‘aliveness’ in martial arts training

Dark

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MardiGras Bandit said:
My problem with trying to expand upon aliveness is that I don't see it as an attempt improve a system. I see it as an attempt to redefine the term for the purpose of defending things which are not alive, and which the concept of aliveness actually stands against. Nothing constructive comes out of it, it is just a way for people who don't train alive to claim they do by expanding the definiton to suite their needs. I see it along the lines of "____ MA is too deadly for competition". Such arguments only lead to dead training and hurt the martial arts overall.

The point isn't that the definition of aliveness by Matt and say Bruce Lee are very different. As for martial arts being to deadly for what hurts the martial arts over all, that would be allot of things coming from all sides arguements.

MartiGras Bandit said:
Example: Hitting students with a wiffle bat at random times, but not using this as a method of sparring. This is not aliveness. It might teach a lesson to students, but that lesson has nothing to do with aliveness because it involves no resistance. [/qhote]

MartGras, I also mentioned that several of my students pre-empively attack me when they see the wiffle bat coming. They dont sit around waiting on me to attack and some choose distance and evasion over counter-attacking. And you missed the point of what I was saying...

MartiGras Bandit said:
2. Your definitions are very subjective. I don't agree with them.
So it the definition of aliveness as only be resistance, which has nothing to do with self-defense or streetfighting.


MartiGras Bandit said:
4. None of those articles have anything to do with aliveness. They bring up a variety of issues relevant to a discussion of overall self defense, but are not relevant to a discussion of aliveness.
But aliveness and resistance prepares you for "the street" and all of those articles were on the reality of the street. Some of them on training for seld-defense.

MartiGras Bandit said:
5. I've never been in a serious fight, and though I've come close now and again I try to avoid them. I have trained with both with and without resistance and seen firsthand the dramtic difference it makes.
Then you don't know that what you are doing can prepare you for anything, or what methods will.

MartGras Bandit said:
6. Statistics mean everything, the world runs on them.
Only if you are a bookie or plan to live your life at a dog track. All those poeple who claim their MA is perfect because it was used by a 300 year old dead samurai are no less impressive then someone naming statistics.

MartiGras Bandit said:
8. Facts are verifiable and refuteable. Internet stories aren't. Without pouring over police reports that probably dont exist (now statistics matter?) I can't say if people who spar have a higher incidence of survival and victory in the street, although I would suspect they do. But that fact is the best martial artists are those who engage in resistance training. The people who can consistently prove that they are able to do the things they are supposed to be able to invariably train this way. Despite what you may think, not everyone spars, although anyone who is serious about learning martial arts should. The term "aliveness" might just be marketing, but the concept is much more then that.

Every martial art uses resistance at some point, Some use non-resistant training as a step, or to teach openings. Some are just so watered down they don't teach anything effectively. But aren't you talking things subjectively yourself?

My point is if you are going to caim "this" will prepare you for real life, but forget the other stuff, you are going leave the other stuff. That becomes a really big issue...
 
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MardiGras Bandit said:
My problem with trying to expand upon aliveness is that I don't see it as an attempt improve a system. I see it as an attempt to redefine the term for the purpose of defending things which are not alive, and which the concept of aliveness actually stands against. Nothing constructive comes out of it, it is just a way for people who don't train alive to claim they do by expanding the definiton to suite their needs.

Admittedly, some will simply expand a definition to justify anything. However, a definition that is too narrow leads to the kind of arguments Dark is having. Aliveness still needs more work. Training against a resistant partner who is trying to stop you from baking a cake might be considered 'alive' by too narrow a standard. However, the number of bakers assaulted in process is too small to even think about. Aliveness must consider context or it risks irrelevace. I think the term must be refined as a philosophical position or it can degenerate into a kind of 'fight club'.

What say you?
 
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How about THIS for a part of the 'Aliveness' definition ... ready?

Resolved: "Aliveness must provide techniques that give the user and unfair advantage when assaulted."
 

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Explorer said:
How about THIS for a part of the 'Aliveness' definition ... ready?

Resolved: "Aliveness must provide techniques that give the user and unfair advantage when assaulted."
No. That goes back to my problem with trying to expand the definition to encompass things it shouldn't. Too many people make claims of teaching "unfair fighting techniques", it's an industry buzzword that often goes hand in hand with absolute garbage. Tying it to aliveness gives too many people the ability to claim they are doing something they are not.

