Lifetime Supporting Member
- Aug 4, 2001
- Reaction score
- Land of the Free
I'm fine with people not wanting to be a "warrior," but if they are going to train with me, I'm going to be focusing on high percentage workable material, stuff that might actually save their life should they run into a bad situation. Just because something is a hobby for someone doesn't mean the material has to be taught for entertainment value. Most of the guys training in MMA classes are never going to be professional fighters, but their material is going to be the same effective, high percentage stuff that the fighters learn.
I'm not endorsing teaching ineffective material. But I think some misunderstand the design of some curriculum that have simplified things for younger students to use as a foundation towards the more complex 'whole'. I've watched instructors whip out an endless array of variations on something as simple as a wrist grab, while students struggled to just capture the wrist. Put in a programming context, the traditional "Hello World" program's useless, but it's an introduction that you can build on.
I am not a "warrior" I don't go into combat. My teacher is one of those guys whose job it is to run toward the sound of gunfire, as a student I've trained with several others of those guys, and now from time to time I have the opportunity to be the trainer of those guys. The material I show my civilian students is the same stuff. I see no point in "fluffing" the material for the sake of commercialism.
"Fluffing" to me is adding in the 'fancy' stuff, or combination's and combining with other systems material simply to add more stuff for higher belts to draw in more cash. Addon material that doesn't blend well, and bloats things out or just looks pretty without actually being of any use, like thumping your chest twice for pretty sound effects or insisting on a student making whoosh whoosh sounds as they move like they were that guy from the Police Academy movies.
Commercially my little club is an abject failure, complete and utter, and I couldn't be happier. I see no reason why the war arts should be changed and softened so some instructor can make a living off of it. This isn't just FMA, this goes for many arts.
There is softening, and there is softening. I see a difference between insisting on safer training methods, avoiding injury and using controlled intensity and the watering down of things to the point of being useless like what has happened to Tai Chi. Most of the FMA people I've encountered are still doing things in a serious manner. I mean, I haven't seen an FMA-TaeBo yet. Then again, I'm usually watching sci-fi clips on Youtube, not martial arts clips, so it might be there....lol
It is the job of every student and particularly every instructor to constantly retest. If something doesn't work they better figure out why.
Are they doing it at the wrong range? They aren't reading the attack early enough? Or is the technique so low percentage that it requires the somewhat active cooperation of the attacker to complete correctly? Several of the poor examples of FMA show such half-hearted attacks that somehow slashes stop when contacted with a simple wall block. Why? How? My three year old doesn't throw slashes that would stop with a simple wall block. Test, test, test and use some common sense.
But, how seriously should you retest? After all, the best way to practice lethal techniques is to go out, fight and kill someone. Or break some bones, and knock folks out. But, that whole "we have laws and lawyers" thing gets in the way. Sparring only goes so far. Cutting up a rolled up mat only goes so far. If you're dealing with life-or-death situations, only dealing with them will give you experience. You can shoot all the guns you want, play all the laser tag, paintball, and airsoft you want. You won't know how you react being under real fire until that first round whizes past your head and you discover how damp your pants get. Same thing in a fight. I can train all I want, spar all comers, but I -know- they aren't trying to kill me or break me apart. That alone is enough to me, to negate the 'intensity' and the 'test'.
Combative weapon arts are usually fairly simple. Lots and lots of practice at basic striking, lots and lots of practice at footwork, lots and lots of practice at getting the hell out of the way, and as you get better, lots and lots of practice of getting the hell out of the way AND strking the other guy. Many practitioners skimp on the important part to get to the cool locks and disarms. Bad form on the part of the instructors, bad results for the students.
I can't say I disagree. I've seen systems that are pretty basic, and pretty brutal. No fancy moves, no fancy dancing. Just get in, take your opponent out, and go home. Then I've seen systems that add a little flair here, a little spin there, a little whoosh on the left, and insist on you making choochoo train sounds as you move, from instructors who have to say "poppoppoppop" as they throw air punches and slap themselves silly for sound effects. Entertains the kids, keeps them focused, but seems so Jackie Chanish in effect to me.