New Student: when will you quit?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Bill Mattocks, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm not arguing I'm explaining why I'm right.
     
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  2. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Unless I misread it, you directly called ip man an acknowledged, tested fighter, in the post hanzo quoted.
     
  3. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    And? The context was clear, Bruce Lee who was taught and did forms saying forms were pointless. The point wasn't about fighting it was about kata. it's irrelevant whether or not he was a fighter, though I have been reliably informed he was, because the post was about kata not fighting.
     
  4. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    ... what's kata? Is that short for like a type of underground cemetery?
    Loved the vid... spotted a haito uchi and uraken, never seen them used in tournaments like that, very cool!
     
  5. Leviathan

    Leviathan Yellow Belt

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    :stop: Most fights shown in the video are definitely not modern shotokan kumite, no way:

    - in your video they fight semi or full contact, they go for the ko, while shotokan sticks to light contact (point fighting). Landing a hard punch or a hard kick in a shotokan kumite will get you a penalty first and if you repeat it you'll be excluded from the competition. (Sometimes, unfair athletes even fake receiving a hard blow to try to get the judges to punish the opponent)
    - In your video they generally fight with bare knuckles and use no feet protection, in shotokan kumite gloves and feet protection are mandatory (see video below).
    - Quite a few techniques displayed are not from shotokan: jump knee kick, low kick, do mawashi keiten geri...

    So referring to this video to prove the efficiency of karate shotokan is simply adorning it with borrowed feathers.

    This is what modern Shotokan Kumite looks like (and no, I didn't write any of the bad comments under the video):



    There are many karate styles, which can be very different. It ranges from artistic shotokan to hard core kyokushin. That's why I was careful to refer to karate shotokan and not just karate.
     
  6. Leviathan

    Leviathan Yellow Belt

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    Shadow boxing, which I practised in Muay Thai, is usually done as a warm up and you don't spend countless hours going through a given choreography (jab, right cross, hop, turn left, hop hop, upper body swing... :writing: :writing: ). Katas and shadow boxing are totally different things.

    A tennis kata would be like: 3 quick steps to the right, arm swing, back to start, hop hop, 5 quick steps 15 degrees to the left, arm swing, 2 steps ahead, jumping to the right and arm swing etc. And don't do one step too much or go for the wrong angle. But no worry: you'll train that often and long enough to remember the choreography accurately. Of course no net, no ball, no opponent, no field with marks... (Maybe a racket in your hand?) :banghead: :yuck: :vomit:

    Benefits? Yeah if you consider the alternative is smoking while drinking beers and eating potato chips on the couch…
     
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  7. Leviathan

    Leviathan Yellow Belt

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    Yes, one can learn a lot from some videos on the net (not all), more than from many trainers. As an example I find your land mate Aaron Gasser a fantastic instructor. Here is - as an example - a great video about ushiro ura mawashi geri / spinning hook kick. Yes, he's a Tae Kwon Do instructor but the technique is also found in many martial arts and I can definitely learn a lot from such a video.



    As I said in my first post, I have no ambition to compete and I am fully aware of the fact that fighting skills require training with others. You can't do it all on your own.

    Finally, it is clear we have different opinions on martial arts but still I would like to ask you to remain respectful. We can argue and be hard on the subject but easy on the people. My first post was an answer to the question at the start, aimed at a hypothetical trainer who was asking a hypothetical student when he would quit. It's a discussion forum and I welcome diverging opinions, especially when they are backed up by facts.

    Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.
     
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  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Actually you are the disrespectful one by coming on here and posting some quite arrogant assumptions. Look up the empty cup analogy. You cannot come onto a site where many people have been doing martial arts for decades telling them that your opinion is correct and everyone else is wrong. it's not that your opinion is unwelcome, it's not but when you set yourself up as an expereienced expert and are clearly not all you will encounter is laughter.

    What does that even mean?

    Watching videos does not teach you how to do techniques correctly, at best it shows you others doing the techniques correctly but doesn't mean you can do them that way. You need someone to watch you and make those corrections that stop you damaging yourself, you may not think it hurts at the time but spend a while doing it correctly and you will end up with bad hips, etc.

    Kata is what I said it is, an individual training aid, you are making assumptions that are incorrect, that it is always the set style found in some karate styles.
    kata | Definition of kata in English by Oxford Dictionaries
     
  9. Leviathan

    Leviathan Yellow Belt

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    Why have you gone berserk? :rage:

    This thread is about when and why students leave. A hypothetical trainer asks a hypothetical student when he will leave and goes at great lengths over plausible reasons. As a several quitter from several trainers / dojos / styles I can report first hand what went wrong with some dojos and trainers, it's not always the student's "fault". And I am not assuming: I come up with facts and own experience. Now what did you expect? "Dear trainer I quit because your martial art is great / cause you're fantastic / cause that's exactly what I was looking for". :confused: When some dojos experience very high drop rates from new - and not so new - students you have to consider the possibility that the problem at least partly lies within the dojo / trainer / art itself. But can you?

