"Creating" your "own" art?

James Kovacich

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If the "new creation" of an art is not directly affecting all the "protestors" personally. Then whats the issue? There are plenty of Mc Dojo's but NO ONE is dojo busting. So it's all just more talk that leads to more bad feelings between between individuals who don't even no each other.

It's a waste of bandwidth. The pro's and con's are irrelevent because the new systems are not going away.
 

punisher73

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Find me one art completely different from previous arts
Exactly, there are only so many ways that the body can move to punch,kick, etc effectively. ALL arts were new at one time, and it is only through sharing it with others on whether or not it has stood the test of time or not.

What is going to seperate arts is through their strategy and approach to combat.

For example, if you think that the legs are the most effective body weapon you are going to use and find ways to implement kicks. If you are basing it on kicks your distance and approach to that will be dictated on that was well, meaning you are going to find a distance to use those kicks. Now most would agree that ONLY relying on kicks has it's drawbacks, so along with using the kicks the founder would learn techs and concepts that allow other body weapons to be brought into play to support the use of the kicks.

Now, you have someone else who thinks that punching is the most effective method and bases his strategy and approach on using the arms.

Then along comes a 3rd person, he studies under both of these men. He doesn't think that either approach by itself has all the answers so he starts out to combine them. But what techniques does he use? If he just teaches both arts as a whole then there is no new art. BUT, if he looks at the methods of each seperate art and takes some from each and builds the use of kicking/punching methods so that they fit together into a different approach than it is a new art.

To illustrate what I mean. Let's say that through his experience he finds that fast, whipping punches are better and that to control an opponent he should remain medium distance or closer. Would it be smart to then use lots of high kicks to the head? Probably not, he is going to rely on low level kicks that are probably snapping as well to keep the opponent in closer.

Now whatever techniques he does choose, they should share a very similiar method of execution (body mechanics) so that you only have to learn one way to move and everything builds on that foundation and all the parts fit into the whole.

We can now do that with everything in every martial art. punching, kicking, joint locks, throws, etc. You are going to find LOTS and LOTS of different combinations that work (and many that don't). So to say that only the masters back in Japan/Okinawa/Korea had the answers is ridiculous.

This does not even touch the subject of an arts philosophy to life either. Does your art apply it's concepts on more than a physical level? Or is it a seperate thing that is added to the physical part and taught along side of it?

Find me one art completely different from previous arts
You aren't going to find that in ANY art in Martial arts. As much as I hate to quote Bruce Lee (and I paraphrase) until someone comes along with more than 2 arms and 2 legs....

4. All these "new," arts--and there sure are a LOT of 'em, aren't there?--are really just reflections of what somebody's found out about their own training. Or they are marketing strategies.
Again, ALL arts are someone's personal expression of what they found worked for them. I agree with the marketing concepts part, anything "more effective than ever before" or "deadlier than any other art" stuff is marketing.

The thing that always interests me is about the fact that people bring up duping people out of their money by having a crappy product. I agree with this statement, but again this is something that goes across the board in MA's. Everyone can probably think of a school in their home town that is a "legitimate" style but is a very crappy school with poor training methods. Of course in the old days they would have had a challenge match to prove that their style had merit and many new styles would not have passed that test.
 
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rmcrobertson

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In the first place, if there's no such thing as a new art, then folks shouldn't be defending the legitimacy of all these supposed new arts.

In the second, a, "new art," isn't defined by the addition of this or that kick, punch, basic, technique, or whatever. A new art is defined by a new approach to martial arts, a radical re-definition of what came before it--and a well-theorized explanation for what the difference is, and how the new thing is to be taught.

So for example, aikido is a new art because of Ueshiba's ideas about fighting, about the application of sword arts to empty hand combat, about teaching methods that involve giving up aggressivity. Judo was a new art because of its radical re-definition and simplicication of jiu-jitsu; Parker's kenpo is a new art because of its formulation of the underlying principles in martial arts (that's the claim, anyway), because of the organization of an orderly curriculum, because of its explicit theorization using analogies such as the universal pattern and equation formula. Jeet Kune Do might or might not be a new art, depending on how much you think Lee's arguments really represent a radical departure from previous arts and their approaches--I don't think they do, others might disagree.

Mixed martial arts, krav maga, etc., do not appear to be new arts at all. (This doesn't invalidate them in the least; it's just a statement about their approach and their history.) Systema might or might not be--I think not, because of its rediscovery of really fairly-old principles from the Chinese arts, others might disagree with better facts and support.

