Diverse vs sole

Tony Dismukes

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I think I have around:

7000 hours of TKD
400 hours of BJJ
400 hours of Wrestling
351 hours of HKD (the 1 is a trial class in my new town)
200 hours of Muay Thai

This is over the course of around 18 years of training.
So you’ve averaged about 9 hours per week over 18 years? That’s pretty respectable.
 

skribs

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So you’ve averaged about 9 hours per week over 18 years? That’s pretty respectable.
For 8 years I was averaging 15-20 per week.

That's when I was teaching full time.

Also, this was 7 years as a kid, break for 11 years, and then 11 more years as an adult.
 

HighKick

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For 8 years I was averaging 15-20 per week.

That's when I was teaching full time.

Also, this was 7 years as a kid, break for 11 years, and then 11 more years as an adult.
I would say tread lightly on including teaching time as training time. Yes, there is learning in teaching, but in a different vein, and not directly pertaining to Learning a Martial Art.

If I were to take the same train of thought, I could include every hour I put into our schools, which would be something like 58,000hours over 37-years. But that just doesn't make sense.

Much of the time spent teaching is reviewing. Not to mention all the ancillary things we do as instructors/owners.
 

isshinryuronin

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I would say tread lightly on including teaching time as training time. Yes, there is learning in teaching, but in a different vein, and not directly pertaining to Learning a Martial Art.

If I were to take the same train of thought, I could include every hour I put into our schools, which would be something like 58,000hours over 37-years. But that just doesn't make sense.

Much of the time spent teaching is reviewing. Not to mention all the ancillary things we do as instructors/owners.
Depends on your style of teaching. Mostly talk and walking around moving someone's arm into the proper position, or actively demonstrating techniques and doing reps with the class setting a good example. While demonstrating a move I take extra care to do it as perfectly as possible, sometimes with full speed and power to show the potential of the technique and give the students a physical bar to strive for. I get benefit from this as I'm pushing myself forward.

While explaining why a technique is done a certain way, or its applications, or how execute more efficiently I have often come to a new realization and understanding myself. By teaching others, I teach myself as well. Even though my workout during teaching is not as physically demanding overall as the students', in a way it's more intense per minute spent.

Hours spent teaching can be hours well spent in advancing one's own MA.
 

HighKick

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Depends on your style of teaching. Mostly talk and walking around moving someone's arm into the proper position, or actively demonstrating techniques and doing reps with the class setting a good example. While demonstrating a move I take extra care to do it as perfectly as possible, sometimes with full speed and power to show the potential of the technique and give the students a physical bar to strive for. I get benefit from this as I'm pushing myself forward.

While explaining why a technique is done a certain way, or its applications, or how execute more efficiently I have often come to a new realization and understanding myself. By teaching others, I teach myself as well. Even though my workout during teaching is not as physically demanding overall as the students', in a way it's more intense per minute spent.

Hours spent teaching can be hours well spent in advancing one's own MA.
Fully agree hours spent teaching are quality hours. Teaching is Hugely satisfying to me. But I can't agree they 100% transfer to (martial arts) training time.

I would further aver for most who truly have instructional duties, class time should vary as you describe, which makes including hours spent as training hours tougher.

In a nutshell, if I don't work up a sweat and get into an aerobic/anerobic phase, I am not training, IMHO. Yes, I can and do get some mental increase or honing ('revelations') of skills in certain technical components, but until I have worked them to saturation in application to some undefined quantity, I don't feel I have 'learned' the new component or skill.
 

dunc

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Teaching can be great in terms of deepening your theoretical/technical understanding, but I think teaching has limited value if you're not training at the same time
That could be a mix of teaching and training sessions or it could be that you train (ie physically practice and get challenged) while you're teaching a class
It seems to me that some people rapidly accelerate when they start teaching and just as many people stop developing...
 

Tony Dismukes

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Fully agree hours spent teaching are quality hours. Teaching is Hugely satisfying to me. But I can't agree they 100% transfer to (martial arts) training time.

I would further aver for most who truly have instructional duties, class time should vary as you describe, which makes including hours spent as training hours tougher.

