I get the TMA hate now

JowGaWolf

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This may be the major problem for TMA. It's so funny that for those who

- fight, they don't talk about "silk reeling".
- talk about "silk reeling", they don't fight.

I truly don't understand the reason. Why?
It's because most in TMA don't know how to use the techniques that they train. I'm always talking about what I did in sparring and showing part of the form the technique is found.

I may be different because part of what I try to do is show that Jow Ga is functional so I have to compare things like that.
 

isshinryuronin

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It's because most in TMA don't know how to use the techniques that they train. I'm always talking about what I did in sparring and showing part of the form the technique is found.
This is true in many schools. The problem is there has evolved a mindset that forms and fighting are two different things. This began for karate in the 1930's as competition divided the art into forms and sparring. Since many techniques in forms were not allowed in sparring, the divide grew. Over time applications of the forms were forgotten, or at least ignored.

You are spot on in showing the connection between forms and sparring/fighting, reuniting the two. This goes a long way in TMA regaining its true nature and overall respect for the art.

I think it's important to recognize that forms, as they currently exist, often do not accurately represent real fighting, having become too stylized over the years. It is necessary to tweak them a little to coax effective application of the techniques. This has two parts as I see it. Firstly, the "hidden" applications must be discovered like grabs, breaks, takedowns that are hard to recognize by casual observation. Secondly, the timing, angles and footwork need to be adjusted as well. For example, instead of a block and counter being done in two beats, do them simultaneously, maybe with a shuffle step in at the same time.

I'm not advocating changing the form, but drawing just a little outside the lines, THE WAY FORMS WERE DESIGNED TO BE USED. There was always some ambiguity built into them. For one thing, it kept spying outsiders from understanding the techniques by simple observation. And even more importantly, it allowed flexibility in applying the techniques to the varying and changing circumstances in a fight. Like a rubber band, the form can be "stretched" to meet a particular purpose, but afterwards goes back to its original shape.
 

JowGaWolf

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but drawing just a little outside the lines,
This should be a TMA class for all instructors. Be like water.... funny how some will explain it yet they are not the same when it comes to their forms. It's like flexibility is forbidden for some. Greatest example is how I sometimes have remind students to move their feet instead of keeping it planted and twisting on the knee. Or stepping with the feet to get into position.

I've seen a lot of this with kung fu in general. Especially with fighting footwork vs form footwork (which tends to be more linear).
 

Oily Dragon

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This should be a TMA class for all instructors. Be like water.... funny how some will explain it yet they are not the same when it comes to their forms. It's like flexibility is forbidden for some. Greatest example is how I sometimes have remind students to move their feet instead of keeping it planted and twisting on the knee. Or stepping with the feet to get into position.

I've seen a lot of this with kung fu in general. Especially with fighting footwork vs form footwork (which tends to be more linear).
I don't know if you ever learned any Five Element Fist routines, but pun intended (water), they are in advanced Hung Ga, Jow Ga, and others, and the sequence is designed in a way that a flurry of strikes are thrown in a natural flowing way. There's some theory behind it, but in practice it's how you said, flexible. A test of flexibility actually.

Let me see if I can find some photos later because this is one place where "forms" and "fist sets" diverge, where forms are sort of static sets and fist sets (Kuen faat) are more like boxing combinations.

These aren't limited to Chinese quanfa, either, I've seen them all throughout old Asian arts like Muay Boran.
 

Oily Dragon

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Here's a five element fist routine in the Wong Fei Hung Tiger Crane school. Earth, Water, Fire, Metal, Wood.

This should be read right to left, not left to right.

1693274954573.png
 

Tigerwarrior

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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.
All arts originally were for fighting hence the name "martial" now over years that's changed some and in some systems completely changed. But you can find effective fighters in all styles guys and gals you don't want to mess with. I've seen people from arts that get joked about being harder opponents than some of the guys I used to spar at my old mma gym. Everybody is training the same stuff now a days with the mma craze. Everyone's training muay thai and bjj, honestly it's getting predictable and I'd say even though a high level fighter in one of those combat sports have a very good 95% advantage over most people on the planet that there's still some traditional guys out there that train with the same intensity and have equal or more experience. Don't under estimate a karateka or tkd guy who has been training hard for 40 years and is a master of the art. Everyone is becoming predictable kind of like the 80s when everyone was doing karate and it ended up with alot of karate getting watered down then the ufc and now some people who train other arts think they are superior to karate or kung fu. Muay thai is good bjj is good but so are traditional arts. Want to see a fight where a former world champion and bjj phenom gets owned by a tkd blackbelt? Bj Penn vs Yair Rodriguez, Yair used a traditional tkd move to knock bj out and it wasn't even a kick. I've seen bad asses in all arts and respect everyone. Traditional guys have an advantage too, we might not be high level thai or bjj guys but we have many techniques and training methods that can make us unpredictable in a fight especially against a predictable opponent fighting the way everyone else is fighting now a day's. Don't take this the wrong way I'm not angry or mad or trying to be disrespectful and I say this with no bad intentions but the mma craze is so over saturated with the same stuff that it's to the point where people are starting to sprinkle in traditional moves they learned and getting the advantage over their opponents, and if these traditional techniques are good so is the system imo. Also I'm not a hardcore traditionalist I've trained in bjj, American kickboxing, muay thai, judo, fma, and dabbled in a few cma arts and I've seen guys from systems people joke about who could wreck some mma fighters like regional pros. A world champion is 99% advantage over the population but they are rare and a special breed. It's not the art or traditional vs new school it's the fighter and their mindset and experience. Sorry for the essay.
 

