Martial Frankensteins...why the hate?

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stone_dragone

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To be honest, I was reading and thinking it was going to be a good discussion. Then I read the above. My reaction, was, negative. Anything I have to say has already been thrown to side as an ego-driven bs comment.

So why comment at all. Why try to have a discussion? I am dealing with a closed mind. This is how I read it. Note: I did not even bother to read the rest. Why? Because this negative comment was confrontational and I could either react confrontationally or just ignore you and the comments.

Yet, this is an excellant point of why Smerged systems are not always the best thing. Yes there are people who are good and understand and even at a young age. Yet many who are in Martial Arts are in it for thier ego. They want to be part of a following or they want people to follow them. They want people to bow to them. To show them the respect. So thay have the POWER. This is why Most from my experience have created their own system or style.

Another problem is that having 10 first degree black belts does not make a 10th degree black belt in understanding. Heck it might not even make a 3rd degree in understanding. Of course this goes for those using rank, those that do not it is even harder to describe.
I'm sorry to hear that you feel that way, Mr. Parsons. I am the first to admit that there are some major limits to the written word and my tone seems to have been interpreted by you as hostile and closed-minded.

I agree with nearly everything that you said and have had much of the same experiences you have in regards to many modern style-founders.

I'm confused, however, as to how stopping after a single comment in a rather long post doesn't smack of the same closed mindedness that you accuse me of?

Perhaps I am way off base and for someone to look down on a person who teaches a Frankensystem is actually called for. To be fair, I have run across those mixed-systems that thought that they were the cats pj's and, in my opinion they were more the cat litter. If I only learn what NOT to do from them, then they've been helpful to me.

Perhaps you can convince me how an open minded artist can freely look down on another just because they aren't "pure" stylists? That is whats at the heart of my statement that apparently turned you off (which I could've said better, it seems).

In any event, despite your reluctance to respond, you still make some excellent and very valid points. Thank you for those!
 

Brian R. VanCise

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One other quick thing I would point out is that most systems are "not complete"! Not complete in that they do not address all areas of combat or personal protection. They do not address weapons, kicking techniques, hand striking techniques, trapping and joint manipulation and finally grappling. They may also have little or no spiritual development or development of the mind. Most systems instead specialize in one or a couple of aspects. That is why friends of mine who are high ranking practitioners in one system typically train in another or seek out training in combative firearms, grappling, etc. They go and find an expert in a certain area that they are interested in to help them be a more complete martial practitioner! This is actually a good thing. If you go back in time to some of the founding father's of the martial arts you will find that many of them trained in several different systems and also encouraged their students to do so and also to have more than a few teachers. Where we see more close mindedness is when people try to keep other people from seeking out instruction to further their education. People should and can only be responsible for their own training. So if they stop growing or progressing then maybe they will seek outside instruction from their core system. This is a good thing! Do not let anyone limit you!
 

Buka

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The other guy is always the infidel.

Or so seems to be the case when discussing the various arts, the various practitioners, the various training methods. I imagine that when (fill in the blank) style first came into existence, it was met with scorn and finger pointing. Human nature, I guess. I think we're all doing the best we can.
 

rickster

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One other quick thing I would point out is that most systems are "not complete"! Not complete in that they do not address all areas of combat or personal protection. They do not address weapons, kicking techniques, hand striking techniques, trapping and joint manipulation and finally grappling. They may also have little or no spiritual development or development of the mind. Most systems instead specialize in one or a couple of aspects. That is why friends of mine who are high ranking practitioners in one system typically train in another or seek out training in combative firearms, grappling, etc. They go and find an expert in a certain area that they are interested in to help them be a more complete martial practitioner! This is actually a good thing. If you go back in time to some of the founding father's of the martial arts you will find that many of them trained in several different systems and also encouraged their students to do so and also to have more than a few teachers. Where we see more close mindedness is when people try to keep other people from seeking out instruction to further their education. People should and can only be responsible for their own training. So if they stop growing or progressing then maybe they will seek outside instruction from their core system. This is a good thing! Do not let anyone limit you!

The other guy is always the infidel.

