone like Prince Naseem, if you look at his abilities (speed and durability primarily), it actually is good technique for him, and worked well. You have to take into account those extra abilities, which most people don't, so you'll get comments saying it's bad.

    And the key part here is, there's multiple levels. When you learn the fundamentals, you learn that they're good. You haven't yet learned them well enough to learn when there can be exceptions, so you people breaking those rules, not understanding why, as bad. And those are the people that are the loudest on things like youtube.
     
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  3. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah. If it knocks people out. Then it works.

    Mohamed Ali isn't exactly text book on a bag. But what he does works.

    Subjective.



    Objective.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  4. Acronym

    Acronym Master of Arts

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    But Alis technique would be F If he didn't have hand speed. Surely good technique should stand on its own regardless of speed?
     
  5. Acronym

    Acronym Master of Arts

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    What do you know about when people you never met learned something well enough? A simple guard is not technique IMO. It takes no skill, it's just a preference
     
  6. MartialMasterTeddy

    MartialMasterTeddy Yellow Belt

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    People thought a jab of Boxing goes to 100% extension. Someone thought a real jab goes to 98% extension. Who is Right?
     
  7. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    There is more to it than that. There are a whole bunch of reasons ali was so good. Which were explained to me by a boxing coach once but I have forgotten all the little details.

    So it works because he utilised it in a specific way.
     
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  8. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    Its a mixture, there is some objectivity, then some subjectivity. Like what does the person/group place value on? And then what is obejctively good to bad, like if you are meant to do a jab, there are only so many ways to do that right. (id conser a left straight a valid suppliment to a jab or a inbetween power one, but there is a exaple of it id consider the jab being a honary or a striaght as valid, someone else might not)

    There is subjectivity within some objective boundaries. And the objective boundaries are really what is the goal on what you are doing and whats it for.


    And for the Jab conversation, i dont really properly jab, its a weaker or a proper straight just with my left hand, thats habit for me and that sort of works for what i want. (if i need a jab id rather palm someone in the face, obviously cant be doing that in boxing)
     
  9. Acronym

    Acronym Master of Arts

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    Of course Ali was great but it was due to timing and speed, which has nothing to do with technique. He punched from his toes.. Rarely sat down on his punches. He also flared his elbow when jabbing
     
  10. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Form follows function.
     
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  11. Acronym

    Acronym Master of Arts

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    Ali had three wars against Frazier. Foreman raped Frazier twice. That's the difference between technique and finesse.
     
  12. Acronym

    Acronym Master of Arts

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    And Ken Norton..... Cannon fodder for Foreman, wars for ALi. Even Earnie Shavers smashed Norton.
     
  13. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah and you look at that. Analyse why things worked and things didn't and that is how technique is created.

    Rather than look at a technique judge it correct even if the guy lost using it.

    This applies with natural or trained talents like speed or strength.
     
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  14. Acronym

    Acronym Master of Arts

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    If Ali properly sat down on his punches, he could have steamrolled them. But he never wanted to learn proper boxing. Angelo Dundee said this. Ali fought the same way since he started and it worked
     
  15. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a concept, popularized by biologist Jack Cohen and mathematician Ian Stewart, known as "lies-to-children." The idea is that reality is so inherently complex that when you teach a subject, you are always necessarily presenting an inaccurate oversimplification. The hope is that even though the statements you present are technically false, they can at least be an approximation which leads the student to a more accurate understanding.

    Despite the "lies-to-children" label, Cohen and Stewart held that the same principle applies to any explanation that a human mind can grasp. We always start with a grossly, oversimplified model of reality and hopefully can move on to models which are more nuanced, complex, and less inaccurate.

    In my experience, this applies to martial arts just as much as it does to science or mathematics. I give my students rules and principles to follow, but I periodically remind them that this is just the way to do things for now, that in time they will learn when to break all the rules I give them.

    If you analyze the fights of top boxing champions, you will find that many of them break the "rules" of what most boxing coaches would teach as good form ... or at least what they would teach as good form to beginning/intermediate fighters. In fact, I've seen one top fighter or another break almost every rule of "good technique" that I would teach to a beginner. Does that mean that these champions have bad technique and are just coasting on physical attributes like speed or strength? Not at all. It means that they understand the rules well enough to know how and when to break them.

    Every variation of human movement presents a trade-off of one kind of functionality for another in a given context. The standard "good technique" for a given fighting art is generally just a collection of design choices to produce movement patterns where the trade-offs work out pretty well for most practitioners. Most great fighters develop their own movement patterns where the trade-offs of one advantage or disadvantage for another suit their particular body, personality, and skill set. If a great fighter fights with his hands down, it's not because he doesn't know better. It's because he is getting certain advantages from doing so which outweigh the disadvantages. Most likely he will have other modifications to his movement as well which minimize the disadvantages and maximize the benefits from that choice.

    Since Ali was mentioned, here are some detailed breakdowns of aspects of his technique:


     
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  16. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Would you happen to know what clip that is, or who the well known fighter was? Just curious.
     
  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    We talked along similar lines in class last night. A beginner is going to do and process information different from a black belt or season person.
     
  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    The proof is in the pudding. People make pudding differently.
     
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  19. MartialMasterTeddy

    MartialMasterTeddy Yellow Belt

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    Historians believe 'The Vedas' to be mythical. Yet, all its outlandish Scientific assertions have been proven and reproven over and over. Perhaps it, The Vedas, was subjective and now today it is objective.
    It can change.
    But Hatred doesn't have to be subjective always it might be an objective sometimes.
     
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  20. Acronym

    Acronym Master of Arts

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    This one. Btw 5 years later, I don't think it looks good anymore... So that shows you how ones perception changes with more references.

    Same is true for myself...I can look back at clips of myself that I thought were Ok at the time, that I now think are subpar

    123
     

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