HighKick

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It is the element of not showing their work that bugs me. You make a claim, test it live on everyone and see how it goes. And the claim is either proven true or false.

I have no time for claims that haven't gone through that process. I don't have time for people who haven't gone through that process.

There is just too much good training from quality guys out there.
Being honest, it is same brush comments like this I hate about TMA's. Just old, worn out, and inaccurate at least half the time. Like you, I agree there is just too much good training out there, this includes TMA's.
Some, not all MMA/BJJ training is crap. Some, not all TMA training is crap. Because you have never seen good TMA training does Not make it a false assertion.
It sounds like @skribs has had a bad experience and is emoting it here now that it has been discovered. I think the best thing any long-time martial artist can do is experience and experiment with other martial arts. There is a critical need for being both a generalist and a perfectionist in styles.
 

auntlisa1103

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His answer was, "You have missed my point."

A: I train both Taiji and Sanda.
B: When you fight, do you care whether you may use Taiji or Sanda (I believe this is a proper question to ask)?
A: You have missed my point.
B: ???

It's just like when people put a dislike mark under your post. They won't bother to say why?
My GM has black belts in three different arts. He would probably answer your question similarly.

He tells a story about when he and his GM noticed some MA schools advertise that they teach all (however many, 1800 or something) techniques. He and his GM didnt realize there WERE that many. They just teach foundational techniques and then the various applications of them. Because if you have to think to yourself okay Im going to use Number 1375 from Art A, its too late.

My guess would be that your guy doesnt pick an art to fight withhe just fights.
 

isshinryuronin

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My GM has black belts in three different arts. He would probably answer your question similarly.

He tells a story about when he and his GM noticed some MA schools advertise that they teach all (however many, 1800 or something) techniques. He and his GM didnt realize there WERE that many. They just teach foundational techniques and then the various applications of them. Because if you have to think to yourself okay Im going to use Number 1375 from Art A, its too late.

My guess would be that your guy doesnt pick an art to fight withhe just fights.
I think that going into a fight one should just have a general strategy. For example, get in close and initially pick a couple of the following:

1. attack with your knees
2. go after the opponent's knees
3. attack with elbows
4. go for a standing choke
5. try for a take down

Since I'm not good at submissions, #4 would not be for me. This leaves me just 4 things to keep in mind as I initially attack, my experience and training automatically giving me the specific what and how.

Thinking much more than this is not realistic. Of course, one of the above may flow into another as particular opportunities present themselves. A simple basic plan well executed goes a long way to getting you the upper hand. Once that happens you have the luxury (an extra half second) of thinking a little more of how to finish if the opponent is still standing after the initial attack.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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My guess would be that your guy doesnt pick an art to fight withhe just fights.
IMO, the best fighting strategy can be:

- Disable your opponent's leg (foot sweep, shin bite, leading leg jam leading leg, ...).
- Disable your opponent's arms (leading arm jam back arm, separate hands, ...).
- You then attack him.
 

isshinryuronin

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I've seen a lot of this with kung fu in general. Especially with fighting footwork vs form footwork (which tends to be more linear).
So true. The transition from form vs real combat often entails some slight adjustment to make the technique make sense and work. It may (in the case of footwork) entail a shuffle, an angle shift, a pivot, etc. In hand techniques, it may require a wrist rotation, a grab, a doing a combo in one count instead of two, etc.

Isshinryu sensei, Michael Calandra, related in his podcast that Master Shimabuku watched him do a kata and commented, "Good, but why do you do it like a beginner?" By the time one is a higher degree black belt they should be doing the form with these kinds of adjustments.

Knowing what and how to adjust requires a complete understanding of the basic form and the style's foundational principles, while experimenting with different variations.
 

marvin8

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I'm not saying I hate TMAs. I just now have a much better understanding where such opinions come from...

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.
On the subject of TKD and MT, this appeared recently.