Or so seems to be the case when discussing the various arts, the various practitioners, the various training methods. I imagine that when (fill in the blank) style first came into existence, it was met with scorn and finger pointing. Human nature, I guess. I think we're all doing the best we can.

Per my post#18;

Martial arts have been a melting pot for centuries.

Could there have always been a Frankenstein approach because there became a variety and all past masters had merged with previous?

A.) Futhermore, a martial art will cater to those who practice.

B.) It is a indiviudal choice or opinion, sometimes as biased as politics and religion

C.) A single-style martial art cannot "be the best" as the application of the instruction/learning is upon each practitioner

The beauty of martial arts is to add the variety that can appeal to anyone upon, per A.), B.), and C.)
 

Flying Crane

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One other quick thing I would point out is that most systems are "not complete"! Not complete in that they do not address all areas of combat or personal protection. They do not address weapons, kicking techniques, hand striking techniques, trapping and joint manipulation and finally grappling. They may also have little or no spiritual development or development of the mind. Most systems instead specialize in one or a couple of aspects.

I'd say there are probably different definitions of what "complete" may mean, in the context of a martial art.
 

Rich Parsons

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I'm sorry to hear that you feel that way, Mr. Parsons. I am the first to admit that there are some major limits to the written word and my tone seems to have been interpreted by you as hostile and closed-minded.

I agree with nearly everything that you said and have had much of the same experiences you have in regards to many modern style-founders.

I'm confused, however, as to how stopping after a single comment in a rather long post doesn't smack of the same closed mindedness that you accuse me of?

Perhaps I am way off base and for someone to look down on a person who teaches a Frankensystem is actually called for. To be fair, I have run across those mixed-systems that thought that they were the cats pj's and, in my opinion they were more the cat litter. If I only learn what NOT to do from them, then they've been helpful to me.

Perhaps you can convince me how an open minded artist can freely look down on another just because they aren't "pure" stylists? That is whats at the heart of my statement that apparently turned you off (which I could've said better, it seems).

In any event, despite your reluctance to respond, you still make some excellent and very valid points. Thank you for those!

Your question is a fair one.

1) I am human and I am NOT perfect. I can provide referrences if you want.
2) Discussing or even presenting an arguement as in a debate with someone can be fun. Yet when they are closed off and already name calling in their opening statement it can only go downhill from their. They have already made up their mind and have drawn the line in the sand. I prefer to tilt my lance at windmills I care about and not waste my time with people who do not want to listen.
3) People who know me, know that I am open minded and that I will listen to people. I will say let us try it and see if it works and or if we can modify and improve it by giving more perspective.
4) I admit I do not know everything, I may be able to give you an answer that I have to think upon do research upon or ask others about.
5) I like learning and I like discussing.
6) Search my name in Great Debate forum and find when I took a single comment made by some people to the point it turned into an awesome discussion that get everyone all upset. I have done it before, and people leave. I have done it before and people get upset, and their minds were not changed.
7) Pounding my head against a wall is not as pleasurable as it used to be.
8) ... (* You get my point, I think *)


So, I mentioned how I reacted, to a ME Mentor and long time member to get them to think. To ask me a question, and to see if what they had done was right or wrong. Yes, I baited or some might say acted the troll, or some might say I am trying to provide advice on how not to insult people and get them upset based upon the negative value of words and the name calling. One could have presented the original comments in such a ways as to expres your feelings, and yet not raise the fortifications of those who you are asking for a response from.


And Yes I do train and teach an Frankenstyle, Modern Arnis. I understand the benefits of such. I also understand that most of those who want to do it have no clue. Yet, if my comments are already considered "pure ego driven bs", then why get involved. I would have except for the reasons I listed above.

Yes you have a point. Yes, you have a right to make a point ( within the rules of this site ).

I also have a point. I also have the right to ignore or comment as I see ( within the rules of the site ).

A debate is not a debate if one or both sides are not willing to consider the opponents viewpoints at all. Otherwise it is a Political Debate where you are only trying to get people to your point point of view, which in my point of view is ego-driven, as most people want to be right.

Do you see where this is going? Circles. It is ok if we are both discussing and listening, but if one or more are not listening then there is no point for me.
 

