I get the TMA hate now

skribs

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Controversial title for a lot of folks on here, and for that I do apologize. I'm not saying I hate TMAs. I just now have a much better understanding where such opinions come from.

When I was training Taekwondo and Hapkido at my previous school, it was very difficult to be in a lot of debates with folks on "MMA vs. TMA", because neither of us had enough of a picture to really discuss it. I had no experience with the combat sports, and they didn't know my particular gym. These debates arguments basically boiled down to me watching Muay Thai videos and comparing what I see to what I do in TKD, and them telling me they took an Aikido class once so they know how my Hapkido class trains.

A year ago, I started BJJ. Six months ago, Muay Thai. Now, I have a lot more experience to bring to the debate than I did before. I've made another thread about this, but the summary is: I feel validated in what I've trained and how it was trained in TKD/HKD, but I also have a lot to learn about BJJ/MT.

I've also tried a Hapkido class here, and spent three months at a Taekwondo class here, and now I can see why these arts get so much skepticism on here and on other sites by folks who do primarily combat sports.
The Hapkido class was 45 minutes of warmups (basically yoga) followed by 15 minutes of class. It included the Master saying things that made sense (i.e. "HKD is only for defense" and "I won't trash talk other arts, I'll just teach you what I know"), followed by being an absolute hypocrite (students working on jump split kicks for their next test, him crapping all over the way boxers punch).

The Taekwondo class was the softest martial arts class I've ever seen, outside of Tai Chi. In drills, partners would fall before you even made contact with them. At one point he said, "Don't actually block their arm because you might hurt them." His specialty was forms, and yet 99% of his upper belts didn't even know what moves they were supposed to do, or have any idea how to correctly do them (i.e. doing scissor blocks in the forms without even crossing their arms). Some of them didn't even know the proper names of the forms, when they had only one form to know at each belt. (Not learn: know).

I can certainly see someone going from a school that says "We only teach pure 100% self-defense" and does jump split kicks to a Muay Thai school and seeing the difference in what actually works. Nothing against jump split kicks, but don't try and say it's 100% for the streets. I can see someone going to a school that says "Don't block the arm because it might hurt them" to a BJJ school and hearing "Bumps happen, keep going", and wonder why TKD is so soft. I also can say for sure what my previous school is and isn't like, because I have combat sports to compare it to, and I have other TMAs to compare it to.

I am now the guy who quit TKD to spend more time at BJJ, even though I still consider my primary art TKD.
 

auntlisa1103

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I hope this doesnt sound argumentative because I dont mean it like that.

I would submit that which art receives a given persons affection or ire also depends on what that person is looking for out of a MA. I didnt come to TKD looking to learn how to tear someones head off, or win medals, or brag about my black belt. I came looking for physical health/strength/balance, self-confidence, and the ability to participate in my own rescue if something ever happens walking down the street alone (Im a 45/F who weighs 110 pounds soaking wet). The TKD school I attend is also three blocks from my house. And I havent even mentioned the community I gained there that is SO SO good for me mentally.

For who I was/am and what I wanted/needed, TKD is the best thing that ever happened to me. I honestly dont think I would thrive at something more combative like BJJ/MT.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I hope this doesnt sound argumentative because I dont mean it like that.

I would submit that which art receives a given persons affection or ire also depends on what that person is looking for out of a MA. I didnt come to TKD looking to learn how to tear someones head off, or win medals, or brag about my black belt. I came looking for physical health/strength/balance, self-confidence, and the ability to participate in my own rescue if something ever happens walking down the street alone (Im a 45/F who weighs 110 pounds soaking wet). The TKD school I attend is also three blocks from my house. And I havent even mentioned the community I gained there that is SO SO good for me mentally.

For who I was/am and what I wanted/needed, TKD is the best thing that ever happened to me. I honestly dont think I would thrive at something more combative like BJJ/MT.
I'm of the opinion that any art can and should be taught at an appropriate level of intensity for the individual student. Not everybody is a young, athletic, wannabee competitive fighter. Speaking as a BJJ/MT instructor, I am confident that I could teach someone like yourself in a way that would allow you to gradually stretch your comfort level without being overwhelmed.

