STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE

Discussion in 'Karate' started by DaveB, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Fighting is chaotic, unpredictable, and ugly. Technique breaks down and deteriorates in a real fight. So fighting can look like anything or like nothing.

    So train the principles and apply those principles to your techniques, but understand that your techniques will deteriorate in the chaos. And so regardless of what system you train, when in a fight they are all likely to look much alike, tho of course maybe not exactly.

    How you train the principles such as how do you generate your power, is what defines your style.

    In a real fight, strategy needs to be simple. The fight should be over quickly, there is no time to develop and apply a sophisticated strategy.

    In a competition fight that is likely to last some time and not be over quickly, you can have time to develop a more sophisticated strategy. That is a different situation.
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I Think I get it. We focus on basics, good structure and work rate. With a heavy wrestling and standing striking emphasis.

    Our theory is we can deny a more technical guy by keeping good structure and forcing them to take risks. And work harder than they would like. They will have a dog fight on their hands.

    We will generally fight Conservatively. Rather than be especially tactically clever.
     
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  3. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    I don't deny that simple strategies are best.
    Take Ali's game plan as I described it above:
    Keep distance with footwork and snipe as opponents close, then once they are sufficiently dazed enter and destroy.

    With a simple plan like this you immediately know what to do in any conflict or confrontation: Step 1 create distance.
    That might mean changing location or shoving away a close adversary or just backing up. Regardless, an overarching strategy gives a clear path to victory.

    Consider the preamble to the fight. Aggressive posturing, arguing etc. You know your going to want distance so while your arguing you are setting your position.

    The mechanical principles are an integral part of a style, but they should in my view, be in service to the strategic principles. If your working around distance and footwork and solid jabs as your work horse, that will shape how you generate power.

    I believe a martial art is one or more core strategies (like the Ali pkan above) embodied through a number of specific tactics (like timing the jab against the opponents advance, or bridging and chi-sau in wing chun) and supported by complimentary mechanical principles of power generation, movement and stability.

    Yes fighting is chaotic but the purpose of any martial training is to try to ride the chaos and exert some control over the situation. If we submit to the chaos I think we miss an opportunity to master it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  4. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    Drop Bear, does this general plan have any specific tactics behind it? For example, do you personally or your school aim to win more through ground work etc. Can you convert your game plan into conflict management?

    If i remember right your an MMA guy? If so i imagine you'd be less inclined to have a core strategy as a style because the teaching has to be adaptive to different mixes of ma background.
     
  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    In some cases, the difference in training methods is part of the style, so leaving those out doesn't fully describe it.

    I'll take a shot at my own, though. Nihon Goshin Aikido is a self-defense-oriented art that utilizes both striking and grappling (throws/locks/takedowns). Among the primary principles is "aiki" - the ideal concept of using the momentum/inertia of an attack so efficiently that little strength is used to effect the technique. While that is among the primary principles, the art is more focused on defensive usefulness, so we sometimes (often?) use less "aiki", where there's a simpler, more direct response available.
     
  6. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    What you said = what I do.

    DB's place's strategic concept is where we're coming from, too, but without the throwing of bombs is all. Well.... for me personally not my people, if you call a leg-kick a bomb, that'd be me, too.
     
  7. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    It may be due to a passing familiarity with Aikido but yours is the first description that lets me at least guess at how you go about trying to win a fight.

    This goes to the question at the heart of my point. Why do TMA fighters not define their arts by the fighting bit? Do we practice to get good at practicing or to get good at fighting?

    As an aside I think I remember reading in the book Aikido and the dynamic sphere, an example of using the aiki principle in conversation to difuse conflict pre fight. Aikido was definitely designed philosoohy first.

    So anyway, cats out the bag, so perhaps a rephrase will help.

    How does your fighting art fight? How does it win?
     
  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    That's a reasonable description of my approach. I can kick to the head (if they aren't taller than me), but probably won't, except in training (so people can train against head kicks). My bombs are hard throws - I'm probably more conservative with kicks (less kicking background than you, so that's to be expected). I focus a lot on denying their attack (breaking its structure - therefore its power, etc.).
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think many TMA folks define their art the way it was defined to them - in contrast to similar arts. In that light, the way they win fights often isn't the differentiator. What makes the style different (in those cases) is how they develop that ability. Some focus more on hard sparring, others on a mix of sparring and forms, etc.
     
  10. Martial D

    Martial D Master Black Belt

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    Fixed that for you
     
  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ali's plan works in competiton where he has the time to develop and implement it. That is too much for a self defense situation. You do not have the time for that.
     
  12. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    But thats why we discuss these things in terms of principles. You adapt a principle to your situation.



    How can there not be time to try to make distance? A boxer in a match is facing a toughened opponent alert to potential blows and is hindered by rules amd safety padding.

    Translate the strategy to self defence and bare knuckles on untrained faces take a multi round strategy into an instant victory, as evidenced by the video above.

    Besides, this was one example of one strategy, even if it did not hold up it wouldnt invalidate the argument.
     
  13. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah there is specific tactics.

    Basically we will keep the fight standing. Or work on standing back up. So we will give up submission opportunities to keep positions. We dont jump guard. Or do arm bars off mount as a rule of thumb. We also have a couple of golden glove boxers now.

    We tend to pressue fight a bit. Use a lot of cardio. Use a lot of energy to win the standing wrestle or to escape off the bottom.

    There are co servative specifics. We run people over to take them down rather than lift them. And a lot of the takedowns have similar and simple entries.

    We dont do a lot of submissions.

    To adapt to other systems we do good structure. The other guy doesnt get a free arm, head or underhook. They dont get the space in the hips to Judo.

    Striking changes on the guy. I am very straight line. Coach is more slippery gypsy.



    Not sure exactly what you meqn by conflict management.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  14. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Distance is heaps safer in a street fight as you can apply more technical martial arts reather than create a contest of strength.
     
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  15. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah. But are you looking at ali's plan as one big plan?

    Someone would have put a rush on him at some point and he would have had a plan for that as well. Someone would have clipped him and he would have a plan for that.

    If we break these ring fights into shorter fights we encounter a lot of different situationals.
     
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  16. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    Which is why martial arts have more than one form/kata etc and why there may be a variety of skills being taught.
     
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  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Was this reply to me or to someone else?
     
  18. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    To you
     
  19. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    I think that though it may not have been expressed, strategies are usually still decipherable from elements such as forms and core mechanics.

    As I mentioned, I've never encountered a teacher who didn't hybridise his training at least a little. No two classes are the same even within a big style like Shotokan, hence the whole guest instructor thing.

    Surely if it were the training that made the style, and every class trains differently, then each class is it's own style and commonalities between aikido groups or wing chun branches are irrelevant?
     
  20. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    Pre-fight.

    Can your fighting philosophy be reimagined to offer you guidance on managing the environment/positioning or even the verbal exchanges that lead to conflict?

    I mentioned the aiki redirection of aggression used to difuse a conversation example. Another might be to build on the Ali strategy, looking to move to a more spacious or uncluttered area/ increasing the space between you/ responding to verbal aggression with calm non-aggression interspersed with warnings about consequences either violent or legal (evade and jab)...

    You could take that last one further and wait for a sign of hesitation or wavering resolve to launch an all out pre-emptive assault.

    Basically converting your ring strategy to real world self defence.
     

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