How to be Self-taught?

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Tez3

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Oh by the way guys - here's a look at razing



What a load of bollocks! 'Widow Maker' my eye. I've seen kids classes do better than that and they were considerably more scary. I think the clue is in the theatrics 'starring...'
 
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marvelous65

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Hmm.

Look, I kinda want to go through the entire thread here, but honestly, it'd take too long... so I'm just going to hit the major points... starting with what I feel is the biggest issue present.

You really don't seem to get what martial arts are.

I'll elaborate...

There is no one thing called "martial arts". There is no one skill set that is central, or universal to all martial arts. In fact, your attempt to focus on techniques is really, when all's said and done, not really anything to do with actually learning a martial art. The reality is that techniques are really nothing more than the particular expression of what a martial art really is... which leads us directly to what exactly a martial art is.

A martial art is a particular approach to certain combative questions and contexts. As such, you can't learn "martial arts"... you learn a particular martial art. And, of course, that means that you can't learn a specific methodology by making stuff up and randomly hitting a BOB. It's like saying that you're intending to see how you go self-teaching yourself a language by sitting in a room making sounds, with no thought to grammar, syntax, etymology, spelling, writing, or anything else related.

You've mentioned a few things... principles, tactics, strategies... but haven't really given any mention to anything specific. Different arts have different principles, often contradictory with other systems... same goes with tactics. So how can you know what principles or tactics you should be addressing or employing in your attempt to learn "martial arts"? I mean... the tactic of "control the fight to the ground, and employ submissions to gain success" is not exactly compatible with the tactic of "remain standing and attack from a distance before escaping". Both are quite valid, but neither really suits the other... and both lead to very different martial arts.

However, to address your reasoning, namely that you feel that this endeavour is not too dissimilar to other pursuits you've attempted, and that you're somehow better positioned to have success, despite you're complete lack of understanding of what you're even attempting, then let me just say this: You're not special. You're not different. You're attributes, no matter what you may believe, aren't that unique, or even applicable to this. It really doesn't matter how "disciplined" you feel you are... as, frankly, that has nothing to do with anything here. The ability to teach yourself chess is honestly similarly meaningless, and the idea of you being a writer is quite besides the point (and, I might say, has simply added to your perception of yourself as being special in some way... judging purely on your posts here, I'd be hesitant to blow that particular horn).

You asked for a reason that you can't do it... well, honestly, the main reason is that you don't seem to understand what you're attempting to do. It's like you're asking about teaching yourself maths... then ignoring any questions about whether you're wanting to learn algebra, trigonometry, geometry, calculus, or what... saying that you don't even want anyone to teach you how to write numbers, as you can figure them out by yourself.



Oh, and I'd recommend against such passive aggressive tones... they can easily be interpreted as trolling... which is a quick path out the door... friendly heads up there.

Unfortunately your recommendation to learn a martial art and the strategies and tactics that go with that martial arts system is not what I am looking for. I work for a living and devote the rest of my time to reading, writing, and playing chess. What I wanted was some guidance to incorporate some basic hand to hand combat principles into my modest amount of training. But to most of you who responded (and you Tez3 in particular) this seems to be insulting. This is very much to my dismay; any boxing coach could give me advice on how to train for a fight. Any chess coach could give me extensive advice on how to study the game independently. But many of you have called into question my logic in comparing chess (or writing) to martial arts as if there were no overlap in their practices. But my bet is that you probably don't even know who Josh Waitzkin; he happened to have been a national chess champion several times in his youth; he then went on to share the title of world champion in pushing hands and very much attributed his success the study habits he picked up from learning chess. For a little while, you all had me convinced that learning martial arts is in someway different than learning anything else. But now I'm a little less sure. My uncertainty lies in that there is a consensus among all of you that martial arts are unique. And that studying "a martial art" takes greater dedication than study of any other disciplines - and that is just plain foolish.

