Help me choose a MA!

Cyriacus

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
3,827
Reaction score
47
Location
Australia
[/B]
Maybe some clarification is needed here, I was perhaps not clear enough. I was more saying that Konrad's desired factor was vague, so we were in agreement. It wasn't a criticism of your comment, it was an expansion of it. Sorry if that wasn't clear, my friend.

Right :p

Ha, I could link a few threads where I've gone through it.... they're always fun!

Yeah, it doesnt seem like something alot of People would Agree on. But then, I suspect thats often just because they Underthink the Fundamental Functionality of Fighting.

Yeah. What I was concerned with, though, was getting Konrad to a more realistic approach, which may mean dropping some ideas in favour of others, rather than try to cater to everything. I don't think that's actually possible no matter how much you may try...


Cool. I'll come back to this with Konrad in a second.



Common, yeah. But that doesn't mean we need to advise it (although some still will, I know, as they have a different belief).

Yeah, im sure there are People who can make it work for them, but I have yet to see it work especially well. Martial Sport Blending? Probably a better Prospect. But still.

Which was the thrust of what I was getting at. Cool.



My pleasure, and glad you got something out of it all. Aikido is a great art, I hope you'll enjoy it.

Now, to the sparring issue. I will say that the only thing that sparring tests is your ability to apply what you learn in a sparring context, not in a real fight context, or anything similar. It's the same with any testing or training method, really, they should always be looked at in the context of what they actually are. Sparring can be great, it can be a very powerful and useful training tool, it can be great fun, but it is far from the be-all end-all as some seem to want it to be.

Within Aikido you'll be hard pressed to find sparring in this context. What you will find, however, is a form of training known as Randori. Randori literally refers to "chaos capture", and is a way of handling un-nominated attacks. As Aikido has a non-aggressive ideal, the idea of having two training partners attacking each other in order to out-perform each other goes pretty well against the training and teaching concepts of the system, so sparring in that way is not really suited. But you will find that Randori will be very similar in terms of testing your ability to apply techniques in a free-form way, so all in all, a good thing.

All the best with everything!

For the Sparring, if You really just want to do it Recreationally, You could always talk to a more experienced Aikidoka, and the Instructor (Sensei, whatever Aikido calls it), and ask if You can do some Friendly Before or After Class Attack/Defense stuff. Similar to Sparring, but shorter in length.
Its an Option to Consider.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,196
Reaction score
1,018
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Yeah, it doesnt seem like something alot of People would Agree on. But then, I suspect thats often just because they Underthink the Fundamental Functionality of Fighting.


More often it's a misunderstanding of what self defence actually entails, which is not really about violence, conflict, or fighting when it really comes down to it. That is the least aspect of self defence, really.

For the Sparring, if You really just want to do it Recreationally, You could always talk to a more experienced Aikidoka, and the Instructor (Sensei, whatever Aikido calls it), and ask if You can do some Friendly Before or After Class Attack/Defense stuff. Similar to Sparring, but shorter in length.
Its an Option to Consider.

Ha, yeah, it's a Japanese art, so Sensei would be correct. And I'd still advise against suggesting things that go completely against the very ideas that the art itself is trying to teach. There's a reason that Aikido isn't a "sparring" art, same as there are reasons my arts aren't "sparring" arts (the reasons are fairly different, while at the same time, exactly the same), and there are reasons that TKD, Karate, Judo etc all are.
 

Cyriacus

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
3,827
Reaction score
47
Location
Australia
[/B]
More often it's a misunderstanding of what self defence actually entails, which is not really about violence, conflict, or fighting when it really comes down to it. That is the least aspect of self defence, really.

Yeah. Of course, if it comes down to Violence, Martial Arts do give You many Prequisites to be rather Good at it. But theres alot more to Self Defense than Physical Violence.

Ha, yeah, it's a Japanese art, so Sensei would be correct. And I'd still advise against suggesting things that go completely against the very ideas that the art itself is trying to teach. There's a reason that Aikido isn't a "sparring" art, same as there are reasons my arts aren't "sparring" arts (the reasons are fairly different, while at the same time, exactly the same), and there are reasons that TKD, Karate, Judo etc all are.

Yeah, its a long shot. And I barely even advise it. Which is why I advised phrasing it as Unscripted Attack>Defense. Aikido already does that to a point, so its only really Drilling, only with more of an emphasis on Reaction than Technique.

Overall, Sparring is Unnecessary. Ive Experienced it used Frequently, and now Infrequently. Id have to say, that the things You could be doing to benefit Your Capacities that arent Free-Sparring are Superior to Free-Sparring.
 
OP
Konrad

Konrad

White Belt
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Well, when it comes to sparring, as far as I understand it, as long as it's within your chosen dojo and in the cause of improving your abilities and of course yourself. Thus only a friendly match, where both of you are trying to best the other. I imagine this would be available in aikido, even with it's philosophy of non-aggression.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,196
Reaction score
1,018
Location
Melbourne, Australia
The very idea of a match, though, goes against the idea of Aikido. A sparring match in Aikido (in it's purest form) would be two people standing apart, not attacking. The only exception to this is Tomiki Aikido, and for that reason some Aikidoka don't consider it "real" Aikido.
 
OP
Konrad

Konrad

White Belt
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Ah, oh well. I guess it's not such a big issue. After all, you get the privilege of learning a very beautiful technique and personal amelioration, and that's what matters anyway.
 

oftheherd1

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
817
No martial art on the planet is designed with self defence in mind in the modern context. In fact, none ever have been. So the idea of learning a martial art for self defence, to be completely frank, is actually fairly counter-productive, at least to begin with, even though that's why a great number of people start. That said, martial arts can form the basis of a self defence ability and skill set, and the applicability of what you learn to a self defence scenario will be more to do with the instructor and the way the system is trained than what exact system it is.

Indeed - There are still some perhaps better suited to it than others for different People. But lets not get too into this Discussion - I know what Youre saying, and I Agree.