If I had to define aliveness I would stick to my original post: Aliveness is a method of training in which technique and ability is tested against a resisting opponent. I won't editorialize that further with a description of the benefits, as that has been spelled out in at least 70 of the past 103 posts.

Again, no one is claiming that training this way will prepare you completely to handle a fight or attack. The claim is that it will prepare you better then any other system of training because it is the best method to learn to apply technique. Other methods can certianly be used to supplement resistance training, but it should be the primary method by which one learns.
 

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Is from Matts site so I will repost it.

What do you mean by timing, energy, & motion?
For something to be truly alive in what we do then it has have three key elements, movement, timing, and energy (resistance). If you are missing any one of these then it is not Alive.
Movement means real footwork, not contrived, not in a pattern... on the ground it means exactly that also... movement... if the person is just laying there, not moving as you apply your lock or move....that is not Alive. In the clinch its the same... pushing, pulling, moving.
Timing is of course just that... if its in a predictable rhythm, a pattern, a repeatable series of sets, then you are not acquiring or developing timing, just motion speed.
And of course energy... swing the stick like someone would really swing it... don't stop at centerline. Punch with the energy of someone who wants to hit you. Not locking your arm out so your partner can look good doing the destruction, or trap, or silat sweep, etc.
You must move, have a sense of timing, and progressive resistance.
 

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Personally, I think that the sparring issue is becoming a bit redundant. As I said a few times already, sparring is important, should not be overlooked, but its only one aspect to the aliveness training. Sparring IMO, will be much better than standing stationary, throwing kicks and punches. It forces us to move, block as well as throw strikes against a moving target.

Maybe we can shift this discussion a bit, and talk about some of the ways we train aliveness. What types of drills do you include in your training to aid in this?

Mike
 
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Good idea, MJS.

We like to take techniques we teach and put them into a more dynamic setting. After a student has learned a technique at the basic level (static) we start adding in motion. The attacker might move in and out, back and forth, even feint ... the defender must then employ the technique when the attack actually comes. We ratchet this up as far as we can before injury. Many of our joint techniques are designed to injure the opponent ... this is where we have to be careful.

We also have a section of our tests wherein the student is randomly grabbed and they have to fight their way out. As a student moves up the ranks they are given more resistance.
 

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Dark said:
I think your getting part of it, This whole aliveness thing is based on the assumption of one person, whos only important claim to the effects of the street are that resistance prepares you.

Sorry, but if thats what you think of Matt and his claims, then you have truely revealed your ignorance with regard to this whole concept. Aliveness may not address all of the variables involved in fighting (street or otherwise), but the aliveness concept has been integral to the development of MMA as it is known today...all good sport fighters train alive now. I can respect some of the points you're making, but I have to ask, how come so many martial systems that don't encompass alive training have proven ineffective in a sport fighting situation? you've talked about psycology and awareness again and again, but an understanding of these factors would only help in an NHB sport fight situation, yet again and again traditional martial systems fail to deliver under those circumstances. How can you explain this if this aliveness concept is so shortsighted and baseless?
 

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Explorer said:
Good idea, MJS.

We like to take techniques we teach and put them into a more dynamic setting. After a student has learned a technique at the basic level (static) we start adding in motion. The attacker might move in and out, back and forth, even feint ... the defender must then employ the technique when the attack actually comes. We ratchet this up as far as we can before injury. Many of our joint techniques are designed to injure the opponent ... this is where we have to be careful.

We also have a section of our tests wherein the student is randomly grabbed and they have to fight their way out. As a student moves up the ranks they are given more resistance.

Yes, we do the same where I train. Very important to get the basics of the technique and then add in the resistance. Everything changes when the attack is coming in a bit faster. Making adjustments on angles, footwork, etc. will have to happen.

I also agree with the random attacks. Adding in some spontanious reaction drills will certainly help the students.

Mike
 

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FuriousGeorge said:
Sorry, but if thats what you think of Matt and his claims, then you have truely revealed your ignorance with regard to this whole concept. Aliveness may not address all of the variables involved in fighting (street or otherwise), but the aliveness concept has been integral to the development of MMA as it is known today...all good sport fighters train alive now. I can respect some of the points you're making, but I have to ask, how come so many martial systems that don't encompass alive training have proven ineffective in a sport fighting situation? you've talked about psycology and awareness again and again, but an understanding of these factors would only help in an NHB sport fight situation, yet again and again traditional martial systems fail to deliver under those circumstances. How can you explain this if this aliveness concept is so shortsighted and baseless?

