My next step in my MA journey, From Shotokan to Matsubayashi Ryu

chrissyp

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So iv'e been away from being able to train at an actual martial arts school for about 2 years, do to several issues, mostly health.

I tried to find a Shotokan school, to continue what I was learning(did this for about 3 years and 15 years Muay Thai), to no feasible option, so I decided to engage in Matsubayashi Ryu.

(For those who don't know, matsubayashi ryu is a variant of Shorin Ryu)

So I took my first class, thinking it wouldn't be much different from Shotokan, this is coming from other experienced martial artist putting this into my head.

I was very wrong, kinda. The basic techniques are there, but nearly every technique has its own twist and variation from Shotokan, mainly the stance.

These little things really added up when putting it all together, and was a pleasant change and mind opening experience.

It also seems to be a much more "loose" style, more relaxed, more natural postures. comparing this to Shotokan has been making me challenge what iv'e known from Karate, which is great.

This school doesn't do sparring they told me, if they do it would be very rare. Is this a normal trait of this style, or something to be worried about? Any advice for someone switching over to this style?
 

Dirty Dog

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I guess I'd wonder about the whole no sparring thing. Why?
Don't get me wrong. I think people pursue MA training for lots of reasons, and sparring isn't necessarily required. But if what YOU want would benefit from sparring, then a no-sparring school would seem to be a problem.
For me, I like to spar. I'd never be happy in a no-sparring school.
 
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chrissyp

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I guess I'd wonder about the whole no sparring thing. Why?
Don't get me wrong. I think people pursue MA training for lots of reasons, and sparring isn't necessarily required. But if what YOU want would benefit from sparring, then a no-sparring school would seem to be a problem.
For me, I like to spar. I'd never be happy in a no-sparring school.

I wonder that too! I'm not happy about not sparring. There is a local MMA gym I can do open sparring at to work what I've learned in a full contact situation. Like I said, I come from Muay Thai backgroud, but I enjoyed the easier point karate sparring still, and id like to find a way to spar with what I learned against someone who knows the same thing, so it is a red flag for me.
 

DaveB

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I wonder that too! I'm not happy about not sparring. There is a local MMA gym I can do open sparring at to work what I've learned in a full contact situation. Like I said, I come from Muay Thai backgroud, but I enjoyed the easier point karate sparring still, and id like to find a way to spar with what I learned against someone who knows the same thing, so it is a red flag for me.
Major red flag for me, unless they do a lot of near sparring, (semi free) exercises.

To spar or not is always a choice of the teacher never the style (to my knowledge) especially in Karate.

That being said, I benefited greatly from sparring in other places to work out how to apply things in my own way for my own body.
 
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chrissyp

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Major red flag for me, unless they do a lot of near sparring, (semi free) exercises.

To spar or not is always a choice of the teacher never the style (to my knowledge) especially in Karate.

That being said, I benefited greatly from sparring in other places to work out how to apply things in my own way for my own body.
Thats the whole reason I want to spar. I can learn the craft and art from the teacher, and then apply it in real situation else were, but its not exactly practical from a personal level stand point, making extra trips and burning extra gas.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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This school doesn't do sparring they told me, if they do it would be very rare. Is this a normal trait of this style, or something to be worried about? Any advice for someone switching over to this style?
I agree no sparring is a red flag. But want to point out that, even if that is a normal trait of the style, that would be a red flag. Except the red flag would go from the school to the style as a whole.
 

Flying Crane

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I agree no sparring is a red flag. But want to point out that, even if that is a normal trait of the style, that would be a red flag. Except the red flag would go from the school to the style as a whole.
It’s not automatically a red flag in my opinion. It depends on what you want. If you want sparring, then it is a red flag.

If you want good self defense skills, sparring is not required although it certainly can be included.

But that’s an argument that has been done many times here.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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It’s not automatically a red flag in my opinion. It depends on what you want. If you want sparring, then it is a red flag.

If you want good self defense skills, sparring is not required although it certainly can be included.