So just explain. Tell us why some purported new art really departs from its parent arts.
 

James Kovacich

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rmcrobertson said:
Mixed martial arts, krav maga, etc., do not appear to be new arts at all. (This doesn't invalidate them in the least; it's just a statement about their approach and their history.) Systema might or might not be--I think not, because of its rediscovery of really fairly-old principles from the Chinese arts, others might disagree with better facts and support.

So just explain. Tell us why some purported new art really departs from its parent arts.

If the new arts CAN NOT be defined the SAME as the predecesser arts then how can they NOT be new arts?
 
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rmcrobertson

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As has been mentioned here previously, just saying that an art is new! improved!! exciting!!! does not make it so.

It would be far more accurate to simply define them as the subsets of older arts they appear to be, unless there is actually something radically new about them.
 

47MartialMan

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rmcrobertson said:
As has been mentioned here previously, just saying that an art is new! improved!! exciting!!! does not make it so.

It would be far more accurate to simply define them as the subsets of older arts they appear to be, unless there is actually something radically new about them.
But given that, Aikido, Judo, for example are founded on JuJitsu, and one cane see all of their moves looking very much the same. Couldnt these not be new also?

Same as some Chinese systems that are linear and direct. They too look like Karate.

When is a throw not a throw? A punch not a punch? A kick not a kick? The things is ALL arts were introduced as "new: at one time or another. They, do, used methods from other arts.
 
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rmcrobertson

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Aikido at least claims to involve principles of "entering," (irimi) and circular motion that are very different from its parent arts. Judo--the, "gentle way"--represents a simplification of its parent arts.

It isn't a punch, or a kick, or a throw, or indeed any particular move that makes an art different. (Though incidentally, different arts do have different punches, kicks, throws at times.) It's a radically different approach, and a radically different way of organizing and understanding all the different moves.

As I wrote, taking this or that bit or piece and sticking it together with other bits and pieces doesn't make it a new art. That takes something else. For example, in the limited number of examples I've seen, there's nothing at all unique to krav maga, either in terms of moves, strikes, system or philosophy.

Until there is, it's just a different style. Not a new system, or new art.
 

James Kovacich

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rmcrobertson said:
As has been mentioned here previously, just saying that an art is new! improved!! exciting!!! does not make it so.

It would be far more accurate to simply define them as the subsets of older arts they appear to be, unless there is actually something radically new about them.
I agree with the subset or subsystem status but the major change can come from not being tied to a single system.

One of my instructors asked me why I named my system what I call it. He asked why I didn't put my name on it followed by "fighting systems" like he did. It can not be claimed by anyone but myself and those I teach.

I've thought this out for a while now, especially with all the useless arguing going on the net about the new systems. I think it is smarter to "present" my art less as a martial art and more of a modern fighting system as it is.

Drop the contract that I make my "troublesome" students sign stating that they will abide my my school rules and my warriors code of ethics:

WARRIOR'S CODE OF ETHICS
There is an old saying pertaining to martial arts, which states, "One must first learn civility before he learns the art, and one must first know his ethics before he knows his skills".


Civility here refers to good manners, courtesy, respect and consideration for others. Ethics, on the other hand, is a fundamental set of acceptable behavior which codifies the spirit of martial arts and which martial artists can rely on to cultivate their body and mind, and to guide their everyday actions and judgment.

Ethics is an indivisible part of the study of martial art and sets the moral guidelines for martial artists. Ethics principles serve as the traditional, cultural and social standard by which practitioners are trained in martial arts. Central to these principles is the concept of non-violence, respect for oneself and others, loyalty to one's family and country, and the following of the natural way.

The adherence to ethics confirms our moral obligation to society and fellow human beings as well as towards nature, which surrounds us. The concept also includes the attitudes, lifestyle as well as the social and moral behavior of the practitioner. It is the manner in which one behaves in both word and action. A practitioner of martial arts is a superior athlete, well versed in combat, but also upstanding citizen with good moral and social virtues.

Fulfilling the ethical principles is the true spirit and ultimate goal of the way of martial arts inspire all of us (less than perfect beings) to continually strive for perfection within ourselves.

All instructors, students and associate members are expected to live by the above Code of Ethics in and out of the dojo in our lifelong journey of warriorship.

as found above and here:http://www.scientific-streetfighting.com/

And just do what I'm really paid to do, teach them how to fight. Forget about worrying about these "types" that really don't know any better and still do their "street thing."