Personally, I don't take Matts comments as just talking about sparring, but instead including aliveness into all aspects of our training. You train at the SBG, so you're obviously getting a better view of what he's talking about.

Dark- IMHO, I think that you're reading a bit too much into the posts. For some reason, you seem to be thriving on the sparring aspect and just that, when in fact, I've said quite a few times now, that sparring is one area that can be used. Aliveness can be trained during sparring, as well as during regular attacks, regardless if they're pre-set or random.

So it the definition of aliveness as only be resistance, which has nothing to do with self-defense or streetfighting.

I'm a bit confused by this Dark. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong. Are you saying that aliveness has nothing to do with a streetfight? Now, I certainly am not one to walk around town looking for fights, but I beg to differ on that comment. You're going to be facing some non-compliant people and the situation is certainly going to be alive.
 
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I think it's important to note that in a pre-arranged MMA fight ... both partners enter the ring KNOWING there's going to be a fight. The most used tactic on the street is SURPRISE ... one party knows there will be a fight and the other ... unless situationally aware ... doesn't.

Surprise works two ways ... attacker surprises defender ... and ... defender surprises attacker via counter attack.
 

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Personally I think most people have a decent level of situational awareness built in naturally, and to focus your training on developing it is pointless for most situations. It's one thing to take a seminar on it, its another thing to train roleplaying drills to death and think you are somehow prepareing yourself to fight more then someone who regularly spars. Even if you see an attack coming (which I doubt will occur at any greater frequency then it will for anyone with a little common sense), breaking out into a kata is far from the best answer.

Arguably anything is better then nothing, but handicapping yourself with dead training is not your best option. Even if you see an attack coming in advance, without the skills to defend yourself you are still likely looking at a beatdown (even with well developed skills this is completely possible). These skills are best developed through resistance training, or in other words, aliveness.
 

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MardiGras Bandit said:
Even if you see an attack coming (which I doubt will occur at any greater frequency then it will for anyone with a little common sense), breaking out into a kata is far from the best answer.

Really? :rolleyes:
 

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Dark said:
But a street fight is not self-defense. I broke it down to three catagories,
Brawling- Of course drunken ego insighted fighting.
Self-Defense- Reaction to a one time criminal action, being held up. Ussually there is something you have they want.
Street Fighting- Basically repeated violent behavior, and a sub-culture of poor oppressed people in slums and really bad portions of town, so to speak.

So streetfighting is more like gang warfare but doesn't include being attacked in the streets? This doesn't make much sense.

Being robbered is of course self defense, but repeatedly robbed, harrassed and assaulted all because someone has a self-esseme complex is basically street fighting.

So you're breaking down assaults by psycological relationship? How much "self esteem complex" (a rather ambigous pop-psycology term at best) is involved before it becomes "streetfighting" as opposed to self-defense and vice versa?

1) Yes, the will to survive can be cultivated/taught. We all have it but unless your specifically trying to build on it you will never see it.

I still very much doubt this.

2) The reason people lose street fights is one, they don't know how to act in a rough enviroment and two, because they think anything but preparing you for the street, prepares them for the street. Sparring being the example.

Lots of people are comfortable in rough envirments, grew up there and so forth, and still lose. Plenty of them were never "contaminated" by realistic training off the street. Do you think some sort of will to live will overcome all else?


Then what prepares you for the street? Better yet, how much of the street do you know, first hand? And bare in mind I define the street as a sub-culture based on fear and fear enduced dominance...

Well, seeing as all real fights consist of full contact no-rules contact, anything short is only an approximation. Sports approximate such fights by getting as close as is safely possible. Those who practice sportfighting methods are adjusted to full power strikes, which RBSD nuts don't practice with, lest it shatter the myths of their training methods.


Did you read any of the those links I posted or are you lopping people teaching watered down bunkai drills as RBSD.

No, there are lots of bad training drills that have nothing to do with RBSD. I'm not lumping the various problems all in with that.

