Is shorinji Kempo effective?

ZapEm

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It's the status quo in Japanese systems, you realise Omote (the "face", or "outside") and Ura (the "shadow", or "inside") aspects While you might not understand it, it is the norm.

It is indeed the norm, and that's the very problem. These concepts should not be applied to fighting techniques, because when you attempt to do so, you make it impossible for yourself and for anyone else who follows that doctrine to train effectively. The training becomes pseudo-training unless you can actually train a particular technique. If you're busy keeping what you consider the real stuff a secret business, you're not actually training and trying out what you yourself think really works. What's more, the real "inside" stuff isn't open to being tried and tested in the open, criticised and discarded if found useless. You're only training what you yourself consider to be an ineffective side-show, i.e. the "outer" movements. The logic of that...


Er okay you do know that "occult" and "occlude" are two different words, yeah? "Occlude" is to obscure, hide, or obstruct "occult" is a reference to mystical or supernatural powers

It's both occluded and it's occult. The Latin root of the adjective occult is occulo; the verb is occulere. Another English adjective (with a different meaning) from this root is ocular. The word occult is not oc + cult (where "cult" = religion). Common usage in modern English has given the word "occult" a connotation of something to do with powers, spirits, religions and mysticism. However that's not the proper meaning of the word. It just means hidden from sight. The modern English use of the word occult is still wider than its popular connotation. For example, the "occultation of Saturn", the "occultation of the Shi'ite Imam", and most English dictionaries say that "to occult" is valid as a transitive verb.

Er okay

For the record, outside of movies, I've never come across this at all.

It's fair enough you haven't noticed it. But then you are a ninjutsu guy, and the taijutsu component of ninjutsu to my eyes resembles traditional Japanese jiu-jutsu more than karate, and there's no evidence that ninjutsu during the post-WW2 period was affected by a bitterly resentful Japanese warrior type. But let's say it was happening under your nose. How would you know? The only possible way to find out the motivations of historical Japanese martial arts stylists who started modern schools inspired by Kano's grading system and modern military marching drills is to closely examine their lives and psychology. What do we know about Funakoshi's overtures to the Emperor, or about his generation that remembered the glories of the Meiji period and now were being asked to reconcile a new pacifist Japanese (inter)nationalism by Japanifying non-Japanese martial arts to promote the new ideas in the disarmed climate? What was his attitude? It would be a shame if someone trained in karate until their 50s, and discovered their system doesn't give them an advantage over untrained attackers after all, and all they had to show for it were joints that were permanently ruined. If it happened, how would we account for it?

In one sense, the only "secret" is to continue training and focusing on the kihon (fundamentals)

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. From my point of view, the conventional advice to practice these fundamentals is the cause of the problem, because the fundamentals can be fundamentally bad. On purpose, and with a view to keeping the social pecking order of the Japanese-headed dojo in place.

I like Japanese people. In fact, they are some of the best people I have ever met. I also like many aspects of their culture. However I may seem critical when it comes to that generation. I think the current generation of Japanese, and the preceding, was a completely different kettle of fish to those who were around in the 1940s and 1950s. It's too easy to lose sight of that.
 

ZapEm

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ZapEm, i am not sure but it seems you may have your sanchin kata knowlege a little confused, or maybe i am confused by your statements. There are 3 basic versions of sanchin on the island of Okinawa (and many more on main land China) which are from the Fujian area of China and are related and similar, found mostly in the Naha te systems. Shorin style systems like Shotokan from the examples i have seen to my opinion are from an early Higaonna version. you seem to be refering to a Funakoshi version since you mentioned his name a few times. in naha te systems sanchin is the foundation kata and the first kata learnt. in both the shorin style and in Yamaguchi goju i do not see any Japanese influence on the kata. sanchin is not a foundational kata in the shuri te systems. Funakoshi only added it to his list because he felt all karate was just karate, sanchin was just another kata to him. so your comment of learning sanchin first seems a bit odd because it is the first kata in naha-te and in shuri-te the kata is unimportant.

