Question about Legitimacy of What I Learned

Kung Fu Wang

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I don't know where that question came from, but what you're responding to is the answer to your question of who has learned an entire MA system. If you hold an honorary dan grade (really, the highest technical grade), it's because you can perform any kihon or kata in your system on the spot if you were asked to. Well, at least in theory (I added the "in theory" part to keep Dirty Dog away).
Because the OP didn't mention whether his Kempo instructor taught him how to fight or not.

In MA, I don't care about whether one can demonstrate a form, or know the history, I only care about whether he has developed any combat skill/ability.
 
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MacHudde

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Because the OP didn't mention whether his Kempo instructor taught him how to fight or not.
To answer this question. No, not really. They said it was for self-defense but it was like, stand here and I'm going to show you how the technique is applied. There was no non-compliant application of the technique.

From all the back and forth going on here. There are two schools of thought regarding legitimacy.
1. The person is more concerned with how it is applied and whether will it work in a fight
2. The other is regarding the history of the martial art and the techniques taught.

This is my viewpoint. When I was younger it was about could this help me in a fight. Now that I am older and in all honesty in my almost 30 years after taking Kung Fu, I have never once been in a fight or even been in a situation where I would get into one. So for me, it comes down to this. Legitimacy for me is the following:

1. Was what was taught correct?
2. Was the person of said rank, knowledgeable enough to even teach at that rank, or were they pulling it out of their ***?
3. Their integrity, are they teaching it with the intent of helping someone or is it just for the money?

I know in regards to what I said about not ever getting into a fight as I got older, I guess it could happen one day but what are honestly the chances if it hasn't happened in almost 30 years? Sure, I got into fights when I was younger, but I'm 48 now and I've grown up since then and there are other ways to resolve conflict.

The point I am trying to make is if a person isn't qualified to teach someone, should they be teaching it? In regards to Olaf Simon, he wasn't fully qualified to teach what he was teaching. I don't care that he was a skilled fighter. Yes, he learned some Kenpo, and the stuff he learned, he could teach, it was the other stuff that he was pretty much pulling out of his *** and passing it off as higher levels of Kenpo.
 

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Because the OP didn't mention whether his Kempo instructor taught him how to fight or not.

In MA, I don't care about whether one can demonstrate a form, or know the history, I only care about whether he has developed any combat skill/ability.
In reference to academia, there's a term that addresses what you're talking about: "educated idiot."

Would it be fair to say that the same concept exists in martial arts?

I'd also say that it's a reflection of the student more than a teacher. You can lead a horse to water and all that.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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The point I am trying to make is if a person isn't qualified to teach someone, should they be teaching it? ... I don't care that he was a skilled fighter.
As I have said, there are 2 different kind of MA teachers. Teachers who can teach you

1. all the MA basic and MA history,
2. how to fight.

You may not consider 2 as qualified teachers, but I do. That's our difference. Not saying who is right and who is wrong, just different opinions.
 

isshinryuronin

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As I have said, there are 2 different kind of MA teachers. Teachers who can teach you

1. all the MA basic and MA history,
2. how to fight.
My experience with Okinawan/Japanese blackbelts is that if they know #1, they most always know #2. Knowing all the basics (and executing them well) along with a good understanding of the "soft" facets of their art usually shows they are serious practitioners. As such, they are likely to be inclined to being at least competent in the combat side of the art as well. It's all part of being a professional.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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My experience with Okinawan/Japanese blackbelts is that if they know #1, they most always know #2. Knowing all the basics (and executing them well) along with a good understanding of the "soft" facets of their art usually shows they are serious practitioners. As such, they are likely to be inclined to being at least competent in the combat side of the art as well. It's all part of being a professional.
This is not true in CMA. My 1st MA teacher was a "Taiji for health" person when I was 7. When I was 8, I tried to use what he taught me in fighting and found out that I could not. Since then, I was always allergy to "MA for health" teachers.
 
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MacHudde

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As I have said, there are 2 different kind of MA teachers. Teachers who can teach you

1. all the MA basic and MA history,
2. how to fight.