That said, it's important to be honest with students about where they are in their development and what their capabilities are. If you train in TKD (or any other art) and are improving your strength, fitness, balance, and coordination while gaining a community of good friends, that is wonderful! But if your instructor were to tell you "don't actually block your opponent's arm because you'll hurt them" (as in skribs' example above) then they are misleading you in a way that will likely lead to bad consequences if you ever do have to participate in your own rescue. (I'm not suggesting that your instructor would say such a thing. It's just something skrib was noting that he had seen in certain TMA schools.)
 
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skribs

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But if your instructor were to tell you "don't actually block your opponent's arm because you'll hurt them" (as in skribs' example above)
It also depends how far on the spectrum you are on this. "Be nice to your training partner, don't club their arm every time" is something that sounds very much like what my Muay Thai coach would tell us when drilling leg kicks.
 

auntlisa1103

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But if your instructor were to tell you "don't actually block your opponent's arm because you'll hurt them" (as in skribs' example above) then they are misleading you in a way that will likely lead to bad consequences if you ever do have to participate in your own rescue. (I'm not suggesting that your instructor would say such a thing. It's just something skrib was noting that he had seen in certain TMA schools.)
Agreed. And he would never say that. But he is definitely a believer in each student having their own path, and in being a good partner. Senior belts are expected to meet junior belt partners at or just above where they are at for teaching purposes.

As far as me and an art like BJJ吏ne of my instructors once told me a mark of a good martial artist is that they know their limitations and how to work within and around them. Im type 1 diabetic, blind in one eye, with two 45 year old knees, and I was the kid who couldnt sportsno balance, couldnt run, no hand-eye coordination, and if you put an appendage in my hand that I also had to coordinate I just got that much worse. Today as a first dan, after three or four 360 kicks in a row (which I have to keep on the ground) during floor drills, I get so dizzy I have to walk off the rest of the length of the floor. I have trouble even finding my target over my blind shoulder. So MA wise Im definitely where I need to be
 

auntlisa1103

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And for the record, thats not me questioning your ability as an instructor. Its me questioning whether it would be a worthwhile endeavor given my challenges.
 

Holmejr

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There are many that take MA simply for the art form or simply for fun, with self defense or fighting a secondary consideration. I consider that a pretty healthy activity. There are those that think their MA is the end all in self defense and thats okay. You will probably not learn MT elbows in BJJ and probably will not learn the spinning back kick in BJJ. In fact, when I did take TKD we never learned the guillotine. Hopefully none of us are truly tested.
With that said, EVERYONE knows the FMAs are the best ever佞
 
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Monkey Turned Wolf

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I think people are missing (as is often missed) is what the art is advertising. No one would talk bad about TMA's, if the classes don't teach effective self-defense, and the instructor didn't claim to teach it. If Hapkido was advertised as an active version of yoga with partners, no one would complain that they spend 45 minutes doing yoga warmups, any more than they'd complain about not learning self-defense in an actual yoga class.

Similarly, if the TKD class was represented as a place to have fun, join a community, and lose weight, not as a place to learn effective self-defense, that would be fine too. Despite being a martial art, may tai chi places espouse exactly that, and (mostly) no one complains.

The issue is that this is not what's said. If people go to a hapkido or tkd place, they're being told that they're learning self-defense. Which, on the whole, is fine, as those arts can teach self-defense. But when a place is claiming to teach self-defense, and they're not learning that, then it's an issue. And if they're teaching an art that claims to teach self-defense, they have to very specifically say that they're not teaching it, otherwise they're lying through omission. And those schools that hide behind "well people come here for other purposes", while avoiding saying if they teach self defense (and for the record I've yet to see a TMA that fits the description say they don't teach self-defense, even when directly asked), that there's a problem. And then people make fun of them, and generalize it to the art.

