kata?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by senseiblackbelt, May 26, 2016.

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    My point is - and has always been - that no test inside the school is what I'd consider full verification of physical self-defense. The program you mentioned isn't physical self-defense (and can be executed on larger scale), so can be measured with real-world statistics. That's how it's done with corporate training (your comparison). Let's get something comparable to physical SD testing from the corporate world: policies regarding how to respond to bank robbery. There are some basic tenets that every bank follows. They seem to be effective at keeping people from getting hurt, limiting loss, and helping capture robbers. I say "seem to be", because there simply aren't many bank robberies to test them with. These are not ever going to be validated with the same kinds of statistics as the program you mentioned, nor the kinds of measurements that could be put around, for instance, training tellers to count money in a specific way to prevent cash errors.

    The same issue exists with physical self-defense training. If I have 100 students, chances are almost none of them will be in a physical altercation in a given year. Let's say 10 get in a "situation", and 8 de-escalate it, and 2 have to do something physical. That's too small a sample for any validity from a statistical perspective. I could pull apart what happened in each one if I have video (people's memories are simply to plastic to use for this), but each attack is so unique, I can't really draw any conclusions other than whether a specific technique that was used did or did not work in that isolated situation. The variables are too many to be able to draw many conclusions from either failure or success (skill and size of the attacker, element of surprise, fear/anger, ground, limited space, people nearby or not, skill and size of the defender, etc.).

    So, what do we do? We test in the school. I can't call it valid testing on the order one can do with training for competition, but it's the best anyone can really manage. We simulate attacks we, individually, wouldn't choose. We test against common (and some uncommon) attacks, with different levels of commitment and skill. We spar, to test against someone who knows what they're doing. But none of that can accurately replicate the situation of an actual attack in the street.
     
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  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I repeat that self-defense isn't a claim. It's a result. I train people to better defend themselves. I have ample anecdotal evidence to support my belief in what we do. I have trained alongside bouncers and cops who have used our techniques in their work. I've trained alongside folks who have had to use what we do in self-defense situations. I've had the chance to compare notes with people using similar principles and techniques from other arts, who have used them in the wild.

    You want to say it's meaningless to claim I can help someone learn to defend themselves simply because I can't do what I can for folks I've helped prepare for competition. With competition there's ample opportunity to validate in real-world scenarios, since the school is pretty close to the "real-world" situation for the competition. Then, we can assess the results after a competition. If we repeat that latter part a few times, we actually get enough input to make valid conclusions.

    No, we can't do that with training for self-defense. So we use the best evidence available. Would you prefer that I simply tell students it's useless to try to get better at defending themselves, and they should go home and watch TV?
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, that is a claim. But your earlier statement said self-defense was a claim. Yes, I do claim to train people to defend themselves. Unless you have some reasonable evidence that I'm not doing that - at least as good as what evidence I have to the contrary - then what's the real issue here? You seem to be trying to make a point, but you just keep going around the fact that I said there's no statistically valid verification for any physical self-defense program. This is not a problem with the programs - it's just the reality of the situation.
     
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Just to address this paragraph specifically:

    I never said you can't test self-defense. I said you can't do a test that is a truly, statistically valid verification. Nothing anyone can do in a school is a fully valid test of self-defense. But we do test it (as I said in my other reply to this message). I'm just a stickler for that term: valid. I wish we had a way to do what sport can do, but it has something we don't: they can accurately recreate their "real world" any time they wish.

    I take that back, I don't wish we could do that. I don't actually want anyone to get attacked, and a large number of real attacks is the only thing that would be scientifically valid for assessing efficacy of physical technique.
     
  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    So. What you said here.

    As has been discussed many times, the only full verification possible for self-defense is in a real attack. There are too few of those for anything we could call actual verification for self-defense purposes. Competition (or some similar sparring exercise) is the only reliable verification of skill-on-skill, but is not valid for self-defense verification.


    For a sport to be training for self defence. We would also need anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness in the wild. Which it has in spades by the way.

    Effectively negating the difference between sport and self defence in the first place. Due to anecdotal evidence both methods are training for self defence.

    At which point we may as well compare skill on skill.
     
  6. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    You don't think training to a standard that can't be assessed isn't a problem?
     
