A Magical Martial Art: Is There Such A Thing?

kungfu penguin

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if find that the harder you work at it the better you become at it and that my friend is the magic the magic is the transformation! of your thoughts, abilities, body, spirit, etc... every time i go into a new studio i see magic here or there just a speckle of it never full blown but i live for those little magic moments when a 5 year old accomplishs a kick without falling or a teen accomplishes some technique, kata, kick, etc..notice i did not say master i said accomplish the gleam at the 1st ah ha moment is the best thing i love to see
i do find that the harder you work at it the more magic will happen.

PS tha'ts why i study hocus pocus ryu :ultracool
 

MattJ

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So, after reading all of this, it makes me wonder..."Do these people think that there is actually an art out there that is the end all, be all of self defense?" Of course, I tend to find this rather interesting, because IMHO, its not necessarily the art, but the person. For example...some of us could look at TKD, and think that its the worst art out there, that all they do is focus on point fighting, keep their hands down, they dont do this or that, etc., but unless we see every TKD student out there, we'll never know if its really that way, or if there're TKDists out there that focus on street oriented material, more practical ways of fighting, etc. Of course, its not limited to TKD. I've had people talk about Kenpo.

Good post. Ironically, two of my main sparring partners were TKD guys, who were both very good. It wasn't until I started travelling the internet MA forums that I found that TKD had a poor reputation. I similarly did not know that kenpo had a bad reputation, and this was equally shocking to my friends, LOL.

I do not believe there are any magic martial arts, either. The magic is in what you do with your training.
 
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JWLuiza

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Good post. Ironically, two of my main sparring partners were TKD guys, who were both very good. It wasn't until I started travelling the internet MA forums that I found that TKD had a poor reputation. I similarly did not know that kenpo had a bad reputation, and this was equally shocking to my friends, LOL.

I do not believe there are any magic martial arts, either. The magic is in what you do with your training.

I used to be a snob (ok, I still am) but I find it more enlightening to be a thief. The more knowledge I get, the more I realize it's all the same stuff, sometimes just wrapped a little differently. I'll see a drill I like and I'll snatch it up and take it back with me. Bam! I'm a klepto! I didn't know much about Kenpo and kind of had a general negative impression, but I watched some videos of drills and like the direction their training goes.
 
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MJS

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I do not have your experience in martial arts, but I'm crowding 50 years old. My experience is that there are always people who want something for nothing. MA experience without training, education without studying, musician without practicing, etc. These people will never be convinced that there are no shortcuts, they will always refuse to believe you.

I used to be more gentle with them, but I've lost patience and I call them what they are. Victims, suckers, losers; and not because of the cruel hand fate dealt them, but because they are at heart lazy and feel entitled. To them, it is not fair that Johnny is better at karate than they are, even though Johnny practices and they do not. There must be some magic system that will make things equal so they don't have to work but can still be Johnny's equal.

All I can say is it sucks to be them. Life as a professional victim cannot be much fun. But trying to help them is like teaching a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

IMO, you hit the nail on the head Bill, when you spoke of the experience. I dont feel that its always martial arts experience, but life experience. Sadly, I think that alot of the people that're looking for that quick fix, and young, and easily impressed with things that they see.
 

Xue Sheng

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I had to look those up & they don't exist... Of course that opens a whole different can o' worms becasue its "anime occultism" and to be honest most occultists don't even know what their doing.

Basicly Occultism (hidden knowledge) is based in the mystery schools of the Middle-East which spread East & West respectively. However the mystery schools used parlor tricks, espionage networks, rituals & restricted (i.e. secret) knoweldge; usually dealing with drugs, poisons and medicine. The initiated were feed false knowledge and allowed to "blow things out of proportition." While, the intitated were fed a "false theology" and as the initiates gained further rank more of the falsehoods were peeled away to reveal the true science behind the mysticism. In the end the mystical stuff is just "smoke & mirrors."

Sure they do

One is from star trek and the others are from Anime.

