Questions for those who started their own system/ style

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

  1. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I teach what we call American Karate, too, because you have to call it something. Can't just call it That Martial Stuff We Do because that would look kind of silly on a patch.
     
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  2. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Please, please do not take this as any kind of knock on what you are doing. I am curious to your time experience with the different styles/techniques you are marrying. If I understand you post, you are not teaching your "style" to anyone else? So how to you measure the effectiveness of what you are doing? And how have you created your curriculum?
     
  3. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I like you last paragraph and agree with it in large. But, how do you explain the exceptions? People with incredible physical or mental ability such as inventive scholars and Olympic level athletes? Or on the other end of the spectrum, people with no known deficits who just cannot figure out how to effectively perform the most basic techniques? I have a hard time putting people in two categories (yes, I get the male/female reference). We are creatures that are all built a little differently. The "art" in learning and especially teaching a MA technique is divining these inherent differences in people and showing them how to make the standard model of the move work for them. It is not an obvious thing most of the time. Maybe after hours and hours, usually years and years of doing it.
     
  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I read Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo as well, probably I was in fourth grade or a bit higher. Guadalcanal Diary and The Battle of the Bulge as well.
     
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  5. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    There are outliers; note that I said "pretty much." But -- by and large -- we're all given the same basic "kit" to start from. There are individual differences; you may be ambidextrous, someone else may have perfect pitch. Don't overthink it... Some folks have or lack a talent for something, just like some have a better sense of rhythm, are better natural athletes, etc. And some aren't... Even so -- a person can overcome weaknesses or build on strengths with hard work and dedication...

    A martial system is an answer to a seemingly simple question: within the context of my ethos and beliefs, and given the natural environment I live in, and my own natural abilities, how do I defend myself. Within a system, there are individual choices, as well. You may like to kick; I like to punch or elbow. Someone else may prefer grappling. Some systems are diverse enough to let you use them with a lot of personal variation. Some don't have as much.
     
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  6. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Staying in the MA vein, it is true that everyone no matter their station can improve from their baseline with training. One of the greatest things about TMA's. It seemed the OP was speaking only about the physical which, at its core may be the fundamental element of MA. The mental benefits to help us with the world we live in are immeasurable. At least for me. Without personal variation within the confines our style we would be practicing exclusivism. We should not be threatened by opinion but instead confident enough in our craft to explain why we do what we do.
     
  7. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    it must be a generational thing. i look at my 8yo now and he is reading Captain Underpants and Ninja Turtles. maybe i baby him to much and i will have to have him read Viktor Frankl Mans Search for Meaning. :nailbiting:
     
  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings while still in grade school as well, certainly before eighth grade. The Hobbit was originally written as a children’s story, complete with battles and death.

    Another favorite was Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain stories, which are kind of Lord of the Rings-ish but for a younger audience, yet still has battles, death, loss, real dangers, etc. I read that series multiple times before I was finished with grade school. I am reading it to my almost-five-year-or son right now.

    LeGuin’s Wizard of Earthsea stories were another favorite from grade school days, that still holds up as a good read now that I am approaching 50.

    I contrast these with Harry Potter, which I did read all the way through but found to be very disappointing. I just felt the writing was inferior, the story was weak and honestly felt dumbed-down for a younger audience, very sterilized of any genuine conflict or violence and minimal death. Supposedly Harry’s life was always in danger, yet every time something legitimately threatening happened, they couldn’t seem to bring it to the attention of anyone who could do anything about it because they might end up on detention. I found it really annoying.

    Things are different in what is expected or assumed, with regard to what children can handle.

    Edit to add: it is my opinion that Harry Potter was a cheap rip-off of LeGuin’s Earthsea. The school of wizardry with a young, gifted student was much much better handled by LeGuin. It ought to be required reading for anyone who reads Harry Potter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  9. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    Leave out the extremes, your next set of statements will give you a clue to my thinking.

    My philosophy is that the standard model, traditional karate which by my definition includes TKD, TSD, works broadly for everyone, all of us. As a general rule, those tinkering with the model or creating "new" systems aren't adding or creating anything which hasn't been done over the history of traditional karate, and then traditional martial arts going back to China or other eastern areas.

    And here is the divide between me and others. When I really started training traditional martial arts (adult), I came into them with the express goal of unraveling and understanding the principles underlying them, behind the skills & effects.

    I was fortunate and lucked out in that my first TMA instructor was an intelligent person. He had more or less taken the same approach in your last quote block, himself, and myself. He didn't explain in a lot of descriptive detail like I do, however, he was very precise in both the design of the curriculum and in his instruction.

    Although his original TMA was TKD, with the school's curriculum and training regimen along with very precise instruction (not hand holding), I very soon came to realize how for starter's TKD and the Japanese karates all had the same underlying basis, all had common principles.

    I absorbed the excellent curriculum and progressed very rapidly. So much so that in months, I defeated two of the three assistant instructors in sparring. That was no-contact sparring. In that short time period though I was in shape physically, I hadn't really developed any karate power, the whole body strength and then beyond.