    You've got more than 40 years of training "martial" arts? That doesn't allow you to behave as the Sun King faced with lèse-majesty. That doesn't make you omniscient or even open minded to unpleasant facts. Maybe you've brainwashed yourself in those years. 40 years spent in the same place won't make you discover the world. Maybe you're not used to people openly questionning a trainer or your art (although I was clearly referring to karate shotokan and not your style as I don't know it, maybe you overlooked that)...

    As many students who enter a shotokan dojo I questionned myself, the so called martial art, the trainer, looked around, put myself and my skills to the test, acquired new insights. And I am not the only one (see high drop rates of students).
     
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  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Now, that made me laugh, thank you for being so amusing. :D:D
     
  11. RichardB6

    RichardB6 White Belt

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    Thanks for sharing it.. it is really worth reading.
     
  12. Rick Franklin

    Rick Franklin Yellow Belt

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    I know this is an old post but I felt compelled to throw in my opinion about students quitting. I recently quit Tang Soo Do and probably martial arts in general so I sympathized more with the quitters than the stayers. In fact I read all the replies on here looking for a good rebuttal to the OP but not really getting it. Shotokan karate being fake is a popular complaint but really, the more hardcore martial arts still have lots of quitters. And for many of the same reasons as the traditional ones.
    For me, I thought about the mental gymnastics people have to go through to do a traditional martial art. All the pretense they have to accept and not question. It's very much like a religion. Karatekas may not share beliefs about the cosmos but their beliefs about who they are and what they're doing is just as religious as any priest or monk. You could see it dripping off every word in the OP, a smugness about what he had accomplished and a gentle head-shake over what those hapless new students were missing out on when they quit. He was living out a story in his head.
    So I tried to think of a past-time that didn't have all this baggage of identity surrounding it. But something that you might do for fun and might get better at the more you do it. Something like, say, juggling. No one becomes a great juggler in order to feel more manly or in order to feel safer walking down dark streets at night. I doubt many jugglers identify themselves as A JUGGLER right up there with being A SON and A FATHER and A HUSBAND, or any of the other big "roles" out there that people get their identity tied up with.
    Let's say you thought juggling looked like fun and you wanted to try it out. But in order to really learn to juggle (as opposed to mimicking YouTube videos and reading books which we all know isn't the REAL juggling), you had to join a society of LARPers. Let's call them the French Aristocracy. They pretend that they're the royal court of Louis the XIV, the Sun King.
    To learn to juggle, you must wear period-appropriate clothing including a wig and pantaloons. You start out as a lowly courtier and must bow before the actual royalty. The instructor is your Sun King and deserves commensurate praise. If you keep juggling, working hard at your craft, you might be promoted to a viceroy or duke. And then you can be really proud of what you accomplished.
    Maybe you see all this silliness and you think, hey I really do like to juggle and this is the best way to learn, so you swallow your pride and you learn all those French customs of 17th century aristocracy and you try to focus on enjoying the actual craft of juggling.
    There's no breaking character with the French Aristocracy. You can't just chat it up with a Duke like he's a regular guy or help him with a juggling technique if you see him struggling to keep five balls in the air. You can't tell the Sun King his wig looks ridiculous. When you run into one of the viceroys outside of juggling practice, maybe you are sure to tell him how much fun it is and how much you're learning but you definitely don't say how much the French Aristocracy is a drag and you'd rather just juggle.
    Even if you stick it out for years, and maybe you do get a little thrill when you get promoted to duke, still there's that side of you that knows it's all pretentious nonsense. A constant cognitive dissonance between the real you (who buys groceries and cleans up cat poop and wants to sleep in on Saturdays) and the "aristocratic" you whom you have to become to keep juggling. And you do like to juggle.
    Then you get injured. Let's say your juggling bowling balls and one falls on your foot. So you can't go to the meetings of the French Aristocracy for some time. Part of you is relieved. It's a lot of work to keep yourself performing like that. Like holding your breath underwater. Your injury improves in time and you think about going back to juggling but there's that hesitation. You know you can't break character once you get back on the bandwagon. And it's so nice to just be you when you're not there. But the juggling is fun! But damn that wig is stuffy. Your head is sweating like the whole time.
    Looking at martial arts like this, the real question seems to be why doesn't everyone quit?
    I guess there will always be those people who grew up on movies about the French Aristocracy. Who wanted to be Louis the XIV or Marie Antoinette when they were young. For them, the thrill of putting on that wig and those pantaloons, it takes them out of the mundanity of their daily life. And it's worth doing it for as long as they can, reveling in each French phrase, giving the royal curtsy to exactly the right depth. Looking at the unwashed masses and thinking, that guy has no idea what it feels like to be a duke or to juggle a bowling ball and a tennis ball at the same time. There's a pride in that.
    There will also be the people who love juggling so much that they decide it's worth dealing with all LARPing. Because juggling is just so much damn fun. They'll wear whatever wig they have to if it lets them keep juggling into a ripe old age. Maybe some of them decide to just juggle on their own. Set up a juggle room in their basement. Then they never have to wear a wig or utter a French phrase again. They can still enjoy juggling, but it's not quite the same without all their friends to juggle with. But hey, it's something.
     
