Are you bound by tradition?

Taiji Rebel

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Are you a traditionalist?

Do you only practise one particular style of martial arts?

If so, do you think this helps or hinders your progress?
 

_Simon_

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But seriously haha, good question.

I guess I'd call myself a progressive traditionalist haha. I practice the one style technically, and am very much in love with it, as there is just such a richness and depth; so very much to explore.

I honestly think it helps me progress (this term will of course be up for debate in this thread I feel) as it truly is a deep art and I don't want to just scratch the surface, learn a few superficial forms, shapes and techniques and move on. It allows me to embody the principles and learn the language of movement involved.

But I draw from many sources and use them as inspiration to fuel and further my practice. To see how they relate to my primary practice. And in fact this year it's been my aim to train in lots of seminars with different MA folks :)

But I also feel martial arts should evolve, and by that I don't necessarily mean just more realistic, but learning different and perhaps more efficient ways of applying the principles. Learning new ways of approaching it. New ways to think about it and exploring the realm of perception involved in your martial art.

Also, before anyone jumps in to say tradition is just pointless dead ritual preserving ashes haha, I think of tradition as "keeping the flame alive" :)
 

Bill Mattocks

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Are you a traditionalist?

Do you only practise one particular style of martial arts?

If so, do you think this helps or hinders your progress?
I am freed by tradition. I practice only one style of martial arts. I could spend several lifetimes exploring all that it offers. My traditional practice allows me the freedom from distraction to immerse myself in my art.

Have you ever heard the term "Jack of all trades, master of none?" I am no master, nor will I ever be, but I do feel that spreading my efforts across multiple disciplines would dilute what I study.

Besides, on a practical basis, I am currently working out from 5 PM to 7:30 PM twice a week. I do not have more time available to study other arts, so if I were to try, I'd have to sacrifice what I currently do, which involves teaching as well as learning. And given my physical condition and age, which are not going to get better, there are hard limits on my physical output.

So I am quite happen doing what I am doing. I understand many think I'm limiting myself. Good for them.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Do you only practise one particular style of martial arts?
I'll train:

- long fist on Monday.
- Chinese wrestling on Tuesday.
- praying mantis on Wednesday.
- Baji on Thursday.
- WC on Friday.
- Taiji on Saturday.
- XingYi on Sunday.

When my fist meets on my opponent's face, I truly don't know what MA style that I'm using. But after I have knocked down my opponent, I'll stand on his body and do a

- right kick, left punch posture to prove that I train long fist.
- leg lift posture to prove that I train Chinese wrestling.
- Gou Lou Cai Shou to prove that I train praying mantis.
- elbow strike to the chest to prove that I train Baji.
- finger jab under elbow to prove that I train Zimen.
- Bong Shou to prove that I train WC.
- wave hand like cloud to prove that I train Taiji.
- Pi Quan to prove that I train XingYi.
- ... :)
 
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skribs

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I'm a martial artist. My calling is Taekwondo. I am training outside of that. But when I open my own school, it will be a Taekwondo school, and there are certain traditions and bounds by which I will abide. It will be seasoned with what I have learned outside of TKD, but primarily focused on what I have learned in it.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If you construct your toolbox with:

- jab, cross, hook, uppercut, overhand, hammer fist, back fist, ...
- front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick, back kick, crescent kick, tornado kick, jump kick, ...

You then build up your principle/strategy box with:

- use kick to set up punch.
- attack front leg then attack back leg.
- attack linear then attack circular.
- use pull to set up push.
- protect center from inside out.
- protect center from outside in.
- ...

With toolbox and principle/strategy box, you now design a training program for "use kick to set up punch". You may come up combos such as:

- groin kick, face punch.
- side kick, hook punch.
- roundhouse kick, spin back fist.
- hook kick, hammer fist.
- ...

Which MA style are you training so far?

You should never allow any MA style to set up a boundary for you. The day that you no longer care about MA style, the day you are truly free.

If your MA style only have cross, jab, cross combo, who will stop you from doing combos such as:

- jab, jab, cross.
- jab, cross, hook,
- hook, jab, hook.
- hook, back fist, overhand.
- ...

 
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Steve

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Are you a traditionalist?

Do you only practise one particular style of martial arts?

If so, do you think this helps or hinders your progress?

