Questions for those who started their own system/ style

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by chrissyp, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    I do not teach my own system, for a range of reasons, and it would not have nothing never seen and super exciting, but would be a different mix of what I have seen and, of course, limited to what I know better and enjoy more. It would be:

    - Training the art, more than sport or fitness
    - Freedom. Whatever you know (or wan’ to try) is ok
    - More striking than grappling, because I enjoy and and know more
    - Progressive resistance
    - Plenty of sparring
    - Balance between safety and hardness
    - Slow speed to start, rarely maximum speed in training.
    - ...

    The reasons are I have seen quite safe training places but very artificial and weird situations, or resistance training with plenty of injured people. I want a balance between this 2 sides and I have seen it already, so it is feasible.

    Also, I don’t like to do and ‘learn’ rubbish when I already have better tools (until someone prove me wrong). I would like to simply use my stuff. So, I would not impose technical restrictions on my training.

    To make it short, one last reason. In many places they do plenty of fitness, volume... but repeat all wrong in hundreds and quick to burn calories and never feel the proper technique. I would put skill first. You know when something is right, by yourself, when you train right.
     
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  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    A bit of background might help shorten my actual answer. I didn't start out to create something new. I started out changing how I approached my primary art. Within Nihon Goshin Aikido, there's a pretty high level of consistency in how the techniques are taught, the kinds of applications, and what you'd expect to see in the school. The quality of the result varies, but those pieces are pretty consistent.

    I needed to change some things both to fit my teaching style and to address what I saw as common student difficulties. I started with small stuff, and it started piling up, until I stepped back and thought, "This is still NGA, but I don't think most NGA folks would recognize some parts of it." So, after some soul-searching, and failing to find an English name I liked, I settled on calling it Shojin-ryu Nihon Goshin Aikido. Yep, a long name that sucks for marketing. Perfect! :cool:

    Anyway, here are the things I've done differently from what I saw in mainline NGA (mainline referring to schools/instructors that are relatively similar to the NGAA's curriculum and testing).
    • More focus on ground work, drawing from my early exposure to Judo, and some cross-training with BJJ and MMA folks.
    • A lot more emphasis on striking, including a migration toward more boxing-inspired movement and guard.
    • Added 5 long-form kata (actually, pretty short for those familiar with kata) for solo practice.
    • Added very basic single-stick, double-stick from my FMA cross-training.
    • Added staff work to explore the principles from NGA's base and the sticks with a different weapon.
    • Put more material at the early colored-belt ranks, so each takes about a year to get to (as opposed to several weeks to the first colored belt rank). This should reduce average time to each of the higher colored belt ranks, though that wasn't the intention. No Japanese terms for the colored belt ranks - just the colors.
    • (Part of the previous point) Added a "foundation" set that has to be passed through before they start any of the formal/classical training work. This includes basic strikes, starts to their falls, a couple of ground escapes, and the elementary basics of avoidance, de-escalation, etc. Someone coming in with these pieces already in place could test past this and go straight to the classical work.
    • Removed (sort of) all ranks above shodan, and removed all "dan" usage. It's just "black belt" now. The "sort of": I've added back in Instructor and Senior Instructor certifications, because I'm offering specific training for those who wish to teach. For those who don't, they already have the highest rank, anyway, so they're good. This is all divergent from the mainline of the art, where shodan includes teaching certification.
    • Changed about half of the "Classical" forms (the traditional method of introducing a technique) to emphasize the principles differently.
    • Changed the emphasis from the Classical forms to the application (many mainline schools focus their time the other way around). This includes a different approach to how I teach the Classical form, so students can make better use of the pieces in them.
    • Went from a white to a black dogi. Because I like black better, damnit!
    That's a long list, but if you look at it, it's mostly a difference in approach. If everyone else wasn't so strikingly similar, I'd have probably not bothered with a new name. If I ever come up with a better name for it - preferably in English - I'll change it in a second.
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I like that list, Marques. If you ever decide to move to the Southern US, give me a call. I'd love to have another instructor to blame things on.....er, work with. I'm sure that move is what you have planned next in life, right???
     
  4. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Here is another reason.

    You teach an anti-terrorism school, or military special force. You just find out that your students don't care about winning. They only care about how to kill fast.

    If you have taught sport all your life, you will have no option but evolve. For example, if you are a Taiji instructor and you teach Taiji push hand all your life, one day your military special force students ask you, "What do you do after you have pushed your opponent away?"
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
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  5. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I prefer muay latte to muay chai.

    Edit:
    Dangit... a day late and a dollar short!
     
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  6. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    double post
     
  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    So, two days late, and two dollars short?
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    STEVE!
    Double muay latte for STEVE!
     
  9. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I believe that killing someone is a different application than winning. Which is covered in my reasons.
     