In a nutshell, if I don't work up a sweat and get into an aerobic/anerobic phase, I am not training, IMHO. Yes, I can and do get some mental increase or honing ('revelations') of skills in certain technical components, but until I have worked them to saturation in application to some undefined quantity, I don't feel I have 'learned' the new component or skill.
When I attend a BJJ class as a student, I generally only work up a sweat and get into that aerobic/anaerobic phase while sparring/rolling. The rest of the time is spent on technical practice. It's pretty much the same when I'm teaching a class. My time is spent between doing reps (demonstrating), helping to troubleshoot technical difficulties, and sparring.

I do think it's important to attend classes as well as teach them, so that I continue to learn new information. But I think I get as much overall improvement as a practitioner from teaching classes as attending them.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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So what is the mix here of those who have done one art vs those who have done a few of them?

Like for me. I have been at the Ninjutsu schools for 29 years. Bujinkan for a large portion of it, independent otherwise after becoming disenchanted with the school. Now to say I trained in other styles, would be false. I did spend a lot of time at seminars of different systems and schools to gain a new perception to what I was doing and enhance application as well as opening my eyes. Some more than others. But I would not say I am "trained" in anything but Ninjutsu.

So I'd say I am sole art practitioner, although different organizations
I started with boxing and Japanese jujitsu as a 9 year old kid. I quit both at about 13 to pursue skateboards and such. I found Wing Woo Gar in early 1998 which is based on a variety of CMA with some boxing fundamentals added in and adds Yang Long Tai Chi Chuan as a separate but complimentary practice. I started Chin Na and Shaolin White crane gung fu with Dr Yang both within the last 6 months. I would say there is a giant hole in my fist game which needs a competent BJJ instructor to fill it. I hope to find that near me at some point fairly soon.
 

Buka

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Training since 71 or 72, can’t remember, sorry. Martial Arts have been the most fun thing I’ve ever done, still is, hopefully always will be.

Belts, yeah, hang around for fifty years in dojos and they accumulate like dust under your bed. With just as much importance to tell you the truth.

It ain’t the belt, it ain’t the stye, it ain’t the pelts. It ain’t even the journey.

It’s the fun, the enjoyment. If you don’t have that, you missed the whole point, quit now.

No big deal, enjoy something else.
 

HighKick

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When I attend a BJJ class as a student, I generally only work up a sweat and get into that aerobic/anaerobic phase while sparring/rolling. The rest of the time is spent on technical practice. It's pretty much the same when I'm teaching a class. My time is spent between doing reps (demonstrating), helping to troubleshoot technical difficulties, and sparring.

I do think it's important to attend classes as well as teach them, so that I continue to learn new information. But I think I get as much overall improvement as a practitioner from teaching classes as attending them.
I agree I get as much out of being a student vs. a teacher. But it is in a different context.
There are So many things you get out of teaching others and watching them flourish.

One somewhat intangible is when working/showing a technique and it does Not work (for whatever reason). I have some Big, strong men in class. There are some release techniques that just do not work on them as a stand-alone technique. It is always fun to work the technique along with other moves until I can get it to work or get them to release or submit. Good times.
 

punisher73

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I also view this as "cross training" versus "cross referencing".

Cross training, you train in multiple arts and use different arts in your expression.

Cross referencing, you train in multiple arts to see how it applies to your base art to deepen your understanding.

NOT cut and dried categories, but I find it useful.
 

dunc

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I also view this as "cross training" versus "cross referencing".

Cross training, you train in multiple arts and use different arts in your expression.

Cross referencing, you train in multiple arts to see how it applies to your base art to deepen your understanding.

NOT cut and dried categories, but I find it useful.
Without going off topic I started out by training BJJ to fill gaps in my Bujinkan skillset and to cross reference into my understanding/execution of Bujinkan techniques
So for example I generally kept the Bujinkan techniques out of my BJJ training as I was there to learn BJJ
However, once I got to a certain level in BJJ I found myself increasingly blending the two arts
So I'm kinda thinking that it's hard to "cross reference" over an extended period and probably there's a natural path which ends up with one "cross training"
 

SahBumNimRush

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I've trained continuously in MDK TKD for 39 years. When I was a teen, my father introduced me to a Bojutsu teacher an hour and a half away from our farm. I spent a couple of summers training with him. I didn't know enough to ask him what style, but the kata he taught me was Kaatin no kun. I have also formally trained in Judo, Shotokan, and Aikido, but that only for a few semesters while I was in college. A good friend of mine studied both Bando and Pukulon Cimende. I will say the knife work of pukulon was awesome. When I moved to Chicago for professional school, I cross-trained regularly with a group of students with various backgrounds, and I found that time to be very rewarding. Those styles were mostly karate based; Shorei ryu, Shorin ryu, and Chito Ryu. A Hapkido guy stopped in periodically as well.