Kong Soo Do

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This isn't the first event, only a most recent one. There seems to be an overt attitude of implied Superiority over a teacher who teaches a blend, mix, combination, fusion, or damn tossed salad of various techniques by those who stay in their own semi-well defined lane.

Couple of thoughts; first is the intent of the teacher who forms a 'new' art. Is it ego? Is it to be an instant 9th/10th Dan? Is it to be called a 'grandmaster, great-grandmaster, supreme-great-grandmaster etc? In these cases the intent is wrong and the artist has little true understanding, patience or desire to help the student. Secondly, if the intent is from a pure desire to expand a base art beyond the limits of that art, for the betterment of the art and with the betterment of the student in mind...and if the artist has the expertise to do so intelligently then he/she is upon the path of many 'masters' before them.

For the 'purist' who looks down upon such things I would simply say, 'there is no pure martial art'. Everything is simply a blend of something(s) that came before it. If ego isn't a factor, then we can boil it down to the fact that there are leaders and there are followers. Leaders lead, followers follow. Nothing wrong with either, but one cannot legitimately look down on the other. The two factions need each other to co-exist.

If there were no leaders, then you would not be training in the art(s) you now train in. I'll cite Bruce Lee, Kano Jigoro Sensei or any branch of karate as prime, modern examples. The ultimate test is the test of time and effectiveness in the real world.

Many times I've offered the wise words of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, "the ultimate compliment a student can offer their instructor is to exceed their skills and abilities and add to the art". That is a paraphrase, but the jist is there.
 

Flying Crane

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I don't know if it's really an issue of "looking down upon" with arrogance. Rather, I think there is simply a feeling that the results of such a mixture often are poor at best and for most people, in most cases, it's not a good path for them to be on.
 

rickster

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Couple of thoughts; first is the intent of the teacher who forms a 'new' art. Is it ego? Is it to be an instant 9th/10th Dan? Is it to be called a 'grandmaster, great-grandmaster, supreme-great-grandmaster etc? In these cases the intent is wrong and the artist has little true understanding, patience or desire to help the student. Secondly, if the intent is from a pure desire to expand a base art beyond the limits of that art, for the betterment of the art and with the betterment of the student in mind...and if the artist has the expertise to do so intelligently then he/she is upon the path of many 'masters' before them.

For the 'purist' who looks down upon such things I would simply say, 'there is no pure martial art'. Everything is simply a blend of something(s) that came before it. If ego isn't a factor, then we can boil it down to the fact that there are leaders and there are followers. Leaders lead, followers follow. Nothing wrong with either, but one cannot legitimately look down on the other. The two factions need each other to co-exist.

If there were no leaders, then you would not be training in the art(s) you now train in. I'll cite Bruce Lee, Kano Jigoro Sensei or any branch of karate as prime, modern examples. The ultimate test is the test of time and effectiveness in the real world.

Many times I've offered the wise words of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, "the ultimate compliment a student can offer their instructor is to exceed their skills and abilities and add to the art". That is a paraphrase, but the jist is there.

Odd, that many martial art instructors of many decades or a century earlier were concerned with bettering themselves (for whatever reason) then concerned with a rank, hodge podge, etc.

Now, I am not stating they did not have ego, but they backed up their ego
 
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stone_dragone

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I don't know if it's really an issue of "looking down upon" with arrogance. Rather, I think there is simply a feeling that the results of such a mixture often are poor at best and for most people, in most cases, it's not a good path for them to be on.

This is an answer that I can live with. While I have come across the (lack of better words) a martial snob or two, I can understand this point of view as well.
 

Flying Crane

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This is an answer that I can live with. While I have come across the (lack of better words) a martial snob or two, I can understand this point of view as well.

I could see where the response might come across as being arrogant or snobbish or something. Delivery goes a long way, after all.

I suppose part of the problem in the communication is that people who are embarking on this kind of endeavor are (assumedly) doing so with a lot of belief in what they are doing. They made this decision, they believe it is a good decision, so there is a lot of time, energy, and emotion invested in the issue. When someone then tells them, "well this is not a good idea," even if they say so in a respectful way, I can see how that message may not be welcome and could be given a poor reception.