If you want magical and mystical there it is

However Reality... that is something different all together.
 
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MJS

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Everyone wants a magic pill. Some just will have to learn the hard way that there isn't one. No art is gonna do everything, and no art is perfect.


Agreed, but the sad thing is, is that these people will not learn, no matter what those that're more experienced tell them.
 
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MJS

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If I understand your post correctly you are addressing two topics.

1. The beginning, but ignorant student who is drowning in a ocean of information and styles available.

2. People who just want a free ride in a fancy car. Getting blackbelt and at the same time good without effort.

In the first case I can only use the words of Rutherford: "we are drowning in information, yet starving for knowledge". Plus the fact that every style seems to promote itself to be the best style ever.

In te second case: I've always seen people like that during my humble years as an "artist" and an ethousiast.

Helping people in the first case is noble, in the second case they need a good whack on the head from a shinai.

1) Thats correct. There is so much out there, that its like a kid in a candy or toy store. They see so much, their eyes get so big, and they want it all. However, its impossible to have it all. IMO, its fine to do more than 1 thing..I do it, but I'm also realistic about it, not trying to kid myself. I've devoted lots of time to one thing, before I even thought of adding in something else, and even then, I still do not consider myself a master at any of them. :) Still a student, learning all the time. :)

The people looking for the quick fix are either trying to find 1 art that they feel has it all, yet those arts are few and far between, or they want 1 best art that addresses punching, 1 for kicking, 1 for grappling, etc., etc. I have to wonder where they plan on getting all their time to train. LOL.

2) I didn't intend on addressing that, although I may have indirectly. :) I suppose those people will think that in addition to the magic art, that having the BB will also mean that they'll be more invinsible. LOL.
 
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MJS

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Well thats were I see as this; their is a "magical art" and there are systems which are more dangerious then others. First I deal with the latter and get back to the former, when it comes to dealier MAs there are several which come to mind and they are "deadly" because they don't with hold anatomy or practical application until later grades. Which is something we see with sport Karate for example. Add to this that many commercial systems, either drag out or speed up training for money & it makes the problem worse. It causes the uneducated general population to assume that all MAs are equally as watered down; allowing the marketting of "secret deadly" martial arts, which no deadlier then anyone else they simple don't have all the commercial or dogmatic "fluff" watering down the training.

I'll use Krav Maga as an example. While its been said that its easy to do, the techs. are short, sweet and to the point, IMO, that still doesn't mean that practice can be neglected. However, I've said the same thing before as well...that I dont feel that someone should have to spend 20yrs in an art before they can defend themselves. So, I'll use my art, Kenpo, as another example. I'm sure I could take the art, and teach some quick effective things to my wife. Basically it would require stripping the fat, and focusing on the meat, and drilling, driiling, and more drilling, the **** out of the material.

Now on the issue of "magical martial arts" it comes up as two main problems; the first is lazy people looking for a short cut. They want to be "ultra deadly & highly skilled" for nothing part of this is seen in movies where the "hero" spends a few weeks/months with a wise old master doing inhumanly difficult & often dangerious training to achieve great skill in a very short time. Sadly, they are quick to ignore the fact that the magical training is very hard & requires a lot of discipline.

Agreed 100% on this part. :)

The other problem is the stripping away of excess; when you skip the dogma and commercial reasons for dragging out training it flows at a quicker pace, add to that further stripping away of common excesses it allows students to learn the more effective methods much sooner. This of course is the heart of the "magical deadly marketting campagn" since students get the the "good stuff sooner." Which of course enters the issue of if you learn what you need to; to be effective, at an earilier period that it is assumed you have achieved mastery higher then or faster then those who get to learning the effective methods at a slower pace. The fact however is that it requires the same amount of hard work and discipline to get to a compentant level even if you learn the "effective techniques" at an earilier point and time.

