Rank based on progress vs. merit, and/or when to switch

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    What I mean is a direct, practical application of the movements.

    If the movement is teaching you body mechanics instead of legitimate fighting techniques, then it's not a direct application of the movement. The movement serves as a sort of physical parable.

    You may use the concepts in body mechanics, but you're not doing that movement in a fight. There's this romanticized version of martial arts that you are acting out a fight when you do kata, which is what I'm arguing against.
     
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  2. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    When I do a punch on a heavy bag, I may do it differently in a real fight, but I may also do it the same. I will never do a double knife hand block in a real fight in any way that closely resembles that of our forms.

    When I do a kick in our forms, or with the basic mechanics, it might be different in a fight. It might be the same. I cannot ever see myself doing a crane stance and block at the same time, nor doing a down block and high block at the same time, and especially not both together.

    If you look at a boxer throwing combos on pads, you can imagine those combos in a real match and see the effect it would have on the opponent. I cannot see the techniques in the advanced forms being used in a real fight, at least without a lot of changes to make them useful.
     
  3. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I cannot speak to TKD forms, but in my experience with a few different systems, all of which used forms, this is not always true. In some cases this description could be reasonably accurate. In others, not at all.
     
  4. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    To be clear, do you mean that the forms are not romanticized, or that the forms are actually acting out a fight?
     
  5. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    If you are stuck on being that exact... you will need to add pad work, heavy bag work, speed bag work, drills, partner drills, shadow boxing... and literally everything else that is not actual fighting to the death, to that list. Even sparring... because if you do not intend to kill the other guy, you are doing something different, you are making changes in how you do things. Therefore, its all useless and has no application.

    Unless you have a boxing opponent that is willing to stand still, and not move... you will have to make changes to your combos. You will not be able to perform them with the exactness that you did when working the heavy bag or doing pad work.

    That is your choice. Others may choose differently.
     
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  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Interestingly, I find myself using a crane stance a lot. The context is in lightsaber sparring with my son (age 6). I realize this is just play, but it has been interesting to explore how much of my Chinese sword technique actually translates. He is much shorter than I am. He attacks my legs and ankles a lot. I use a crane stance to remove my foot from the line of attack, while simultaneously deflecting his attack with my lightsaber. The crane stance is quick and not held for any length of time. Foot is up to avoid the attack, then put down again. It is brief and fleeting. But it is definitely there and it is useful.

    It’s interesting where you find these things.
     
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  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Some forms could be described as acting out a fight, or at least segments of them could be described as such. They may be a linked series of such segments. In my opinion, these are less beneficial.

    Other forms in other systems take a different approach. You can definitely find direct practical applications in them, they are in there. But you should not view these forms as acting out a battle. Instead, they are filled with techniques as a vehicle for reinforcing fundamental principles in a variety of ways. Through movement and positional changes, it becomes more difficult to maintain the structure and the principles, and so the practice of the forms raises the skill level. And at the same time short combinations can be interpreted as applications. But it is always understood as a baseline application, meaning the big idea makes sense, but in a real fight the chaos and unpredictability will usually dictate that it be modified somewhat in order to fit the situation. In addition, mindful practice of this stuff should act to broaden your view of what is possible. This give you the ability to spontaneously respond with your own solutions, and not necessarily rely on any textbook technique, whether from a form or from some other portion of the curriculum.
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    But when a boxer is doing those techniques, those techniques are a practical baseline from which they can modify it to work.

    The techniques in the forms are an impractical framework, which you must leave in order for them to work. Unless you can tell me how those complicated movements can be used practically (which you even said the basic movements aren't how people fight, let alone the advanced movements).

    A target shooter will zero their rifle on a target for a certain range. They may have to hold over, under, or left or right to hit other targets, based on range, wind, etc. If the target is moving, they have to adjust for it. But it's all based on that zero.

