Toolbox concept

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Kung Fu Wang, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,744
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    If you have built a toolbox (or a set of toolboxes), in fighting, you can take your tool out and use it.

    The advantage of this approach are:

    - You train MA in general. You are not training any particular MA style.
    - If you always take 4 tools out of your toolbox and train those tools differently every week, when you need to use it, you will have at least 4 tools that you feel fresh.
    - If you connect your tools and make it into a short form, you can "record" your tools nicely.
    - ...

    Here is one way that you can build your elbow toolbox:

    - side way elbow.
    - forward elbow.
    - downward elbow.
    - upward elbow.
    - backward elbow.
    - Double side way elbows.
    - ...

    Any comment?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,540
    Likes Received:
    2,357
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Any toolbox needs to be consistent with a theme.

    A carpenter will have certain tools in his toolbox.
    A roofer will have certain tools in his toolbox.
    A plumber will have certain tools in his toolbox.
    An auto mechanic will have certain tools in his toolbox.
    A lumberjack will have certain tools in his toolbox.
    A metal worker will have certain tools in his toolbox.

    The tools in one’s box need to be consistent with what one is trying to accomplish. While the examples above will certainly have some tools in common, there will be a lot of things unique to their needs and their trade.

    If my toolkit has a crescent wrench, a hammer, a kiln and a chainsaw I can’t do much to fix a car engine or install a stairwell or cast some bronze. So what tools you have, matters.

    I don’t like the idea of looking at it all as just tools that you can freely swap out at your whim. There has to be something connecting it all together so that it actually works and you can accomplish something.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,626
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    i think its a step to far to take the tool box metaphor as far as comparing it with actual tool boxes.

    but all of those with the possible exception of a lumber jack will have a significant number of tools in common, those tools may have a slightly different design, but hammers are for hitting things, saws cut things, screwdriver drive screws and wrenches work bolts and there are few trades men who haven't found a chisel, a socket set, an allen key, a pair pliers or some tin snips come in handy from time to time, judging by the number of trades people who dont own them and have felt the need to borrow mine

    one job i was supervising we had a team of German engineers who had travel a thousand miles or so in possession of all and any tool you could think of. mean while we had teams of trades men from 5 miles away, whose opening gambit was always,, can we borrow a ,, bucket, sweeping brush, ladder,paint brush, jig saw etc etc
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,626
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK

    you need a small number of tools to deal with the vast Majority of situations, its those you need to keep fresh, ive got through my whole long life thus far and never suffered for the lack of a double side wards elbow. giving it equal prominence with more mundane but far more useful techniques seems foolish ?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,744
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    The double side elbows is used to break apart a rear bear hug. IMO, it's a very important tool.
     
  6. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,626
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    only if people make a habit of bear hugging you, which has never been much of a problem round here
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,540
    Likes Received:
    2,357
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I think it’s a tool that might be useful. But it depends on how it is executed. If it is executed in a manner consistent with your foundation principles, then it can be useful.

    But if it is executed haphazardly, inconsistently with your fundamental principles, or worse yet, without any context of fundamental principles, then it can be useless and ineffective.

    Rather than collecting tools in the form of techniques or tricks, a better approach is to understand your foundation principles and how those principles can be widely applied with many techniques. Then you can use most any technique effectively, because you have a context in which it is powerful.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,744
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    I agree that principle is more important than technique.

    I hate to tell someone that they have to wait until form ... in order to learn technique ...

    A: Dear master. Could you show me how to do a backward elbow?
    B: You will learn it when you learn form #4.
    A: Why can't you teach it to me now?
    B: ...

    Instead of requiring a student to learn many forms, A teacher can just help them to collect all the elbow striking tools. IMO, that's a teacher's job.

    All those elbow tools are collected from different CMA systems.

    1. Side way elbow - from long fist Lien Bu Chuan.
    2. Forward elbow - from long fist Lien Bu Chuan
    3. Downward elbow -- from SC head lock.
    4. Upward elbow - from Baji little Baji Chuan.
    5. backward elbow - from long fist elbow form.
    6. Double side way elbows - from SC sticky drop principle.