You may not consider 2 as qualified teachers, but I do. That's our difference. Not saying who is right and who is wrong, just different opinions.
That is perfectly fine, we can have our own opinions on the matter. I think for me it is more of an integrity thing with Olaf Simon. He may be a skilled fighter, but that doesn't negate the fabrication and lies he told. Fabrication and lies that affected many of his students.
This is not true in CMA. My 1st MA teacher was a "Taiji for health" person when I was 7. When I was 8, I tried to use what he taught me in fighting and found out that I could not. Since then, I was always allergy to "MA for health" teachers.
Did your first MA teacher who taught you "Taiji for health" claim it could help you in a fight or did you assume that because it was a martial art? If he never told you that it would help you in a fight, then your trying to use it in a fight is on you, not on your teacher. I understand you were 8 but your parents should have done some research on Tai Chi (Taiji) and told you that it's not meant for fighting. That is a well-known fact and anyone who claims that it is, is out to lunch. Even if your teacher did claim it could help you in fighting, then he was wrong in doing so. But to then lump all "MA for health" teachers into the same category is being prejudiced. There are plenty of "MA teachers for health" who are teaching strictly to help people be healthy and not claiming it will work in a fight. Just because something is classified as a martial art, doesn't mean it's to be useful in a fight. It all comes down to the practitioner to do their due diligence when choosing a martial art and to choose the one that works for what outcome they want. If they are a child, then that responsibility falls on their parents.
 

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Just because something is classified as a martial art, doesn't mean it's to be useful in a fight.
This, right here. Not all martial artists are fighters, nor do all martial artists even want to be. I'm not sure why this is so hard for some to understand.
 
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This, right here. Not all martial artists are fighters, nor do all martial artists even want to be. I'm not sure why this is so hard for some to understand.
I completely agree with you on this. I think some people when it comes to martial arts have a preconceived notion that all martial arts are for fighting. I would say that in the '70s and '80s, it was all Kung Fu and Karate movies that put this into people's heads, and in the present day it's MMA. It's whatever is popular in martial arts at the time.
 

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This, right here. Not all martial artists are fighters, nor do all martial artists even want to be. I'm not sure why this is so hard for some to understand.
It's hard for me to understand why someone wants to learn MA and not interest in combat. One can lean ballroom dance instead. They also have rank such as:

- bronze level,
- silver level, and
- gold level.

ballroom_dance.jpg
 
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MacHudde

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It's hard for me to understand why someone wants to learn MA and not interest in combat. One can lean ballroom dance instead. They also have rank such as:

- bronze level,
- silver level, and
- gold level.
I will tell you why. Just because someone wants to take martial arts doesn't mean it's for combative reasons. There is the history, the philosophy, the health aspects of it, the friendships made with fellow students, the aspect of community, and it just being fun.

"One cannot understand the world or the perspectives of others with a closed mind; just as eyes closed to light cannot see, a mind closed to ideas cannot comprehend."
 
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I will make this statement. As I know someone will say martial arts was designed for combat. Yes, the word martial means "of or appropriate to war" So in essence martial arts are the art of war. When martial arts were invented it was to be used in war, however, we are no longer in ancient Greece, Rome, China, or Japan. So it is okay if someone wants to learn a martial art simply because they just want to learn it for no other reason than just to learn it. Some want to learn it for combat, and some to learn it for other reasons. Neither side is wrong. We get too caught up in semantics. But to have an open discussion we need to view things from all aspects.

Now does this viewpoint go against my opinion of Olaf Simon? Maybe? But to me, if someone is going to teach a martial art, they should know what they are doing (have some skill), but more importantly, have integrity. He did not demonstrate integrity.

So to put a closing note on all of this and go back to my opening posts. In my opinion, for my school, for each belt test I did and belt I received, I passed the required curriculum. Now on the grander scale of Kenpo from an outside viewpoint, would they be valid, probably not. But that doesn't matter, because what I learned was almost 30 years ago and makes no difference now if it was incomplete. Sometimes I need to follow my own rules in that I shouldn't seek approval from outside.
 
