Open minded

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by ppko, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    Since being sent over here to Afghanistan, I have had a lot of time to think about a lot of things. One of the things that I have been thinking of is free thinking and being open minded in the martial arts. In my schools I have always taught to ask questions, and that anyone can learn from anyone. Over my years of training and learning I have learned just as much from begginers as people that have been in the arts for 30+ years. One thing I have found in the Martial Arts community though is that while many people stress having an empty cup, being open minded or what ever you call it in your school not everyone practices what they preach. Everyone takes pride in the art or arts they study, and this is admirable but once you start thinking that your art is better than what ever art then you are no longer a student. I have always been taught to be a student of the world and hope that I have taught my students to be the same. I guess my rant has ended up with this question, from your oppinions do these closed minded people happen a lot in the martial arts? Also, does your school encourage free thinking?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
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  2. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    My Sifu tells us that if we really want to learn Kenpo well, we will teach little kids. Adults just won't ask the off the wall questions a 5 year old will. Trying to answer those questions helps us understand the techniques and the art better.
     
  3. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    Isnt that the truth, I have two daughters and sometimes I have no clue how to answer some of there questions.
     
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  4. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Well, you need to empty your cup in order to fill it. Human nature being what it is, though, we like to think that what we have chosen to refill our cup with is the best possible refreshment. Some of it is simply enthusiasm for the art that the student is in. The rest is either insecurity or competitiveness.

    Both where I train and in my own teaching, students are encouraged to be open to learning what they came there to learn. The idea of art hierarchy never comes up. My main concern is to do my best instructing. If I am in class as a student, my focus is on learning the techniques to the best of my ability and to understand the context and philosophy behind the art.

    Daniel
     
  5. girlbug2

    girlbug2 Master of Arts

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    Oh yes, our school is very freethinking. The head instructor encourages questions and wants us to not only perform the techniques, but to understand why they work the way they do. Also, since I've started Krav Maga 3 years ago, there have been several modifications to techniques. This shows that our art is still evolving, and that the instructors themselves are continually questioning how to improve. That way of thinking suits me very well.

    I can see OTOH why some people like to have things set in stone so to speak, because perhaps they enjoy a sense of permanence and stability.
     
  6. Josh Oakley

    Josh Oakley Senior Master

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    Thanks for posting, ppko, and you're absolutely right. Keep your head down. I got back from Iraq about 4 months ago. Thanks for your service.
     
  7. Josh Oakley

    Josh Oakley Senior Master

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    Too true.
     
  8. fangjian

    fangjian Black Belt

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    What is your MOS or mission while you are there?
    Of course the reality of violence is not the same in all places. And not the same in all time periods. But it seems logical that some 'bodies of curriculum/methods of instruction' in addressing a certain situation of warfare', like Infantry school, Ranger school, 18Bravo school may prepare you 'overall' better than another. I know those above schools don't all address the same issues entirely. And I'm not talking about just ONE scenario ( like a 'hostage situation or anything ). More like general preparedness. I'm interested in your thoughts.
    To answer your question-Apparently yes, 'cause I am one of them as you've probably seen in other threads :)

    Yes. If I give my student a techniques or concept and they become proficient in it, I will teach them all of the counters I know of it and tell them to come up with new counters or ideas. Or how the concept could be used in situations that I might not have thought of yet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  9. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    First of all - THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!!!

    As much as they do anywhere else - sometimes more. :( Some schools encourage more free-thinking; others encourage less. Students tend to find, and stay at, schools that match their preferences in such things.

    Yes. My instructor is much more interested in why I think what I do - how did I reach the conclusion I reached, what information sources did I use, things like that - than in the actual answer.
     
  10. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    I am an 11B
    You are right when it comes to military schools, my thoughts on TMA schools is that if the arts are taught the way they should the do address all aspects of fighting, some will focus more on lets say ground work while others on stand-up.
     
  11. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    I also want to thank you all for thanking me for my service, its something you hear a lot in certain fields of work and this is one of them, I for one never get tired of hearing it, because I know once I get out I will tell these people the same thing. Thank you all for the knowledge you impart everyday and pass on to others.
     
  12. fangjian

    fangjian Black Belt

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    Thanks brother. Good luck and take care.
     
  13. marlon

    marlon Master Black Belt

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    Thank you both for your service.

    Respectfully,
    Marlon123
     

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