Is It Possible?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Kaygee, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    I'm not much of a "forms guy" myself these days, but the reason for training in a school isn't just for new forms, it is for training partners. I've never met anyone who just trained alone in their backyard by themself who was any good. Solo training is a portion of your training regime, it can't teach you timing, it can't teach you the pain of sucking up a shot and keeping going, it can't teach you sensitivity, and it can't measure progress. Practicing alone will not make you awesome at self-defense.
     
  2. Kaygee

    Kaygee Blue Belt

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    Yeah, well, outside of getting into a frikkin cage with someone, there is no school around here that will risk being able to train with someone where it would actually benefit your time, speed, ability to take a hit, etc.

    I see your point, but I would not be able to find that type of training anyway. Nearly all of the schools I have visited state it is because of "insurance reasons". I am not going to learn how to fight or defend myself by doing weak *** point sparring. I attended some MMA classes and, while we did go to town on each other, there were so many rules and concentration on take downs, getting points, ring control and using the cage to escape, that the feeling of "realness" disappeared.
     
  3. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The after black forms are really important. Not the fact that they're different forms, but that you're learning them in a different way and understanding them more. As far as self defense is concerned, you probably know enough now, just practice with a friend every once in a while so you dont lose your technique. But if you want to fully understand your martial art, you have to go on to levels higher then you're currently at. As for lacking the vision, yes you do, simply because you havent yet learned the application to compare the differences between your comprehension and others that are below you. And you're discrediting them when you say "Which is what I am trying to find out. If I already know all of the basic moves, wouldn't I be just as good as any 2nd or 3rd dan if I practiced on my own for the next 15 or twenty years?". Its more than that, they are not practicing on their own, they are learning more about them from masters (generally).


    That being said, if, as you said, you only care about self defense and not the rest of it, you're most likely good as you are now.
     
  4. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    One quick question though..you said you know how to box, didnt you learn boxing for about 2 weeks before quitting that gym to go back to your old one?
     
  5. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I think you raise a good question and the thread is one of value. I will give you my straight-forward, blunt and to-the-point professional opinion;

    The Dan/kyu/gup system is broken beyond repair. It means nothing outside of your own school and maybe...maybe your organization. There are no universal standards from one art to the next and indeed even within the same art. It is a personal thing only. And it isn't really needed or necessary to excel in the martial arts. Indeed, how many arts don't have belts?

    The longer you're in the arts, the less belts mean. At least that is the way it should be and yes, there will be those that put more emphasis on belts/titles than they should in my not so humble opinion. I received promotion last summer from our GM. I haven't gotten around to picking up the cert or the belt and to be honest, I'm not in any big hurry to get them. I haven't worn a belt since around 2005 with the exception of one photo shoot. This isn't disrespecting the rank or the accomplishment. But a colored or black piece of cloth isn't what I'm about. No bad guy has ever asked me what rank I am as I'm introducing them to an accelerated directional gravitational descent to a face-down prone position on a firm surface. The main thing is whether or not I can do it.

    Now, that is just me. For those in a sport martial art, they may need a certain rank to compete. For a martial art that centers on SD, rank isn't needed. And in many arts, nothing new is really introduced after black belt anyway. I do not consider a new form that is a rehash of old material as new material. So if your art indeed has NEW information/training after black belt, then it may be worth the time/effort/money to play the rank game. If it doesn't then save your money and workout hard solo or better yet, with other martial artist that you can teach and they can teach you.

    I've posted this story here multiple times. George Matteson was the first American BB in Uechi Ryu back in the 50's. While in Okinawa he trained with 3 Okinawans that wore white belts. They were obviously NOT white belts. He later learned they were Godan (5th Dan). He asked why they wore white belts. They answered to keep their top closed. They never got around to buying a black one and didn't think it would improve their Karate if they did.
     