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isshinryuronin

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Not all martial artists are fighters, nor do all martial artists even want to be. I'm not sure why this is so hard for some to understand.
I never wanted to be a fighter but wanted to know how to fight if I ever needed to.
Just because someone wants to take martial arts doesn't mean it's for combative reasons. There is the history, the philosophy, the health aspects of it, the friendships made with fellow students, the aspect of community, and it just being fun.
I have no problem with this at all. There are many benefits of MA. I enjoyed all those you mention here. BUT can one be called a "martial artist" when the "martial" portion is removed? IMO, that's stretching the term.
 
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I have no problem with this at all. There are many benefits of MA. I enjoyed all those you mention here. BUT can one be called a "martial artist" when the "martial" portion is removed? IMO, that's stretching the term.
I think it comes down to semantics. Can one be called a "disc jockey" if they now use a laptop instead of playing records?
 

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Not all martial artists are fighters, nor do all martial artists even want to be. I'm not sure why this is so hard for some to understand.
The reason that I was in MA because someone said that next time we met, he was going to kill me. He was a gang member. I was not. My life was in dangerous. I had no luxury to be interested in history, philosophy, friendship. I had to consider my life before I could consider my health. I did develop excellent knife throwing skill at that period of time.

When firearm was not available in Taiwan, CMA was the only thing that I could use to protect my life.

Just because someone wants to take martial arts doesn't mean it's for combative reasons. There is the history, the philosophy, the health aspects of it, the friendships made with fellow students, the aspect of community, and it just being fun.
The communist China made CMA into 100% performance art. It hurts the tradition CMA big time. I hate that very much.


 
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The reason that I was in MA because someone said that next time we met, he was going to kill me. He was a gang member. I was not. My life was in dangerous. I had no luxury to be interested in history, philosophy, friendship. I had to consider my life before I could consider my health.

When firearm was not available in Taiwan, CMA was the only thing that I could use to protect my life.


The communist China made CMA into 100% performance art. It hurts the tradition CMA big time. I hate that very much.
Given your circumstances its understandable why you took marital arts. What I am saying is everyone has their own reason for taking them, it doesnt mean the reason is wrong. (Unless its purposefully to injure someone for no good reason). You had to do it out of necessity. You also need to understand other peoples perspective. Its not black and white.

I regards to Communist China ruining CMA I completely agree.
 

isshinryuronin

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I think it comes down to semantics. Can one be called a "disc jockey" if they now use a laptop instead of playing records?
It's more than semantics. Imagine a guy saying he's a watercolor artist. When asked what he paints he says, "Oh, I don't paint, it's too messy, but I studied art history and color theory and doodle when on hold on the phone." He may know art, but would you call him an "artist?" There is a difference.
 
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MacHudde

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It's more than semantics. Imagine a guy saying he's a watercolor artist. When asked what he paints he says, "Oh, I don't paint, it's too messy, but I studied art history and color theory and doodle when on hold on the phone." He may know art, but would you call him an "artist?" There is a difference.
Your point is valid. You are correct. I guess if one studies martial arts without wanting that combat feature, then he cannot be called a martial artist, but maybe a more appropriate term would be to call him a student of martial arts.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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It's more than semantics. Imagine a guy saying he's a watercolor artist. When asked what he paints he says, "Oh, I don't paint, it's too messy, but I studied art history and color theory and doodle when on hold on the phone." He may know art, but would you call him an "artist?" There is a difference.
Another good examples are a

- swimmer only swim on dry land and never get into water.
- computer programmer never writes a single line of code.
- wrestler never wrestles on the mat.
- boxer never boxes in the ring.
- ...

If one is not interested in combat,

- timing,
- opportunity,
- angle

will have no meaning to him. MA then turn into for performance art and for health art only. We don't want to see that happen.
 
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Given your circumstances its understandable why you took marital arts. What I am saying is everyone has their own reason for taking them, it doesnt mean the reason is wrong. (Unless its purposefully to injure someone for no good reason). You had to do it out of necessity. You also need to understand other peoples perspective. Its not black and white.

I regards to Communist China ruining CMA I completely agree.
Having seen many people go around the block with him, just as an FYI, you're not going to change his mind. KFW only understands one reason for training, arguing that there are others is an exercise in futility.
 
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