When your talking RBSD Im more for Bruce Lee,

The "father of sportsfighting" (together with Gene Lebell)? The man who was one of the first to advocate weightraining for those practicing eastern martial arts? The man who said to seek reality in combat and advocated hard, full contact sparring, promulgated the use of pads before Jhoon Rhee, fought more challenge matches than all but a few of his contemporaries and lambasted TMAs for failing to test their concepts? The man who mocked certain CMA and JMA practitioners for failing to use anything but light contact? The man who said Gene Lebell's ring fights were excellent for telling what did and didn't work?

There is a place for calling Bruce Lee influential to RBSD thought, but I don't think you're going towards it.

Tony Blair,

Haven't heard of him. I'll look into it.

Marc Macyoung

I bookmarked his page a long time ago. He has some interesting ideas, but he has no idea how trained fighters operate and is prone to making wild and unsubstantiated claims about his own capablities and experiance that seem to fantasy or little short of it. I take everything he says with a great deal of salt. Remember, too, his full time job is selling snakeoil (his supposedly superior combat system, which no one can test on him because he won't spar or enter a competition).

and Peyton Quinn to name a few.

Ok, these people SAY they have a killer system that will solve your self defense needs, or at least make you paranoid enough to buy more tapes in the hope of doing so.

What have we seen from them to indicate they have the slightest idea of what they are talking about? Heck, Marty had a point - anyone can claim to be the ultimate tough-guy streetfighter and start lecturing us all on how our systems are inferior, but if he refuses to allow us to compare head-to-head, then how are we supposed to know? Just assume based their internet advertizing?

I think your getting part of it, This whole aliveness thing is based on the assumption of one person, whos only important claim to the effects of the street are that resistance prepares you. From a guy who had been hit with a few tire irons in my day, thats a flim-flam claim.

No, the straight-blast gym's manifesto is just the most widely quoted version of the arguement.

All martial arts have effectiveness at some points, other might use partial sparring to get you to full sparring. But all the I heard was uneducated assumption based on a subjective view and misleading information. You agreed that those drills where "safety steps" (baby steps) to getting up to free sparring, yet you don't agree?

Well, the drills should get to closer and closer approximate reality (full speed, full contact, no restricted zones, freeform) as one gets more advanced. Yet, I see systems that simply add more and more drills, and never get to full speed, full contact, freeform or anywhere even remotely close. They either propose a set of memorized moves, to which more sets are simply added, or they use more repetition of a few sets without ever moving up to approximating fighting.

Let me put it this way - lets say you want to be able to swim to shore if your boat goes down without a life jacket. First, you might practice swimming motions standing up on land, then in a shallow pool, then do laps in a deep pool, and finally and up trying it in the seawater.

Most MMA people say you aren't remotely ready until you have tried to seawater - even though its not going to be the exact same as when you're further offshore. Many TMA people (or at least the harder edged ones) will say you will be ok with the deep pool. Some TMA and most RBSD people say what you need is 19 varieties of the breatstroke done on land without ever touching the pool or the sea, which would be far too dangerous.

As far as flim-flam peddlers Marc MacYoung; who trains LEOs, bouncers and allot of so-called SD experts, Peyton Quinn; who not only has appeared in BB magazine but writen books on the subject, or how about Tony Blair

Anyone can write books - its not difficult to get stuff published. Ashida Kim has 30 odd books, including ninja techniques, self defense and romance. Think its difficult?

Likewise with getting to train LEOs, military people or bouncers - largely a product of advertizing. I would be more interested to know what he can actually do rather than who someone managed to teach.

Appearing in BB magazine is indicative of popularity but nothing more - most major frauds have been in there at some point or another.

US Army (National Guard) and trains Military, Security Personel and LEOs as well?

The military uses sports training methods. Where are you goin with this?

I'm all about sparring and resistance, but if your going to make that as the sole claim to it will help you survive a street fight, come on.

Its not the only training method, but its the one closest to application and probably the most important. The other parts are supposed to hone your skills and such.

Sparring alone is not all there is to pressure testing, but it should be a good indicator of where you are.

If he would have said restance along with "these other factors" as a side note or even admitted there where other factors, I'd be fine. However, some dumb 14 year old is gonna see that and think sparring makes him a "street fighter" and he'll end up in the ER or the morge. Thats my other issue, if your gonna be realistic then be honest about it.

Well, anyone who can avoid a fight should do so; that much is a general consensus. Sparring will prepare you should a fight occur, but the best defense is still to avoid the areas and the situations.
 

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FuriousGeorge said:
Sorry, but if thats what you think of Matt and his claims, then you have truely revealed your ignorance with regard to this whole concept.