I'm tired too. I'm tired of trying to help my students to be better people and good all around citizens. Less "martial concience" and more real fighting technology.

I have three instructors who are 1st generation students of Mike Inay and it is 1 of them who has advised me of what to do and where to go with my art and I am as they did.
 

47MartialMan

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rmcrobertson said:
Aikido at least claims to involve principles of "entering," (irimi) and circular motion that are very different from its parent arts. Judo--the, "gentle way"--represents a simplification of its parent arts.

It isn't a punch, or a kick, or a throw, or indeed any particular move that makes an art different. (Though incidentally, different arts do have different punches, kicks, throws at times.) It's a radically different approach, and a radically different way of organizing and understanding all the different moves.

As I wrote, taking this or that bit or piece and sticking it together with other bits and pieces doesn't make it a new art. That takes something else. For example, in the limited number of examples I've seen, there's nothing at all unique to krav maga, either in terms of moves, strikes, system or philosophy.

Until there is, it's just a different style. Not a new system, or new art.
Ah-yes, we have to DEFINE such. Often I hear people that create a new system...or a new style, but never a new art.

A new style-define such. Is it a combination of distinctive features. A quality of imagination and/or individuality in one's actions. Is it merely a sort-type. Is it a mode of existence.

A new system-define such. Is a group of interacting, interrelated, or independent elements to form a whole. A set of mixed ideas and principles.

A new art-define such. Surely there are different styles and systems (of teaching/learning/techniques) in any art (or art form). If art is human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or the study and product of these activities. And art can be applied a system of pronciples and methods. thus style is also intwined in art.

So, no one nowadays can create a style, system, or art, based upon what they had already learned.

This seemed to be the basis of all martial art foundations. I am sorry, Aikido and Judo, for example, IMHO, are just another "form" of ju jitsu.
 

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So for example, aikido is a new art because of Ueshiba's ideas about fighting, about the application of sword arts to empty hand combat, about teaching methods that involve giving up aggressivity.
So it combines the aggressive yielding of Michael's Systema with Jujitsu/Aki-Jitsu's use of grappling intended for sword work? Sounds like what you are railing against.

Judo was a new art because of its radical re-definition and simplicication of jiu-jitsu
It's a subset of Jujitsu with more focus on the ground aspects already there, and a modification of some techiniques for safety... much like the transistion in Europe from martial grappling to sport wrestling.

So just explain. Tell us why some purported new art really departs from its parent arts.
MMA (which you list as "not new") is a radical departure from the ground-only focus of BJJ, and a radical departure from the striking-only emphasis of MT, combines with a "radical re-definition" of it's focus from very structured fights to very unstructured fights.

Your position here seems very inconcsistant... and please correct me if I'm misrepresnting it (it's not intentional if I am). You are saying that new styles are not new, that they are simply old styles... but then you are listing styles that were recently invented and asserting that they are "new", in direct conflict to your premise.

Further, I don't see that "new" is so much a requirement as "different". In point-of-fact, the minute someone teaching an art changes it, he really should not call it the old art.
 

Makalakumu

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47MartialMan said:
When is a throw not a throw? A punch not a punch? A kick not a kick? The things is ALL arts were introduced as "new: at one time or another. They, do, used methods from other arts.
Because sometimes a "punch" isn't a punch and a "throw" isn't a throw. Kata may look like one thing, but can be a completely different thing.

Sometime there is sharing between arts and sometime there are concepts that are totally unique.

In my experience, I haven't seen a lot of "new" concepts in the new generation of "new" arts. I could be wrong and often am...

I'm curious as to what makes EPAK unique? This is a relatively recent "created" art, isn't it not?

Here is a new thought that just popped...

Perhaps a new art can spring about by a change in the way we think about a group of techniques. Tang Soo Do is very much like that. We have techniques whose origins are Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Okinawan...yet the difference is in how we think about this stuff. Hwang Kee was very specific in his description of technique in the terms of anatomy/physiology/physics. His first volume contains physics, geometry, and anatomy chapters as primers for understanding where he is coming from. I believe that Hwang Kee, at the time that he founded his school, was the first to meld what we know about science into the martial arts.
 

James Kovacich

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I don't see why people spend so much time condemning new arts, terminology used in the new arts and the biggest one, my instructor is legit and yours is not.