I think a good comparison would be a tennis club. Most people at a tennis club don't care about getting really good at tennis. They just found an activity that they like, with a group of people, which happens to also teach them to get better at tennis. Clubs will directly say that yeah, they're not the best at tennis, but they have fun, which is the equivalent of what people claim some TMA's suggest (which they normally don't). But, some schools may continue to hide behind that claim, while also not teaching self-defense. To go back to the tennis school, imagine that they don't let people on the court - people stretch for 20 minutes, practice swings in the air for 20 minutes, then hit a pretend ball back and forth before going home. If that school claimed to still teach tennis, people would complain and warn against it. And if there was a tennis organization that had a lot of schools like that, while claiming to be a great group for learning tennis, people would be very wary of all schools in that organization.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Controversial title for a lot of folks on here, and for that I do apologize. I'm not saying I hate TMAs. I just now have a much better understanding where such opinions come from.

When I was training Taekwondo and Hapkido at my previous school, it was very difficult to be in a lot of debates with folks on "MMA vs. TMA", because neither of us had enough of a picture to really discuss it. I had no experience with the combat sports, and they didn't know my particular gym. These debates arguments basically boiled down to me watching Muay Thai videos and comparing what I see to what I do in TKD, and them telling me they took an Aikido class once so they know how my Hapkido class trains.

A year ago, I started BJJ. Six months ago, Muay Thai. Now, I have a lot more experience to bring to the debate than I did before. I've made another thread about this, but the summary is: I feel validated in what I've trained and how it was trained in TKD/HKD, but I also have a lot to learn about BJJ/MT.

I've also tried a Hapkido class here, and spent three months at a Taekwondo class here, and now I can see why these arts get so much skepticism on here and on other sites by folks who do primarily combat sports.
The Hapkido class was 45 minutes of warmups (basically yoga) followed by 15 minutes of class. It included the Master saying things that made sense (i.e. "HKD is only for defense" and "I won't trash talk other arts, I'll just teach you what I know"), followed by being an absolute hypocrite (students working on jump split kicks for their next test, him crapping all over the way boxers punch).

The Taekwondo class was the softest martial arts class I've ever seen, outside of Tai Chi. In drills, partners would fall before you even made contact with them. At one point he said, "Don't actually block their arm because you might hurt them." His specialty was forms, and yet 99% of his upper belts didn't even know what moves they were supposed to do, or have any idea how to correctly do them (i.e. doing scissor blocks in the forms without even crossing their arms). Some of them didn't even know the proper names of the forms, when they had only one form to know at each belt. (Not learn: know).

I can certainly see someone going from a school that says "We only teach pure 100% self-defense" and does jump split kicks to a Muay Thai school and seeing the difference in what actually works. Nothing against jump split kicks, but don't try and say it's 100% for the streets. I can see someone going to a school that says "Don't block the arm because it might hurt them" to a BJJ school and hearing "Bumps happen, keep going", and wonder why TKD is so soft. I also can say for sure what my previous school is and isn't like, because I have combat sports to compare it to, and I have other TMAs to compare it to.

I am now the guy who quit TKD to spend more time at BJJ, even though I still consider my primary art TKD.
I agree entirely. I had enough exposure to different training approaches to see some of the same things you point out here.

I think there are some built-in conflicts between approaches (some try to simulate "attack" situations, while others just use actual combat - and each is conviced the other isn't what happens in "the streets" - and both are probably right, but not in the way they think).

I also think there are some things that engender conflict that's just unneccessary:
  • Trash talking (especially where you don't really know what you're talking about). This happens in both camps: the "I don't fight by rules, so I can dust a boxer", and the "self-defense guys train like X". Both arguments tend to be so much hooey.
  • Training blindly. This happens more than it should in the SD-oriented world, and in some other areas of TMA. What I mean by this is training something that has been trained by the previous generation(s) of instructors, but never questioning why, how, or even if it actually works. Nor whether it's worth training, given other options. This grinds combat-sport folks' gears, and with good reason.
  • Training that supports tradition. Here, I'm talking about training methods some of us maintain because we like the tradition behind them, even if they aren't fantastic for combat training. Combat sports folks get bent out of shape over some of this, and I'm not really sure why. Sometimes we just like what we like. I also liked switch-hitting when I played baseball and softball, even though I'd have been more effective just hitting right-handed. I just enjoyed working both sides. (I also often carried one left-handed club when golfing, because I enojyed getting out of trouble from that side, just to amaze people.)
I could list others, but it's time to go to work.
 