Sometimes people are downright rude in what they say, that is also true and I think is inappropriate. Like I said earlier: I believe honesty is very important with this kind of thing, but there is no reason to be deliberately cruel or to launch personal attacks.

But when someone posts in a forum like this one and says to the world, "Hey everyone, look what I'm doing, I think this will be great!!" and a bunch of people come back and express their doubts, even if done respectfully, I can see how that could be overwhelming and discourageing, and could be interpreted as a bunch of arrogant pedigreed martial snobs.

I'd say the way to get around that is for everyone to try and remember their manners, and then engage in further discussion about it, find out why someone thinks it's a good idea, but also that person needs to be willing to honestly consider the criticisms being offered and be brutally honest with the self-assessment that goes along with it. But this becomes a very sensitive topic very quickly and easily.
 

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When I hear the term "Martial Frankenstein", I think About what Dr. Frankenstein did: he took a bunch of random, incompatible parts and stitched them together to make a lumbering monster. Based on that, I would personally only apply that term to martial arts cobbled together in the same haphazard way.

What makes the systems created by men like Bruce Lee and Ed Parker good "hybrid" arts is that they didn't just grab a bunch of random techniques and ideas from disparate arts and mash them together and call it something new. They took influences from the various arts they had studied and created new systems from the ground up, starting with a well-defined base. Their arts are cohesive systems built on solid foundation.

This isn't to criticize those who cross train in several different arts; that is a perfectly sensible thing to do. However, people who cross train are practicing two or more distinct arts, and will be able to transition between them as needed. At any given moment during a confrontation, they will likely be using only one of those arts. So the various arts they practice remain distinct, rather than being mashed together into something new.

...I'm also not criticizing martial arts systems or schools that do combine two or more arts. However, I think such a school is usually still teaching two or more distinct arts, rather than one hybrid art. An MMA fighter who trains Muay Thai and BJJ at his gym isn't using BJJ while he is fighting stand up, and isn't using Muay Thai while he is on the ground.

But a Jeet Kune Do practitioner is using Jeet Kune Do whether he is standing up or on the ground. Which I think proves that various arts can be used to create an effective new system; however, whenever a new "art" is simply the result of mashing together incompatible and random techniques and ideas, then it deserves to be criticized as the "Martial Frankenstein" that it is.
 

Tez3

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Just a small comment, an MMA fighter will be using BJJ (or Judo) when standing because there are some techniques that are done while upright, BJJ doesn't start on the ground, you have to get there using techniques. If you want to be pendantic you could say you are using MT elbows and knees on the ground! :)
 

K-man

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But when someone posts in a forum like this one and says to the world, "Hey everyone, look what I'm doing, I think this will be great!!" and a bunch of people come back and express their doubts, even if done respectfully, I can see how that could be overwhelming and discourageing, and could be interpreted as a bunch of arrogant pedigreed martial snobs.

I'd say the way to get around that is for everyone to try and remember their manners, and then engage in further discussion about it, find out why someone thinks it's a good idea, but also that person needs to be willing to honestly consider the criticisms being offered and be brutally honest with the self-assessment that goes along with it. But this becomes a very sensitive topic very quickly and easily.
Which is not the same as saying, "Hey everyone, look what I'm doing, this is the greatest system in the world and if you can't see that then you are just ignorant!!"

I have total respect for someone who is prepared to put their ideas up to be critiqued as long as they ask as an equal and are prepared to support their ideas with rational discussion. If the poster of a video said, "Hey everyone. I've gone off on a bit of a tangent and come up with what I think is a great idea for a mixed style of MA. Could you have a look at it for me and I'd really appreciate your thoughts. Please be gentle. :) ". Then I'm sure that the thread would be bursting with positive responses because most of the guys here are reasonable people who are here because of their passion for martial art.

As a rule, I don't normally comment on something that I haven't got much experience of. For example I would never post in a technical thread for TKD. That is as far from my style of training as I could be. In the same way I am appalled to read someone posting "Tai Kwon Joking". People do Tai Chi, or karate or WC or whatever because it appeals to them or it suits their physical stature. They can take their training to whatever level they like. I have no right to criticise them or their style.