    I never sparred the head instructor because one, my training roughly paralleled the manner in which he trained... he really didn't spar much. We had come to the same conclusion that training the curriculum to it's principles develops the true & high level abilities and skills. We never sparred because we both understood it to be a waste of time. I will never catch up to him in ability for a host of reasons. For practical purposes, I knew I would lose.

    We had another student there at the time I joined. He was Mr. Boxer, fighter, what have you. He used to constantly challenge the head instructor. It was truly a silly display of ineptitude on the challenger's part.

    SO the divergence between me ,myself, and all those who want to improve TMA or traditional karate with some add ones, significant modifications, extensive cross training; PLUS, want to include a goodly measure of spirited sparring with actively resisting, physically forceful non-compliant opponents -- my approach was to focus internally, practicing the curriculum of kihon, kata, kumite as tradition called for. With sparring supplemental. Sparring for testing.

    Now these two of three assistant instructor which I defeated within months of (concentrated) training, of course full contact would have been a different story. Their strength base was above to considerably above mine. My goal was to re-devote my energies into the curriculum in order to close the base strength gap.

    And that's what I did and that's what I've always done. And that is the reason I've defeated every karate instructor I've ever fought. Part reason being they weren't as good as they thought by training the way I read so many here. And probably some more emphasis on the active sparring and resistance testing would have helped them... as so many here propose. But not enough to make up for where I went.

    I don't go around challenging karate instructors either. I don't challenge superior skill. That's dumb. It's a waste of time & training effort when (if) you realize the curriculum provides the answers to defeating strong opponents, not fighting them. This IMO, is the traditional karate model in its pure form.

    BOTTOM LINE: My philosophy is that its' the curriculum laid out by the masters which provides the answers to martial success. The base for that. The weakness in TMA practitioner, is their weakness in not truly understanding what the TMA model is.

    So they try to make up for that by doing a lot of sparring. Making "improvements."

    Is learning the traditional karate model as you put it difficult? YES. Is understanding it problematic? SURE. Is it easy to get sidetracked by other styles or trying to make the model be what you want or think it should be? MOST definitely. the masters weren't gods or all knowing. But they did their homework. They knew, basically, what constituted a successful model. It's the rest of us who must live up them, the standards they set. That's the challenge of TMA.

    Based on that conclusion, then the premise for why TMA is under-represented and not so successful in the commercial MMA forum is (1) TMA is harder to master to a solid working level (incorporating the lengthy time investment you speak of), (2) one has to realize how to best approach it, in order to tap it's true power. This is a minority.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  10. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    That is a very cogent answer that one has to say is intelligent and thoughtful. As a proponent of TMA, as many on this forum are, I will say you have gone into great personal detail to explain a version of how accurate repetition is the nexus of TMA. I haven't heard anyone hear claim there is a short track to becoming a "true Master".
    Most of us here have our own personal journey that in many way parallels or surpasses yours. I am glad you have had this revelation in you MA journey. I would encourage you to continue using your passion to help shore the opinion of TMA. While there are some big chunks missing in constituting a full summation of what TMA is, it is good to hear a passionate argument. I urge you to challenge your own depth of understanding. Repetitively challenging higher level students and instructors to reach a summation, whatever the outcome, is not a complete formula.
    You come dangerously close to claiming the old idea of mysticism from the Masters. I love, love my TMA. My experience is great having worked out in over 200 different schools in many style with different philosophies. I can go on and on but that is not my point. While I see and understand the material differences between TMA and FMA (MMA, etc... not included), I do not think there is a hard, absolute line between them. Many TMA styles heavily cross over into what many consider FMA. In my opinion all should. Unfortunately, some have established curriculum that does lose effectiveness so, of course this taints the whole model. Not the rule but the exception.
    When I use the term MMA here, I am including most all the modern fighting styles. As it is, they are an evolutionary expression. Over time, people have absorbed enough information and come to understand, in broad brush strokes what TMA is. And just like the evolution of anything, people have challenged it, learned from it, perceived its strengths and weaknesses and adapted. It is a fools errand to think if you take a large sample of tenured TMA and MMA people and score them on purely fighting to a set of rules used in the ring that MMA would not have a lopsided win. However, if the scoring is based on the whole of each contestants skills the win would be lopsided for TMA. In the realm of SD, I believe most of what is taught in MMA is effective SD, after the point which physical contact has encountered. To my knowledge, it does nothing at all to prevent you from getting in the physical encounter, and from some I have heard and seen even encourages it.
    I am not sure what you are arguing for. You passionate, strange and misguiding story is wonderful to hear and should be heard. But the story needs to be refined as it is not in a model that will be effectively heard. One reality is that MMA and the like is not going away. It is evolution happening before out eyes. The conversation must be about how/why we bash each other and how we bridge a gap so that ALL Martial Forms can become united and stay healthy.
     
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  11. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    I did not start my own system, but trained long time in a new system. I was like the 2nd or 3rd generation.