dunc

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I think the problem is that terms like self defence are ill defined in people's minds and there is debate as to what it means and how to become proficient in it
We might hold one view, but others will hold different perspectives and there's no way to clearly prove one POV to be correct
In reality people go to a class, see what's on offer and buy into it or not
Whilst I agree that there are many instructors who mislead students (& perhaps themselves) as to what they are learning, this isn't just the preserve of TMA and applies to combat sports as well

In my view there is a segment of the martial arts community who will dis people who train other arts irrespective of the facts. Also the people who shout the loudest are often folk who switched arts feeling let down by their original style in some way

FWIW I train in a TMA that gets a huge amount of grief online and I train in BJJ and I've never experienced anything but respect for my TMA skillset from the BJJ community I directly interact with
 

HighKick

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Controversial title for a lot of folks on here, and for that I do apologize. I'm not saying I hate TMAs. I just now have a much better understanding where such opinions come from.

When I was training Taekwondo and Hapkido at my previous school, it was very difficult to be in a lot of debates with folks on "MMA vs. TMA", because neither of us had enough of a picture to really discuss it. I had no experience with the combat sports, and they didn't know my particular gym. These debates arguments basically boiled down to me watching Muay Thai videos and comparing what I see to what I do in TKD, and them telling me they took an Aikido class once so they know how my Hapkido class trains.

A year ago, I started BJJ. Six months ago, Muay Thai. Now, I have a lot more experience to bring to the debate than I did before. I've made another thread about this, but the summary is: I feel validated in what I've trained and how it was trained in TKD/HKD, but I also have a lot to learn about BJJ/MT.

I've also tried a Hapkido class here, and spent three months at a Taekwondo class here, and now I can see why these arts get so much skepticism on here and on other sites by folks who do primarily combat sports.
The Hapkido class was 45 minutes of warmups (basically yoga) followed by 15 minutes of class. It included the Master saying things that made sense (i.e. "HKD is only for defense" and "I won't trash talk other arts, I'll just teach you what I know"), followed by being an absolute hypocrite (students working on jump split kicks for their next test, him crapping all over the way boxers punch).

The Taekwondo class was the softest martial arts class I've ever seen, outside of Tai Chi. In drills, partners would fall before you even made contact with them. At one point he said, "Don't actually block their arm because you might hurt them." His specialty was forms, and yet 99% of his upper belts didn't even know what moves they were supposed to do, or have any idea how to correctly do them (i.e. doing scissor blocks in the forms without even crossing their arms). Some of them didn't even know the proper names of the forms, when they had only one form to know at each belt. (Not learn: know).

I can certainly see someone going from a school that says "We only teach pure 100% self-defense" and does jump split kicks to a Muay Thai school and seeing the difference in what actually works. Nothing against jump split kicks, but don't try and say it's 100% for the streets. I can see someone going to a school that says "Don't block the arm because it might hurt them" to a BJJ school and hearing "Bumps happen, keep going", and wonder why TKD is so soft. I also can say for sure what my previous school is and isn't like, because I have combat sports to compare it to, and I have other TMAs to compare it to.

I am now the guy who quit TKD to s
BJ for 30-40 years?
 

HighKick

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Controversial title for a lot of folks on here, and for that I do apologize. I'm not saying I hate TMAs. I just now have a much better understanding where such opinions come from.

When I was training Taekwondo and Hapkido at my previous school, it was very difficult to be in a lot of debates with folks on "MMA vs. TMA", because neither of us had enough of a picture to really discuss it. I had no experience with the combat sports, and they didn't know my particular gym. These debates arguments basically boiled down to me watching Muay Thai videos and comparing what I see to what I do in TKD, and them telling me they took an Aikido class once so they know how my Hapkido class trains.