New arts come and go. If they're good, they'll stay. I'll use myself as an example. I started out in 1973 in Kajukenbo Karate. They use Sifu and not Sensei for addressing ones instructor. I trained back then in Hapkido. Later I trained in Japanese based arts under my brother-in-law. He taught Karate, Judo/Jujutsu, Aikido, Kobudo and Kumiuchi, a hybrid full contact fighting system that My Hayashi "created" in the '70's. I attended all of his classes but my focus was Karate.

I trained for several years in Felix Macias's "Tao of Gung Fu" and several years in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu.

Today I do teach my own system which is influenced by ALL of my training over the years but focuses mostly on a few differant arts. I am still a student of a few trad. Arts as well.

I think it's plain ignorant for an "outsider" to dwell on the terminology I use in my school. Last time I cheched I wasn't anyones major competitor. What gives? My instructors gave me evrything I have including the terminolgy. My instructors recognize me, my students and my system. It's nobody elses buisness!

Nobodies means anything EXCEPT in their own organization so why all the complaining about these new systems which are a "natural evolution" in ones training?
 

47MartialMan

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akja said:
I don't see why people spend so much time condemning new arts, terminology used in the new arts and the biggest one, my instructor is legit and yours is not.

New arts come and go. If they're good, they'll stay. I'll use myself as an example. I started out in 1973 in Kajukenbo Karate. They use Sifu and not Sensei for addressing ones instructor. I trained back then in Hapkido. Later I trained in Japanese based arts under my brother-in-law. He taught Karate, Judo/Jujutsu, Aikido, Kobudo and Kumiuchi, a hybrid full contact fighting system that My Hayashi "created" in the '70's. I attended all of his classes but my focus was Karate.

I trained for several years in Felix Macias's "Tao of Gung Fu" and several years in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu.

Today I do teach my own system which is influenced by ALL of my training over the years but focuses mostly on a few differant arts. I am still a student of a few trad. Arts as well.

I think it's plain ignorant for an "outsider" to dwell on the terminology I use in my school. Last time I cheched I wasn't anyones major competitor. What gives? My instructors gave me evrything I have including the terminolgy. My instructors recognize me, my students and my system. It's nobody elses buisness!

Nobodies means anything EXCEPT in their own organization so why all the complaining about these new systems which are a "natural evolution" in ones training?
Very well put. But some pepople think because you are steadfats in one particualr per national/culture, then you shouldnt mix terminology or use it out of context. slang, or reference.
 

James Kovacich

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47MartialMan said:
Very well put. But some pepople think because you are steadfats in one particualr per national/culture, then you shouldnt mix terminology or use it out of context. slang, or reference.
Thank you my friend. I knew their had to be at least 1 person out there that truly understands martial arts in America.

I've lived my whole life in the San Francisco Bay Area where the Hybrid Arts have deep roots of their own. Some of the bays traditional arts were considered eclectic at one time. I've really lost interest in the rest of the worlds opinion because they are ignorant on this subject.

Early on in the bay the Chinese arts were protected for Chinese only. James Lee broke away from that "mold" (before meeting Bruce Lee) and taught all nationalities in Hayward, Ca. and when Bruce came to Ca, they did the same together but Bruce got all the credit.

At that same time we had Kajukenbo and American Kenpo. There were other arts but not much openly taught traditional martial arts in the S.F.Bay Area.

So what should be expected of the natural evolution of the martial arts in the bay and Ca. in general? Follow those that came later? Bow down and become their students? I think not. We stand alone and judging by all the posts we are all wrong. :rolleyes: Funny thing, some that speak up against "the evolution" are from Kenpo. :rolleyes:
 

47MartialMan

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akja said:
A.) I've lived my whole life in the San Francisco Bay Area where the Hybrid Arts have deep roots of their own. Some of the bays traditional arts were considered eclectic at one time. I've really lost interest in the rest of the worlds opinion because they are ignorant on this subject.

B.) Early on in the bay the Chinese arts were protected for Chinese only. James Lee broke away from that "mold" (before meeting Bruce Lee) and taught all nationalities in Hayward, Ca. and when Bruce came to Ca, they did the same together but Bruce got all the credit.

C.) At that same time we had Kajukenbo and American Kenpo. There were other arts but not much openly taught traditional martial arts in the S.F.Bay Area.