  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've never said sport training isn't useful for developing self-defense skill. Any good physical training is. The more you work on attacks that are likely to occur in the wild, the more useful the training is. So, if we start with simple physical conditioning (strength, cardio, etc.), those are slightly useful for self-defense. Then we move far down the continuum to martial arts. Sport training doesn't train for street attacks, but it trains for attacks and is often (not always - some styles are too soft) quite good for self-defense preparation. One notch further down (just barely) is training that focuses specifically on developing responses for attacks in the street. Assuming equal levels of training, you'd expect the school teaching preparation for a specific thing to produce better results. So, if someone is planning to enter a TKD competition, they'd be best trained in a TKD school that trains for that specific type of competition. But they'd be ill-served by using an excellent Judo school for that training.

    Using sport training to prep for self-defense has one disadvantage and two advantages. The disadvantage is that self-defense is not what you train for there, so there are things taught that are no applicable to the street (in MMA gyms only a few of these, in some sports there are more) and there are things not taught because they aren't useful in competition (like making all movements useful against a knife attack, because the defender often doesn't realize a knife is in play). The two advantages: tons of sparring (usually more than you see in self-defense schools) and a chance to work with people who train more intensely. The average self-defense student is going to commit 3-5 hours a week to their training. We focus on what is most effective to do with those few hours, without needing them to be as highly fit as I'd require if they were training for MMA competition.

    So, if someone has a lot of hours and is young enough for the abuse and wants to get better at defending themselves, they're probably at least equally served getting into more competition, and perhaps best served by cross-training. If they have fewer hours or don't want the abuse, the more reasonable solution is a school that teaches with a focus on self-defense.

    To my mind, the only real difference between sport training and self-defense training comes down to two things: what you're training for (focusing down to just what works for those situations: sport or street), and level of abuse (in the case of harder-contact sports like Judo, MMA, etc.). Now, there's another differentiating factor, but it's a difference in the student. I know nobody who trains for MMA, for instance, who doesn't train a significant number of hours and works on getting very fit. I know lots of students in self-defense schools who don't make that commitment (and that's just a different set of priorities). I don't think training for MMA competition is an effective approach for someone who's ready to commit 3 hours a week. They'll get faster results from a good self-defense-oriented program, because that's who it's designed for. Likewise, a younger, more athletic person who has lots of energy and time can leverage the intensity and focus of MMA training, and may be better served there, because that's who it's designed for.
     
  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I never said it couldn't be assessed. I said it can't be assessed in any statistically valid way. See my reference to training bank employees on how to handle a robbery. Just because the results can't be assessed in a statistically valid way, that doesn't mean you can't do what has (anecdotally) worked best.
     
  9. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    But wait. Is there any difference in the anecdotal results?

    I am not suggesting one or the other is good bad or indifferent at this point. Just you have defined a difference and then measured one method by anecdotes. If you are going to use a standard it should be consistent.

    And no i wouldn't expect a school that teaches a specific thing to get better results. I would expect a school that gets better results to get better results. What you have created there is a narrative based logic. And works because self defence competansy is unverifiable.

    Now where you can make distinctions is things like knife defence. Because you can test that. You give one guy a fake knife and the other guy either gets stabbed or dosent.

    If your system does not work there. Then you can address it there.

    You don't turn around and say it would have been different with a real knife unless you are actually testing with a real knife and can show a difference.

    (because then you are making an empty claim)

    To validate an idea. You have to show where it works. It has to be practical somewhere first. Before we get all crazy with hypotheticals and anecdotes.
     
  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Again, you seem to be ignoring that I never said there was no validation. I said there cannot be what I'd consider statistically valid validation. There simply isn't enough data for any results to be considered valid.

    And, no, I did not create a narrative-based logic. I stated something that is universally logical: if you train for something, you should get better results in that thing than if you train in something else, assuming equally good training in both cases. There's nothing really arguable in that statement because of the "assumign equally good training in both cases". If I took your training, then took an equivalent training (same basic principles and approach) from another instructor who cut out the bits that weren't street-relevant and emphasized some bits that weren't ring-relevant, I should get better results in the street (and worse results in the ring). If not, the training isn't equivalent.

    As I've said, we do validate where we can. And, yes, I can say quite emphatically that a real knife in a real attack is different than a fake knife in the dojo. This is true for anyone who has a normal emotional range, because the fake knife isn't very scary, but the real knife is. Is the physics different? No. But the psychology is, and that matters a lot in any physical situation, perhaps more so in self-defense situations.