Thats all he discussed in his own article and the video...

FuriousGeorge said:
Aliveness may not address all of the variables involved in fighting (street or otherwise), but the aliveness concept has been integral to the development of MMA as it is known today...all good sport fighters train alive now. I can respect some of the points you're making, but I have to ask, how come so many martial systems that don't encompass alive training have proven ineffective in a sport fighting situation?

I have a completely different compaint for most TMAs. That being that most TMAs taught in a commercial school are either watered down or just not properly taught, or well both. As far as sports fighting, that requires a completely different mindset then street fighting, and I can name a great many boxers to show this example.
I'll use Karate as an example, allot of shotokan schools spar and teach sparring. However, they aren't training dead because of kata or waza, they are dead training because the pyschology aspect isn't their. When Im talking about aliveness expanding beyond physical I was talking about for all Martial Arts TMA or MMA. If you want to hear my laudery list of problems with most TMAs Ill give them to you. But, lets be honest here the ring doesn't mean squat in a real world situation and most MAs use stuff like psychology and philosophy as excuses for not wanting to step up the real world.

FuriusGeorge said:
you've talked about psycology and awareness again and again, but an understanding of these factors would only help in an NHB sport fight situation, yet again and again traditional martial systems fail to deliver under those circumstances. How can you explain this if this aliveness concept is so shortsighted and baseless?

Awareness or in fact enviromental awareness, doesn't effect a NHB situation, as much as they do with say walking to your car leaving work at night or spotting the wonnabe tough guy eyeing you from the corner of the room. I agree most traditional arts fail in this, but this isn't because of anything but weakness on the part of the instructors.

To give you an example, I had a buddy tell me how great his traditional jujutsu style was because it was used by a great samurai. My first question, was but can you use it in a fight? Where as I heard all about philosophy and history, so I gave up on the matter. Different friend of mine was going on about his shoot fighting class. But had no philosophy or psychology to deal with anything outside the ring. Both people have one or the other and they both use the "strengths" to cover the weaknesses.

There is a middle ground, and that is completeness. My take on aliveness spawns from the origional Okinawan karate philosophy. That being a constantly flowing addapting and growing art. That requires training awareness, psychology and technical understanding. A big part of technical understanding is facing another opponent, but so is these non-resisting forms. They are suppost to teach those princples, and if thet do not serve that purpose then they become empty movements and not techniques.
 

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Dark said:
Thats all he discussed in his own article and the video...

Therefore that's all he thinks...nevermind that I know him personally and have attested to his beliefs, skills and knowledge.



Dark said:
I have a completely different compaint for most TMAs. That being that most TMAs taught in a commercial school are either watered down or just not properly taught, or well both. As far as sports fighting, that requires a completely different mindset then street fighting, and I can name a great many boxers to show this example.

Then you me and Matt all agree on something! Matt says the same thing all the time...that commercial TMA schools don't train alive is just another reason they are lacking. I agree that boxers lack sufficient street fighting skills as does anybody who only trains one aspect of combat (i.e. standup or ground only). As far as the mindset, there are differences and there are similarities...of course training to fight only one person doesn't address all of the variables that play into street fighting...but that doesn't mean sport fighters who train all aspects of combat are completely ill prepared for a street fight.

dark said:
I'll use Karate as an example, allot of shotokan schools spar and teach sparring. However, they aren't training dead because of kata or waza, they are dead training because the pyschology aspect isn't their. When Im talking about aliveness expanding beyond physical I was talking about for all Martial Arts TMA or MMA. If you want to hear my laudery list of problems with most TMAs Ill give them to you. But, lets be honest here the ring doesn't mean squat in a real world situation and most MAs use stuff like psychology and philosophy as excuses for not wanting to step up the real world.

Then we agree again...and i think its important for someone who trains for the street to address awareness of surroundings and psycology...but this is an important aspect of MMA too...just in a different way. In a sportfight, better awareness means recognizing whats coming faster, sensing openings, minute body movements, etc. And you only have to watch Tito Ortiz rile Ken Shamrock up once to see that the psychology facter is there too...sure its different than in the street, but knowledge of these aspects of fighting plays into MMA. If you have these skills, they will benefit your sport fighting game...fighting only one opponent doesn't mean the whole game is devoid of these factors.

