Dave Donald's Kosho Seminar

TaiChiTJ

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I enjoyed his seminar. Its pretty long. Saw lots of Tai Chi Chuan in it too. Mr Donald is a Bujinkan practitioner, (don't know if I spelled Bujinkan right). He had not attended a Kosho seminar in 16 years. Hanshi Juchnik wanted a very small frame approach with sensitivity training.

 

Tony Dismukes

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I've only watched about half of the video so far, but I have a few thoughts...

The underlying concepts of what he is showing are sound and useful. The application of those concepts seems significantly off from my perspective.

The way he explains the whole unbalancing through subtle body shifting material that he shows in the beginning is misleading. He demonstrates how to affect his partner with subtle shifts of his body and his uke is taken totally off-balance, even falling over occasionally. This only happens if you have an uke who is conditioned to be completely compliant and make no attempt to maintain his balance. In the real world an opponent will either subtly adjust his own weight to counter your pressure or else he will go with your pressure, step and adjust to regain his balance. The subtle body adjustments he shows can be useful - if you are skilled enough you can provoke a reaction and then take advantage of how your opponent adjusts to deal with your pressure. However that doesn't seem to be how he's explaining the concept.

The counters to punches that I've watched so far also are built upon sound principles - get off line, set up a collision as the opponent adjusts to follow, disrupt his balance in the process. Unfortunately the details of the application seem to be built on the assumption that the opponent will attack in a matter that is stylized, unnatural, and incompetent. It's easy to make people fall over if they don't know how to punch and don't know how to move their feet naturally. Several times the instructor tells his uke to throw the punch "for real" to show how much more effective that makes the defense. The problem is that the way he's telling them to "realistically" attack isn't anything I've seen either trained or untrained folks do in a real fight. It's not natural and it's not effective. If someone attacks you that incompetently, you should be able to easily defeat them no matter what art you practice.

It's a shame, because the concepts he is teaching are sound and valuable. It's just that the real-world application of those concepts is going to be very different against anyone who isn't falling-down drunk.
 
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TaiChiTJ

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Yes I had a lot of your thoughts also. He needs to really spend some serious time examining these skills presented at Hanshi Juchnik's seminar.

I had the opportunity to work, over a period of two weeks, with a gentleman who could induce me, and other practitioners to lose our balance. The other practitioners had decades more experience than I, in both karate and kung fu, and our butts all hit the chair he was toppling us into, in a seemingly effortless manner. None of us could really explain it. None of us were falling for him.

In the years that have passed since that experience, I have come to realize what you point out. The interaction with the gentleman was not a fight. Nowhere near.

So yes, the question then becomes, can these skills be transferred into a much more realistic attack with a skilled, strong and determined person doing the attacking.

To me it just reinforces the picture of martial arts being a collection of skills and I cannot favor one over the others.
 
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