Power and Control

Discussion in 'Karate' started by DaveB, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well again, there are different types of sparring, as well as partner work with striking that might not be classified as sparring, so certainly there can be that interactive training experience without it being simply sloppy freesparring.

    As far as expecting a student to be around for five years, well I say yes and no. When a person enrolls in a college bachelors degree program, it is expected to take at least four years. If life circumstances interfere with that process and take you elsewhere before you finish, then you don't get a degree. That's life, fair or not.

    It's something of an apples-to-oranges comparison, I know, but there is some legitimate comparison there.

    I am of the opinion however, that even if you train for one or two or three years, you should still take away something useful that you have learned. If you did not train long enough to get into certain aspects of training, well that doesn't really matter. You have learned what you have learned, and you can and should take ownership of that, take it with you even after you walk out of that dojo for the last time.

    In contrast, if you don't finish your degree, you typically don't any credit for it in the workforce. If a job requires a BS in physics, you won't get the job if all you can say on your resume is that you had two semesters of physics at the local university, and then dropped out before completing your degree.
     
  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes - I was reacting more to the post that after 6 months a person could start into partner training. I start partner training ASAP, with an eye towards limited sparring starting shortly thereafter, if possible.

    Yes, but you don't plan a single course around that 4-year progression and leave out the basics until several months later. You consolidate knowledge into chunks, so people can learn that information and potentially change majors, etc.

    I'm not saying fit everything into a short timeframe - but you don't delay basics just because you have several years. If someone is coming to learn to fight/defend, they should get some real usable stuff fairly early. If it's a striking art and they don't work with a partner for 6 months, they haven't likely gotten anything useful in that first half-year. That's way too long.

    It's not about credit - it's about learning. If you walk away from college after a semester, you walk away with the real information (just basics, usually) that was covered in those classes. The equivalent to the statement made earlier would be to say the student will be there at least 4 years, so we can wait a while before we get into anything directly related to their major. Most students get classes in their major straight away. They may change majors later (like changing arts), but they already got some basics from that first one.
     
  3. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I guess my point was that a teacher could be taking a long view of what he feels it takes to learn and really understand the method in a realistic and useable and solid manner. He may assess that it takes at least four or five years to reach that level of solid and reliable skill, with an appropriate depth of understanding, and his approach to teaching can be built around that assessment of what it takes. As such, he may be unwilling to alter the progression that he believes in. If a student doesn't stick around to accomplish that training, that does not automatically mean that the teachers approach to training is wrong. And neither is that contrary to my earlier comment that however long you train in a school, even if only for a year or two, you should still have learned something meaningful and valuable that you can take with you.

    Of course I agree with you that fundamentals shouldn't be delayed for no good reason. Fundamentals should start immediately, everything is built on that. And within the fundamentals there is also a progression. Some fundamentals will be introduced later, after some others are already in place. The whole process is a progression.

    But in the main, I agree that there does not need to be a long delay before students work interactively and hands-on. Just exactly what that means will differ from school to school, there is a lot of room to interpret what that means, but application is very important in the progression of skills and knowledge and understanding.
     
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I tend to take a moderately hard line on this, but there's room for other views. My view is that if a student leaves, they should leave with something useful - my aim is to start that process the first class, so far as it is possible. Of course, I know some instructors who purposely look for students who have specific plans to study for a longer period of time. If that is the situation, then a different approach can be taken. There are things that can be taught differently, for the purpose of deeper understanding in the long run.
     
  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    ebay
    I can bet our local kyokushin club doesn't wait 6 months to spar either.

    I can't see how sparring holds you back.
     
  6. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    You don't feel that fitness, strength, determination and the skill/instinct to hit with your maximum potential would be useful things to leave a class with?

    See if we are worrying about people who leave early we have to ask what theý gain from a few months of receiving low intensity attacks and gentle play fighting.
    Perhaps it's different from a grappling perspective, but I think a solid ability to turn up ones aggression and express that through max efficiency striking will do far more for you if that short training is all you have.
     
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I would say that a lot of it depends on how the system itself is built.

    I am not in disagreement regarding the need for useful skills in a reasonably short period of time. There is no need to artificially delay that, or drag out the time and process it requires. I also believe that a lot of people tend to over-complicate this stuff.

    However, I believe that ones effectiveness can take on a couple of different forms. First, one can be effective through strength and athleticism, and with a shallow understanding of the technique and it's principles. This is pretty quick and easy to learn.

    Or, one can be more effective (potentially much much more effective) through a deeper understanding of the principles and the technique, which leads to less reliance on strength and athleticism. This takes longer, possibly much longer, to develop.

    A teacher can teach to the first level and then progress to the second, but doing so can create problems and bad habits that need to be unlearned in order to reach the second. This can take longer to reach the second level, in the long run.

    Or a teacher can teach directly to the second level and bypass the first. It reduces the chances of bad habits forming but will take somewhat longer before some level of useful skills are developed. However, I feel it will take less time to actually reach level two.