Hi Hoshin. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify my point about Sanchin. As long as there is a separation of styles by order of movement patterns, there can be near endless variations of every kata. The regard for a kata as a set of movements that are to be learned and preserved is generally the hallmark of Japanese karate. Karate is a martial art style that belongs to the modern period, and many of its preoccupations are those belonging to the modern period. The flagship martial arts of Japan do not include karate, but judo, kendo and kyudo. We can safely surmise that Japanese karate faced unique and at times urgent challenges in becoming acknowledged fully as a part of Japanese heritage. To this day, it has not met that PR challenge among the majority of Japanese, who are fully aware what their own martial arts are.
Because it belongs to the modern period, the training system in karate recalls the reforms made in Japanese society, particularly its military, before WW2. Several things were introduced. One of them was a learning-by-rote attitude to kata. It came about because, above all, it was important for modern karate to be able to visibly demonstrate its connection with an older heritage.
My argument is that this resulted in the emphasis of kata as collections of demonstrations designed to be seen by outsiders. With regard to sanchin, this was originally a way of training muscles like elastic bands, and releasing them by expelling the breath. It was basically a form of qigong - an exercise that can take many forms. Qigong in China and in Chinese martial arts wasn't about copying a method or form. It was only about building the necessary power to do the techniques and defend against hits. Therefore when this exercise was taken from qigong/kung fu, probably via Okinawa, the practitioners most likely knew that it wasn't about "being seen" but about building the body. When it eventually became a part of Japanese national karate styles, this was ignored and it was simply caught up in the maelstrom of hectic late 19th and early 20th century history. Thus becoming reduced to a set of movements. Efforts to put the original application back into it failed, because it had by that time become purposely detached from Chinese ideas, and the Chinese ideas themselves were long forgotten. You could have lots of bad, ineffective sanchin kata forms if the original system is missing but the outward appearance is somewhat remaining. For example, are you pushing that punch out or letting it out under protest?

Ultimately, it's an old form of exercise, not a magic pill. But like any form of resistance exercise, the idea is to practise it early and often, not late and occasionally, with exaggerated visual form. It belongs to the same category as weight training. They had weight training in Okinawan karate too. Maybe not as good as modern weight training, with what we now know about the human body and exercise, but it was there. Building the physical capability to fight is a fundamental of martial arts that should be introduced from the first day, not the last.

From everything i have read Bruce never commented on karate, he was always refering to clasical Chinese arts which he refered to the "clasical mess"

"Liberate yourself from classical karate" by Bruce Lee
http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/t...e-do/liberate-yourself-from-classical-karate/
 
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sindu5673

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Thank you all for participating in this very rich discussion.

I think this thread is typical in the 21st century state of martial arts/combat sports. In the history of martial arts there was the pre-Bruce Lee and the post Bruce Lee and the "kung fu" movie genre he popularized in the West leading to a martial art craze.
Then came the Gracie Family and their UFC. Until then judo and other martial arts were poorly looked upon for being less spectacular and deemed as less real and lethal. Demos at that time entailed breaking boards and concrete with chop strikes. Most strikers thought they could never lose against a grappler because imagine if they would do to an opponent's face "what they do to those boards".
It turned out that in free fights most strikers were grounded and pounded before they could make any fancy move full of chi or ki. Certainly the UFC was created and owned by the Gracies who are by the way as good at marketing and PR as at ju jitsu (their Gracie academies have sales tactics a so called Mc dojo wouldn't be shy of) and we don't know how clean the sport was at these events. Nonetheless it forced martial artists to reconsider the way they were training. It was a much needed reality check that fights do not occur as in chinese kung fu movies. In reality very often fighters come a clinch, a situation completly overlooked in many TMA.
This being said ground fighting is not the panacea as in a real fight laying on the floor with an opponent for a fairly long time leaves you very vulnerable. I believe that the best self defense goal isn't to fight and ko all the opponents but rather to break th attack throwing a few punches or kicks and running away. I don't believe even training ma can allow to beat any opponent but rather it can help to break away from a dangerous situation alive and without too much damage.
Traditionalist may object that fighting isnt TMA objective. Maybe but at the same time pretentions in their arts effectiveness. If TMA want to survive I think they should choose whether they want to holistic oriented such tai chi or yoga, or if they want to remain "martial" and if so should change their method of training to something more evidence-based.

I think the origin in TMA "irreaslism" lies in their culture of origin. Japanese culture praises the fact of doing things not as a mean to an end but rather for the "process". By example the tea ceremony is very long, very sophisticated, full of ritual and etiquette but isn't certainly just done to improve the tea quality as a beverage. Western MA (Savate, boxing, fencing, jogo do pau) are completly turned into making effective fighters. It has etiquette too but it remains secondary to the martial aspect.
 