I would consider myself a Korean Karate stylist, who took some survey of other arts to reinforce my Korean Karate perspective.
 

isshinryuronin

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Martial Arts have been the most fun thing I’ve ever done,

I would not characterize MA as fun. At least as far as the working out part, with all the sweating, puffing and getting hit stuff. But it did lead me to a lot of exciting experiences as a previously sheltered young man, some of which involved unsheltered young women. THAT was fun. Educational, too.

In later years I saw MA kind of like a job or chore, an obligation to myself, like washing dishes or brushing my teeth, or lifting some weights. While maybe not enjoyable in themselves, they were things that one did, and afterwards, did give a satisfaction of accomplishment, of doing something that was beneficial to me.

Maybe a good way of explaining it is to compare it to a relationship. There's the dating stage, full of excitement, fun and adventure. Then the newly wed stage when the real bonding takes place. After decades of being married, the love and satisfaction have grown deeper, quieter, stronger. Marriage has become a natural part of who you are, day in and day out.

OMG, Buka. You're right! MA is the funnest thing I've done.
 

punisher73

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Without going off topic I started out by training BJJ to fill gaps in my Bujinkan skillset and to cross reference into my understanding/execution of Bujinkan techniques
So for example I generally kept the Bujinkan techniques out of my BJJ training as I was there to learn BJJ
However, once I got to a certain level in BJJ I found myself increasingly blending the two arts
So I'm kinda thinking that it's hard to "cross reference" over an extended period and probably there's a natural path which ends up with one "cross training"
I would agree with the scenario that you gave.

Usually cross referencing is done with similar arts. For example, I know many karate practitioners who look at American Kenpo's "self-defense techniques" to figure out applications for the movements in their katas. You are using that art to deepen your understanding of your art. But you aren't really changing your art. I hope that makes sense. BUT, if you train in a karate style that only uses lockout punches and a certain method of striking and then start taking the rapid striking style of Kenpo that is NOT found anywhere in your art and adding it to what you do, then you have crossed the line into cross training. There is nothing wrong with that, but you are changing your art now and need to acknowledge where the information came from. I hope that makes sense.

If you are looking at an art to "fill in the gaps" of areas that your art doesn't address, then I would also label that as "cross training". Such as the example that you gave.

What I CANNOT STAND is people who cross train in another art and then make it look like the move they have taken from the other art is "secretly" in their art. For example, when BJJ first started to become more popular seeing karate guys showing a triangle choke and claiming that it was a "hidden bunkai" from Naihanchi Kata applied from the ground. That is just a bunch of BS and VERY intellectually dishonest!
 

isshinryuronin

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What I CANNOT STAND is people who cross train in another art and then make it look like the move they have taken from the other art is "secretly" in their art. For example, when BJJ first started to become more popular seeing karate guys showing a triangle choke and claiming that it was a "hidden bunkai" from Naihanchi Kata
For some, kata bunkai is like a Rorschach test, looking at an ink blot and seeing whatever they want in it. Interpretations from another art isn't even necessary. Now it's great to explore kata for applications, and maybe even discover the original intent, but one can get too enamored in this and take it way too far.

Like a carefully crafted recipe for strawberry short cake and taking out the strawberries and adding chocolate and cherries. It might taste good but it no longer can be called a strawberry short cake, not what the master bakery chef intended. Over time, the original recipe may be lost forever. I have found that those who do such things do so as they don't know how to bake a good strawberry shortcake, or wish to carve out a niche for themselves as an innovative chef.

Since kata actually did have some hidden moves not recognized by the uninitiated and has suffered some drift over the past century, some adjustments may have to be made in the form to realize the intended bunkai. But these adjustments are minor, such as a pivot, a twist of the wrist, a shuffle, a three-inch change of angle, etc. Go much further than this and you are fundamentally changing the form.