    The side way elbow and forward elbow are in the long fist Lien Bu Chuan form (at 0.18 - 0.19)



    Many elbow techniques can be seen in this long fist elbow form.




    "
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  9. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,540
    Likes Received:
    2,357
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    It looks to me like you are still simply collecting techniques. Drop the mindset of “I need these techniques and those techniques.”

    Instead, adopt a mindset of “this is a fundamental approach to moving powerfully and effectively, and with this fundamental approach I can then adopt and use any technique I want.”

    Yes, you do need techniques. But they are only useful and effective if they have the proper supporting context. When you just collect techniques, the supporting context is unclear, perhaps even being ignored or simply not even aware of it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,744
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    Both are useful, the

    - basic level tool box, and
    - advance level principle/strategy box.

    The "principle box" is what we test our blue belt in SC system.

    撕(Si) - Tearing
    崩(Beng) - Cracking
    捅(Tong) - Striking push
    褪(tun) - Hand pushing
    肘(Zhou) - Elbow pressing
    蓋(Gai) - Covering hands
    攞(Lou)- Pulling hands
    搖(Yao) - Body-shaking hands
    捯(Dao) - Reverse arm-holding
    抖(Dou) – Shaking
    分(Fen) - Separate hands
    掖(Ye) - Hand tucking
    引(Yin) - Arm guiding
    捧(Peng) - Arm raising
    架(Jia) - Elbow Locking
    圈(Quan) – Under hook
    抄(Chao) - Over hook
    抹(Mo) – Wiping
    偏(Pian) – Head circling
    夾(Jia) – Clamping head
    摘(Zai) – Helmet removing
    摀(Wu) – Face covering
    速(Su) – Forehead push
    墬(Zhui) - Sticking drop
    撈 (Lao) – Leg seize
    環(Huan) – Neck surrounding
    托(Tuo) – Chin pushing
    封(Feng) – Throat/waist blocking
    撒(Sa) – Casting
    飄(Piao) - Floating hand
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,540
    Likes Received:
    2,357
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Well I’m not sure what these are, but based simply on their names/titles, they look to me like techniques or tricks, not principles.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    7,626
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    but you dont need principles, you need '' tricks'' that work

    if a trick is dependent on a principle, then it wont work unless you apply the principle,

    but what principle do you need to clamp someones head ?
     
  13. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,744
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    What's your example of principle? May be we can compare with each other's definition.
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,540
    Likes Received:
    2,357
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I believe that principles are the engine that drives everything. The fundamental methodology that drives any technique, that a particular system is built upon. I believe that a lot of people tend to be unaware of these things, or perhaps give it lip service but actually do not have a methodology for developing what their principles and engine for their system are supposed to be.

    So, the way you use your rooting to power your techniques, for example. It might be rooting coupled with waist rotation, as we do it in Tibetan White Crane. Or it might be using rooting to drive the body forward when delivering a strike, as is seen in Xing-i. Or it could be using a combination of those.

    Whatever it is, there needs to be a way to develop skill with the principle, that can then drive any technique. Any technique that one practices ought to be an expression of the principle. The proper practice of any technique in your system ought to be reinforcing your principles. To someone familiar with the method and the system, the principle in action should be obvious when watching someone practice.

    So master the principle, then any technique can become useful as long as it can be executed with that principle.

    One day I watched my Sifu demonstrate our principle of rooting and waist rotation. He told my sihing to bear hug him from behind. Sifu dug in and rotated, and threw my sihing off him. He didn’t use any strikes or any fancy counters to escape the bearhug. And he wasn’t trying to say “this is how you should defend against a bearhug.” Rather, he was simply saying, “hey look at this, here is something you can do with your waist turning.” And this was followed with “if you know waist turning, you can do 1000 things” which is allegorical and simply means, if you understand your foundation and the principles upon which your system is built, then you can do anything you want with it and specific technique does not matter so much.
     