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  13. Leviathan

    Leviathan Yellow Belt

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    @ Rick Franklin: interesting comparison. I must stress however that hard core martial arts have an advantage over light contact / choreographic arts:

    - in Muay Thai / MMA you can always put something to the test by trying it out in sparring / the ring (as long as you respect some basic rules though) and see if it works;

    - in karate shotokan or tai chi since they don't fight (and some are not even aware of it) but religiously obey some codex developed by some master a long time ago, they don't put challenging ideas to the fight test so it remains a matter of belief or disbelief, somehow it easily boils down to questioning the virgin birth in front of catholic fundamentalists.
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you're conflating "martial arts" with "traditional Asian martial arts". There's very little of what you speak of in boxing, for instance. Not a lot of it in my classes, for that matter, which are in a fairly traditional Japanese art. There's significantly more of it in the Karate classes at the same school. I noticed none of it in the MMA gym where @Tony Dismukes teaches and trains.

    There's a huge range out there, in martial arts, as with most pursuits. You just have to find what suits you.
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a pretty broad generalization of Shotokan. I know some schools actually spar - with moderate contact or more - on a regular basis.
     
  16. Rick Franklin

    Rick Franklin Yellow Belt

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    Actually I would disagree. I think all martial arts suffer from it to some degree because of the large amount of identity that practitioners get from their art. Boxers and MMA artists are more likely to get caught up in hyper-masculinity than in Eastern traditions but the end result is the same. There's a role to be played. There's a hierarchy to be maintained. The craft is elevated to something almost mysterious. I've seen it on the faces of karatekas, BJJ'ers and boxers alike. As if they're lost in the fantasies and fears that motivate them.

    I wouldn't speculate on the content of your classes and I'm sure there are schools out there that manage to avoid this kind of thinking. But I'm still convinced that's the exception not the rule. Once you replace the martial art with juggling, a lot of the silliness becomes clear.
     
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  17. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    So you quit juggling too, oui?

    And welcome to Martial Talk, bro. :)
     
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  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Some places the craft is raised to the near-mysterious. I see little of that in MMA gyms, and less of the hyper-masculinity than you would likely expect. Certainly less than I'd expected before being exposed to the folks who actually train there. You've generalized either your experience or a stereotype - I can't tell which - well beyond what my experience has been. And that's coming from someone who has been exposed to (and somewhat bought into) the fantasy.
     
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  19. Rick Franklin

    Rick Franklin Yellow Belt

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    Haha, yeah I think my juggling days are over. That won't stop me from reading the occasional blog or watching a YouTube video, thinking about some juggling technique.
     
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  20. Rick Franklin

    Rick Franklin Yellow Belt

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    The BJJ place I tried was always so serious. God forbid you crack a joke in the middle of a roll. Everyone was so concentrated on being a bad-*** (or on winning?). So resplendent with the victory of BJJ over all other martial arts (at least in their minds). There was no appreciation of the basic absurdity of putting on Asian pajamas to roll around on the floor with other sweaty men and try to choke them. It took all the fun out of it.

    Boxing I think needs a whole lot more LARPing than most martial arts. I mean karate LARPing is pretty harmless. But with boxing you have to overcome the basic common sense of what you're doing to your brain to keep going at it. How else to justify the huge health risks, unless you're living out your own private Rocky or Creed in your head? And I love boxing. How many people would become expert jugglers if every time they juggled, they risked real brain damage or death?

    That's fine if you want to think I'm just generalizing. I'm sure your experiences have led you to different conclusions. I haven't gone to every school out there but I've been to a few and for more than a couple classes. And each one had a mentality associated with it. Something you'd never find with juggling or stamp collection or some other hobby that people are less likely to get their identity wrapped up with.123
     

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