Hanzou

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Well, here's the point there could be very good reasons that there isn't sparring same as there being very good reasons it might be if it is my systems don't spar, for example, for a range of different reasons including that it's considered impractical and highly inefficient for our aims. As a result, talk to the instructor if you're of the mindset that sparring is essential, and the instructor explains that the system doesn't include it, then make the decision based on that but if you understand why it's not there, and can come to terms with the fact that perhaps the art knows how it's best taught, then you might find you get more out of it than you might have thought.

The reasons can be as important as whether or not something is there or not in the first place.

While I think you should always talk to your instructor if you have concerns, I'd be very wary of any martial arts system that eschews sparring. Pretty hard to learn how to fight when you're not fighting.



Post hoc ergo propter hoc, mate. The environment was designed for it from the get-go, it's safe to apply there, it's one of the dominant ways to score points and win (via submissions etc), so of course it's going to be a large part of it. Again, the fact that it finds a lot of success in an environment that it's designed for is hardly a surprise.

So is there some reason other MAs couldn't also excel in that environment? If a Karate practitioner can knock out someone on the street with their fist, why not in the ring? If you could supposedly kill bulls with your reverse punch, why can't you knock out someone trying to grapple you to the ground in the ring? The idea that certain arts only work outside of the prying eyes of the digital world is absolute rubbish. Boxers, Bjj stylists, wrestlers, etc. have no problem converting their system from ring fighting to street fighting. Why are the TMA systems incapable of doing the same thing?



Yeah I know the popular story it's not really the way you're making it out to be here.

Early Judo (Kano-ha Kodokan Jujutsu) was successful in a number of police tournaments they really didn't go around challenging other systems additionally, a large part of Judo's success is due to the way Kano got it included in the school system, rather than reliant on the success in such tournaments they were hardly undefeated, you realise...

Yet they still won the tournaments, did they not?


Because you're still thinking that that's the only context that can be intended in martial arts training, or even by the martial arts themselves. It's not. In fact, Shorinji Kenpo doesn't emphasise the idea of self defence at all especially not in the form of Western violence.

In other words, because you need to understand that there are many, many layers to these things. It's really not as simple as you seem to think it is.

Actually it's very simple: Knowing how to fight on the ground is a very useful skill to have. Lacking in that skil can be detrimental, or even fatal.

I'm failing to see what's so complex about that.
 

Chris Parker

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It is indeed the norm, and that's the very problem. These concepts should not be applied to fighting techniques, because when you attempt to do so, you make it impossible for yourself and for anyone else who follows that doctrine to train effectively. The training becomes pseudo-training unless you can actually train a particular technique. If you're busy keeping what you consider the real stuff a secret business, you're not actually training and trying out what you yourself think really works. What's more, the real "inside" stuff isn't open to being tried and tested in the open, criticised and discarded if found useless. You're only training what you yourself consider to be an ineffective side-show, i.e. the "outer" movements. The logic of that…

Yeah… look, I hardly know where to start with this, but… no. This completely misses the reality of how such things are actually done.

The thing to remember with much of these systems (most particularly Koryu systems), you're dealing with political organisations and military technology… having things hidden is simply pragmatism.

It's fair enough you haven't noticed it.

You missed the point… I was saying not that I hadn't noticed it, but that it isn't the reality… it isn't happening.

But then you are a ninjutsu guy, and the taijutsu component of ninjutsu to my eyes resembles traditional Japanese jiu-jutsu more than karate, and there's no evidence that ninjutsu during the post-WW2 period was affected by a bitterly resentful Japanese warrior type.

I have no idea what you mean by this, bluntly.

But let's say it was happening under your nose. How would you know? The only possible way to find out the motivations of historical Japanese martial arts stylists who started modern schools inspired by Kano's grading system and modern military marching drills is to closely examine their lives and psychology. What do we know about Funakoshi's overtures to the Emperor, or about his generation that remembered the glories of the Meiji period and now were being asked to reconcile a new pacifist Japanese (inter)nationalism by Japanifying non-Japanese martial arts to promote the new ideas in the disarmed climate? What was his attitude? It would be a shame if someone trained in karate until their 50s, and discovered their system doesn't give them an advantage over untrained attackers after all, and all they had to show for it were joints that were permanently ruined. If it happened, how would we account for it?