Not only this, but flexible paths for variation to cope with the X factor in combat can be lost, in essence creating a cul de sac where there used to be an intersection. There are plenty of options in the forms as already constructed. No need to redesign them and invent new bunkai (other than as an intellectual exercise if you get bored with the kata).
I know many karate practitioners who look at American Kenpo's "self-defense techniques" to figure out applications for the movements in their katas.
This can be seen beginning in short form 3 which is basically a collection of grab releases and other attack counters. There is little hidden bunkai in Parker's system. It's remarkably similar to Okinawan karate, something I did not realize for a long time. Many of its moves and principles can be used in conjunction with my isshinryu due to this kinship. Combining techniques/principles from some other styles may not work out. Some ingredients just don't mix well together.
 

punisher73

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For some, kata bunkai is like a Rorschach test, looking at an ink blot and seeing whatever they want in it. Interpretations from another art isn't even necessary. Now it's great to explore kata for applications, and maybe even discover the original intent, but one can get too enamored in this and take it way too far.

Like a carefully crafted recipe for strawberry short cake and taking out the strawberries and adding chocolate and cherries. It might taste good but it no longer can be called a strawberry short cake, not what the master bakery chef intended. Over time, the original recipe may be lost forever. I have found that those who do such things do so as they don't know how to bake a good strawberry shortcake, or wish to carve out a niche for themselves as an innovative chef.

Since kata actually did have some hidden moves not recognized by the uninitiated and has suffered some drift over the past century, some adjustments may have to be made in the form to realize the intended bunkai. But these adjustments are minor, such as a pivot, a twist of the wrist, a shuffle, a three-inch change of angle, etc. Go much further than this and you are fundamentally changing the form.

Not only this, but flexible paths for variation to cope with the X factor in combat can be lost, in essence creating a cul de sac where there used to be an intersection. There are plenty of options in the forms as already constructed. No need to redesign them and invent new bunkai (other than as an intellectual exercise if you get bored with the kata).

This can be seen beginning in short form 3 which is basically a collection of grab releases and other attack counters. There is little hidden bunkai in Parker's system. It's remarkably similar to Okinawan karate, something I did not realize for a long time. Many of its moves and principles can be used in conjunction with my isshinryu due to this kinship. Combining techniques/principles from some other styles may not work out. Some ingredients just don't mix well together.
I agree that there are many techniques/principles and many times body mechanics that don't mix. I also agree about the "Rorschach test" method that many people use. I sometimes refer to it as the MSU method...make stuff up. I also use the example from the Little Mermaid and the "dinglehopper" (fork). We may come up with an application that fits and it works, but many times we don't know if that was the original intent or not.

Short Form 3 and up in Parker's Kenpo is just made up of the self-defense techniques. So, when the student learns the form they already know the applications for the movements. The system was based around the S-D techniques and the later forms were added because that is what American students expected and wanted. Some of the higher forms were created for the sole purpose of tournament competitions so his students would have material to use (especially Long 4). The earlier forms were created from James Wing Woo and Parker's studies in kung fu, up until that point he did not have any forms in his system that he learned from Prof. William Chow. We do know that knew some karate forms (Naihanchi) and one of the self-defense techniques shown in Ed Parker's first book is using the "sweep step" from Naihanchi as a counter to a kick.

I only point this out because looking at both methods we can kind of see "how" the katas were originally trained and put together. You were taught the applications and the movement from kata together. The early Hawaiian kenpo/karate dropped the forms/katas and only focused on the applications from them. But, in my opinion, we see something interesting. They would practice variations of a technique as individual techniques, so you might have 5-6 variations ALL stemming from the same base technique. When we look at katas, we see that we have a set of movements that we practice to remind us of those 5-6 variations and practice those movements as a whole. Katas were kind of designed as a condensed version of those ideas and didn't have just ONE application.

There was an interview in Classical Fighting Arts Magazine from an older gentleman who was actually a student of Chotoku Kyan. He said that Kyan taught basic applications in his public classes but in his private classes he taught two more levels of application. The first was the basic block/punch/kick, the next level was using those movements for grappling/joint locks/escapes etc. The final level was using those movements as lethal fight ending moves. All of the kata were trained this way.

Which brings us back to the idea of "cross referencing". Sometimes we see the same movements in another style and we see that 2nd of 3rd level of application that we can explore and see if it fits within our style.
 
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