D.) So what should be expected of the natural evolution of the martial arts in the bay and Ca. in general? Follow those that came later? Bow down and become their students? I think not. We stand alone and judging by all the posts we are all wrong. :rolleyes: Funny thing, some that speak up against "the evolution" are from Kenpo. :rolleyes:
A.) Because a lot of them are concern with specific lineage. Hardly anyone desires to study from a unknown. The simple fact that many older martial arts stemnned from another is testomony that they too, had created other. These were new upon their introduction and some was just as frowned upon back then.

B.) Bruce was in the spot light because of hard work to get recognized. His art, is prime example of A.)........Also, he had a little hand in establishing the sterotyping of Asians and martial arts.

C.) Yes-American Kenpo and Kajukenbo are realtively new and I have just as much respect for them as any other whom create their own.

D.) I dont think it is akways a course of reiventing the wheel. Speaking of which just take the analogy of Automotive makers. Do any of them truely create a new auto, or a new style, or new product. All of which were fore-runners for some particular gadget or the first to add something or engineer something. Now, they all follow suit.
 

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This is an old thread and an old post, but I'm going to offer a suggestion.

Ok,
Let me cause some trouble by sorta playing Devil's advocate. This may surprise a lot since it is well known that I have a bad attitude toward people that deicide they can be heads of their own art when I train with people who show up every week for class with their teacher longer than many American sokes are alive.

So I am going to put a bullseye on my chest and enjoy the shots people take at me. I am big enough to not care.

Here is my problem and the reasons I almost decided to create my own style after moving back to the states.

I do Bujinkan and anything else I can try here in Japan. It is my art. When I move it is with Bujinkan habits- or at least I try to do so.

I also have an interest in other arts, but mainly guns and knives. I actually travel back to America from time to time to train under people who have used those items in real combat. That type of experience is a little rare in Japan.

Now, there are many, many good moves that I have had to drop from my training because they did not quite fit with my operating system. There was nothing wrong with them, they just started off with slightly different strategies and taken as a whole they were slightly off from what I try to do. I do not want to do too much and stretch myself too thin. If a move clashes even a little with my Bujinkan training, I drop it or modify it.

Now what I have left and train in is something I think is in line with what I have trained in the Bujinkan. But I am not perfect and make mistakes. The Bujinkan is headed by someone else and for me to add or modify things and put it out under his name just seems wrong to me.

So the answer seems to be to start my own style. Then when people say that what they see me do is not Bujinkan, I can respond that is is not Bujinkan but another style. If I do not use the Bujinkan name then my failures can't be laid at the Bujinkan's feet.

Thats sounds like a good honest way to go forward.

But at the same time, if I am the head of an art, who do I go to in order to improve myself. I am not talking about the occasional seminar. Real improvement seems to come from having a teacher that knows you and your weaknesses and rubs your noses in it until you get rid of them. Sometimes these weak points are things that you are not even aware of. They are blind spots. And blind spots are not just things you can't see, but things you don't know you can't see. And if I am the head of my own art, who do I go to to get that type of relationship in order to improve myself?

I would note the experiance of Dan Inosanto as the right way to go about this. Rather than training briefly in a few systems and claiming to take the best from them, he brought the top proponents or even the grandmasters/systems heads to him, sometimes helping them with immigration papers and even letting them stay in his house. He came clean about his intention to borrow from their arts and add to his own art, and then he trained very seriously with them.

You could do the same even as the head of your own art. Given the outlook you have shown on the board, which is totally different than the attitudes of many American sokes, dai-sokes, Uber-sokes (yes, I saw that one), International Grandmasters etc., I think you could potentially find many skilled and legitimate martial artists who would be more than happy to show you what they know.

Also, Kelly McMann first pointed this out but I have seen multiple examples of it with my own eyes. Once someone creates something and gives it a name associated with them, they then tend to put a lot of energy into defending that item. They have a lot of "face" involved in it since it comes from them. When presented with the hard facts that something with thier name on it is flawed somehow, they do not react like a student and ditch the flawed technique for a superior one. They cling to and defend the one that is "their's" to the death.

I have seen that happed time and time again. People get so involved with the fact that they have created their art that they stop growing. They care so much about the opinions of others who view them as a master that they can't drop all that they have and take a new path no matter how much proof you show that the old path is flawed. Oh, and I am not so foolish to think that I can't fall into that trap.

This is the classical trap of the American who thinks he has created the "ultimate system" from an collection of basics. However, many arts have grown and developed, and I don't think someone like the Don Roley I have seen thus far on this board is likely to fall into that trap.