So you're saying that you can't ask the founders of some systems, therefore it might be your hypothetical reality? Uh… no.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. From my point of view, the conventional advice to practice these fundamentals is the cause of the problem, because the fundamentals can be fundamentally bad. On purpose, and with a view to keeping the social pecking order of the Japanese-headed dojo in place.

Again, that's completely counter to the reality… especially the comment about the fundamentals being "fundamentally bad".

I like Japanese people. In fact, they are some of the best people I have ever met. I also like many aspects of their culture. However I may seem critical when it comes to that generation. I think the current generation of Japanese, and the preceding, was a completely different kettle of fish to those who were around in the 1940s and 1950s. It's too easy to lose sight of that.

I still don't see what you're saying… is this something you've actually observed, or is it your own belief/theory, which is how you're presenting it here (despite it not being supported by anything I've ever encountered)?

While I think you should always talk to your instructor if you have concerns, I'd be very wary of any martial arts system that eschews sparring. Pretty hard to learn how to fight when you're not fighting.

Sparring can be eschewed for a variety of reasons… in my arts, it's because it's counter-productive, unrealistic, and far too random to producing the results intended. But I do have to say… sparring ain't fighting in any sense other than a sparring match or competition… which just ain't realistic, when it comes down to it.

So is there some reason other MAs couldn't also excel in that environment? If a Karate practitioner can knock out someone on the street with their fist, why not in the ring? If you could supposedly kill bulls with your reverse punch, why can't you knock out someone trying to grapple you to the ground in the ring? The idea that certain arts only work outside of the prying eyes of the digital world is absolute rubbish. Boxers, Bjj stylists, wrestlers, etc. have no problem converting their system from ring fighting to street fighting. Why are the TMA systems incapable of doing the same thing?

That's a very complicated question… and gets into the variation between competition "fighting" and actual violence… which itself takes on many, many forms…

Yet they still won the tournaments, did they not?

Not as consistently as is sometimes implied, no…

Actually it's very simple: Knowing how to fight on the ground is a very useful skill to have. Lacking in that skil can be detrimental, or even fatal.

Or going to the ground can be detrimental, or even fatal… but that's missing the point.

I'm failing to see what's so complex about that.

Yeah, I can see that…
 
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sindu5673

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Interesting that so many continue to only see physical confrontation as the only exemplar of fighting. Carry on....

aren't fighting and physical confrontation synonyms? How could it be otherwise for a physical activity that consists mainly in punching, kicking, clinching?
 

Spinedoc

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aren't fighting and physical confrontation synonyms? How could it be otherwise for a physical activity that consists mainly in punching, kicking, clinching?

Not at all. I would postulate that over 90% of fighting is emotional, psychological, and primarily mental. In fact, I would also state that if you end up in a physical encounter....you have already lost the fight.

Fighting is done primarily with your mind, our bodies are nothing but crude, weak expressions of tissue and bone...fragile. Our minds however, are powerful.

My 0.02 cents.

:asian:
 

ride57

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Hi

I just got out my Fukudoku-Hon.

Chapter 13 is "Why Practice Randori?" "Randori is a method of refining the lessons of hokei. shorinji Kempo is built around learning to do hokeiin pairs, but, when practice consists only of set patterns, one learns to react to known dangers The level of hokei is never reached that way. Therefore to develope one's abilityto react to an opponent and still remain calm enough to perform hokei, one needs to master the techniques to the point where they come naturally, even when one doesn't know what attacks to expect. Randori teaches you to move in accordance with principle even when surprised."

"" as Kaiso stressed, you should not pursue championship style randori matches which pursue the goal of winning a game. Randori practice with protective gear allows only limited exploration of your flaws, and over emphasizing it produces bad habits."

As for grappling, under juho (3 techniques = goho or hard, seiho or healing techniques and juho or soft techniques) there is nage waza and katame waza. I suspect that this is not what you are looking for.

also there are diagrams of pressure points. Since I am starting to make flash cards of the meridians/points I know that there are KO points.

When I took my brown belt test it was a sparring test. I started with the first opponent and thought, easy, I got this. When the second came out it was tough, but I thought to myself, I'm gonna make it. When the third opponent came, I got overwhelmed. I reverted to basic blocks. I didn't pass. I hadn't mastered hokei to the point it came naturally. I passed the second time.
 
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