Lawrence Kenshin
Sep 11, 2023

Joe Rogan on Muay Thai: 1.11
Changphuek Kiatsongrit vs Shin Ushikoshi: 5:49
The Fight that Changed MMA: 11:23
Changphuek Kiatsongrit vs Dale Cook: 16:18
Takayuki Murosaki vs Isamu Hayami: 19:36
Kaoklai vs Yong Soo Park: 20:53
Taekwondo Monsters: 25:05
Serkan Yilmaz: 25:35
Manson Gibson: 26:09
Ignacio Capllonch: 31:27
Steve Vick: 34:05
Joe Rogan's Taekwondo Techniques: 36:33

 

Hot Lunch

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Many TMA people who believe that MA can be trained solo. Without opponent, the term timing, opportunity, angle, ... will have no meaning.
If you're not an MMA fighter, you're not training for the purpose of fighting other martial artists.

Not sure if this is a flawed way of thinking, but I'd think - or maybe like to think - that doing something solo, whether it's kata, shadow boxing, technique drills, etc; at least gives you an advantage over someone who isn't even doing any kind of training at all.
 

geezer

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If you're not an MMA fighter, you're not training for the purpose of fighting other martial artists.

Not sure if this is a flawed way of thinking, but I'd think - or maybe like to think - that doing something solo, whether it's kata, shadow boxing, technique drills, etc; at least gives you an advantage over someone who isn't even doing any kind of training at all.
Yeah, maybe, kinda sorta...

But how disappointing when you can progress much faster with real training under a coach with quality training partners.

This is my issue with the tiny Wing Chun group I'm still running. Without a bigger pool of partners who can test what these guys are doing, everything is a fantasy. I honestly believe WC is a fascinating discipline that can contribute a lot... if integrated into a solid program with good grappling and other forms of striking and kicking... ya know... MMA?

At the present, I haven't figured out how to do that, since at 68 my body isn't really up to grappling any more, much less heavy contact striking arts. So, it's either keep on with what I'm doing or ...retire.
 
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Oily Dragon

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If you're not an MMA fighter, you're not training for the purpose of fighting other martial artists.

Not sure if this is a flawed way of thinking, but I'd think - or maybe like to think - that doing something solo, whether it's kata, shadow boxing, technique drills, etc; at least gives you an advantage over someone who isn't even doing any kind of training at all.
MMA is not the only full contact fighting system though. It might be the most popular and televized nowadays but there are definitely others, going back a long time. Some countries have long histories of such events, China, Greece, Italy, Spain, Brazil. Vale Tudo is considered a precursor of MMA but even that format is kind of young.

But if UFC screwed anything up, it was convincing generations of people that before UFC1, people from various styles never actually fought each other. Which is totally untrue, in fact styles have fought styles as far back in history as you look.

It's only recently, maybe the last century or so, that we now have these "too deadly to spar" and "we train for the street" shenanigans, and I'd say it's all because at some point, martial arts became commercialized and all about colorful belts, status, and trophies.

In the old days, especially Asia, you learned arts of war from your family, clan, whataver, and if you fought at all, you might wind up dead. People dueled. And some very famous martial arts masters swore by this notion. Live by the sword, be ready to die at any time.

Can you imagine what Mas Oyama would think of that local kiddie karate dojo? He'd lose his mind.
 
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Oily Dragon

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Yeah, maybe, kinda sorta...

But how disappointing when you can progress much faster with real training under a coach with quality training partners.

This is my issue with the tiny Wing Chun group I'm still running. Without a bigger pool of partners who can test what these guys are doing, everything is a fantasy. I honestly believe WC is a fascinating discipline that can contribute a lot... if integrated into a solid program with good grappling and other forms of striking and kicking... ya know... MMA?

At the present, I haven't figured out how to do that, since at 68 my body isn't really up to grappling any more, much less heavy contact striking arts. So, it's either keep on with what I'm doing or ...retire.
You know, I've seen Wing Chun students fight in Sanda, MMA, but even push hand competitions, you can tell who knows and who doesn't.

And the ones that don't always love to post videos online and are probably a big reason why Wing Chuns reputation is so tainted..

Because crossing arms is actually hard, and painful, and that's what a lot of people who train poorly never learn. Sometimes to train MA, blood must be shed. Just not on my favorite heavy bag....ugh.
 
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drop bear

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MMA is not the only full contact fighting system though. It might be the most popular and televized nowadays but there are definitely others, going back a long time. Some countries have long histories of such events, China, Greece, Italy, Spain, Brazil. Vale Tudo is considered a precursor of MMA but even that format is kind of young.

But if UFC screwed anything up, it was convincing generations of people that before UFC1, people from various styles never actually fought each other. Which is totally untrue, in fact styles have fought styles as far back in history as you look.