  6. Kaygee

    Kaygee Blue Belt

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    I went for a month.
    The students that were there for years were doing the same thing that I was doing, but the difference was, they were doing it for years.
    They taught me the footwork and some combos and I hit some targets.

    This would have been rinse/repeat for the next up-teen years. The same with martial arts.
    The basics are all that I need. All that I need to improve is a pair of gloves and a punching bag at home.....I have the gloves! I plan on getting a bag.

    The only difference is that I will not have someone looking over my shoulder giving me corrections when needed. But the corrections I would have received are not going to be the defining factor in a fight, because I strongly doubt that in the unfortunate event that I did have to defend myself, I would have to defend myself against another trained fighter because 99% of trained fighters are not aggressive.

    So it will be against some punk that throws haymakers. I do not need ten years of boxing or five years of karate to beat that....

    All I need are basics, brains and a fast running speed!
     
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    that's kinda my point. but martial arts can be an avenue to that an it shouldn't require a shodan to make it happen.
     
  8. Kaygee

    Kaygee Blue Belt

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    Exactly my point and very well said! What belt color you are holding at that time means nothing!
     
  9. rframe

    rframe Green Belt

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    Not at all, I'd say most people with a year or two of martial arts training will be probably have the awareness and basic tools to defend against an untrained drunk/bully. To that same point I think that if someone thinks that having a black belt means they are equipped to defend against any street attack, then they are not realistic.

    Many factors would affect the outcome of a street defense situation, including the skill and motivation of the attacker along with the state of mind, experience, and the nature of the art being practiced by the defender. Belt rank would be one of the last things I'd really put into the equation.
     
  10. rframe

    rframe Green Belt

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    If your goal is only self defense, then a traditional art like karate or kung-fu is probably not what you want. Look for a modern hand to hand combat system, krav maga, and non-sport BJJ. Traditional arts will heavily emphasize perfection of technique and character. If you just want to learn how to punch someone hard... that's going to be boring for you.
     
  11. Guy Preston

    Guy Preston Orange Belt

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    So I have to ask....

    If you've come to the conclusion that all you need is some basics, and can train the rest yourself from there...

    Why the thread after thread of searching for a school, discussions on politics, etc.. In fact, why are you starting threads in the general martial arts section, and not the general self defence section?

    Not that any of this is a problem, as there's been some good conversation - just curious about the quest, that just as it appears you've sorted with a club you loved, you think of giving up and going solo???
     
  12. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    So your plan is to practice working a bag by yourself, knowing that you are training (and training poorly) for the lowest common denominator. How many fights have you gotten in recently that you need to dedicate X amount of your time for training?
     
  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If you took boxing lessons for a month, you have seen the basics (jab, cross, hook, uppercut). That is a long, long, long way from having mastered them. A good boxing coach can teach you a lot about landing effective punches without being hit in return and it will take years to learn it all. I can pretty much guarantee you won't learn those lessons just by hitting a heavy bag at home.

    Now, will you ever need those lessons for self-defense? Who knows. 98% of self-defense has very little to do with fighting anyway. If you live your life right, avoid dangerous places and people, control your ego and temper, and generally stay out of trouble then you may never have to throw a punch at anyone. On the other hand, if you get unlucky or screw up there are some dangerous folks out there. It's up to you how much effort you want to put into developing fighting skills.
     
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  14. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    I think this perception is why so many people quit after getting their black belt. They know it all and they can see from what the more advanced students are doing that it is just more of the same and that the forms are just for show or competition, nothing to do with self defence! If you train in such a school then I feel sorry for you because they obviously have less than half of the martial art story. I would hazard a guess that most karate schools just teach 'schoolboy' karate as that is what we were all taught 30 or 40 years ago and the students from then are the high ranking instructors now. If they haven't developed with more recent information as it has come available then they can't teach at a higher level. I left my original organisation for that very reason.