  10. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    that shouldnt be an insult at all, it is a basic tenant of business. if your business cannot differentiate itself then you better rethink your business.
    my own system ...well ill try to keep this short. i like Flying Cranes analogy.

    my analogy is one of computers. most people add software/ apps to there system. the more apps and gadgets the better. maybe they will trade out one for another because they like it better. for the most part people are playing with wallpaper apps but all that is superficial. i started with the hard drive & mother board. then worked the underlying coding that is normally DOS and created my own operating system. then plugged back in all the apps and software i was used to dealing with.
     
  11. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    what i think my biggest divergence from other systems is that i start with a philosophical base and build from there using actual science disciplines. i do not accept that X is true because my instructor and his brothers friend who knows a guy said its so. i challenge all assumptions and then those "facts" are not facts they are just the best explanation available at this time and open to change if new data shows that the old concepts are not correct..
    i use the studies of biomechanics, neurology, human behavioral biology, genetics, physiology, criminology, victimology ect ect ect. as foundational concepts to build upon. what i do is a much deeper multi level analysis.
    as example, if less self defense actions are better then memorizing a lot of actions or techniques then that idea should remain a constant across disciplines. if it does then i could consider it a "fact" and use that as a basis for the system. i would say most of what i am do is a lot of underlying coding of the operating system that does not concern the student or next generation because the wallpaper might still look the same as before but ease of use will be optimized and the effectiveness can be relied upon.
     
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  12. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    Sure, I am going to the US next week, to right next your dojo! I would visit you if had a chance, for sure. :)

    Glad you enjoyed. That list was just what came to my mind at the moment. It would be longer if I had thought more about.Today I would have made a different one. :D Another thing I missed was the purpose of the training. If it was self defence, it would include scenario training and, of course, law... and other stuff. More recently the idea as moved to striking (that list), being it simpler (or smaller scope), but still helping me to unwind after the daily troubles; and helping to keep some skill. BUT it is just an idea and perhaps it will ever be.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
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  13. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

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    That's exactly my approach to.my system! In my mind, as weird as that sounds i view it like a math equation
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    While I think you've gone into more depth in some areas of your re-analysis, I've gone through some of the same process. Keep questioning what you were taught, and you'll be passing on a better final product to your students.
     
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  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    for me its not just questioning what i was taught but also the studying and learning about the entire field of human combative behavior in a more indepth manner. i really feel indebted to this web sight because most martial artists i know do not think about their art on that kind of level. its similar to a guy who goes for a jog after work for his better health and a top pro athlete who has other professionals around him doing things like blood nutrient level studies and tailored work outs based on computer biometric results.
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Human behavior has been part of my focus since high school, where I started my formal study of psychology. I've continued to dabble in that study - sometimes digging deep again - since college. It's part of everything I do, so I often don't even think about it as part of my martial arts, though it is. Again, it sounds like your examination is more focused than mine (mine is broad-based, looking at more than just combat), so probably has more depth in that area.
     
  17. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    more focused, maybe, maybe not. but my interest is more about civilian self defense than any kind of sport but i have a good backround in Eastern religion and philosphy as well. i think it plays a part in combatives and mental health and performance.
     
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  18. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    was just thinking about when i was 8 yo. we did book reports for school. while my friends where doing their report on books like "Benji" the dog, i did my report on "The rise and fall of Adolf Hitler". The first books i remember reading were "Call of the wild" and "Thirty seconds over Tokyo"
    i often wonder what my old teachers thought of me ... that boy is going to grow up a serial killer
     
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  19. Mark Lynn

    Mark Lynn Master Black Belt

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    While I have created my own way of teaching/curriculum for my two main arts, and have mid way created my 3rd. Currently I am on the rewrite of my 2nd main art. So I don't mind sharing and I'll try and keep it brief.

    I teach what we call American Karate but that's for marketing purposes, it's really American TKD. We use the TKD forms but other than that we have no ties to Korea. All of my instructors in karate and TKD have all been American and had no ties to the mother countries so it is an eclectic art, in our parent association we are free to add and subtract what we want (if you want to test in the parent organizations test then there are minimum requirements to be met, but we are given a lot of leeway). What sets us apart from others in our association is in two areas.

    1) Self defense Early on I start teaching my students (mostly kids) about weapons defense which is based on my FMA training using material from my FMA class. Also I teach a them sweeps that are influenced from the FMAs or Silat, and for the older kids they get into some locking and fighting from the ground. We'll do some ground work but it is mostly trying to kick or defend from the ground, and we do some defenses against kicks etc. etc. which they defend against, thus taking the person to the ground etc. etc. But the goal is to either fight from the ground and get up or take the person to the ground and get away not wrestle on the ground with another person.

    If any thing that is (lack of ground work or rolling) the biggest area my curriculum lacks in. We also are non competing (tournament) focused.

    2) Weapons work. Our Kobudo program is also different because a lot of what I teach, I teach from the concept of what I call compound learning; using the same drills, techniques or training concepts over several weapons. So once again my FMA training is grafted over to the Kobudo program (this is the 3rd art I teach and the curriculum is currently on hold, as I'm rewriting my FMA curriculum). This class is generally reserved for the older students in the TKD program and the FMA program.