    If that shooter were to just randomly turn the elevation and windage knobs, they would have to take a shot, and then see how far off that shot is, and then in addition to the range and wind, they will have to hold an additional amount based on how far off of zero they are.

    This is how I see the forms. A boxer hitting a bag is zeroing his punch, so that he may have a proper framework within which to deliver his punch.

    The TKD guy doing forms has no zero. His techniques are more arbitrary in nature. If he does the techniques as they are in the forms, he's at a disadvantage. If the boxer throws punches like he did on the heavy bag, those punches are going to be technically competent.

    To equate doing a crane stance diamond low block to slugging on a heavy bag is such an absurd comparison, it took me a while to even figure out how to respond to it.

    People can choose to do that block, but it doesn't make it any good. I have not ever seen a reason why using that block as it is in the forms makes sense. I have seen plenty of reasons why doing a cross as a boxer does on a heavy bag makes sense.
     
  9. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I do wish that we had more of those practical segments.

    Most of the techniques in the advanced forms, I don't even feel they have a baseline that makes sense. If there isn't a strong baseline, then how can you vary it?
     
  10. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    The same goes for kata and forms. They are a baseline from which you modify, in order to make it work. For boxing, you allow this modifier... for some reason, you will not allow that same modifier for TKD.

    I would say that you must understand them, for them to work.

    Apparently, no one can tell you how those movements can be used. You have already decided that you will not accept a use that is practical.

    I am glad I am not a TKD guy... I might take this as a slam against my art. Even as a Jujitsu guy, I have a little more respect for TKD than this. I certainly would not paint all TKD guys like this... I certainly have not met TKD guys that match this description. Is this how the people at your school train? If so, I would suggest a different school.
     
  11. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I will accept answers that make sense. I'm not accepting snake oil.

    The fact people can't come up with acceptable answers is not my fault.

    Keep in mind, my original search was to find these answers. They weren't there. All I got was snake oil.

    I then adjusted my conclusion based on the facts. I upset a lot of people whose reputation is staked on that snake oil. They said I was wrong. I asked for proof. I got character assassination instead of proof. Maybe I struck a nerve, because what I am saying is true?

    I'm happy to be proven wrong, because I wojld love for those techniques to work. I spent a lot of time drilling them. If fhey work, that's even better. That's why I keep bringing up problematic techniques. But instead of answers, I get more character assassination. Which tells me there's no answers behind fhe snake oil. Am I wrong? Then prove it. But I'm not going to lower my standards so your snake oil sells better.

    It's not an insult to TKD. It's an hobest assessment. The same thing I expect of anyone regarding their art. It is a limitation of TKD. Being a TKD guy, I'm in a good position to recognize our limitations. I'm not selling snake oil. I'm honest about what we do. I'm not going to say the double knifehand block is a good technique in a real fight unless I believe it. And thus far, nobody has given me reason to believe it is. I would love for it to be. But I'm not going to lower my standards based on my wishes.
     
  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, I’ve never studied TKD and am not familiar with your forms. Furthermore, I’ve not witnessed the kind of training you’ve received and I dont know your instructor. So admittedly it is difficult for me to give you specific advice. Instead, I’m trying to use examples that I am familiar with, in hopes that something there might resonate.

    I will say that my experience with the forms that try to be more like an enactment of a fight, are less useful. Those that I learned were so specific in their choreography that the interpretation of the application was only very narrowly useful. In addition, they felt to me like they made a lot of questionable assumptions about how a fight would progress and unfold, and so the very material felt like a bad idea. Transitions from one combat segment to another were odd and awkward and were something that I felt would never be useful; one would simply never step or move or put oneself into that kind of position. They were clearly done to simply reposition for the next segment, and felt un-useful, perhaps even detrimental to training.

    I felt the other forms as I described in my earlier post, were a better approach to what a form ought to be and how they ought to be designed and structured. The more loosely defined applications are actually more useful in the long run.