A year ago, I started BJJ. Six months ago, Muay Thai. Now, I have a lot more experience to bring to the debate than I did before. I've made another thread about this, but the summary is: I feel validated in what I've trained and how it was trained in TKD/HKD, but I also have a lot to learn about BJJ/MT.

I've also tried a Hapkido class here, and spent three months at a Taekwondo class here, and now I can see why these arts get so much skepticism on here and on other sites by folks who do primarily combat sports.
The Hapkido class was 45 minutes of warmups (basically yoga) followed by 15 minutes of class. It included the Master saying things that made sense (i.e. "HKD is only for defense" and "I won't trash talk other arts, I'll just teach you what I know"), followed by being an absolute hypocrite (students working on jump split kicks for their next test, him crapping all over the way boxers punch).

The Taekwondo class was the softest martial arts class I've ever seen, outside of Tai Chi. In drills, partners would fall before you even made contact with them. At one point he said, "Don't actually block their arm because you might hurt them." His specialty was forms, and yet 99% of his upper belts didn't even know what moves they were supposed to do, or have any idea how to correctly do them (i.e. doing scissor blocks in the forms without even crossing their arms). Some of them didn't even know the proper names of the forms, when they had only one form to know at each belt. (Not learn: know).

I can certainly see someone going from a school that says "We only teach pure 100% self-defense" and does jump split kicks to a Muay Thai school and seeing the difference in what actually works. Nothing against jump split kicks, but don't try and say it's 100% for the streets. I can see someone going to a school that says "Don't block the arm because it might hurt them" to a BJJ school and hearing "Bumps happen, keep going", and wonder why TKD is so soft. I also can say for sure what my previous school is and isn't like, because I have combat sports to compare it to, and I have other TMAs to compare it to.

I am now the guy who quit TKD to spend more time at BJJ, even though I still consider my primary art TKD.
For certain, all TKD schools are not the same. I have seen the full spectrum, from Tai-Chi esque schools to no forms, full contact TKD schools.
I am curious how you can 'quit' your primary style? Why not shore up the lacking skills within that style? You seem to be gaining the experience to do this.
I am also curious if you feel you can practice a style like MMA/BJJ for 30-40 years?
 

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Really it is buyer beware at any school TMA or MMA etc. Each has good and bad schools.
 

Steve

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  • Training blindly. This happens more than it should in the SD-oriented world, and in some other areas of TMA. What I mean by this is training something that has been trained by the previous generation(s) of instructors, but never questioning why, how, or even if it actually works. Nor whether it's worth training, given other options. This grinds combat-sport folks' gears, and with good reason.

Just a couple of comments. I don't have any issue at all with this, generally speaking. I mean, that sounds pretty traditional to me. I wouldn't expect someone who trains in Kyudo to start innovating now. And, I wouldn't want for them to.

To put a fine point on it, the issue arises when there are unrealistic impressions of what is being learned. Often, the rhetoric is not something reasonable, like, "I'm learning something traditional, and if it works a little, great. But that's not why I train." I totally understand the appeal of dressing up in traditional uniforms and learning something historical and traditional.

Unfortunately, though, what we tend to hear is more like, "I'm learning the real art of self defense, and my techniques are unfit for sport. I am deadly and serious. My skills are battle tested and efficient." We hear hyperbolic statements about killing people with one punch, taking out knees, and eye gouging. Or we hear about self defense from people who have no real world experience of any kind.

And, again just speaking for myself here, I think students who think they're learning things like this are mistaken, but I think they're the victims. It does definitely suggest that this person lacks experience, but the main thing is hoping they don't get hurt.