Well, I would be curious. In another of your posts here Chris Parker, you seem to be saying that self defense is first just doing any and all things that avoid a fight. That is indeed a good first step. However, life isn't always so accommodating. When it isn't, then other means of self defense must be used. That usually is some application of physical action. In that respect I would think most MA are defenses. If that is what you meant, I can agree. But to somehow imply that no MA is useful for self defense, in that it can be used that way doesn't gell for me. Granted many are at least if not more so, useful and geared toward attack as well. Some, such as Aikido and Hapkido, are very much defense oriented. Hapkido is mostly responding to an attack of some sort, punch, kick, grab, knife, sword, etc.

In the Hapkido I learned, we were only taught offensive use of techniques just before our BB tests. Often they were different applications of techniques we had already learned. We were taught knife defense at the red belt level, but I understand that is now at the 1st Dan level. At the 1st Dan level we were also taught basic skills with bamboo sword, and then using the short stick to defend against the bamboo sword. At the 2nd Dan level, we learned a great many short stick techniques.

I wouldn't say Hapkido uses a lot of kicks. We are taught them and use them, mostly low kicks for actual combat, but also as a way of understanding what we may defend against. The are also good for stamina when done repeatedly. But we really have no expectation of using them in defense as a TKD practitioner would.

Of course, all this refers to the Hapkido I was taught, YMMV.

Konrad - I think you will enjoy Aikido. It is a great art. Just to be sure, you might want to stop by a Hapkido school too. But don't dwell on it too much. Aikido has a lot to teach and I have thought about studying it myself, when I get myself back in shape. Hapkido is a little hard to get to where I live.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,196
Reaction score
1,018
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Chris Parker said:
No martial art on the planet is designed with self defence in mind in the modern context. In fact, none ever have been. So the idea of learning a martial art for self defence, to be completely frank, is actually fairly counter-productive, at least to begin with, even though that's why a great number of people start. That said, martial arts can form the basis of a self defence ability and skill set, and the applicability of what you learn to a self defence scenario will be more to do with the instructor and the way the system is trained than what exact system it is.

Cyriacus said:
Indeed - There are still some perhaps better suited to it than others for different People. But lets not get too into this Discussion - I know what Youre saying, and I Agree.
Well, I would be curious. In another of your posts here Chris Parker, you seem to be saying that self defense is first just doing any and all things that avoid a fight. That is indeed a good first step. However, life isn't always so accommodating. When it isn't, then other means of self defense must be used. That usually is some application of physical action. In that respect I would think most MA are defenses. If that is what you meant, I can agree. But to somehow imply that no MA is useful for self defense, in that it can be used that way doesn't gell for me. Granted many are at least if not more so, useful and geared toward attack as well. Some, such as Aikido and Hapkido, are very much defense oriented. Hapkido is mostly responding to an attack of some sort, punch, kick, grab, knife, sword, etc.

Ah, now here's where it all gets tricky....

To begin with, here's an overview I put in another thread a while back, based around why you wouldn't necessarily want to be training to handle a "trained", or "skilled" opponent if you are looking at self defence as a primary training goal. Go to post 39, page three: http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?92226-Kenpo-Ground-Fighting/page3

That said, there are a few bits where you missed what I was saying, so I'll attempt to clarify here.

As you say, life isn't always accommodating enough to let you talk your way out of trouble, or give you enough warning to avoid it, but that should be the main aim of self defence. Basically, the hierarchy of self defence goes - awareness, avoidance, de-escalation, distraction, pre-emptive striking, then defence itself (against a physical attack). If you get to that point, then a lot of things have gone wrong so far.

When it comes to martial arts being defences, that's also not really the case. For one thing, no martial art is designed to handle modern violence (with MMA being probably the closest, honestly, but that's more due to the influence MMA has had on modern violence than the other way around), nor are they designed to deal with modern societal and legal realities. Many martial arts teach things that are simply bad advice from a legal standpoint in many areas as "self defence techniques". I've seen demonstrations of techniques that involve multiple broken bones, potential concussions, and stomping down onto the head of a downed opponent. This is in response to a simple grab.

There is also a disconnect between the methods used and reality outside of the context of the art.

You also said that I "imply that no MA is useful for self defense", well, no I didn't. What I said was that "martial arts can form the basis of a self defence ability and skill set", as they can. Almost all self defence systems and bodies of knowledge have martial arts as their base, and that art informs the mechanics, movement, postural concepts, power source, and more. But the self defence system is necessarily removed from the martial art approach, because it needs to be.

You then mention that Hapkido (for instance) is mostly responding to an attack of some sort... which is true, but doesn't make it a self defence system. Especially if you're dealing with things like swords... that's the disconnect I was referring to. A martial art teaches responses against it's own methods; when you're the attacker, you should be learning the attacking methods of your system. There's a reason attacks are different in each art.

Essentially, having responses, or defences against attacks is not the same as being a self defence system, it's a method of combative techniques. And when it comes down to it, those combative techniques are really just the way the system presents it's lessons, they aren't even necessarily designed to be highly combatively effective, unless that is part of the drive of the system itself. It's more important that they present the lessons, really.

In the Hapkido I learned, we were only taught offensive use of techniques just before our BB tests. Often they were different applications of techniques we had already learned. We were taught knife defense at the red belt level, but I understand that is now at the 1st Dan level. At the 1st Dan level we were also taught basic skills with bamboo sword, and then using the short stick to defend against the bamboo sword. At the 2nd Dan level, we learned a great many short stick techniques.

That's another part of it. A self defence system needs to be, by requirement, simple in structure, methodology, and syllabus. Having "a great many techniques" goes against that, as it just increases the amount of time to simply learn them, let alone get good at them. A self defence system needs to get you decent (having applicable skills) within the shortest time possible, and having lots of techniques goes against this. Additionally, having a lot of techniques typically means that there will be a number of them being rather fine motor, which simply won't be available to you under a high-stress sudden adrenaline event without literally decades of training it (and training it properly at that!). A martial art, on the other hand, can have as many techniques as it wants/needs to express it's lessons, with more adding to the depth and richness of the art itself. So you know, though, the more techniques, and the more complex they are, the more removed from actual violence the art is.

