What has changed for you as you've trained?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bill Mattocks, May 1, 2019.

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think we are well into that split. But I don’t think it’s a full split. I teach to traditional and casual at the same time. To the casuals, I probably blather a bit in stuff they don’t care about, but not enough for them to flee.
     
  2. Prostar

    Prostar Orange Belt

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    I started in the second week of September, 1968. I took a few years off and noticed, when I came back, that people started to be called master, GM, and GGM. I never saw that in the late 60s and early 70s. It was all, Mister Rhee, Mister Roberts and so on.

    I suppose it works from a marketing standpoint but it still bothers me.
     
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  3. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

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    Absolutely! Leaning too far with either extreme is generally not healthy :)
     
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It bothers some of them, too. I know that Richard Bowe was used to being called "Mr. Bowe" for many years. Somewhere along the way, students started referring to him as "Master Bowe". I know it irked at least one high-ranking instructor who saw no need for that term, and I heard Bowe accepted the term reluctantly.
     
  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I used to believe that More is Better.
    Now I believe that More is More. And often, More can be Clutter.

    I used to put a lot of value on belt rank. Now I am happy to be training in a system where we do not pay attention to belt rank.

    I used to be a slave to my training. I was trying to keep up with practicing several systems and the sheer volume of material was overwhelming and all my efforts were only enough to not forget it all. Now I practice one system that makes sense to me and is a good match for me, and my training load makes room for other things in life.

    I used to collect techniques and forms. Now I distinguish what the underlying principles are and how the foundation works, and what belongs together based on those principles and that foundation. I’ve dumped things that i realized were in conflict. I no longer collect a bag of tricks, but rather work to understand a systematic approach to the methods.

    In the beginning, I thought a lot about self defense. Now, I think about the physical education that martial arts offers. Self defense is always part of it, but it is now in the back of my mind rather than in the front. When I would pass people on the street, I would think about what I would do if that person attacked me. Now I recognize the paranoia in such views. Life has dangers. But enemies do not lurk around every corner. Dial back the paranoia. Life is better that way.
     
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  6. Rat

    Rat Brown Belt

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    Well, i haven't done much in the physical aspect, but before could form a punch properly and didn't know how to kick or simple footwork/guard. I recall my posture being changed due to being slapped in the head a couple of times after leaning closer to someone, until i went on a recluse in not doing it as often. But with every bit of information i get, the hypothetical element changes. either for the better or worse pending how good/truthful it is and if i subscribe to it. Case and point im not likely to believe any knife defence unless there is a real force session to apply it with someone trying to stab and cut you with the training knife. Due to my interest and wanting to try fighting with a knife and i kind of twigged something not working early due to seeing a knife guard to go into and trying to dupe it. So at least i wasn't tricked into that bracket.

    Still tainted with my de facto dislike for TKD though. Dont really have a cognitive issue with it past forms and thinking it wouldn't prepare me that well for a physical altercation. It is the first thing i did after all and the one i have the most time in, or its the English past time of complaining about something. :p

    Oh to not delude, my footwork still sucks, but at least i have a guard and can say i can punch and front kick at a very basic level.
     
  7. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I hold higher than the commonly accepted rank to be called master. Have had more than a few students address me as such. I have always pulled them aside after class and told them it is not necessary. No explanation beyond that. I have gotten a few odd looks but it just hasn't suited me yet. I don't see that changing anytime soon.
    What is the common point of view on this?
     
  8. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The owner of my first school was insistent on being called master, once he reached the appropriate rank. Before that we called him sensei. None of us had an issue with that, but when he tried to get us all to call him by his last name (ie: Master Doe instead of Master John), that was weird. We did it for him, and never told him we felt uncomfortable with the change, but we talked about it and all felt like it was more difficult changing from first name to last then sensei to master.

    None of my other instructors, including the ones that would fit your standard definition of master, wanted to be called master. It was always coach, or sensei, for me (other people would even call them by just their first names, but that always sounds weird to me).
     
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  9. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    From the very beginning, I have called my instructor by his first name, and he has been fine with that.
     
  10. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When I

    - was a beginner, I had technique but I didn't have enough ability to support it.
    - am no longer a beginner, I have enough ability to support my technique. But I'm no longer young to compete in the ring or on the mat.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  11. Buka

    Buka MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll tell you what has changed for me. The whole damn Martial world.

    And for the most part, it's changed for the better.
     
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I have to remind myself that, by in large, I agree sometimes. It is easy to hold on to the idea that the old ways are better. I will still argue that some still are.
     
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  13. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Yellow Belt

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    Thought provoking thread. Too tired to write as eloquently as the great postings above, so here is my short version which I think captures the essence for me: When a teen, MA was for self-confidence. In my 20's, it was for ego. In my 30's, it was for a sense of accomplishment and finding the "warrior spirit." Semi-retirement in my 40's and 50's allowed everything I had learned to quietly ferment, like a buried jug of kim chee. Now in my 60's and active again in MA, I have dug up that jug to find (in truth, surprisingly) my skills more fully developed than ever. Now I embrace the Arts as something I simply do for myself with no real goal other than improving the "feel" of doing the techniques. This feeling is an end to itself.
     