Exactly. :)
 

teekin

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Hmmmm. Ok I'm going to take the other side here. I AM that kid in the candy store. The more I See, the more roads open up to me, the more I want to explore. I can see where I am soooo deficient and I want to correct that.
I disagree that some arts are not more Usefull than others. My girlfriend Sharron works in the roughest part of town, full of drunks, sniffers, addicts and criminals. She is a crisis worker. I want her to take Boxing,/Mauy Tia, BJJ, Judo, Isshin Ryu Karate.

I want her to NOT freeze when she is hit hard in the face or body, I want her to be able to absorb punishment and stay clam and think. Boxing is ideal for this, your opponent doesn't stop comming, you must think under fire and you Will get hit. I want her to return fire on instinct and be effective. This can be taught quickly by a good teacher and has immediate application. A good right cross will deter a mugger. That is where the Tai comes in. Tai kicks are brutal, you can mess up some one bad with a decent kick. So are knees and elbows in a clinch. I like Tai. A Lot.

BJJ cause I want her to be able to stay calm on her back and in a choke. Too many people panick on their back and if thier wind is cut off. I don't want her to panick. I want her to think and survive. She needs to know how to clear a choke and get back to her feet. If she can break the guys arm on the way great. It has immediate applications. You learn to stop panicking the 1st time you are put on your back and put in a held down.

Judo will keep her fom being taken to the ground to begin with but it takes a long time to be good at and is wieght sensitive. I love Judo but I see it's short comings.
Isshin Ryu is another very complete picture but will take a long time to be good at and never be mastered. Is a wonderful Art though.

Yes she must actually GO to the class. But I expect the teacher to TEACH her, show her where to put her feet and her hands, explain body mechanics, put his hands on her if nessessary and guide her through the motions. Praise her for a job well done. If she is left to sink or swim with no feed back and no sense of accomplishment why would she return?

Lori
 

JWLuiza

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Sometimes it is smart to not come back. I was very interested in Koryu Bujutsu, but I realized after talking to a very famous practitioner, that I didn't have a lifestyle conducive to what drew me to the Koryu. So I stopped pursuing instruction. If they dont come back, you didn't want them in the first place :)
 

Draven

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I'll use Krav Maga as an example. While its been said that its easy to do, the techs. are short, sweet and to the point, IMO, that still doesn't mean that practice can be neglected. However, I've said the same thing before as well...that I dont feel that someone should have to spend 20yrs in an art before they can defend themselves. So, I'll use my art, Kenpo, as another example. I'm sure I could take the art, and teach some quick effective things to my wife. Basically it would require stripping the fat, and focusing on the meat, and drilling, driiling, and more drilling, the **** out of the material.

I do this with my jujitsu system, strip away the fat and drill the techniques. A lot of what we have in the MA world is marketing politics; I don't think time is a factor as much as hardwork. The issue with politics is that politicing deviates you from the main issue, the only issue, which is what is the result..?

If we quit looking at the market puffery (yeah the dominoes commercial is one) we then see specifc trends; that resemble nothing more then market posturing to distract us from the end result. I'll use sport karate & sport judo as an example; sport karate schools always referred to karate tournaments as proof of karate's effectiveness & the same applied to sport judo (the striker/grappler arguement is very old) & what makes both systems sport systems is that they focus on "high precentage techniques;" which are techniques which are most effective in that sports competition, sure they teach the older combative methods but they withhold it until after 1st Dan. The problem is when you look at Kodokan Judo it included atemi-waza taught at a much sooner level then say Olympic/Sport Judo leading people to believe that judo doesn't have striking & the same for the origional format of Shotokan Karate not including grappling. All because schools need students at lower levels to win in competition to draw in more students.
 

Carol

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Call me jaded, but it has been my observation that these folks wander onto a discussion forum like MT, ask about a dozen questions in the space of a couple days, all centered around 'which art is deadliest' (easiest to learn, fastest, requires the least amount of effort, etc, etc) and then wander off again, or repeat the same questions over and over again. They spawn threads that end up going 6 pages long, but they never really take part in them again, unless it's to continue to ask the same question. Only on rare occasions have I seen a person become enlightened in this way; most seem to get frustrated and go away after not hearing what they want to hear.