    I am of the opinion that some forms are poorly designed, and are therefor not beneficial to training. Where your forms would fit on this continuum is something that I cannot judge. But I’m just trying to give you a broader perspective to consider.
     
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  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ive got an idea here, but could you clarify what you mean by “diamond low block”? A description or a picture?
     
  14. Graywalker

    Graywalker Blue Belt

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    I always find these conversations interesting. I am learning more and more, how bunkai has been left out of training.

    I was watching a video by Sensei Seth ( a shotokan guy) and he stated that his training consisted of forms, and sparring, but no applications. I was surprised by this statement as he is very popular.

    A quick question for the Karate guys, with the Pinans...do any of you do the two man exercises from this set of Kata?
     
  15. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    This is my assessment of the TKD forms if used to teach application. It is also my assessment of the same forms if used as you describe. They work well for body mechanics. They make horrible assumptions if it is supposed to be a real fight.
     
  16. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Down block to one side, high block to the other. Look up the video for Keumgang, it's the block used in crane stance. Unfortunately for you, it's a standing crane, not a flying one.
     
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  17. Graywalker

    Graywalker Blue Belt

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    I have been looking through the thread, trying to find the questions you are asking. No luck, what are they.
     
  18. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    First you would have to allow TKD the same variability that you allow boxing. You allow a boxer to practice a combo on a heavy bag, and then use something similar to that combo in the ring. However, a heavy bag and a person to not react the same when being hit, and one hits back. When the boxer adjusts his combo to how his opponent moves... you allow that much variability to say its the same combo, even if he had to take additional steps, or vary his punches higher or lower than he did on the bag. Yet, adding a single step to a TKD form, raising or lowering the hands, even an inch, is not allowed by you.

    Second, you would have to get past this: "double knifehand block." Three on the TKD founders studied Karate under Funakoshi, one taught Shotokan Karate in his own dojo, in Japan. Funakoshi taught these blocks as throws and joint manipulations. The first forms in TKD were Shotokan forms. First they were given Korean names, and then newer Korean forms were made, that kept many of the same techniques. However, the men that started TKD and introduced the first sets of forms, with these moves, were taught them as throws and joint manipulations. "Block" is a simple description to help english speaking people do the right motion, not a definition of what the motion is. (Funakoshi taught these uke as strikes to vital points on the body, as the last and 8th definition of what uke were. An alternate use to the 8th definition the uke, was to knock aside an incoming strike. That was no where near the main definition of that technique, when the founders of TKD were taught it.)

    But, you really really, need it to be a block, using only the hands. Forearms, elbows, shoulders are all right out. Lucky for you, there is a very simple application... where both of those hands can be used to "block," as in knock aside an incoming attack, simultaneously. Question, before I give you the answer... Would it still be a valid application, if this application of both knife hand blocks, using the knife edges of the hand to knock aside incoming attacks... but the ending stance, even though it matches exactly the TKD form, left you in position to grapple? Again, this application starts exactly as in the TKD forms, uses both hands to "block" incoming attacks with the knife edge of each hand, has the user ending up in the same ending position as the TKD form, but one of the options to continue is a grapple. (from a really good position I would add) Would that count?
     
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  19. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've never seen a fight, or been in one, that resembles a Kata. Nor would I expect to.

    I've never seen a fight, or been in one, that resembles jumping rope, doing bag work, stretching, doing road work, pushups, doing kick combos, chin ups, drilling etc etc.

    It's all good. And most of the time, it's all fun. At least if you like Martial training. :)
     
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  20. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Actually, the boxing videos I watch suggest you train against the bag as you would against an opponent. Keep yohr hands up, mix in headwork to practice avoiding potential counter-attacks.

    Pads can move, because the person holding pads can move them.

    As to the double knife-hand block, even if I did get over calling it a block (which I won't), that motion doesn't make sense for any grappling or striking techniques I know. In fact, it makes less sense as a strike than a block.123
     

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