I wouldn't say Hapkido uses a lot of kicks. We are taught them and use them, mostly low kicks for actual combat, but also as a way of understanding what we may defend against. The are also good for stamina when done repeatedly. But we really have no expectation of using them in defense as a TKD practitioner would.

Of course, all this refers to the Hapkido I was taught, YMMV.

There's quite a range of groups/schools under the Hapkido name, some have a great deal more kicks than that, almost becoming TKD with some grappling, others more like the Daito Ryu that was the origin of the system. But one thing that they all have to differentiate them from Aikido/Daito Ryu is a larger kicking syllabus, which is due to the Korean prediliction for such.

Konrad - I think you will enjoy Aikido. It is a great art. Just to be sure, you might want to stop by a Hapkido school too. But don't dwell on it too much. Aikido has a lot to teach and I have thought about studying it myself, when I get myself back in shape. Hapkido is a little hard to get to where I live.

Seconded.
 

Cyriacus

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
3,827
Reaction score
47
Location
Australia
Ah, now here's where it all gets tricky....

To begin with, here's an overview I put in another thread a while back, based around why you wouldn't necessarily want to be training to handle a "trained", or "skilled" opponent if you are looking at self defence as a primary training goal. Go to post 39, page three: http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?92226-Kenpo-Ground-Fighting/page3

That said, there are a few bits where you missed what I was saying, so I'll attempt to clarify here.

As you say, life isn't always accommodating enough to let you talk your way out of trouble, or give you enough warning to avoid it, but that should be the main aim of self defence. Basically, the hierarchy of self defence goes - awareness, avoidance, de-escalation, distraction, pre-emptive striking, then defence itself (against a physical attack). If you get to that point, then a lot of things have gone wrong so far.

When it comes to martial arts being defences, that's also not really the case. For one thing, no martial art is designed to handle modern violence (with MMA being probably the closest, honestly, but that's more due to the influence MMA has had on modern violence than the other way around), nor are they designed to deal with modern societal and legal realities. Many martial arts teach things that are simply bad advice from a legal standpoint in many areas as "self defence techniques". I've seen demonstrations of techniques that involve multiple broken bones, potential concussions, and stomping down onto the head of a downed opponent. This is in response to a simple grab.

Yeah, it isnt exactly Clever. However, could one not say that Learning how to Conduct Excessive Force grants both Confidence, and the Opportunity to Consciously Decide to not use it? Mostly the Second One. The First One is more or less Factual to a Certain Point. Its the Second One, really.

There is also a disconnect between the methods used and reality outside of the context of the art.

Which is why, of course, teaching Techniques should be more about a Fundamental. For example, You might not enter a Perfect Stance and Perform a Perfect Push and Pull Type Traditional Fore Fist Punch. But You might bend Your Front Leg slightly (Assuming youre not standing Paralell - Well assume one foot slightly back. Hands are by your side though.), and Punch Forward from the Hip Initially, as oppose to needing to raise Your Hand up First. Same goes to the second Punch, which wouldnt need to be raised. In addition, Your Hips would Rotate to some extent, as Natural Movement. So it isnt Technically Accurate; And the Punch would probably be more Bent than Straight... But I suppose what Im suggesting is that Techniques can Teach less Entrenched Capabilities. But if You think Youre going to be using a Proper Technique in a Real Situation, Youre probably Wrong. To some extent. Additionally, Martial Arts would enable You to more Rapidly switch Hands whilst Striking, give You Speed, Power, Conditioning (Not too terribly Helpful, but its better than nothing), and Cardio. And Possibly the Capability to Stop when Youve done enough. Otherwise, You cant expect to do things like You Train them.

You also said that I "imply that no MA is useful for self defense", well, no I didn't. What I said was that "martial arts can form the basis of a self defence ability and skill set", as they can. Almost all self defence systems and bodies of knowledge have martial arts as their base, and that art informs the mechanics, movement, postural concepts, power source, and more. But the self defence system is necessarily removed from the martial art approach, because it needs to be.

You then mention that Hapkido (for instance) is mostly responding to an attack of some sort... which is true, but doesn't make it a self defence system. Especially if you're dealing with things like swords... that's the disconnect I was referring to. A martial art teaches responses against it's own methods; when you're the attacker, you should be learning the attacking methods of your system. There's a reason attacks are different in each art.

Essentially, having responses, or defences against attacks is not the same as being a self defence system, it's a method of combative techniques. And when it comes down to it, those combative techniques are really just the way the system presents it's lessons, they aren't even necessarily designed to be highly combatively effective, unless that is part of the drive of the system itself. It's more important that they present the lessons, really.


That's another part of it. A self defence system needs to be, by requirement, simple in structure, methodology, and syllabus. Having "a great many techniques" goes against that, as it just increases the amount of time to simply learn them, let alone get good at them. A self defence system needs to get you decent (having applicable skills) within the shortest time possible, and having lots of techniques goes against this. Additionally, having a lot of techniques typically means that there will be a number of them being rather fine motor, which simply won't be available to you under a high-stress sudden adrenaline event without literally decades of training it (and training it properly at that!). A martial art, on the other hand, can have as many techniques as it wants/needs to express it's lessons, with more adding to the depth and richness of the art itself. So you know, though, the more techniques, and the more complex they are, the more removed from actual violence the art is.

Youre reminding Me of a SD Seminar I saw once, where this Guy was trying to tell People to Block a Punch and Grab the Wrist, then Grab the Pressure Point between Two Fingers, and Submit the Attacker. Fortunately I didnt Pay for this, I was just Observing ;)

There's quite a range of groups/schools under the Hapkido name, some have a great deal more kicks than that, almost becoming TKD with some grappling, others more like the Daito Ryu that was the origin of the system. But one thing that they all have to differentiate them from Aikido/Daito Ryu is a larger kicking syllabus, which is due to the Korean prediliction for such.



Seconded.

Mostly Curious of another Perspective.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,196
Reaction score
1,018
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Ha, you're getting there, just a few things to clear up.

Yeah, it isnt exactly Clever. However, could one not say that Learning how to Conduct Excessive Force grants both Confidence, and the Opportunity to Consciously Decide to not use it? Mostly the Second One. The First One is more or less Factual to a Certain Point. Its the Second One, really.