If your priority is to learn to reproduce something as faithfully as possible, tradition is going to be an asset. If your goal is to innovate and grow, tradition is going to be an impediment.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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If your priority is to learn to reproduce something as faithfully as possible, tradition is going to be an asset. If your goal is to innovate and grow, tradition is going to be an impediment.
Depends on the tradition. Rolling at the end of every class could very well be a tradition at a bjj school, but it wouldn't be an impediment to growing. Spending 10 minutes at the beginning (or end) of every class shaking hands with and/or bowing to your partners, and repeating repeating the school's motto could be an impediment, but it could also foster friendships and help understand the schools goals, if done right. Doing specific 'traditional' stretches also could help, but if they're ineffective stretches or actively dangerous, they could be harmful to growth.

But, as with many arguments on here, I think we'd have to agree on a definition for tradition so people are speaking the same language.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If your priority is to learn to reproduce something as faithfully as possible, tradition is going to be an asset. If your goal is to innovate and grow, tradition is going to be an impediment.
Agree with you 100% on this. Tradition can help you to build a solid foundation. But you have to grow beyond your foundation.

Old saying said, "Teacher brings you inside the door. The rest (how to grow) will be up to you."
 
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Gyakuto

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Are you a traditionalist?

Do you only practise one particular style of martial arts?

If so, do you think this helps or hinders your progress?
Yes I think i probably am. It gives me a feeling of authenticity, even though I know theres no such thing! It gives me a (probably) fictitious link with the Samurai which makes me feel part of that lineage.mBut I know, deep down, that Im just a short, bespectacled British person (with Indian genes) playing at Samurai.
 

Steve

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Depends on the tradition. Rolling at the end of every class could very well be a tradition at a bjj school, but it wouldn't be an impediment to growing. Spending 10 minutes at the beginning (or end) of every class shaking hands with and/or bowing to your partners, and repeating repeating the school's motto could be an impediment, but it could also foster friendships and help understand the schools goals, if done right. Doing specific 'traditional' stretches also could help, but if they're ineffective stretches or actively dangerous, they could be harmful to growth.

But, as with many arguments on here, I think we'd have to agree on a definition for tradition so people are speaking the same language.
True. and we'd need to distinguish between tradition vs culture, tradition vs routine, tradition vs convention, and tradition vs traditional.
 

J. Pickard

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I am a traditionalist in the sense that I follow the tradition of training my art to be effective for specific forms of combat. That's a pretty long standing tradition in martial arts, maybe even the oldest tradition. There is also a saying in the TKD community that the only tradition in TKD is a tradition of change and I change all the time sometimes in good ways, sometimes in ways that seemed good at the time but ended up being not so good.

I think it's also important to not conflate "traditionalist" with "stylist". They can go together but don't necessarily have to.
 

Bill Mattocks

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One guy got into a street fight. He beat up his opponents badly until his opponents threw rocks at him, and sent him to hostipal. In hostiple, he told his friends that his MA teacher didn't teach him how to dodge a throwing rock.
Do you get in a lot of street fights?
 

Dirty Dog

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One guy got into a street fight. He beat up his opponents badly until his opponents threw rocks at him, and sent him to hostipal. In hostiple, he told his friends that his MA teacher didn't teach him how to dodge a throwing rock.
Do you really think this happened, or do you understand that this is just one of those nonsense stories?
 

isshinryuronin

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I would definitely call myself a traditional martial artist. Am I bound by it? Do I need to go beyond my style's foundation? Mostly "no" to both these seemingly opposite questions, though they are really the same.

I am free to add in a little EPKK, a little boxing and a bit of wrestling, but my traditional style comprises at least 90% of my personal fighting style. I don't need to go more than10% beyond my system (in concession to changes over the past century in the way most modern potential opponents may attack).

Once I fully understood it (and I think this true of most Okinawan styles) I found that besides blocking, striking and kicking, my traditional system includes locks, breaks, evasive footwork, grabbing and takedowns. It's actually rather complete. The only thing it really lacks is ground fighting, but I think most of my potential attackers would not be very skilled in this either. I could tactically guard against this possibility and, failing that, would resort to gouging and biting. So, I feel comfortable with my box of skills.

(I give my thoughts on "tradition" in the following post.)
 

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