My answer, right now, is to just have a training group with no names. If I open up a dojo in a mini-mall in Pundunk the sign will read "Pundunk School of Self-Defense." If people ask who I trained with, I can point them to my teachers. I will continue to be a student of the Bujinkan and come back and see my teachers whenever I can. If there is an aspect of the training the students want to go further in then can go to my teachers while not expecting that everything they learned from me is what these teachers might approve of. The only problem I still have is that I don't plan on giving out ranks and can't. I think that I don't want people that care about ranks to train under me. But if I did, then I would have a trouble.

So that is the best reason I can think of starting your own style. You add aspects from another art and don't feel it is correct to give out ranks in the old style if the head of that art does not do the new things. And I know that some students demand that there be ranks for them to see their progress.

I think this sounds like a good approach and a good way of looking at things.
 

Don Roley

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This is the classical trap of the American who thinks he has created the "ultimate system" from an collection of basics. However, many arts have grown and developed, and I don't think someone like the Don Roley I have seen thus far on this board is likely to fall into that trap.

I find the above hysterical.

I think I know Don Roley a bit better than you and I think that there is good reason to fear him falling into that sort of trap.

Humans take pride in things and get trapped by that pride from time to time.

Don Roley is human.

Thus Don Roley takes pride in things and gets trapped by that pride from time to time.

It can happen to people far better than me.
 

Rook

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I find the above hysterical.

I think I know Don Roley a bit better than you and I think that there is good reason to fear him falling into that sort of trap.

Humans take pride in things and get trapped by that pride from time to time.

Don Roley is human.

Thus Don Roley takes pride in things and gets trapped by that pride from time to time.

It can happen to people far better than me.

I'm certain you do know yourself, but the fact that you bring up the idea of a trap of pride, and not just as something to be dismissed suggests that it would be something you would watch out for. The outlook I've seen from you doesn't seem to fit the people who fall into this trap, and I have met a few of them.
 

Don Roley

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I am not going to get into an argument with you over my lack of ego. Trying to impress people with your humility is a form of egotism and we are getting close to where I would start looking like I am trying to be humble.

What I will say is that if I ever started my own art I would never try to gain acceptance from any orginization to try to impress others with. It is not that I am humble, far from it. As far as I am concerned, none of the soke boards out there are worthy of judging me. My teacher judges me and I listen. Anything I get from him in terms of instruction and rank is good enough for me. I will talk about the time I trained with him and the rank I got from him. If that is not enough for potential students, they can take a hike as far as I am concerned. If they are impressed with a tenth dan from a silly orginization but not my experiences then I they are a waste of my time.

In this thread, Bester said his main problem was with green belts that flitter from art to art for a few weeks at a time and then promote themselves (through a soke board) to tenth dan. I have to agree with him. I have a rank from a real orginization that I could mention and use. I have spent years training in Japan. I do not need someone other than my real teacher to tell me what rank I should have. I will leave the green belts to go begging for a higher rank while I show a real rank gotten in Japan. But of course, rank is silly and I would probably talk more about my experiences and training than rank with potential students.

Boy, that does not sound very humble, now does it?:wink1:
 

Shrewsbury

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I am sorry I came to this thread so late.

but I beg your pardon so I may add my veiw.

What is the intent of "creating a new" martial arts style?
What back groud do you have?
what rank do you claim now?
what rank have you earned, or time in training?


A young man once arose and came up with the IDEA of training in what best suits you and train as much as possible. He claimed no rank and became frustrated and challeneged by even being bound by an IDEA.

Today there are countless "founders" some highly skilled, some highly rank in a traditional back ground and some both. many claimed a 10th dan and passed rank on to many. This has been done in nearly every martial arts nation and takes a huge root in the united states.

Do I condemn these people? no, to each there own. do I think it benefited or hurt the arts in general? perhaps both.
The one thing I am always intrigue by is the individuals (founders) goals and direction. are they now not learning and advancing in skill? does the 10th dan limit them, because they are now at the very end of the rank chain? do they have quality students? Do they puch rank? do they boast? do they claim their style is the best?

I have been lucky enough to not be bound by rank nor style, I have been able to keep things personal still after all these years. At one point I thought I was a founder, with a 4th dan, then just titled it as a method, not my own style, and now I simply use the term martial arts. I personaly do not have the personal goals of being a founder or reaching the highest levels, to me with practice the skill will always increase, age is not a factor, nor strength or speed. but this is just my personal opinion and goals, but i would love for some founders to answer my questions above.
 

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