The issue here is that there is no conscious decision to be made. One of the points of training is that you are programming in responces on an unconscious level, as if you need to consciously remember, or decide, what to do, you've already been hit a couple of times. Essentially it comes down to the way you act will be based on the way you train, and if you train such overkill, or unrealistic responce, that will be what you have available to respond with.

Additionally, in a high stress, sudden adrenaline situation like an assault, you will naturally go to what you unconsciously believe or feel is the most powerful responce you have available, so if anything, the natural responce would be to go more for overkill rather than to "scale back".

Which is why, of course, teaching Techniques should be more about a Fundamental. For example, You might not enter a Perfect Stance and Perform a Perfect Push and Pull Type Traditional Fore Fist Punch. But You might bend Your Front Leg slightly (Assuming youre not standing Paralell - Well assume one foot slightly back. Hands are by your side though.), and Punch Forward from the Hip Initially, as oppose to needing to raise Your Hand up First. Same goes to the second Punch, which wouldnt need to be raised. In addition, Your Hips would Rotate to some extent, as Natural Movement. So it isnt Technically Accurate; And the Punch would probably be more Bent than Straight... But I suppose what Im suggesting is that Techniques can Teach less Entrenched Capabilities. But if You think Youre going to be using a Proper Technique in a Real Situation, Youre probably Wrong. To some extent. Additionally, Martial Arts would enable You to more Rapidly switch Hands whilst Striking, give You Speed, Power, Conditioning (Not too terribly Helpful, but its better than nothing), and Cardio. And Possibly the Capability to Stop when Youve done enough. Otherwise, You cant expect to do things like You Train them.

That's not really what I was getting at when I said there was a disconnect... I was referring more to the attacks and defences not being truly representative of modern violence.

Mostly Curious of another Perspective.

And glad to provide it.
 

oftheherd1

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
817
Chris Perke,

I understand what you are saying, and I can agree up to a point. When I studied TKD some 40+ years ago, it might have been closer to the truth. We basically had only blocks, punches and kicks. But by the time one became a BB (which I did not), they had great speed and power. Things were reacted to almost at the instinctive level. The only people I knew who had BB, would not have been fun for anyone to tangle with. Even the two brown belts would have inflicted harm on most unarmed attackers, without harm to themselves. There was a mindset to try to avoid a fight by walking away if allowed, but to let anyone who wouldn't, know it had been a bad choice to push a fight.

In the Hapkido I learned, it was understood that one should avoid fighting, but not so stressed as such, but the art does normally wait for attack and respond to that. But that should not be taken to mean it can't be used agressively. The police special response teams who trained for the Seoul Olympics learned Hapkido. One of the Korean's special response military units I know of required a 3rd Dan for acceptance. Hapkido was preferred, but others were allowed, and Hapkido taught. Underlying Hapkido, at least as I learned it, was a subtle disregard for attackers once agression began. (I saw the same thing with high level Korean TKD artists many years ago.) Avoidance when possible, but no real mercy when it had deteriorated to an attack. But most techniques are quick and decisive, assuming they work. We don't continue to twist, thump and pound after the technique is applied as it usually results in sufficient damage or control that there is no need. Most techniques work when applied correctly, but we can transition to another technique or retreat for another try.

I simply can't agree with your premise that learning a lot of techniques is counter-productive. I have seen some train learning really well, only those techniques which seemed to work easily for them, intending to use those when testing. I guess that would fit what you are talking about. I did not do that. They all had value in my eyes. Some were more devastating to an opponent than others. I trained to wait for an attack and respond. The technique used was the one that came to mind. If I did anything, it was tend to the less easy, since they did require more skill and therefor more practice. But anything went when responding. Maybe that doesn't work for most people, but it worked for me. I just think it has to be that way to be effective; making the response more instinctive.

As to no system being good against modern fighting, I am sorry, I don't quite understand. It that is true, why study an MA that isn't? That assuming you want to learn an art for self defense, among whatever other reasons you may have. Can I box a boxer? Certainly not! But why would I even try? Why not do something that prevents an attacker from getting close enough to use their art on me? That is what I would do. For any attacker if possible. Street fighting is a different set of skills the attacker will have. But again, why let them use their best skills if one of mine can overcome them first? And having a larger skill set is only to my advantage.

You are correct there are many versions of Hapkido. I think there are for all arts. That is why I usually talk about the Hapkido learned. I can only account for that. We learned defenses against grabs, then punches, then kicks, then multiple attackers, then knife defense. Then after earning our 1st Dan BB, we did many of the same things, but also ground techniques, and other grappling defenses, such as hair and head locks, and often new techniques against grappling we had already learned. Also sword use and defense, with and without the short stick. I am guessing that you learned a Hapkido that didn't teach sword defense, or that you didn't get to that level. After 2nd Dan, you begin by learning defenses against the grappling techniques previously learned. An eye opener but fun. Then against punches and kicks, primarily with the short stick, as well as other defense moves. Any who studied a Hapkido that didn't do that, very well may have learned a very good set of skills nonetheless.

But perhaps the way MA are being taught many places is the difference. I am not sure survival is really being taught, only technique. I think in the MA I learned, survival was taught, and the MA was the means. I would be interested in your opinion of that.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses. I always enjoy reading them. It causes me to think, and often I gain a new perspective.
 

Cyriacus

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
3,827
Reaction score
47
Location
Australia
Ha, you're getting there, just a few things to clear up.



[/B]The issue here is that there is no conscious decision to be made. One of the points of training is that you are programming in responces on an unconscious level, as if you need to consciously remember, or decide, what to do, you've already been hit a couple of times. Essentially it comes down to the way you act will be based on the way you train, and if you train such overkill, or unrealistic responce, that will be what you have available to respond with.

Which is somewhat the Point - Of course, Overkill shouldnt be all You Learn. But if You put someone Face Down, Head Stomping or Down Punching isnt a Fast Process. It takes a Second. Perhaps long enough to decide otherwise. But then, I also know one could get carried away.

Additionally, in a high stress, sudden adrenaline situation like an assault, you will naturally go to what you unconsciously believe or feel is the most powerful responce you have available, so if anything, the natural responce would be to go more for overkill rather than to "scale back".