Same kind of people drop by the dojo from time to time; observe and leave, never to return. Or they actually join, but only show up for a couple sessions. And here's a good one; there are a couple who call up every six months or so to ask basic questions, state their intentions to show up and start training, but never actually show up! Why they do that is beyond me, but they do; some even have recognizable voices, you know they called before!

I realize that some of these people might have been misled or are confused; look at the ads in the back of Black Belt magazine for examples of people trying to separate these folks from their money. But seriously, are they that confused, or are they simply hoping that one of those 'overnight sensations' can really impart the secrets of the martial arts world to them via a DVD or book because they're essentially lazy?

I can call you jaded.

But....I'd rather call you Bill. ;)

In all honesty, yes I have met people that confused (not sure if that is the best word). Even been on the mat with them. I think the "what art does these gazillion things" posters here are probably male, and probably 20ish and could very well be looking for something that doesn't exist.

The folks that I have met in person that have not had a very realistic perception as to what martial arts are were typically female, in their 30s/40s, and weren't looking for the impossible.

Instead, they had recently heard ethereal claims about a system, or saw a demo (or a parlor trick) that made some element to training look like magic...such as brick-breaking. The yellow page ads that brag about how MA training does this, this, this, this, this...don't always help with these misconceptions. The conversation was usually started the other person knew I trained, or saw me with a school shirt/bag.

I think they knew that the impression they had was a bit lofty, but at the same time they did not know what was realistic or not...and seemed happy to talk to someone that wasn't trying to sell them something.
 

teekin

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I can call you jaded.

But....I'd rather call you Bill. ;)

In all honesty, yes I have met people that confused (not sure if that is the best word). Even been on the mat with them. I think the "what art does these gazillion things" posters here are probably male, and probably 20ish and could very well be looking for something that doesn't exist.

The folks that I have met in person that have not had a very realistic perception as to what martial arts are were typically female, in their 30s/40s, and weren't looking for the impossible.

Instead, they had recently heard ethereal claims about a system, or saw a demo (or a parlor trick) that made some element to training look like magic...such as brick-breaking. The yellow page ads that brag about how MA training does this, this, this, this, this...don't always help with these misconceptions. The conversation was usually started the other person knew I trained, or saw me with a school shirt/bag.

I think they knew that the impression they had was a bit lofty, but at the same time they did not know what was realistic or not...and seemed happy to talk to someone that wasn't trying to sell them something.[/quote]

Yahhh Carol.!!! No I think Confused is the right word. When you are beginning how do you tell the real from the Puffery? I am just so DAMN Lucky that I found Andrew Green first and he was patient enough to teach me some solid basics. He did NOT ignore me because I was new, in fact He helped me More because I was new and needed it more than the seasoned guys. He answered my dumb questions of " Why this way" and "why not that way" so applications made sense, they were logical, and easy to break down. You could see the "why" of why they worked. This means I can see why something won't work as well, that is a huge bonus. It lets me sort out the wannabe's and scammers.
If I hadn't found Andrew first and he wasn't the Sensei/Mentor he is I might still be in an Aikido class right now. Endlessly throwing myself to the ground when someone loosley grabbed my wrist believing that This was Real Life training that via the majical application of Chi I could save my life. If this is all I was ever exposed to How would I know any different? ( I'm not knocking Aikido, just that version)
So I can't help but feel a kinship for the ones who ask questions and are confused. That is me still. Wasn't that you once?

Lori
 

Xinglu

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You want your magic? You want your martial arts? Then let me refer you to The Magicians Network Self-Defense System.

I have got to admit, this is the funniest scam I have seen in 26 years of m. a. training.

My favorite part was his challenge to Rickson Gracie.

Then... I found this link at the bottom of the page... now I have seen some bad scams.... but this one takes the cake.
 

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