    I realise that you have limited options for your training but if what you see in your new school is what you have described, then keep looking. Don't stop training where you are as that will be much, much better than training alone, but keep your eyes open for a good school. In fact, I would say keep looking for an exceptional school.

    And, if the forms as you are being shown won't help you fight ... that's an even more compelling reason to find a school that can show you that the forms will help you fight. :asian:
     
  15. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    No, you would not be as good as a good 2nd or 3rd dan, unless you had really good training partners to drill and spar with, and the watchful eye of a good coach to give you pointers as needed. Actually, that's true of training regardless of style or belt color. I currently train under a couple of Eskrima guys who never earned a high belt rank in any style, but they've spent many decades training with some good people and testing their skills. And they've trained some good fighters too. It's not about the belt, it's about the quality of training. Nobody gets really good training alone without good partners.
     
  16. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    When I became a brown belt in karate, my instructor said that I was now responsible for correcting his form so that he would be kept to standard too.

    Without someone who knows what they're doing, your form will change. If that's OK by you...fine. But practicing literally on your own, without a partner, is apt to leave your technique sterile.

    Typically belt rank is based on time-in or contributions to the org. after 5th degree or so, but before that there may be new material.
     
  17. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Depends on why you are studying martial arts in the first place. I dont go to class to learn to defend myself. I carry a gun, cell phone, and avoid bad situations for that. I train to learn new things keep my mind working, keep my body moving, and to release stress and more importantly I just enjoy it.

    But to you point no you don't need to be a black belt to defend yourself I believe self preservation and defense is born into you. My three year old knows how to hit kick bite and scream. He defends himself just fine against his brother. He's never been taught anything ita just natural. Obviously adding training can make you better but watching newer people spar I think they are actually worse because they are using techniques that are new to them and not yet natural so they hesitate to think "what next" instead of just reacting naturally. So that's where time which also usually means rank comes in it takes several years of training for certain things to become a natural reaction. Sticking with a martial art for the time it take to become a natural reaction will usually equal higher ranking.
     
  18. alburyscott

    alburyscott White Belt

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    I think (in my very humble opinion) that learning to fight is very different from martial arts in many cases. Now if you have no need to make friends, have some laughs, no need to move in a way you may not otherwise, no need to have the stress reduction and self confidence boosts that happen in class, no you may not need a class. You can probably do the basics, learn to punch and kick hard, and you are right, for the lowest common denominators, that will work (maybe).

    But.......

    If you are never taught how to apply those things, and you never "pressure test" those skills, how will you know? Being that (from what I have read) confidence is a big part of real self defence, how can you ever really be very confidant with your ability? How do you know how a person moves if all you do is punch a bag? How will you know how you cope with being hit if you have never been hit? Yes there are restrictions in a club setting. No you will not go hammer and tongs, but personally, I would no longer train in a club that did not spend time teaching basics, but I would also no longer train where this is not "pressure testing", even if it is a limited amount.

    I also love my training friends, some of them have become some of my best mates. We have shared pain, we have shared a little blood, and we put our health and safety in each others hands, so we have to learn to trust each other. I appreciate the small corrections. I appreciate learning about the nature of violence, the psychology, the reality of it. Mostly, I like the confidence it has given me in all areas of life, that has transferred to home, work as well as the street, and for me, because of all that, my training is cheap, and worth every cent (and then some).
     
  19. Kaygee

    Kaygee Blue Belt

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    No school around here "pressure tests" any of the skills that you are taught anyway, outside of worthless point sparring.
     
  20. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    IF your interested in pressure testing you could try to enter tournaments your in Philly they have amature MMA tournaments and full contact karate tournament in that area all the time. There is one coming up in the next few weeks in Wilmington Del someone from my gym is entered in.
    But in reality " worthless"point sparring is alot better then shadow boxing and hitting a bag at least when sparing the opponent moves and can hit back. We do controlled yet full speed and power sparring at my dojo your welcome to come by next time we spar I figure your about an hour to hour and a half away from me.123
     

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