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  14. Buka

    Buka MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Many things have changed for me, some haven't changed at all. I still get chicken skin when I see something really cool concerning the arts. I hope that feeling never goes away.

    When I hear or read b.s about the arts I recognize it like it's labelled, but I no longer really care. On the flip side of that coin, part of me feels that Karate is a good part bull.....but it's my bull....so there.

    One of Bruce Lee's quotes was "Before I studied the art, a punch was just a punch, a kick was just a kick. After I studied the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I understood the art, a punch is just a punch, a kick is just a kick." - Bruce Lee, Tao.
    I always thought was really cool. A lot of us old Bruce Lee quoters did. And we slung around those quotes like they were magic.
    But I get it now. And know it to be true.

    Getting punched in the face hasn't changed much. It still sucks. The difference now is I will no longer tolerate it.

    Stretching and flexibility knowledge has come so far since I started training. That's such a good thing.

    Years ago, every dojo and boxing gym I trained in had smelling salts handy, every one. Probably not the case today.

    Getting a Black Belt was a big deal back in the day. Hardly anyone knew someone who was a Black Belt back then. Now, I'm not sure if there's anybody who doesn't know somebody who has a Black Belt.

    The resources available to aspiring Martial Artists today is off the charts. So much so it's almost comical. Heck, I have this machine thing on my table where I can press a button or two and contact Martial Artists from all kinds of styles and have long conversations about everything. Even see pictures and videos. What an unbelievable thing! Even if some of them don't like bacon.

    Seems to be a whole lot more Masters now than there used to be. Must be something in the water.

    You never saw Martial Arts on television. Ever. Now, it's kind of hard not to find it. And that is awesome!

    As mentioned earlier in this thread, I don't think The Warrior Spirit is taught and utilized as much as it should be. But that's just my personal take. As is the teaching about Bushido. And even though Bushido is Japanese in origin, I believe it's tenets exist in all Martial Arts styles and dojos.

    I believe it was easier to train as a serious Martial Artist back in the day than it is now. Life has become far more complicated and expensive than it used to be. I don't know if that's a product of the times or a natural progression of a society, but I salute those who train today. God luck and Gesundheit to all of us. (see what I did there?)
     
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  15. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    I'd say that was pretty darn eloquent for someone not trying.
     
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  16. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Yellow Belt

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    There has been some mention in this thread of the "warrior spirit," and it occurred to me that this might mean different things to different people. Is it a morality, love of fighting, courage...?
     
  17. Skullpunch

    Skullpunch Green Belt

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    When I was late teens/early 20s, martial arts were about protecting my manhood. The only thing I cared about was being able to kick everyone's *** around me. I was an insecure wreck. My mentality was shaped by Van Damme movies, Shonen manga/anime, and mma fighters beating their chests and acting like pro wrestlers while overlooking the fact that their tough guy personas were 99% manufactured to sell tickets, and the remaining 1% whose similar behavior was meant to be taken seriously were either mentally ill or had extremely dysfunctional upbringings or something of the sort.

    These days, what if I get worked on the mats by a younger, stronger, more genetically gifted sparring partner? Good. Keep me humble, remind me again that I still have a lot to learn, that there are levels I may never reach and that's ok. Training martial arts for the purpose of being able to kick the most *** possible is something that I now see as a pointless pursuit, and not only because I'm getting older. After all, even an average guy with a pocket knife poses a significant risk for a master using his bare hands. Let alone a gun, and before guns the hand to hand arts lose to bows and arrows, swords, spears, battle axes, etc. If you want to make people bleed, get a concealed carry permit and be prepared to face the legal consequences should you ever make your wish come true. Furthermore, the aforementioned mentality simply didn't get me anywhere appreciable in life or in my practice (other than getting me to practice in the first place, which was the only redeeming factor). For me today, the martial arts are about personal growth, building character and strengthening your mind and spirit through physical struggle by pushing your body beyond the threshold that would make most people quit. Getting thrown like a ragdoll or choked out or getting my legs kicked out from underneath me no longer bothers me, but if my mind can't carry me to the end of a grueling session I'm as disappointed with myself as the younger and crazier version of me was whenever I "lost" a sparring/rolling match. I'll never be the baddest man on the planet, nor will I ever be a contender. But to this day my ability to handle suffering, exhaustion, frustration, and the ability to push myself one step further when things get so hard that the temptation to call it an early day becomes overwhelming, all of those things continue to reach a new level, and those attributes have been taking me a lot further in life than just trying to be able to beat up as many people as I can. And while martial arts aren't mandatory for developing these attributes, I do it for funzies. The best part is I've found that my mind has far more potential for growth than my body could ever hope for. I believe that I can continue to grow in this manner both to a level and for a period of time that far exceeds the natural limits of my body, and that excites me as much as trying to be like Goku did when I was a kid
     
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  18. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Yellow Belt

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    How about a nice soothing cup of green tea?
     
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Bah, I don’t like green tea. I like strong, smokey black tea. Lopsang Souchong, campfire in a cup.
     
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  20. Skullpunch

    Skullpunch Green Belt

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    No thanks, my lifestyle is soothing enough. That and the occasional beer.
     

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