What grinds my gears are the instructors who prey on the ignorance of their students. By "grind my gears", I mean, I don't like folks who prey on ignorance as a general rule, but I really only think about this when it comes up on this forum from time to time. :)

  • Training that supports tradition. Here, I'm talking about training methods some of us maintain because we like the tradition behind them, even if they aren't fantastic for combat training. Combat sports folks get bent out of shape over some of this, and I'm not really sure why. Sometimes we just like what we like. I also liked switch-hitting when I played baseball and softball, even though I'd have been more effective just hitting right-handed. I just enjoyed working both sides. (I also often carried one left-handed club when golfing, because I enojyed getting out of trouble from that side, just to amaze people.)
I could list others, but it's time to go to work.
I don't think this is an issue at all. I can imagine you might stoke some arguments in a place like this if you suggested that what you're training is MORE effective. But even in combat sports, people do things their own way all the time.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I am also curious if you feel you can practice a style like MMA/BJJ for 30-40 years?
I'm 59 years old and have been practicing BJJ for 24 years so far. I'm pretty sure I've got another 16 years left in me.

I don't generally refer to my training as "MMA" but I suppose that I could since I incorporate boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, and various other elements into my practice.

I'll share a story about a moment which helped inspire my martial arts goals. 14 years ago a local Judo club sponsored a seminar with the Japan Judo Masters Association. This was a group of high ranked Japanese Judo instructors, ranging in age from 65 to 80. They taught a seminar on Nage no Kata for 2-3 hours, then at the end they lined up and did randori with all of us. I (aged 45 at the time) was paired up with a gentleman who was 70 years old. He was very polite and allowed me to try everything I knew. Once it became clear that I couldn't upset his balance by even a little bit, he foot swept me and went on to the next student.

At that moment, I knew that this was my goal for when I reached my 70s - to still be on the mat teaching and sparring with the younger students. (Bear in mind that Judo is generally considered to be rougher on the body than BJJ, so if these Judo masters could do it in their 70s, I should be able to do it as well.)
 

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I think the problem is that terms like self defence are ill defined in people's minds and there is debate as to what it means and how to become proficient in it
We might hold one view, but others will hold different perspectives and there's no way to clearly prove one POV to be correct
In reality people go to a class, see what's on offer and buy into it or not
Whilst I agree that there are many instructors who mislead students (& perhaps themselves) as to what they are learning, this isn't just the preserve of TMA and applies to combat sports as well

In my view there is a segment of the martial arts community who will dis people who train other arts irrespective of the facts. Also the people who shout the loudest are often folk who switched arts feeling let down by their original style in some way

FWIW I train in a TMA that gets a huge amount of grief online and I train in BJJ and I've never experienced anything but respect for my TMA skillset from the BJJ community I directly interact with
Bujinkan, right? The fact that you use those skills is commendable. Tony Dismukes has said similar things about his experiences with the bujinkan.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Bujinkan, right? The fact that you use those skills is commendable. Tony Dismukes has said similar things about his experiences with the bujinkan.
I don't really consider myself a Bujinkan practitioner any more, but my experience in the Bujinkan has influenced the mindset that I bring to my BJJ. I also occasionally slip in Bujinkan techniques every now and then while sparring. Mostly it's just for the surprise value, but I have a few moves from my Bujinkan days which I consider to be relatively high percentage.
 

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The Hapkido class was 45 minutes of warmups (basically yoga) followed by 15 minutes of class. It included the Master saying things that made sense (i.e. "HKD is only for defense" and "I won't trash talk other arts, I'll just teach you what I know"), followed by being an absolute hypocrite (students working on jump split kicks for their next test, him crapping all over the way boxers punch).
I might demonstrate a showy kick for fun and explain that I probably would not use this for self defense but if the students wanted to learn the showy kick for fun I would teach them because Martial Arts should be fun to learn.

I would never disparage the way boxers punch but I might explain why we punch differently in Hapkido class. The primary difference is in the real world our hands are not wrapped.
 

dunc

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Bujinkan, right? The fact that you use those skills is commendable. Tony Dismukes has said similar things about his experiences with the bujinkan.
Just clarifying that there are a relatively small number of "foundational" techniques from the Bujinkan that are useful and acceptable for general BJJ sparring
However, I've tested and explored a much larger number of "unacceptable" techniques from the Bujinkan with high level BJJ practitioners and competitors (& instructors from other styles at our academy), even sparring with them on a pre agreed and friendly basis
 
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