Rules for Testing Technique - Draft Version

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by JowGaWolf, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I've seen Testing come up often and everyone has their own way of testing techniques. Time to standard testing of martial arts techniques with the purpose of being effective. This is my attempt to do so. You are welcome to include your input and I'll take what's valid and use it anything that's not valid will get trimmed. Things that are too specific will get trimmed. It may be correct within one system and not correct in another. Things like that do not help when creating an over all standard. Wrestling Standards are not the Same as Striking Standards.

    When creating testing recommendations always do it from the perspective of the Technique itself and the Ability of the fighter.

    Example: Provided that the practitioner has reach necessary skill level and understanding of the technique (how to use, when to use). The technique can be tested by........


    Here is my first shot at this.
    Provided that the practitioner has reach necessary skill level and understanding of the technique (how to use, when to use). The technique can be tested by:
    1. Active sparring in which his opponent is unaware that the technique will be used (no telegraphing).
    2. Active sparring in which the effectiveness of the delivery of the technique is measured as the opponent becomes more aware (does the technique becomes less effective as the opponent becomes more aware).
    3. Count the number of attempts and success (what qualifies as a success can vary so there may be multiple measures of success).
    4. Gather feedback from the person using the technique and his opponent. (The opponent must be unaware of which technique you are measuring.)

    #1 and #4 requires that the viewer takes note of the skill level of the opponent, and their ability to be aware of the technique. You'll either need 2 watchers for this. 1 for the person doing the technique and another to watch the opponent's response. Easiest way would be to video tape the sparring session, since the match can be replayed.
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think the problem with tests is that the participants typically know they are being tested or are a participant in someone’s test. That has an effect on their behavior, even subconsciously. People may expect certain techniques and so are hyper-alert for them. People may become more compliant to allow the tested individual greater opportunity for success. Assistants may know that a certain technique is being tested for, and take steps to negate its success because they know it’s coming. When these issues come into play, it is no longer an honest test.

    Instead, I think overall assimilation of the methodology is what can be tested. The student's ability to handle the interaction in effective ways, rather than a need to use specific techniques. Maybe this is evaluated every time a student is in class and does not really need to be a part of the formal test.

    If the system has a formalized curriculum containing certain techniques, those can be demonstrated to show understanding of the concepts contained therein and a grasp of the system’s methods. This can be part of the overall “test”, but is a separate component, done to demonstrate that the student has learned a certain body of the curriculum.

    Some of these issues are more relevant to a formal testing for rank, and others can be issues in simply trying to evaluate a singe technique in the context of regular training.
     
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  3. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Agree. The person who will need to defend against the technique cannot know and the person who is using the technique cannot be limited to only that technique. The person using the technique should be able to use additional techniques. This way you can get a more accurate idea of how the technique works. Some techniques work better coming off a jab and others work better coming off a kick.

    So new rule to add can be. The person applying the technique must not be limited to ONLY that technique.?

    The problem with this. Is that if you are trying to test how effective a hook is, and the practitioner only uses kicks to handle the situation, then you won't get any data in regards to the hook. For example, You throw a TKD into a sparring session and you want to test the effectiveness of a hook, but the TKD person only uses kicks, then you won't get any data. But if you make it a requirement to use a hook from time to time, then you can start gathering data about how to hook was implemented, when was it successful, when did it fail, why it failed. From that you can determine if any of the failures are tied into the skill of the person or if the technique is efficient on it's own.

    Allowing the practitioner to use other techniques will also provide information about those techniques. If one practitioner is successful with a technique and the other practitioner isn't. Then we know that the failures are skill based (ability +understanding).

    I agree. This should be done during regular sparring. If it's more formal than that then both are going to know they are being tested.

    This is a big one for me. Big time Bias for me. I look at understanding to be something that is measured by one's ability to apply the technique. If a person can't actually apply the technique then it's because they don't understand it. They may know "how it should work" but be totally clueless on "how to apply it" This would definitely have to be a knowledge component. As long as the person can pass the knowledge, there's a chance that someone else can figure out how it's actually applied.

    I think ranking should be like a video game where your character has different attributes. A rank could factor in multiple areas. Knowledge, Ability, and Application & Understanding, Based on this, the Rank can be associated with attributes. I'll use the belt system. A yellow belt practitioner would be. Yellow Belt (K,A,AU). This means that the yellow belt ranks high in all attributes. Or it can be Yellow Belt (K) which means that the yellow belt ranks high in only the Knowledge attribute.



     
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  4. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Testing:
    Age, level being graded, physical abilities, intellect, are all contributing factors.
    Knowledge: what and how.
    Skill for said level must be demonstrated.

    Lower levels: what and how
    Lower Intermediate levels: what, how, at bit of when and why, and demonstrate skill.
    Upper Intermediate levels: what, how, deeper knowledge of when & why, and demonstrate skill and applications in several different situations

    Advance levels: what, how, deep understanding of when & why, demonstrative skills in a multitude of varying applications.
     