Initially, of course. I see your point though.

That's not really what I was getting at when I said there was a disconnect... I was referring more to the attacks and defences not being truly representative of modern violence.

Yeah - I was Elaborating a bit too much :)

And glad to provide it.

And glad to read it.
 

Cyriacus

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
3,827
Reaction score
47
Location
Australia
Chris Perke,

I understand what you are saying, and I can agree up to a point. When I studied TKD some 40+ years ago, it might have been closer to the truth. We basically had only blocks, punches and kicks. But by the time one became a BB (which I did not), they had great speed and power. Things were reacted to almost at the instinctive level. The only people I knew who had BB, would not have been fun for anyone to tangle with. Even the two brown belts would have inflicted harm on most unarmed attackers, without harm to themselves. There was a mindset to try to avoid a fight by walking away if allowed, but to let anyone who wouldn't, know it had been a bad choice to push a fight.

In the Hapkido I learned, it was understood that one should avoid fighting, but not so stressed as such, but the art does normally wait for attack and respond to that. But that should not be taken to mean it can't be used agressively. The police special response teams who trained for the Seoul Olympics learned Hapkido. One of the Korean's special response military units I know of required a 3rd Dan for acceptance. Hapkido was preferred, but others were allowed, and Hapkido taught. Underlying Hapkido, at least as I learned it, was a subtle disregard for attackers once agression began. (I saw the same thing with high level Korean TKD artists many years ago.) Avoidance when possible, but no real mercy when it had deteriorated to an attack. But most techniques are quick and decisive, assuming they work. We don't continue to twist, thump and pound after the technique is applied as it usually results in sufficient damage or control that there is no need. Most techniques work when applied correctly, but we can transition to another technique or retreat for another try.

I simply can't agree with your premise that learning a lot of techniques is counter-productive. I have seen some train learning really well, only those techniques which seemed to work easily for them, intending to use those when testing. I guess that would fit what you are talking about. I did not do that. They all had value in my eyes. Some were more devastating to an opponent than others. I trained to wait for an attack and respond. The technique used was the one that came to mind. If I did anything, it was tend to the less easy, since they did require more skill and therefor more practice. But anything went when responding. Maybe that doesn't work for most people, but it worked for me. I just think it has to be that way to be effective; making the response more instinctive.

As to no system being good against modern fighting, I am sorry, I don't quite understand. It that is true, why study an MA that isn't? That assuming you want to learn an art for self defense, among whatever other reasons you may have. Can I box a boxer? Certainly not! But why would I even try? Why not do something that prevents an attacker from getting close enough to use their art on me? That is what I would do. For any attacker if possible. Street fighting is a different set of skills the attacker will have. But again, why let them use their best skills if one of mine can overcome them first? And having a larger skill set is only to my advantage.

You are correct there are many versions of Hapkido. I think there are for all arts. That is why I usually talk about the Hapkido learned. I can only account for that. We learned defenses against grabs, then punches, then kicks, then multiple attackers, then knife defense. Then after earning our 1st Dan BB, we did many of the same things, but also ground techniques, and other grappling defenses, such as hair and head locks, and often new techniques against grappling we had already learned. Also sword use and defense, with and without the short stick. I am guessing that you learned a Hapkido that didn't teach sword defense, or that you didn't get to that level. After 2nd Dan, you begin by learning defenses against the grappling techniques previously learned. An eye opener but fun. Then against punches and kicks, primarily with the short stick, as well as other defense moves. Any who studied a Hapkido that didn't do that, very well may have learned a very good set of skills nonetheless.

But perhaps the way MA are being taught many places is the difference. I am not sure survival is really being taught, only technique. I think in the MA I learned, survival was taught, and the MA was the means. I would be interested in your opinion of that.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses. I always enjoy reading them. It causes me to think, and often I gain a new perspective.

I am Addressing the Underlined Text.

The Issue is, that He could say the same about Your Hapkido.
The Oversight is that the Attacker is at an Initial Advantage. He may well be able to Attack You with Boxing Form, faster that You can get into Hapkido Form. Assuming You see it coming.
Plus, You wouldnt know He was a Boxer.
And He wouldnt know You did Hapkido.
Theres an Element of Surprise on both sides.

This isnt a Criticism - You dont seem to be far off.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,196
Reaction score
1,018
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Chris Perke,

Ha, "Parker", but I'll let it slide....

I understand what you are saying, and I can agree up to a point. When I studied TKD some 40+ years ago, it might have been closer to the truth. We basically had only blocks, punches and kicks. But by the time one became a BB (which I did not), they had great speed and power. Things were reacted to almost at the instinctive level. The only people I knew who had BB, would not have been fun for anyone to tangle with. Even the two brown belts would have inflicted harm on most unarmed attackers, without harm to themselves. There was a mindset to try to avoid a fight by walking away if allowed, but to let anyone who wouldn't, know it had been a bad choice to push a fight.

Ah, but that's fighting, not self defence. Big difference.

In the Hapkido I learned, it was understood that one should avoid fighting, but not so stressed as such, but the art does normally wait for attack and respond to that. But that should not be taken to mean it can't be used agressively. The police special response teams who trained for the Seoul Olympics learned Hapkido. One of the Korean's special response military units I know of required a 3rd Dan for acceptance. Hapkido was preferred, but others were allowed, and Hapkido taught. Underlying Hapkido, at least as I learned it, was a subtle disregard for attackers once agression began. (I saw the same thing with high level Korean TKD artists many years ago.) Avoidance when possible, but no real mercy when it had deteriorated to an attack. But most techniques are quick and decisive, assuming they work. We don't continue to twist, thump and pound after the technique is applied as it usually results in sufficient damage or control that there is no need. Most techniques work when applied correctly, but we can transition to another technique or retreat for another try.

Most systems are almost purely reactive when looked at that way.... but the "attacking" methods are there as the attacks that you are responding against, in a lot of cases. Interestingly, many old systems have plenty of "attack them!" techniques, it's the modern ones that seem to miss it.