    My FMA program will take longer to explain.
     
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  20. Mark Lynn

    Mark Lynn Master Black Belt

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    Not wanting to make my last post to long my FMA program is called Presas Arnis. Short history I got started in the FMAs back in the early 80's through Guro Inosanto and through JKD Kali, I then met Hock Hochheim and through him the Presas brothers Remy and Ernesto. I studied with each of them during the same time frame, among others, but my focus became Modern Arnis and Kombatan Arnis. Since then I have continued to train with senior instructors in Modern Arnis and most recently Kombatan (along with other FMAs) as well.

    So what do we do that is different. Well taking a cue from Hock, I originally blended; Inosanto Kali, Hock's, Remy's and Ernesto's and had a huge bloated curriculum, very heavy on the front side and lower belt levels and then less when it came to advanced ranks. That was the first one.

    My 2nd rewrite I actually sat down with my senior students who had prior training and we hashed (or fleshed) out my ideas and evened out the curriculum. Then after teaching 3 more years that curriculum and talking with other senior instructors and how they did theirs. I rewrote mine again (3rd) and am in the process now 2 more years later going through that again.

    My current curriculum I broke it down into beginner levels, intermediate, and advanced under black. I'm currently rewriting black belt and beyond as well. I did simplify things each time because over time with experience teaching more people my focus on what was important shifted. So using the first five levels as an example of slimplfying here is what I am now going to. I have a main concept for the first five levels that are build around the double stick which we call Defensive Responses (DRs) that is based on force to force blocking, one DR per level. Students will use the same DR for double stick and empty hand (two equal weapons) and I try and tie in the singe stick with that as well where applicable. In each level the same basic striking or feeding patterns are used, along with similar drills, so the learning process is shortened, and the student is able to use the DRs quicker. Same goes for disarming skills, everything is tied to the DR where applicable.

    In the higher ranks then other concepts come in such as Palis Palis (or going with the force, passing) skills. Now that the student has the five DRs down in one level the student can be introduced to passing techniques (concepts) and apply them (where applicable) using the DRs (for double equal weapons) as a base to work from.

    I am currently debating on changing my original 3rd rewrite order of material so I won't go further trying to explain this, other than to say, my first view point was to have the students learn sparring type drills, such as Sumbrada, Hubud/Hubad, Tapi Tapi (Modern Arnis), and or the Freestyle (Kombatan) pattern. My goal had been to have the first several levels giving the student the basics from which to learn to lead and set the person up for learning the sparring drills (especially for the Tapi and Freestyle patterns). So I focused on double stick (to build both left and right sides of the body, and learning to feed with both sides), singe stick, and empty hand. Everything was geared for developing the student to that end.

    Now because developing the student for the Tapi or Freestyle counters (i.e. locking, trapping, off balancing, take downs, all this fun stuff) the student really needs a lot of time to learn. I believe, they need a lot of personal training to start getting the hang of it. So lately I've been thinking about removing all of that type of material and putting it in above black belt (instructor) levels. Replacing it with what I had before as after black belt material; such as knife, espada y daga (sword/stick and knife, or long and short weapons), and staff (bangkaw or spear).

    In closing I'm not a purist, by that I mean, I don't teach pure Modern Arnis as GM Remy taught it. I don't teach pure Kombaton either, nor JKD Kali, nor Hock's system. But all of these men (and others) have influenced my version of Presas Arnis. Here is an idea of what is different.
    • Modern Arnis primarily taught 3 main subsystems or weapon groups; double stick (a little bit), single stick, and empty hand. Kombatan taught mainly 5 adding in espada y daga and knife
    I teach 6 including the staff (inspired by GM Ernesto) and my Kobudo training. I also created several blocking striking drill series that are different than Kombatan's but where influenced/inspired by GM Ernesto's organizing of his material.
    • Kombatan Arnis had four systems for supported blocking
    I added a 5th, and adapted it to other weapons; sai, tonfa, kama
    • Modern Arnis taught passing (Palis Palis) and so did Kombatan
    I adapted the concept of palis palis to coincide with the DRs.
    • GM Ernesto taught several blocking/striking systems or feeding patterns in Kombatan in single stick and several feeding patterns in double stick i.e. 14 count, 24 count and I heard of a 30 or 36 count drill (but never learned that one).
    I went to one 12 count system from Modern Arnis for singe stick and then created one 8 count pattern for double stick (inspired by Kombatan, Modern Arnis didn't teach it in this way).

    Off the top of my head those are some of the differences. Let me finish by saying that I am not claiming my style of Presas Arnis which is a combination of Remy's and Ernesto's material is better than Modern Arnis or Kombatan. Or that when I say I adapted this or created that, that I am inferring that I did something they didn't. I'm only saying that I didn't learn it from them. This is my attempt at honoring them by carrying on their teaching while evolving in my training and learning.

    As I have trained with several of the top instructors in Modern Arnis and Kombatan, I have found we all have evolved in our own ways making the arts our own. My goal is to help my students do the same.
     
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