Style and Limitations

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Shifu Steve, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Shifu Steve

    Shifu Steve Green Belt

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    Each style has its own inherent limitations as well as strengths. The scope of human movement is far too great to study "in general" for it to be practical for the purpose of Martial Arts or combat. Therefore studying a given style gives the martial artist the advantage of limiting the scope of movement and training in context. That being said, no matter what style(s) you study there are going to be certain aspects that are focused on over others. My question is this, how much/often do you address the limitations within the style you have chosen and how do you address those issues?
     
  2. bowser666

    bowser666 2nd Black Belt

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    I personally dont believe in style limitations. The limits are imposed by the student. If you are referring to studying only one style ? Then I wouldn't know because I study a few together.
     
  3. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    Well considering I practice Japanese Sword arts, the only limitations to my art is that its generally not a good idea to walk around with a sword tucked into your belt.
     
  4. Draven

    Draven Green Belt

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    I don't have limitations, by that I'm always trying to improve & grow my art. So I deviate away from fixed forms (set techniques, not kata) and try to find holes to fill. So I have included training in firearms, and so much more as part of system to make it more complete.

    We use the term "martial" but forget that it means war. So I approach MA with what I feel is the true spirit (i.e. warfare), that means modernized and having "general" scope. Specialization is for insects...
     
  5. xJOHNx

    xJOHNx Purple Belt

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    I agree with the gentlemen above me. Limitations are your own.

    But would I be able to pull of a really low kamae (the way I like them) in a jeans? Don't think so. We talk about this is class, but we are not going to analyze it.
     
  6. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    What we label as styles really are training methodologies. Styles have a romanticism about them that has grown, particularly since these systems have come to the west.

    At their heart, each system represents a training methodology in a set of specific skills and methods for a specific environment or set of environments. Modern taekwondo, for example, trains students to use primarily leg techniques in a competition rule set. That is not the only part of the system, but that is the primary focus of live training in taekwondo as it is today.

    Aikido trains students in specific skills geared towards thwarting an attacker without necessarily doing lethal or lasting injury.

    Judo and BJJ focus on training students to grapple in the ring under a specific rule set.

    Other styles have a personal protection focus, others a military combat base. Still others are geared around archaic weapons.

    No one style or system is inherently superior: each is a training methodology. Figure out what you are training for and choose accordingly.

    As far as limitations go, all students are limited by the same things: the peculiarities of their age, body type, willingness to train, and time to train. Each of these will be different for each individual. Age is really not an issue for me, and being tall, I enjoy certain advantages in striking arts. And I am very willing to train. But being a custodial single parent, I face time constraints that a bachelor will not have to deal with. None of which is imposed upon me by any art or system.

    Daniel
     
  7. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    The only limitations you have are those you place on yourself. That being said, there's no way to be "complete" in the sense that many people seem to be chasing. You cannot possibly train for every contingency and opponent. No style, pile of styles will make you invincible, even Batman got his back broken by Bane.
     
  8. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Limit training time to Usefull, unusefull, and useless percentage increments.
    Sean
     
  9. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I heard it somewhere, and I can't remember where to give credit to the source. He talked about 80/20. To sum it up, 80% of your "success" is going to come from 20% of your efforts. So 80% of your time should be spent training in the high percentage moves and circumstances you will find yourself in. The remaining 20% will be spent training lower percentage moves and circumstances. That is not a hard and set rule, but I think it is a good concept to go on.

    Dr. Ron Chapel said one time in a conversation about styles etc.

    Teacher "Then we are going to kick the gun out of his hands"
    Student "Wouldn't it be easier to use our hands, since they are closer and quicker"
    Teacher "Yes, but then it wouldn't be our style"

    It wasn't meant to be a specific style, but an example of how some people put "tradition" over practicality when learning to protect yourself. If you want an art that has a long lineage that is one thing, but realize that there are going to be other tools in the toolbox that are effective that might be "outside" that style's historical approach.

    It's up to the student to recognize those things, or to the teacher to help fill in the gaps and point out where a different idea might be better than something just because of tradition.
     