But that’s an argument that has been done many times here.
Its a red flag to me as in its a concern to consider more seriously. It doesnt mean the style is a no go, but that they have to be able to explain, and explain well, why they dont feel they need sparring (if the goal is self defense. If its fitness or health, or religion/phililosophy, or just fun, that's a different story entirely)
 

Flying Crane

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Its a red flag to me as in its a concern to consider more seriously. It doesnt mean the style is a no go, but that they have to be able to explain, and explain well, why they dont feel they need sparring (if the goal is self defense. If its fitness or health, or religion/phililosophy, or just fun, that's a different story entirely)
I feel it’s a matter of knowing what you want. If you want sparring, you go elsewhere.

If you want self defense, you need to understand how the school/method goes about training and developing those skills. Yes, that includes talking to the instructor to become educated on the method and how it is intended to work. Once you become educated on their approach to the training, you decide if it sounds good to you. Then you either go elsewhere or you join up.

Maybe we are saying the same thing.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Maybe we are saying the same thing.
I think so. I'm in favor of talking to the instructor, learning about the method and evaluating it. I'm just going to have more skepticism if they say they do not spar, and would want to know what they do instead to take care of the benefits sparring does. If they're able to answer that question, great. If they can't, or not well, I'm out.
 
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chrissyp

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I think so. I'm in favor of talking to the instructor, learning about the method and evaluating it. I'm just going to have more skepticism if they say they do not spar, and would want to know what they do instead to take care of the benefits sparring does. If they're able to answer that question, great. If they can't, or not well, I'm out.
That's exactly what i'm going to do. I can get sparring outside of the school, and the instruction and attention to detail is pretty sharp, so it seems like its solid training minus the sparring, which isn't every thing, just something I really enjoy, but i'm DEFINATLY going to ask about the lack of sparring.
 

dvcochran

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Thats the whole reason I want to spar. I can learn the craft and art from the teacher, and then apply it in real situation else were, but its not exactly practical from a personal level stand point, making extra trips and burning extra gas.
It sounds like you know the right answer, sparring is important. If your options are limited, for whatever reason, and you enjoy the other aspects of class I would not consider it a waste of time. After you have been there a while and a comfort level has been established with the instructor/owner, is there a chance you can work with someone outside of class? Could it be the financial liability aspect the instructor is worried about?
 

Never_A_Reflection

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I can't say that it's necessarily style-wide, but in my experience, a lot of Matsubayashi-Ryu schools don't spar. A lot of Shorin-Ryu schools, more broadly, don't spar, really--for a lot of Okinawan styles, sparring just isn't really seen as that important, because they are so heavily invested in developing character and fostering a healthy lifestyle. Only a few still find it to be vital to maintaining an effective fighting art. Even in my style, there is no sparring allowed at the honbu dojo on Okinawa (although affiliates can spar in their schools if they wish). Apparently, the Shorinkan used to have sparring, but someone died in a tournament somewhere in Africa in the mid-90's and the head of the style said there would be no more sparring in his dojo after that.
 

Flying Crane

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It is my understanding that free-sparring was introduced into karate in Japan, after it was brought from Okinawa, and sparring was never really a part of training in the older Okinawan schools. Yet they were definitely training to be able to use the skills in a fight, when necessary.
 

_Simon_

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It is my understanding that free-sparring was introduced into karate in Japan, after it was brought from Okinawa, and sparring was never really a part of training in the older Okinawan schools. Yet they were definitely training to be able to use the skills in a fight, when necessary.
Yeah this was my understanding as well. No free sparring but I think alot of partner drills and conditioning.
 

JR 137

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It is my understanding that free-sparring was introduced into karate in Japan, after it was brought from Okinawa, and sparring was never really a part of training in the older Okinawan schools. Yet they were definitely training to be able to use the skills in a fight, when necessary.
Yeah this was my understanding as well. No free sparring but I think alot of partner drills and conditioning.
And we have to define sparring as well. If it’s not “ready... go” and do whatever you want, is it sparring? If it’s a partner coming at you near full speed and throwing a punch or kick that’ll easily hit and hurt you if you don’t block right, and then you counter equally hard and fast, is that sparring? I’ve seen older and newer videos that do the second one. I’d call it sparring. Not free-sparring, but definitely sparring. Here’s two newer videos that have it. Both are filmed on Okinawa in dojos of very well regarded teachers. I can’t remember when in the videos, but they’re a great watch anyway...

 
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