  15. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    278
    Trophy Points:
    218
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    While I have used the "tool box" metaphor myself on occasions, it can be taken too far. Yes, hammers hit, wrenches twist, saws cut, etc,, so the principle of the tool is quite important. The difference between metal tools and MA tools is this: A mechanic may need 14 crescent wrenches in his box as (for the most part) they are not adjustable. The MA practitioner needs only one "wrench", as he can adjust it for different situations.

    So, if he is a craftsman and knows the principles of the tools, and how to use them, not that many different tools are needed. One or two (maybe more) of each kind of tool should be enough to "fix" most problems. The key is the ability to be creative with each tool, understanding its principles, possible variant uses, and having the physical skill to use it effectively.

    Rather than spending time learning 20 different kicks, knowing 4 thoroughly will be able to be adapted to handle most "repairs." Having too many tools in the box makes it harder to find the one you need in a hurry. The KISS principle holds true here.

    I think Socrates' metaphysical concept of a basic ideal "chair" for example, with all existing chairs being shadow variants of the ideal, is also relevant here. If you know how to sit in a generalized, ideal chair, you understand how to sit in any kind of chair, including a rock or log. IMO, this can be applied to MA.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,744
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    Now I can see that we do have different definition of "principle".

    Your definition of principle is "Shenfa - body method" such as:

    - power generation,
    - body coordination,
    - waist/hip rotation,
    - weight shifting,
    - ...

    My definition of principle is "find the right key to open the right lock - how to solve a certain problem."

    For example, my principle of "sticky drop" is:

    - You bear hug me from behind and lock both my arms inside.
    - I expand both my arms side way, use a wedge force to loose your bear hug, I then drop down into a low wide horse stance.

    The "wedge" concept is the key here. It can be used in many different techniques (such as my rhino guard).
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  17. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,744
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    The punch toolbox and kick toolbox are easy to build. I may come up about 40 tools in my joint locking toolbox.

    But I will have more than 150 tools in my throwing toolbox. There are 62 different categories of throwing skill. If I just pick up 1 from each category, I will need at least 62 tools. For some throwing category, 1 tool is not enough. For example, I will need at least 2 foot sweeping tools (1 for sweeping behind the ankle, 1 for sweeping in front of the foot).

    Of course it will be simple if I just want to build a set of toolbox that only contain the tools that I like to use. But IMO, that won't have any value for the effort.
     
  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    4,606
    Likes Received:
    1,362
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Southeast U.S.
    Great post. Nail on the head. You beat me to the Socrates' concept.

    FWIW, Crescent is a brand of tools. While they do make other tools, the wrench most commonly called a 'crescent wrench' is adjustable.;) However, your example was spot on.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Breaking the mould here, what if i use the toolbox itself? that is a sturdy and mighty weapon. :p
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  20. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,471
    Likes Received:
    543
    Trophy Points:
    198
    But, as Flying Crane was getting at, if you understand the principle(s) behind a "throw", and ingrain those principles you don't need to learn every different type of throw possible to see that concept/principle utilized. Kind of like Musashi, "from one thing, know ten thousand things" idea.

    Also, I agree with Flying Crane's concept of different craftsman will have different toolboxes. A grappler's toolbox will look different than a striker's toolbox. I have seen people "collect tools" in real life that they get "just in case" because it seems so useful, and in martial arts. They take a tool and want to put it in their toolbox, but they have no concepts, tactics or strategy to actually use that tool. For example, when grappling first started to become popular, I would see all these "karate" guys claiming hidden groundfighting/grappling moves in their kata if you just laid down. A cross over step in kata now became a hidden "triangle choke". They could mimic the mechanics of the choke, but they had no concept of how to take it to the ground, how to employ an active guard, etc. etc.

    Your toolbox needs to meet the parameters of your job. My instructor always talks about overall strategy in a fight. Your strategy needs to be supported by tactics and those tactics will be put into place by your techniques. If I am going to build a house, I need a blueprint (strategy) and know how to build walls/roof/floor (tactics) and know how to use my tools to build those things (techniques).123
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page