    The reason for it to start was a group a karate masters did not find it adapted for self defence in modern days; and got smashed by kickboxers as well. So they researched and trained with European experts of that time and then made up their own system. The result, in the 90’s, was not far from the MMA these days, technically speaking. Just got the takedowns more from karate and judo than wrestling. Also more stand up grappling / joint locks. Even the gloves made specifically for the system, are still very much the like the ones now used for MMA training (more pad than competition gloves).

    While fitness training was constantly recommended, the training was very much technique and light sparring focused. It was made by people getting old for adults and not young athletes.
     
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  12. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    Took a few moments to check in. Wanted to mention I feel I've reached the 'true' karate black-belt level, maybe some beyond. Mastery of karate is something I fear I won't ever be ale to achieve. 'Fear,' colloquially speaking. What I'm doing to build & improve is going back over what Shotokan specifies as the Heian series of kata.

    Plenty of folks here such as yourself who have learned and accomplished more kata, know the nomenclature, lineages & aims of more kata. I believe, however, it was an Okinawan karate master somewhere along the line who said the Okinawan version of the Heian kata (Pinan?) would provide one all you need to become a superior fighter. I believe that to be true, within the bounds of traditional karate.

    Shotokan's Heian may not be the best or most sophisticated versions, yet if people would chill about what's wrong with karate and try to practice the principles embodied in the Heian series, they could benefit the way that Okinawan master stated. This of course parallels your thematic here.

    The kung fu's don't win the popularity contest to the extent traditional karate does re the general populace. The commercial MMA environment pans kung fu all the time. TMU, kung fu(s) is a large leap more difficult that traditional karate. So in my mind, that explains why no one's getting to kung fu to work in MMA.

    An interestingly, the kung fu instructors in my area, several are in complete alignment with what I propose. One kung fu school let's me come in and train for free. They look down on my rather elemental karate style. I make them to back & forth on the karate one steps. I point out that karate is trying to be more practical and attainable in skill level compared to kung fu, which they have sorta acknowledged.

    BTW: "Mastering the Heian series, or perhaps the more difficult Okinawan version, makes for a very tall order. Very tall. A minor percentage of karate practitioners realize how to approach that. This has been my experience. As per the whole thread on kata = "performance art." Nothing could be farther from the truth if one understands the principles behind traditional karate.:bookworm:
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  13. O'Malley

    O'Malley Green Belt

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    @ShotoNoob what is your training background? What rank do you hold under which instructor?

    Edit: what do you mean by "defeated"?
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Those questions have been asked many times, he refuses to answer.

    Best thing to do is not engage with him. I’m about to put him on ignore. He is not worth wasting time on.
     
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  15. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    I literally spit milk out of my nose reading the ''defeated my instructors during NO CONTACT sparring" bit.

    Thanks for that...
     
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  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I found that bit...revealing.
     
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  17. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    Same overall free sparring rules as formal karate kumite. Why?:jimlad:

    P.S. How long you been working on that green belt?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  18. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    The weakness in your system is that it revolves around you.

    Furthermore, one of the Prinicples of the Japanese karates is exactly what you propose in that bold-ed text.

    To be sure, there are a myriad of techniques in traditional Japanese karate. And some numerous, variety of applied techniques and kumite / self defense tactics. Yet the driver in Shotokan training is perfecting kihon technique, which then is adapted to very efficient fighting. That's if one takes a open minded perspective on the curriculum as a whole.

    Shotokan and Japanese traditional karate as a group certainly aren't the most efficient or specialized TMA. And we need to be careful about generalizations; for instance we have TEZ's Wado Ryu for instance which is more involved with added grappling emphasis.

    Sounds like a specialized self defense system. With all that complexity, how do you expect everyday students to remember all that theory in the heat of a self defense battle? I could see maybe some professional mastering what you propose.
     
  19. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    Yeah GPS, and I found that bit ... revealing also. Right on the heels of the who? account that marks themselves by this.

    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

    E. Roosevelt.


    Sounds from a used car salesman, not martial arts. You two are the martial "it" people.o_O
     
  20. ShotoNoob

    ShotoNoob Master Black Belt

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    The bolded text makes all the sense in the world. Collective knowledge is superior particularly when one is ignorant. I find everyday karate instructors who are quite knowledgeable on the technicals, the techniques, for instance. This approach is also implicit in your opening sentence. What makes you think this is some isolated method for my program?

    I have a very sound understanding of what TMA is, unlike the majority of the commentators here. Not sure how surpassed they are. I've heard that refrain from continuous string of martial artists who thought they had 'surpassed.' Because they valued themselves relative to a peer group of either like thinkers, or against obviously weaker practitioners.

    My gap with TMA is in understanding how to develop and assimilate the skills beyond say the black-belt level. Theres' plenty of quote - Master ranks - quote in my own org. (and elsewhere) who I wouldn't consider Masters. Again, it's the kung fu practitioner's in my area including instructors who tend to shy away from thinking of being masters and just work on the training.

    QUERY: Since you have indicated there are some big chunks missing from a full summation of what TMA is, why don't you provide me / us with a working definition based on your study & achievement. Moreover, same would be apropos if and when one would consider creating a "new" style. The ostensive subject of this thread.
     

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