To those of you who encouraged me to find a teacher - thank you. But to those who somehow missed the point that I was a beginning martial artist looking for no more than a hint at what I should do to begin a practice which would incorporate sound discipline and proper tactics, and attempted nothing more than a lashing, that's too bad. I'm not here to stroke your egos and tell you all how great your feedback is regardless of if it is filled with dissension. I'm realizing now that an interest in martial arts may be misguided if then I'd be associated with the likes of yourselves. In the future I'll know that teaching myself hand to hand combat techniques and principles will not make me a martial artist. And, instead, a street fighter; that sounds rather cool. Peace.
 

Danny T

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What a load of bollocks! 'Widow Maker' my eye. I've seen kids classes do better than that and they were considerably more scary. I think the clue is in the theatrics 'starring...'
Oh come now Tez, theatrics aside, Bob put up quite a stand. Didn't punch much but was standing strong even after all that 'razing'. However, the live training partner didn't do much in the way of punching or fighting back either.
 

Flying Crane

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Unfortunately your recommendation to learn a martial art and the strategies and tactics that go with that martial arts system is not what I am looking for. I work for a living and devote the rest of my time to reading, writing, and playing chess. What I wanted was some guidance to incorporate some basic hand to hand combat principles into my modest amount of training. But to most of you who responded (and you Tez3 in particular) this seems to be insulting. This is very much to my dismay; any boxing coach could give me advice on how to train for a fight. Any chess coach could give me extensive advice on how to study the game independently. But many of you have called into question my logic in comparing chess (or writing) to martial arts as if there were no overlap in their practices. But my bet is that you probably don't even know who Josh Waitzkin; he happened to have been a national chess champion several times in his youth; he then went on to share the title of world champion in pushing hands and very much attributed his success the study habits he picked up from learning chess. For a little while, you all had me convinced that learning martial arts is in someway different than learning anything else. But now I'm a little less sure. My uncertainty lies in that there is a consensus among all of you that martial arts are unique. And that studying "a martial art" takes greater dedication than study of any other disciplines - and that is just plain foolish.

To those of you who encouraged me to find a teacher - thank you. But to those who somehow missed the point that I was a beginning martial artist looking for no more than a hint at what I should do to begin a practice which would incorporate sound discipline and proper tactics, and attempted nothing more than a lashing, that's too bad. I'm not here to stroke your egos and tell you all how great your feedback is regardless of if it is filled with dissension. I'm realizing now that an interest in martial arts may be misguided if then I'd be associated with the likes of yourselves. In the future I'll know that teaching myself hand to hand combat techniques and principles will not make me a martial artist. And, instead, a street fighter; that sounds rather cool. Peace.
This is a load of nonsense. Good luck to you. You'll need it.
 

Blindside

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. In the future I'll know that teaching myself hand to hand combat techniques and principles will not make me a martial artist. And, instead, a street fighter; that sounds rather cool. Peace.

You won't be a "street fighter" because street fighters do something you have no interest in, which is fighting.

I'd actually agree that you will be a martial artist, I consider anyone who studies any amount of martial arts to be a martial artist, but you will just suck at it. My 8 year old knows how all the chess pieces on the board move, would you really suggest that a productive use of his time is to sit in his room for 25 minutes per day and think about how best to utilize those pieces with no opponent and no "play?"
 
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marvelous65

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I just want to leave this conversation with a few words of insight. Miyamoto says that strategy is the craft of the warrior but when I asked all of you how to better understand strategy from martial arts training I got nothing. Miyamoto also says that a true warrior has a taste for writing equal to his taste for swordsmanship. But when I posed to all of you that I thought that martial arts would be a natural extension with in my studies, you said that writing practice has no relevance to martial arts study. So may I suggest that all of you go out and buy The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. This is a book that follows Josh as he achieves greatness as a child in chess and how he applies that learning to his study of Tai Chi. Maybe you all will broaden your understanding of martial arts study in the process. And then in the future, when a newcomer to the martial arts poses a question with sincere hopes to learn something, you will not feel obligated to insult their intelligence with narrow minded, hollow, advice.
 