    I can definitely understand why a teacher would decide to only teach to the second, and not spend time on the first. That is his choice, in how he approaches the transmission of his method. But yes, it does require a bigger commitment on the part of the student, and isn't for someone who hopes to come in for a short time and take away some useful ideas or quick technique varieties before moving on to something else.
     
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  8. Martial D

    Martial D Master Black Belt

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    How exactly does someone teach 'strength and athleticism'?
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Okay, I'm lost. What does eBay have to do with it, DB?

    EDIT: Typo
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    If they come in looking for self-defense, my best bet of them leaving with something useful in that area is to give them some practical techniques and a chance to practice them. My classes won't change their fitness levels greatly unless they stick around - twice a week (most students, at best) at the intensity level beginners usually put forth simply won't have much of an effect. And their ability to hit won't matter much if they can't hit a person trying to hit them back. Low-intensity sparring, mixed with some power work on the bag, will have a lot more influence on their effectiveness than a bit more time on the bag (without the sparring). As for the instinct (habituated reaction, but I know what you mean) to hit, that's not likely to be developed by hitting a bag. They are more likely to develop it by practicing hitting a person. Our brains perform best if the performance is closer to the practice scenario.
     
  11. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    All true, but I think that there are ways to develop those things without sparring, and if sparring is a must, armour up or spar only with teacher/seniors.
     
  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    We can just disagree on that. I don't think there's a way to develop that without working with a partner (with striking, that includes sparring) in short order. Leaving out the sparring lengthens the process, IMO. I'm not saying it can't be done - just that it takes longer and more effort to get there. Armoring up isn't a solution - I don't want students developing bad control habits I'll have to apply emergency fixes to as their power builds up. As for working with instructors, that's not a fix, either - the instructor should be leaving openings for them to work with, and can't really do that if they don't have the control to spar lightly and limitedly. And how many instructors will you need if this is going to span the first few months for every student. I can get students ready to spar much more quickly than that with a little bit of control focus.
     
  13. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    But under my paradigm teaching control wouldn't be an emergency fix, it would be an integral training phase that covered all the lessons one needs to learn about the importance of control and how to exploit those who lack it. The ice to cool the fire of phase 1 and the first step on the path of technical refinement.

    The advantage in this method is that they have seen and been the wild brawler and they learn how to overcome him but also how to match him. When to use that tactic and when to hold back from it.
     
  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    A lot of Kyokushin schools will have you free-spar your first night. Bare knuckle. And with black belts. And while those black belts may not 100% all out on you, they won't take it too easy on you.

    Many don't come back for a second class. No idea why :)
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    That might be too far in the opposite direction - unless the point is to weed out those who would leave. It would certainly work in weeding me out if I was a beginner.
     
  16. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Tadashi Nakamura wrote about this in his autobiography (he came from Kyokushin). He said he wondered how many potentially great students he lost because of it. Seido Juku (his current organization) doesn't start full free sparring until 4th kyu. I think it's a bit too long, but I haven't seen what he's seen, been where he's been, etc. There are a lot of sparring drill done right from the get-go - 1 step, prearranged, etc., so it's definitely not as if Seido students don't spar until then, it's just free-sparring is done at at point where he feels the students have a solid base. Seeing students come through the ranks, it benefits a lot of students, it I think it holds some back too. Like everything, there's trade offs.

    My original organization was Kyokushin in pretty much every way but the name. I free-sparred bare knuckle my first actual class (I had a private intro lesson first). One of the people I sparred with that night was my sensei. He was testing for 4th dan the next day and was going pretty hard. I had a straight line of bruises down my sternum when I got changed in the locker room. My sensei said "please don't take that personally. You did really well tonight. Far better than most people in their first class."

    Most would've said (or did say) "F this, I'm out." All I thought was "I really have to get better." I never said I was the smartest guy out there :) I'm glad I stuck around. We did drift away from that as I came through the ranks, moving towards using protective gear. We still had "bare knuckle Friday" though. We just had to close the blinds and keep it quiet to his teacher at the time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I know I'm quoting the same post twice...

    Weeding people out was a welcomed side effect, not really the purpose. We trained like that all the time back then. It wasn't like we went harder on newbies or backed off after they "proved themselves." The mentality was "this is how we do things, and we're not going to change because newbies can't handle it. If it's not for them, no hard feelings." There's good and bad in that rationale.
     
  18. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    Macho b.s.
     
  19. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    From the outside looking in, sure.

    Or as I said in my previous post - they always spar bare knuckle. And it's routine to spar with everyone there that night. Sure, there's a few idiots who like to use newbies as punching bags, but most don't. The mentality is the don't put forth any false pretenses - if you like it, stick around; if not, we understand.

    A lot of Kyokushin schools have wiser up and use protective gear for lower ranks, and use less and less as the student progresses. There's no shortage of the "Kyokushin purists" who refuse to change though.

    To each their own. At least they're not pretending to be something they're not. Prospective students know what they're getting into.
     
  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    If that's the training from day 1, then you need that weeding. I wouldn't have lasted, so weeding me out day 1 would have been a good thing. (For me, it wouldn't have been so much the bruising, as the frustration of being asked to defend myself against someone that much better, and taking a beating for not having been trained first.)
     

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