Here's a favourite:
This is one of the forms from the San Kyoku no Dan of Araki Ryu, with the other two being a little more, uh, brutal. Including one where the Tori (the guy performing the technique) basically throws the tea in his opponents face, pulls a knife, and stabs him repeatedly. The story behind this kata is that the founder of the Ryu was ordered to kill a friend of his, and this is the method he used. It's the basis of the Torite and Jujutsu of the Ryu-ha, by the way.

In terms of the techniques "working" or not, that isn't something I've been talking about. What I have been talking about is the design of them, and whether or not they are optimised for modern self defence, or even modern violence. The example I gave of such overkill isn't found everywhere, but is prevalent enough to be commented on.

I simply can't agree with your premise that learning a lot of techniques is counter-productive. I have seen some train learning really well, only those techniques which seemed to work easily for them, intending to use those when testing. I guess that would fit what you are talking about. I did not do that. They all had value in my eyes. Some were more devastating to an opponent than others. I trained to wait for an attack and respond. The technique used was the one that came to mind. If I did anything, it was tend to the less easy, since they did require more skill and therefor more practice. But anything went when responding. Maybe that doesn't work for most people, but it worked for me. I just think it has to be that way to be effective; making the response more instinctive.

That's a martial art approach. Self defence, if it comes to the point of violence, is a different animal, and in that case, you want a small number of low risk, high return, gross motor, and thoroughly drilled techniques, say, two or three strikes, two or three kicks, two or three gross motor throws, and maybe some basic controls, combined with evasive, defensive, and offensive footwork.

In a self defence situation, you don't want to rely on the less easy methods, so you were training for a completely different situation.

As to no system being good against modern fighting, I am sorry, I don't quite understand. It that is true, why study an MA that isn't? That assuming you want to learn an art for self defense, among whatever other reasons you may have. Can I box a boxer? Certainly not! But why would I even try? Why not do something that prevents an attacker from getting close enough to use their art on me? That is what I would do. For any attacker if possible. Street fighting is a different set of skills the attacker will have. But again, why let them use their best skills if one of mine can overcome them first? And having a larger skill set is only to my advantage.

Ha, just because martial arts are marketed as "self defence", or "great at handling modern attacks", that doesn't mean that they are... As to why study a martial art that isn't good against modern fighting, well, because that's all that there is, really! Oh, just a detail, though, what I said was that they aren't designed for it, not that they aren't good for it universally. Some systems are relatively close, although they are still designed for different environments (Krav Maga for military usage and the types of violence found in Israel due to the political and social conditions there, MMA for competitive use etc).

And again, you're missing the difference between what I've been saying, and what the differences are between something not being designed for a specific use, and not being able to be used for it. But really, how well a particular art is adapted to handling modern violence will be down to the instructor, not the art.

You are correct there are many versions of Hapkido. I think there are for all arts. That is why I usually talk about the Hapkido learned. I can only account for that. We learned defenses against grabs, then punches, then kicks, then multiple attackers, then knife defense. Then after earning our 1st Dan BB, we did many of the same things, but also ground techniques, and other grappling defenses, such as hair and head locks, and often new techniques against grappling we had already learned. Also sword use and defense, with and without the short stick. I am guessing that you learned a Hapkido that didn't teach sword defense, or that you didn't get to that level. After 2nd Dan, you begin by learning defenses against the grappling techniques previously learned. An eye opener but fun. Then against punches and kicks, primarily with the short stick, as well as other defense moves. Any who studied a Hapkido that didn't do that, very well may have learned a very good set of skills nonetheless.

Ha, well, there's really only one Judo...

In terms of the structure here, this actually just highlights one of the differences between martial arts approaches and self defence approaches... I mean, you just said that you didn't really cover ground work until after 1st Dan? What if you were attacked and it went to the ground before then? This is what I was talking about when I said that martial arts work on a different timeline to self defence requirements (martial arts can afford to take a long time, whereas self defence needs to give you the skills now). To give you an idea, that school I was talking about earlier, the one that covers traditional, modern, weaponry etc in different sections, well, that's mine. It's the way I teach. And to go through everything I have to give in a martial art context (the traditional methods, the weaponry etc) it would take me about 10-15 years to cover everything just once, let alone really get into it, however the self defence methods I cover in about 18 months, which includes:
- Verbal de-escalation
- Awareness drills
- Knowledge of the legal system and it's application
- Pre-emptive striking
- Group defence
- Knife defence
- Ground defence (based around getting up and away)
- Close-quarters brawling
- Power striking
- Tactical responce (something we refer to as "Fight Science")
- Impact weapon defence
- and more.

And no, I haven't studied Hapkido myself, but sword defences and so forth are a rather large area of study in what I do. I have however done quite a bit of research into Hapkido, as well as many other systems, including long conversations with practitioners.

But perhaps the way MA are being taught many places is the difference. I am not sure survival is really being taught, only technique. I think in the MA I learned, survival was taught, and the MA was the means. I would be interested in your opinion of that.

It comes down to which comes from the art, and which is from the instructor. Most sytems provide little more than the technical side of things, the application and adaptation to modern needs, including "survival" aspects, are down to the instructor. I can only think of a couple of systems that have such as part of their teachings specifically, and even then such things are not necessarily anything to do with the here and now.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses. I always enjoy reading them. It causes me to think, and often I gain a new perspective.

Glad you enjoy them.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,196
Reaction score
1,018
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Which is somewhat the Point - Of course, Overkill shouldnt be all You Learn. But if You put someone Face Down, Head Stomping or Down Punching isnt a Fast Process. It takes a Second. Perhaps long enough to decide otherwise. But then, I also know one could get carried away.

Initially, of course. I see your point though.

Hmm, no, under adrenaline, it doesn't take that long, honestly. And until the adrenaline starts to wear off (which can take minutes, or longer) the capacity to make such lucid decisions just isn't present. Basically the instinctual drive is to "punish" the attacker, for making you feel small, weak, vulnerable etc. And that means that we aren't talking about "initially", we're talking about the entire event. Talk to someone after an assault, and see how long it takes for the mind to come back to you, it's certainly not during the altercation itself.
 