But back to the OP. Even KM is really a Frankenstein system, and a very practical one at that. It contains bits from everywhere to deal with all situations. The beauty of KM is that you can cross train with it and use a lot of what you learn within your own style, or that's what I have found with Goju. :asian:
 

J W

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Just a small comment, an MMA fighter will be using BJJ (or Judo) when standing because there are some techniques that are done while upright, BJJ doesn't start on the ground, you have to get there using techniques. If you want to be pendantic you could say you are using MT elbows and knees on the ground! :)

Fair enough. I suppose I am making some assumptions about BJJ and MT there, considering I've never trained in either. But I think my main point still holds- that MMA guy (or gal) is going to shift from one art (MT) to another distinct and separate art (BJJ) when he decides to attempt a takedown (I'm making another assumption here that the main goal of standing BJJ techniques is to bring the fight to the ground).

My main point being that MMA isn't some hodge-podge grab bag of techniques from any and every martial art, but rather the discipline of training in two or more different arts and knowing when to use which.
 

Tez3

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Fair enough. I suppose I am making some assumptions about BJJ and MT there, considering I've never trained in either. But I think my main point still holds- that MMA guy (or gal) is going to shift from one art (MT) to another distinct and separate art (BJJ) when he decides to attempt a takedown (I'm making another assumption here that the main goal of standing BJJ techniques is to bring the fight to the ground).

My main point being that MMA isn't some hodge-podge grab bag of techniques from any and every martial art, but rather the discipline of training in two or more different arts and knowing when to use which.

That's very true and I was being a tad facetious I'm afraid, we do take the best techniques from various styles that work for us. Most of us older ones who started martial arts before MMA have a core style, mine's karate, these days though newcomers are taught MMA as a whole rather than train separate styles. Still watching a fight I think most martial artists can pick out what comes from where.
 

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I've been thinking about this thread a bit. Comments have been offered that many of these 'Frankenstein' systems are haphazardly thrown together. And perhaps many are...but how would anyone actually know unless they had extensive first-hand observations of these systems? I dare say that there are some on this (and other boards) that would speak against JKD, Judo, BJJ, MMA etc. Yet these arts are being used by real people effectively (for there intended purpose), are standing the test of time and have many proponents. And they didn't even have the benefit of the web when they were created...hmm, maybe that was a good thing???

Martial artist 1: "That new art sucks! It is just a bunch of thrown together things"!

Martial artist 2: "How do you know"?

1: "Have you seen their website, it sucks".

2: "How is that an indication of what they teach"?

1: "Yeah, well I saw their youtube video, it sucks"!

2: "How long was the video"?

1: "Um, well a little over a minute".

2: "And you can judge the entire system from that"?

1: "Yeah, well the founder is only 25 and he made himself a 10th Dan"!

2: "Kano Jigoro was only around 20. Ji was mid-20's as an 8th Dan. Lee developed his stuff in his 20's. Lots of the founders were young but already had extensive training since their youth. And what they've developed is still around. It is either going to stand the test of time, or it won't. People will either find it useful, or they won't. Bashing the guy on a discussion board without really knowing the details is just upping your post count but really isn't productive. Now if you have extensive first-hand knowledge to share, or you know first-hand of some unethical behavior then state it".

1: "Yeah, well...umm...whatever".
 

Flying Crane

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sometimes people post a video, and even tho the video is short, it is absolutely possible to see that there is little skill there.
 

Kong Soo Do

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sometimes people post a video, and even tho the video is short, it is absolutely possible to see that there is little skill there.

I agree with what you're saying 100%. I've seen videos from those that are high Dans that I found laughable. I'm looking at it from more of a big picture POV to suggest that each art needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. And even a 'laughable' video needs to be taken in context. It is too easy for any of us to broad brush stroke something.
 

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Somebody probably thought of Hapkido in frankenstein type terms once upon a time, heck some still do. It's a prime example of an art built from other arts yet it seems to work and stand on its own as a system.
 
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