K-man

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I've addressed this point in this thread again and again; I am not attempting to learn martial arts without a partner. Your point is irrelevant. Otherwise, you say that self-defense are totally separate to learning a martial art; they may have diverging points but also overlap. In other words, if you learn how to train in the martial arts you will improve your ability to defend yourself.
the fact that you are here after six pages, still arguing your case, suggests you have no interest in the opinions of the experienced practitioners on this forum. Your resorting to rudeness underlines the fallacy of your position.
 
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marvelous65

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You won't be a "street fighter" because street fighters do something you have no interest in, which is fighting.

I'd actually agree that you will be a martial artist, I consider anyone who studies any amount of martial arts to be a martial artist, but you will just suck at it. My 8 year old knows how all the chess pieces on the board move, would you really suggest that a productive use of his time is to sit in his room for 25 minutes per day and think about how best to utilize those pieces with no opponent and no "play?"

Ok Blindside, If your 8 year old wants to excel at chess he need first study the endgame. And then study tactics and openings. The method in chess study is in studying tactics that is practicing progressively more difficult combinations - like, say, a check mate in 2 moves. And then working up to a check mate in 4 or 5 moves. But the endgame comes first.

When I asked how I might be able to teach myself martial arts I thought, maybe, there was a method to martial practice. There is a method to chess study - but apparently not to martial arts study other than having a teacher. Furthermore, there is a method to learning how to write; that is by reading, a lot.

Now, if you question my advice on how to study chess you may ask the master who I studied under. Or you may read Josh Waitzkin's book.
 

Tez3

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you Tez3 in particular)

If I had meant to insult you more than you had insulted us I would have been far more acerbic. You have been more than insulting, you have been patronising and unpleasant to some very nice people ( not, I'm not nice before you say anything) but others here are. They have given their time, which they didn't have to, to give good solid, non insulting advice to a stranger on here who has responded by belittling them, something they don't deserve.
The video you posted was a nonsense, nothing more, nothing less. I actually suspect you are playing people here which is unkind to say the least, trolling to say the worse.
By all means teach yourself how to play punch on Bob, after all he's 'armless, he doesn't hit back, it's dangerous. As for never needing to defend yourself, good luck with that one, 'be prepared' is a good, feeling smug isn't.
If you imagine yourself insulted by my plain talk then I'm sorry, well actually I'm not, you've had patient, kind advice from good people who don't have egos but an abiding love of what they do. Some of the comments you have made to them are extremely rude. That you are the one to feel insulted is interesting. I would stop seeing yourself as superior to everyone, you can't pee round corners either.
 

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I just want to leave this conversation with a few words of insight. Miyamoto says that strategy is the craft of the warrior but when I asked all of you how to better understand strategy from martial arts training I got nothing. Miyamoto also says that a true warrior has a taste for writing equal to his taste for swordsmanship. But when I posed to all of you that I thought that martial arts would be a natural extension with in my studies, you said that writing practice has no relevance to martial arts study. So may I suggest that all of you go out and buy The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. This is a book that follows Josh as he achieves greatness as a child in chess and how he applies that learning to his study of Tai Chi. Maybe you all will broaden your understanding of martial arts study in the process. And then in the future, when a newcomer to the martial arts poses a question with sincere hopes to learn something, you will not feel obligated to insult their intelligence with narrow minded, hollow, advice.