  10. Shifu Steve

    Shifu Steve Green Belt

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    For those of you who said that your style has no limits; does your style focus on nothing in particular? In my experience all styles (and I define style generally as say Kenpo Karate) have areas they focus in more than others. Take the Kenpo example, I have never studied it but I would be surprised if they spend substantial time working ground submissions (if I'm wrong feel free to substitute Taekwondo here). So in this case, the style has certain limits when it comes to ground fighting. By this I mean it may not address a variety of scenarios on the ground. Now, the answer to this may be "we don't get taken to the ground or we do x, y, or z when taken to the ground" but that's just my point. Although the focus of Kenpo may not be groundwork, there may be answers to those scenarios. The style is limited in it's focus on groundwork but that isn't to say it doesn't address the situation. That being said, somebody pointed out they study mutliple styles, which may be part of the answer to what I was getting at. Maybe I should ask the question as "How do you adapt your style to address the situations you don't typically focus on?"
     
  11. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Honestly, this statement is not supportable. Most training methods came about as the result of preparing for combat. It really does not take very much to prepare you practically for combat. Learn to inflict and to avoid damage.

    No training methodology, no matter how thorough will make you invincible. All that they can do is offer you tools to use. Generally, the more tools you have to train in, the less practical good you will be. Hard training in a small number of good techniques produces better results than the master-it-all approach.

    Where are you going with this thread? If you are trying to address the question,
    Then the answer is that there is no way to train for each and every scenario. You train principles and strong basics that can be applied as needed.

    I think that it is very important to differentiate between martial sports and fighting systems. Boxing and WTF taekwondo both limit the techniques used for the purpose of making a sport more unique. There is no practical purpose for such limitations outside of the ring. Same goes for grappling sports that allow no striking.

    Fighting systems teach you to fight and will generally address a much broader range of techniques and scenarios. They will give you enough tools that you should be able to adapt them practically in any unarmed situation and in situations where an unarmed person can realistically defend against a weapon.

    Also, most fighting systems are designed to give you the skills to stay in a particular set of ranges (long striking and close quarters) and to avoid and quickly get off of the ground.

    Thus rather than try to teach a response to every scenario, they give you adaptable principles.

    Daniel
     
  12. Shifu Steve

    Shifu Steve Green Belt

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    I totally agree and this is a good answer to the question.

    I don't know where you're going with saying "The scope of human movement is far too great to study "in general" for it to be practical for the purpose of Martial Arts or combat" is not supportable. You basically agree with that very statement when you say:

    That is the same idea I was refering to. My point there was that by studying a given style you narrow down your focus for practical reasons.

    Sorry I'm not so hot with this fancy quote system, I'll get it down.
     
  13. Draven

    Draven Green Belt

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    Somewhat yes; a lot of problems can be resolved with a few of the same techniques & they aren't limited by set in stone format. While a BJJ practicer might be able to out grapple me because that their focus, I have other areas of study they don't even address.

    My art covers;
    Striking, grappling, throws, sweeps, takedowns, groundfighting, fighting from the ground, anatomy, escape & evasion, survival techniques, tracking, trapping, land navigation, herbal medicines, water survival, knives, sticks, staves, shuriken, chains, archery, spears, swords, kusari-gama, shoge, fans, nunchuku, blow guns, hand claws, fist loads, firearms, strategy & tactics built around psychological, guerrilla & moble warfare.

    Having a focus just limiting, when you examine the possibilities. I can apply a few aspects of a given technique and it principles and apply them to solve different situations. If I can do that then I can likewise things similarly from other sources and areas of study. There are 5 ranges of combat;
    1. Mental; Psychological Warfare
    2. Extreme Close Range; Groundfighting
    3. Close Range; In-fighting
    4. Long Range; Striking
    5. Weapons; Anything from a knife to a cruise mission, though a firearm is more probable.

    Focus on anyone can leave you volnerable in other ways; especially were weapons & mental abuse/manipulation are concerned...123
     

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