It's only recently, maybe the last century or so, that we now have these "too deadly to spar" and "we train for the street" shenanigans, and I'd say it's all because at some point, martial arts became commercialized and all about colorful belts, status, and trophies.

In the old days, especially Asia, you learned arts of war from your family, clan, whataver, and if you fought at all, you might wind up dead. People dueled. And some very famous martial arts masters swore by this notion. Live by the sword, be ready to die at any time.

Can you imagine what Mas Oyama would think of that local kiddie karate dojo? He'd lose his mind.
I don't think that helped them that much. You only need one guy to put the fears in to his local community enough to have the "best system". And suddenly everyone stops developing.

I have seen this with the street fighter factor. Has this terror reputation But he steps up to even a semi competent guy and gets killed.
 

Appledog

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There was always some ambiguity built into them. For one thing, it kept spying outsiders from understanding the techniques by simple observation. And even more importantly, it allowed flexibility in applying the techniques to the varying and changing circumstances in a fight. Like a rubber band, the form can be "stretched" to meet a particular purpose, but afterwards goes back to its original shape.
Yes. When I teach horizontal silk reeling I use the term 'polishing the mirror' from liuhe bafa and I teach my students that when we do this, it represents (ex. single hand push hands) but we hide the technique by adding the second hand and not turning the wrist so much. This also helps us internalize the technique by modifying how we train it from time to time. I also note that there are different techniques.

Another one is forwards and backwards reeling. You can do it by turning the waist and it looks like mid level block; this is one way to hide what your doing; "mid level block, and then grab and pull". Or you can do it by standing and fixing your elbows in front of you and just turning your wrists.

Stratford-7-by-5.jpg

Turn those wrists, hell yeah

The funny thing is that if you don't know what the real exercise is, or you don't know what the internal energy is you are training, you cannot get it by doing this exercise, but if you know what it is then this is a good way to train it in a pinch. The perfect camoflage. You can wade into a group of seniors doing tai chi and train "fighting" (whatever that is).

Now, taking a step back, that feels ridiculous as a concept but it is kinda true. The truth is that you would not want to train like that if you had a choice but it's fun sometimes.
 

Oily Dragon

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I don't think that helped them that much. You only need one guy to put the fears in to his local community enough to have the "best system". And suddenly everyone stops developing.

I have seen this with the street fighter factor. Has this terror reputation But he steps up to even a semi competent guy and gets killed.
I just think it comes down to comp format. Not everyone has to compete but without some type of active 1v1, a martial art is basically incomplete. And every (legit) martial art out there has some sort of 1v1 format.

That's how people get to "TMA hate". They usually just want to see some comp or sparring, and it's always a mixed bag. But that just requires further seeking. This is why a lot of TMA guys entered UFC, they wanted to battle. And we all know some worked out, some didn't. For some reason, a lot of great old TMA got thrown under the bus.

Weapon arts must and can be trained with a decent amount of aliveness. That was the case at Shaolin Temple for like the first 1,000 years. All the empty hand trchniques handed down from that long TMA tradition are pretty new compared to say spear or saber which go back to the BC age, but even older is Shuai Jiao > Jiao li > Jiao Di lineage.

Usually you can see the competition format in artwork. This one is from Northern China about 2,000 years ago.

1694825064206.png


Consider Krav Maga, which is a hybrid art based on TMAs that are known to work. Its founder was very skilled, but the Israeli military only recently began holding bouts, because people were starting to doubt it, and that's all due to the "too deadly" guys wearing camo and pretending to be special forces, and the "Civilian Krav Maga" craze/fad. Got to be honest a lot of people who do Krav have no idea of its origins, and have no basic grappling skill. But they love to punch air.

Consider Muay Thai. It's a TMA, with a whole set of training, music, dance traditions. Nobody disses on it because it's clearly effective.

FMA, another wicked art with hand and weapon techniques. As long as you go to a decent school, there is a competition element.

So what makes TMA hateworthy? I thinks it's as simple as "what are you selling?". I think most of us, if we joined any school and there was not at least some 1v1 option, would walk away.

And I think it's hard to name a TMA that doesn't. Schools sure, but actual TMA styles themselves? Hard to name one that is truly fake or has zero competitors, or relatively legit history. I remember Yellow Bamboo but that was afaik totally made up by New Agers. Ninjutsu (the real stuff) isn't made up either, but it's a minefield of BS unless you rely on good sources (and imho, some of worst sources are the schools themselves, you dont knoe who to trust).

Sorry for the long rant but I've had this "TMA sucks" argument for so many years. It used to really get frustrating, now that I'm a few decades into MA training I just point people to sources that I've spent some time vetting.
 
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