    Oh, and anecdotes ARE verification - you just have to take them for what they are worth, since they only represent a single example. To not use them would be to ignore the only evidence we can hope for that actually comes from a real-world occurrence.
     
  11. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Purple Belt

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    A kata is an excercise in whixh we practice offensive and defensive techniques with an imaginary Opponent

    Kata is very effective in real fight too speacially if you have good stances strikes and kicks and foot manuvers
     
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  12. UqaabKamikaze

    UqaabKamikaze Orange Belt

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    I too thought Katas were useless in fight as they have some regular and defined movements which may not be useful in dynamic undefined fights. Then I watched Rick Clark's videos on YouTube and MJW's never back down no surrender and read some books on katas. Now I think they are most important part of a Martial Art.

    Sent from my Karbonn A2+ using Tapatalk
     
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  13. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Kata/forms will help you learn how to fight because they teach you the proper form/body mechanics of the techniques that your art employs. They won't help prepare your reflexes because they consist of a predetermined set of techniques. To get the reflexes you need, you will need to spar. However, the importance of forms cannot be stressed enough.
     
  14. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Actually kata and forms do help improve reflexes. There 2 main components that affects the speed of your reflex.
    1. Natural reaction
    2. Thinking

    No matter how fast you can consciously do punch, it still won't be faster than a well tuned natural reaction. The closer you can get your technique to operate as a natural reaction the faster your reflex for delivering that technique will be. The less thinking that you do with delivering your technique the faster your reflex will for delivering that technique.

    I always tell student and people that they have to trust the form and the technique, that it will do what it's intended to do. If you don't trust the technique, then you are slowing your reaction because now you are trying to alter the technique in an effort to force it to work as you think it should work. By doing kata you are training muscle memory which goes a long way to reduce how much thinking you are doing to execute a technique. This is why we practice Kata and forms for technique, power, and speed. Kata also takes an unnatural movement and turns it into a natural movement. I've been sparring with Jow Ga so long that I don't remember how I used to fight before Jow Ga. My Jow Ga techniques now feel like something I've always done in fighting.
     
  15. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    By "reflexes," I mean reacting to the way an opponent attacks, which is something you cannot know until you ARE being attacked.

    I might have a habit of always attacking with a right hook as my opening move, but what if you fight someone else whose first move is a right side kick?

    That is something you won't learn through forms alone.
     
  16. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Then your low block from the kata should fire. sparring teaches more about timing which is different than reflex.
     
  17. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Have you guys ever think about to create your own form/kata in the following way?

    - Create 20 of 3 moves combo.
    - Link those 20 combos in a logic sequence.

    For example.

    1. front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick,
    2. jab, cross, hook,
    3. hammer fist, groin kick, face punch,
    4. hook, back fist, uppercut,
    5. foot sweep, leading arm jam, neck choke,
    6. hook, back kick, spin back fist,
    7. hip throw, inner hook, outer hook,
    8. leg twist, leg lift, leg block,
    9. leg seize, twist and spring, outer bowing,
    10. foot sweep, leg block, front cut,
    11. ...

    What's your opinion about this approach?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  18. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Some of this is similar to the drills that I do. But much of it can be found in the form that we train but not in the same combo order
    Things found in the form = Everything except, roundhouse kick, spinning back fist, hip throw, (not sure what twist and spring is or outer bowing or frong cut)
    Things that we drill = Things that aren't in our form. Traditionally our form doesn't have a roundhouse kick, or a spinning back fist., we have a similar backfist but it's not spinning. It's more like a 180, front to rear.

    I don't see anything wrong with this, but that just may be my system because our forms are traditionally made of fighting combos and single strikes.


    For example.

    1. front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick,
    2. jab, cross, hook, (I drill
    3. hammer fist, groin kick, face punch,
    4. hook, back fist, uppercut,
    5. foot sweep, leading arm jam, neck choke,
    6. hook, back kick, spin back fist,
    7. hip throw, inner hook, outer hook,
    8. leg twist, leg lift, leg block,
    9. leg seize, twist and spring, outer bowing,
    10. foot sweep, leg block, front cut,
     
  19. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    After you have created your form and include it into your style, your style will have roundhouse kick and spinning back fist. Will that be nice?

    I used to tell my friends who trains different MA systems, "What I know is mine. What you know will be mine too."
     
  20. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    9 pages and people still can't agree on exactly what kata are or what they're good for...
     
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