  5. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If I

    - lay down on the round, your hip throw won't work on me.
    - can run faster than you, your boxing skill won't work on me.

    If A can move faster than B, non of B's technique will work on A. Does that mean B's technique is bad? Or it just means that A is too fast for B?
     
  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    By using your logic, the most realistic test is during an English test, the English teacher hands out a math test that students have not yet prepared for.
     
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    No, it isn’t.
     
  8. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When I taught my UT Austin informal class, I always had 50 students for each semester. During the 1st day of my class, I told all my students that I was going to use "single leg" to take them down. After I had taken down all my 50 students, at the end of each semester, all my 50 students were good at "single leg".

    A teacher can help his students to build up confidence by proving that a technique work over and over again.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  9. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've always believed if you go to class every day and work hard - you'll never have to worry about a test.
     
  10. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    If A can move faster than B, then B will need to figure a way to use the technique on A. B may need to use other techniques that make it possible to use the technique within range. OR B will learn that day that the testing Technique should not be used against someone who is faster. For example, Real life example,

    Opponent A is faster than me. A cuts an angle almost immediately after jabbing me. In response I would try to use turn to face my Opponent when he cut the angle and each time I failed. I literally failed for 2 days. But on the 3rd day, I learned that the footwork technique I was using should not be used against someone who is faster than me. So I threw away the idea of using my footwork for the purpose of forward facing my Opponent A. Instead I used the footwork that utilizes an elbow strike and a bladed (side stance) facing my opponent. On the third Day my Opponent A tried what worked for two days. He jabbed me, cut an angle. After the jab instead of turning like boxer, I shuffled sideways, nailed him with the elbow strike. After day 3 my Opponent A never tried to cut the Angle again.

    Here's what was tested that day .
    1. Opponent A tested his ability to use his speed and to cut an angle. This only worked so long as I could not figure out how to deal with him cutting that angle.
    2. My test was using a combo used directly from the form "Small Tiger." I had a good understanding of it which allowed me to use that technique to deal with Opponent A's speed. If you asked a Jow Ga student to use that technique. They will fail many times before understanding it. I understood it correctly the first time and had a good understanding of when and how that technique could be used and I pulled it off the first time.
    My success with that technique. Also showed my Opponent A that his technique became ineffective once I used the technique from the "Small Tiger" tiger form. The elbow strike is not what it made the technique effective to me. It was the shorter distance in the technique which made me faster than his attempt to take an Angle.

    Lesson of this. Opponent A may be able to move faster than B, but this doesn't mean that A will be always be faster against all of B's techniques.
     
  11. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    If you lay down on the ground, then I will kick you until you stand. Then my hip throw will work on you.
    If you can run faster than me then then I will time your run and reach your destination before you do. In other words. When you run from me, you are running from my attacks. So when you run, I won't try to attack where you are, I will try to attack where you will be. This is the same concept that boxers use when they cut off the ring. Cutting off the ring isn't about chasing the Opponent it's about targeting where the Opponent wants to be and to continue to do that until the Opponent is in a position where the speed is less effective. When I get you to this place, then my hip throw will work.

    The video below shows Where "can run faster than you, your boxing skill won't work on me." begins to fall apart.
     
  12. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    This scenario is, based on the 1st day of class against beginners right? The effectiveness of your technique will almost always be higher against beginners than more advanced students. The more advance the person is, the more difficult it will be for you to take all of them down, If that advanced practitioner knows what you are trying to do then you will have more difficulty. In the video below, if kicking and punch were allowed then it would complicate things more for you and not make it easy. This diminishing effectiveness is what I was speaking of earlier. When is the technique most effective, and when is it least effective.

    Cool video by the way.
     
  13. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    There will always be a test. Most of them won't be formal. When you learn a new technique, you test your ability to apply it. When you come up with a new fighting combo, you test your theory by trying to use it. When you spar against someone you are unfamiliar with you test their defenses.

    If you want to know if a technique can work then you have to test a few things. You have to test your ability for that technique, You have to test your understanding of that technique, and you have to test your opponent's ability to resist that technique.

    Even if you see that I can use a technique, this does not mean that you have the necessary ability or the understanding to be successful with it.

    I've personally never have taught a technique in the sparring class that I couldn't pull off myself.
     
  14. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    How would you demonstrate the skill level.
     
  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I think that is an effective way to evaluate but can you explain/describe how you do item #1? Is this more like lined up give & take drills? I think they are great for learning the How of the technique but not the When or Why.
    I would love to hear more about how you teach the 'when to use' parts of your curriculum. That is the hardest part to teach and learn to me.
    It took me years to fine tune our testing forms and there is still a bit of subjectivity that I have never figured how to factor out. That is where testing with resistance is necessary to me. And since testing is scalar based on experience as well.
    I look forward to hearing more.
     