Cyriacus

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
3,827
Reaction score
47
Location
Australia
Hmm, no, under adrenaline, it doesn't take that long, honestly. And until the adrenaline starts to wear off (which can take minutes, or longer) the capacity to make such lucid decisions just isn't present. Basically the instinctual drive is to "punish" the attacker, for making you feel small, weak, vulnerable etc. And that means that we aren't talking about "initially", we're talking about the entire event. Talk to someone after an assault, and see how long it takes for the mind to come back to you, it's certainly not during the altercation itself.
That would make sense.
 

oftheherd1

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
817
Ha, "Parker", but I'll let it slide....

Thank you so much for your understanding! There may be a gremlin in my keyboard. Most likely, my brain just gets ahead of my fingers (or behind it ;-) ). When I tried to get in to fix it just now, my browser did show the edit button. It must be my keyboard. ;-)



Ah, but that's fighting, not self defence. Big difference.

Most systems are almost purely reactive when looked at that way.... but the "attacking" methods are there as the attacks that you are responding against, in a lot of cases. Interestingly, many old systems have plenty of "attack them!" techniques, it's the modern ones that seem to miss it.

Here's a favourite:
...

This is one of the forms from the San Kyoku no Dan of Araki Ryu, with the other two being a little more, uh, brutal. Including one where the Tori (the guy performing the technique) basically throws the tea in his opponents face, pulls a knife, and stabs him repeatedly. The story behind this kata is that the founder of the Ryu was ordered to kill a friend of his, and this is the method he used. It's the basis of the Torite and Jujutsu of the Ryu-ha, by the way.

In terms of the techniques "working" or not, that isn't something I've been talking about. What I have been talking about is the design of them, and whether or not they are optimised for modern self defence, or even modern violence. The example I gave of such overkill isn't found everywhere, but is prevalent enough to be commented on.

The design of the TKD I studied, as well as the Hapkido I studied, relied on speed, accuracy, and power. The two arts have little else in common. In Hapkido we block and counter-attack. The same was true of TKD, but we might, on accepting that physical violence had to be engaged in, assume a stance as in sparing, and look for an opening, or wait for an attack, block and strike with the hand or foot. That was an accepted thought on fighting/sparing, not a fact of life since I don't recall anyone talking about using their TKD in a real fight. However, seeing some of the students spar, I did not doubt an attacker would wish he hadn't. But as you have been saying, there is something to be said for getting in to real life fight and that it will bring some things to the fray that sparing may not. But I still believe a well trained MA has the advantage.

That's a martial art approach. Self defence, if it comes to the point of violence, is a different animal, and in that case, you want a small number of low risk, high return, gross motor, and thoroughly drilled techniques, say, two or three strikes, two or three kicks, two or three gross motor throws, and maybe some basic controls, combined with evasive, defensive, and offensive footwork.

In a self defence situation, you don't want to rely on the less easy methods, so you were training for a completely different situation.

I'm not sure I understand that. What other situation was I training for? I thought I was training for the fights I hoped I would never get into, but if I did, I would win quickly and if necessary, savagely.

Ha, just because martial arts are marketed as "self defence", or "great at handling modern attacks", that doesn't mean that they are... As to why study a martial art that isn't good against modern fighting, well, because that's all that there is, really! Oh, just a detail, though, what I said was that they aren't designed for it, not that they aren't good for it universally. Some systems are relatively close, although they are still designed for different environments (Krav Maga for military usage and the types of violence found in Israel due to the political and social conditions there, MMA for competitive use etc).

Well sir, I don't think it is what you mean, but it sounds like you are saying only Krav Maga is useful in today's world.

And again, you're missing the difference between what I've been saying, and what the differences are between something not being designed for a specific use, and not being able to be used for it. But really, how well a particular art is adapted to handling modern violence will be down to the instructor, not the art.

Well, I guess I really don't understand. My apologies. However, Hapkido, and some of the MA I think I understand a little, are designed defend against punches, kicks, grabs, and weapon attacks. What else will the modern attacker bring to the fray?

Ha, well, there's really only one Judo...

In terms of the structure here, this actually just highlights one of the differences between martial arts approaches and self defence approaches... I mean, you just said that you didn't really cover ground work until after 1st Dan? What if you were attacked and it went to the ground before then? This is what I was talking about when I said that martial arts work on a different timeline to self defence requirements (martial arts can afford to take a long time, whereas self defence needs to give you the skills now). To give you an idea, that school I was talking about earlier, the one that covers traditional, modern, weaponry etc in different sections, well, that's mine. It's the way I teach. And to go through everything I have to give in a martial art context (the traditional methods, the weaponry etc) it would take me about 10-15 years to cover everything just once, let alone really get into it, however the self defence methods I cover in about 18 months, which includes:
- Verbal de-escalation
- Awareness drills
- Knowledge of the legal system and it's application
- Pre-emptive striking
- Group defence
- Knife defence
- Ground defence (based around getting up and away)
- Close-quarters brawling
- Power striking
- Tactical responce (something we refer to as "Fight Science")
- Impact weapon defence
- and more.

Well sir, it takes you 18 months to teach that. I expect I wasn't far behind in time line for my ground work. I did that by going 5 or 6 times a week and training hard. Also worked out of the dojo. It may have been an advantage that I studied directly under my GM for much of the time. But what happens if your students need a perfected skill before the 18 months are up? It sounds like you may have a good school with good teaching, but all take some amount of time to learn and learn correctly. You just can't teach everything in two weeks. Perhaps you think in traditional Hapkido we teach too much. If so, I just don't agree. I also don't agree that learning the more difficult, if in fact I have learned them, in some way makes them less effective. I also know the easy ones for that matter, but I am not restricted to them.

And no, I haven't studied Hapkido myself, but sword defences and so forth are a rather large area of study in what I do. I have however done quite a bit of research into Hapkido, as well as many other systems, including long conversations with practitioners.

Just for curiosity, how do you equate a large study of sword defence to defending against the modern attacker?

It comes down to which comes from the art, and which is from the instructor. Most sytems provide little more than the technical side of things, the application and adaptation to modern needs, including "survival" aspects, are down to the instructor. I can only think of a couple of systems that have such as part of their teachings specifically, and even then such things are not necessarily anything to do with the here and now.