Dark said:
Awareness or in fact enviromental awareness, doesn't effect a NHB situation, as much as they do with say walking to your car leaving work at night or spotting the wonnabe tough guy eyeing you from the corner of the room. I agree most traditional arts fail in this, but this isn't because of anything but weakness on the part of the instructors.

You're right, its not...but what does this have to do with aliveness? Just because a good TMA school emphasizes these aspects of training doesn't make it alive. Aliveness comes from replicating the real thing in the gym to prepare for having spontaneity at the moment of truth. You agree that being able to act spontaneously is crucial no matter what type of confrontation you're facing, right? So I have to ask, why do you have to try forcefit ideas into the concept of aliveness?

Dark said:
To give you an example, I had a buddy tell me how great his traditional jujutsu style was because it was used by a great samurai. My first question, was but can you use it in a fight? Where as I heard all about philosophy and history, so I gave up on the matter. Different friend of mine was going on about his shoot fighting class. But had no philosophy or psychology to deal with anything outside the ring. Both people have one or the other and they both use the "strengths" to cover the weaknesses.

Matt would probably pose the exact same question in the scenario with your jujutsu buddy...in fact, I 've heard him make that point almost word for word. The whole point is philosophy is not alive, nor psychology by their own merits...its how you train that makes these concepts alive...philosophy and psychology are great, and more power to you for studying them...most of us who train with Matt study martial arts philosophy and psychology too, but alive training is about the practicle application of ideas, not mearly studying them.

Dark said:
There is a middle ground, and that is completeness. My take on aliveness spawns from the origional Okinawan karate philosophy. That being a constantly flowing addapting and growing art. That requires training awareness, psychology and technical understanding. A big part of technical understanding is facing another opponent, but so is these non-resisting forms. They are suppost to teach those princples, and if thet do not serve that purpose then they become empty movements and not techniques.

So aliveness is part of your training then, but the psychology and and philosophy aspects go above and beyond the alive training you do. The thing about empty movements is another point Matt makes all the time...Aliveness to him is about growing and evolving too...the bottom line, however, is that most TMAs don't grow and evolve, they harken back to the teachings of some old time master and don't change based on new ideas or information...this is not true of all TMAs, it varies of course, but you have all but said this yourself. The thing about non-resisting forms is that if the techniques don't work against a resisting opponent, they are functionally useless no matter how much psychology you know or philosophy you've read...we train without resistance all the time, but in the end resistance decides which techniques stay and which ones go, that is what aliveness is about.
 
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MardiGras Bandit said:
Personally I think most people have a decent level of situational awareness built in naturally, and to focus your training on developing it is pointless for most situations. It's one thing to take a seminar on it, its another thing to train roleplaying drills to death and think you are somehow prepareing yourself to fight more then someone who regularly spars. Even if you see an attack coming (which I doubt will occur at any greater frequency then it will for anyone with a little common sense), breaking out into a kata is far from the best answer.

I disagree. Most people barely know where they are at any given time. Most people are more concerned with the state of the clothing, the cell phone stuck to their ear or their 'innermost' thoughts. Most people are clueless out in public ... and assault statistics tend to bear this out.

Your comment about breaking out into a kata shows a terrible ignorance about how kata were used classically. One doesn't perceive an attack and quickly try to decide which kata to use. The concept is to use kata to train techniques that will work most of the time in a given set of circumstances. For example: An overhand right is a great counter to a left lead to the body. A kata might show this by creating a shuffle step back or a side step, then a right punch to the head.

In kata where the practioner is standing in horse stance then touches the inside of one knee with the opposite foot the most common interpretation is preposterous; blocking a kick to the groin. It could just as easily be a mapping move that shows you where you might kick your opponent ... the inside of the knee just above the bulge of the knee. A sharp kick to this area tends to flare the hip out and roll the ankle over. It can be accomplished at grappling distance as you drive your opponents weight onto that leg. I've done it, it works ... very well.

I think we can dispense with blanket statements such as "breaking out into a kata is far from the best answer" ... or perhaps we should continue ... here's one ... "Spouting ignorance is far from the best answer." Hmmm. It appears I'm a bit owly tonight. :)
 

Rook

Black Belt
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Guys, we have alot of threads already dedicated to the pros and cons of kata... lets not hijack this thread with it.
 

Dark

Purple Belt
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An interesting topic on aliveness, what if your evolution requires you to walk a different path from your instructor and fellow students? Reinvent the wheel of your martial art.
 
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