  16. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    When I wrote #1 Active Sparring in which his opponent is unaware that the technique will be used (no telegraphing). I was thinking more along the lines of free sparring.

    For example. You and I are students and today is sparring day. A week ago our teacher privately gives us each 1 technique in which we will need to perform during sparring. We are not allowed to share what the technique will be, just that we will perform it sometime during the free sparring session against other students. We would then have a 1 minute sparring session and will spar with everyone in the class. I'm thinking no more than 6 people. So you would spar student 2,3,4,5,6 for 1 minute each without rest. After Student 2, you would then spar against student 3 who is fresh. After student 3, you would move to student 4 and so on. With each student you would try to perform the technique. You would be allowed to use other techniques, because you may need them to set up the technique that the teacher gave you.

    The reason we cannot share the "assigned technique" is so that we focus on stopping one technique. If your assigned technique is a take down, then I would be prepared and as such it would be more difficult for me to perform right off the back. Both students would need to be monitored, because you wouldn't just evaluate that single technique. You would also have to evaluate the students ability to read each other. If you try to use your technique too often then I will surely pick up what you are trying to do. But even if I pick it up, do I have the ability to defend or counter it. At this point of the sparring, our understanding of when to use the technique should become evident. It should also be evident to at least one of us as to Why the technique failed or why it was successful. This would require both of us to share feedback with each other.

    Why a technique works could be as simple as, "you allowed me to continuously grab and control your lead arm" or " you allowed my lead hand to inter your space without resistance." If you are able to be successfully use a technique, you will know When and Why easily. Even if the life of success of a technique is short you will still know when it's successful and when it's not. You would also know the why. However if you are just throwing stuff and hoping to land something, then you will never gain understanding and you will never know when and why.

    Kung Fu Wang often talks about when and why, but never directly says as "This is when and this is why".

    The sparring doesn't have to be brutal. If you know the when and why then it should be possible to get the light and slow punches or techniques in successfully. But there will be techniques that require speed and strength.
     
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  17. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    You need a control group if you want good results, i dont know if anyone had brought up yet or not. You need some base to take it from to judge if its effective or not and how effective it is.
     
  18. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    When I started teaching I noticed 3 types of students.
    1. Students who want to do just kung fu for exercise
    2. Students who wanted to learn a lot of forms
    3. Students who wanted to actually learn how to use Kung Fu.
    Sifu's usually fall in #2 and #3, and there was no real way to determine which Sifu actually knew how to apply the things they learned. For me you can teach me one form and I'm happy with that one form until I can effectively use everything in that form. But there are Sifu's that are more like scholars. They have vast amounts of knowledge but very little application. (not all of them, but a lot of them). We have all seen the scholar Sifu's because those are the ones who are usually getting beaten by MMA and appear as if they have never been in the ring or even sparred. Don't get me wrong. The Scholar student is important. If I wanted to learn a lot of Kung Fu I would go to the Scholar Sifu. If I want to learn Kung Fu then I have to go to someone who actually uses it. These people are usually rough around the corners and not as refined. There forms may not look as crisp and flashy. Often times their forms look like they are actually fighting. I actually train 2 types forms. The scholar version and the fighting version.

    But when we look at ranking there's no distinguish between Scholar student and Fighting student. I think this is something that could be very useful to Martial Arts as a whole. It would also make a more accurate and reliable grading system for today's society. It would also bring back some Validity to many systems of martial arts. Since I started teaching I've been trying to come up with a solid way to acknowledge the different approaches to martial arts and how best to rank and train them based on the area of study.

    If a person trains to be a Scholar then they get a different type of training that one would get to be a fighter or to be able to use Martial Arts. This makes sense to me. My personal thoughts is that every school should have 2 teacher. One that's a scholar and one that's an applications expert. From there the 2 teachers should work together to keep the system alive.
     
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  19. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    No one has brought that up yet. But you have a valid point. I don't know how to set up a control group. I would guess that the control group would have to be outside of the school? How would you set up a control group? Would it be those who learn the technique vs those who haven't learned it? Those who know martial arts vs those who don't?
     
  20. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    its entirely dependent on what you are testing and how.

    The control is just your baseline group. ie if i was testing sunlight on plants, i would leave a plant in normal sunlight, deprive one and have one in increased, the one in normal sunlight would be the control to see the effects.

    for people it gets really janky, the more samples the generally better science it is though, and you have to account for unknown variables and human variables.

    If i was doing effectiveness of a technique/how easy it is to learn, i probbly would have a control group of half half people, thats people with no experince and some with some to know how to do it before hand. The testing groups would be a mixture of based on fitness, previous experience, knowledge, sex, height etc. and then i would run the groups through the experiments


    Wait, i may have just butchered what a control is in this circumstance, i need to revisit this. Testing people is hard. I think i got it right enough for the point to make sense123
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020

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