I would be interested in which arts you think specifically teach survival as opposed to all others. I really think it was the whole idea in what I learned. It wasn't part of the syllabus, but was instilled in us in subtle ways.

Glad you enjoy them.

Just some questions on thoughts I had as I read your response. Again, I thank you for your time in presenting thoughtful answers.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,196
Reaction score
1,018
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Thank you so much for your understanding! There may be a gremlin in my keyboard. Most likely, my brain just gets ahead of my fingers (or behind it ;-) ). When I tried to get in to fix it just now, my browser did show the edit button. It must be my keyboard. ;-)


Ha, happens to the best of us.... and, yeah, I can be pretty magnanimous....

The design of the TKD I studied, as well as the Hapkido I studied, relied on speed, accuracy, and power. The two arts have little else in common. In Hapkido we block and counter-attack. The same was true of TKD, but we might, on accepting that physical violence had to be engaged in, assume a stance as in sparing, and look for an opening, or wait for an attack, block and strike with the hand or foot. That was an accepted thought on fighting/sparing, not a fact of life since I don't recall anyone talking about using their TKD in a real fight. However, seeing some of the students spar, I did not doubt an attacker would wish he hadn't. But as you have been saying, there is something to be said for getting in to real life fight and that it will bring some things to the fray that sparing may not. But I still believe a well trained MA has the advantage.

In handling violence, yeah, a martial artist can have an advantage (not necessarily, though), but that's again far from saying that martial arts are designed for modern violence or self defence itself.

I'm not sure I understand that. What other situation was I training for? I thought I was training for the fights I hoped I would never get into, but if I did, I would win quickly and if necessary, savagely.

What you were training for, and what the system was designed for, are not necessarily the same thing. You had an idea of what you wanted out of the training, which is great, but that doesn't mean that that's exactly what the art was giving you. For instance, I might want a healthy meal, but being at Pizza Hut doesn't mean I'm going to get it.

What I'm getting at here is looking specifically and objectively at the construct and make up of martial arts, and contrasting that against the needs, requirements, and so forth.

Well sir, I don't think it is what you mean, but it sounds like you are saying only Krav Maga is useful in today's world.

No, Krav Maga has it's own set of issues, same as any other system. So, no, it's not what I mean, nor what I'm saying (I specifically said that Krav is designed for a specific environment, which is not self defence).

Well, I guess I really don't understand. My apologies. However, Hapkido, and some of the MA I think I understand a little, are designed defend against punches, kicks, grabs, and weapon attacks. What else will the modern attacker bring to the fray?

Different kinds of punches, kicks, grabs, weapons than the art deals with. Additionally, the pre- and post-fight conditions aren't covered in most martial arts, with them dealing only with the "during" aspect.

Well sir, it takes you 18 months to teach that. I expect I wasn't far behind in time line for my ground work. I did that by going 5 or 6 times a week and training hard. Also worked out of the dojo. It may have been an advantage that I studied directly under my GM for much of the time. But what happens if your students need a perfected skill before the 18 months are up? It sounds like you may have a good school with good teaching, but all take some amount of time to learn and learn correctly. You just can't teach everything in two weeks. Perhaps you think in traditional Hapkido we teach too much. If so, I just don't agree. I also don't agree that learning the more difficult, if in fact I have learned them, in some way makes them less effective. I also know the easy ones for that matter, but I am not restricted to them.


I can get someone "street ready" in about 6-8 weeks, if time's an issue, to cover all the aspects that I consider essential as parts of a full self defence curriculum would take about 18 months, with 1 month dedicated to each area. That's based on the schedule I teach more than anything else, I could reduce it if I wanted to, but honestly I don't. Additionally, the majority of the material dovetails, meaning that the skills are designed to be transferable... the principles of pre-emptive striking are part of the group defence, same as with the power striking, the knife combat and knife defence are very similar, and so on.

I don't think that Hapkido teaches too much, or too many techniques, unless you're looking at a purely self defence skillset. As a martial art, it's fine. And learning the more difficult ones is part of the martial arts approach, and doesn't make them less effective, but they will be far less accessible, to the point of completely unaccessible under adrenaline and the stress of an actual assault.

Just for curiosity, how do you equate a large study of sword defence to defending against the modern attacker?

I wouldn't. It's part of the martial arts side of things.

I would be interested in which arts you think specifically teach survival as opposed to all others. I really think it was the whole idea in what I learned. It wasn't part of the syllabus, but was instilled in us in subtle ways.

Some Koryu systems have such a wider syllabus, as well as the Ninjutsu systems (although how well known that is comes down to the instructor, I've found...). But none of that is geared up to a modern environment, especially not a modern Western environment.

Bear in mind here that by "survival" I'm talking about are the broader concepts of knowledge of the environment, tactical positioning, going to things such as castle fortification, and so on. Additionally there are aspects of what may be referred to as "survival techniques", which are outside of a number of systems, especially sporting arts.

Just some questions on thoughts I had as I read your response. Again, I thank you for your time in presenting thoughtful answers.

And I hope I provided some answers for you.
 
OP
Konrad

Konrad

White Belt
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
So I had my first aikido training today. I must that I am pretty confused about it now. I can see why people say it's very hard to begin with aikido. Heck, even the first and most basic techniques seemed complex to execute. There are some things I had problem with, such as keeping the proper stance and holding my elbows beside the body. But I enjoyed the training very much and I must say it was very fun and I can't wait for another training class.
 

oftheherd1

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
817
So I had my first aikido training today. I must that I am pretty confused about it now. I can see why people say it's very hard to begin with aikido. Heck, even the first and most basic techniques seemed complex to execute. There are some things I had problem with, such as keeping the proper stance and holding my elbows beside the body. But I enjoyed the training very much and I must say it was very fun and I can't wait for another training class.

Glad to hear you enjoyed your first class. Don't be too discouraged. I don't think I have ever felt so clumsy in my life as when I started taking Hapkido. Nothing I did seemed to work right. If Aikido is like Hapkido, feet are important. Watch how others move their feet. It may help.
 
Top