I think you have vastly misunderstood Musashi. First, understanding strategy from martial arts study is definitely acheivable, but to what end? What strategy? As Chris noted, it will vary considerably based on what art you study. The strategies I use in my Aikido studies are very different from the strategies I use in my Iaido studies, etc. As to the second point. I'm a published author too. I'm a researcher and editorialist and have written many pieces....it's not irrelevant, but what you are missing is the context. Musashi Sensei lived in a time when many warriors studied martial arts to the exclusion of everything else. His point has to be taken in the context in when he lived. He meant that a true warrior had to embrace not only the physical, but the mental and intellectual pursuits of his day. This cannot be extended to mean if you are a good writer that you can naturally learn martial arts without instruction, that is an error in reasoning and logic. I am very familiar with Josh Waitzkin, but you do realize he was not a "self taught" martial artist right?
 

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Ok Blindside, If your 8 year old wants to excel at chess he need first study the endgame. And then study tactics and openings. The method in chess study is in studying tactics that is practicing progressively more difficult combinations - like, say, a check mate in 2 moves. And then working up to a check mate in 4 or 5 moves. But the endgame comes first.

When I asked how I might be able to teach myself martial arts I thought, maybe, there was a method to martial practice. There is a method to chess study - but apparently not to martial arts study other than having a teacher. Furthermore, there is a method to learning how to write; that is by reading, a lot.

Now, if you question my advice on how to study chess you may ask the master who I studied under. Or you may read Josh Waitzkin's book.
Marvelous65, first, I want to say that I agree with much of what you say about learning. However, a key distinction between learning martial arts and learning chess is the physical component of martial arts. Learning a martial art is much more like learning a sport than it is like learning chess. While there is a strategic/intellectual component to all of these activities, chess lacks the physicality of a sport or of a martial art.

I think it's entirely possible for someone to learn ABOUT martial arts without a live coach. But, it would be exceedingly unlikely that a person could become competent in a martial art without a live coach. Just as it would be exceedingly unlikely that a person could become a competent tennis player alone. Is it possible? I guess anything would be. But, when people here suggest that a teacher is a critical component, they are (I think) really just trying to manage your expectations and highlight the distinction between knowing ABOUT martial arts and being able to DO martial arts.
 
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marvelous65

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I think you have vastly misunderstood Musashi. First, understanding strategy from martial arts study is definitely acheivable, but to what end? What strategy? As Chris noted, it will vary considerably based on what art you study. The strategies I use in my Aikido studies are very different from the strategies I use in my Iaido studies, etc. As to the second point. I'm a published author too. I'm a researcher and editorialist and have written many pieces....it's not irrelevant, but what you are missing is the context. Musashi Sensei lived in a time when many warriors studied martial arts to the exclusion of everything else. His point has to be taken in the context in when he lived. He meant that a true warrior had to embrace not only the physical, but the mental and intellectual pursuits of his day. This cannot be extended to mean if you are a good writer that you can naturally learn martial arts without instruction, that is an error in reasoning and logic. I am very familiar with Josh Waitzkin, but you do realize he was not a "self taught" martial artist right?

I'm not trying to be world champ either. I just wanted to get a sense of training methodology which all of you failed to offer.
 
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marvelous65

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Marvelous65, first, I want to say that I agree with much of what you say about learning. However, a key distinction between learning martial arts and learning chess is the physical component of martial arts. Learning a martial art is much more like learning a sport than it is like learning chess. While there is a strategic/intellectual component to all of these activities, chess lacks the physicality of a sport or of a martial art.

I think it's entirely possible for someone to learn ABOUT martial arts without a live coach. But, it would be exceedingly unlikely that a person could become competent in a martial art without a live coach. Just as it would be exceedingly unlikely that a person could become a competent tennis player alone. Is it possible? I guess anything would be. But, when people here suggest that a teacher is a critical component, they are (I think) really just trying to manage your expectations and highlight the distinction between knowing ABOUT martial arts and being able to DO martial arts.

Hey Steve, thanks for your gracious words but I already conceded to getting a independent teacher.
 

Tez3

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I'm not trying to be world champ either. I just wanted to get a sense of training methodology which all of you failed to offer.


Interesting you assume it's our fault you will fail.
 
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