Question about Style Creation

Cryozombie

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I'm curious, and yea, I know I'm probably opening a huge can of worms here...

What makes a person who studies an art, (doesn't matter what the art is) suddenly (or not as the case may be I dunno) decide... "You know, I need to rename this with me as the new founder and create a new(ish) style!"

It happens in a lot of arts, and (to be generic about it) suddenly Karate is "Aki-Karate" under Founder and Master Joe, or "Tae Kwon Do" becomes "Combative TKD Concept Styles" or somthing similar under founder and master Tina.

Is this an Ego thing? A money thing? Do they just think they have a better understanding?

And bear in mind, I'm not neccessarily talking a guy with who blends some stuff he/she feel effective and opens a school with a generic name like Combat Concepts or somthing along those lines and says we teach a blend of Kickboxing, Bjj, and Feestyle Karate; I mean someone who say studies somthing specific, like say Bujinkan or Genbukan and then forms "Dragon-Ryu Ninjutsu"... or who Studies Kempo under any of the Various Kempo systems and then opens "JoeJack's Western Kempo" as a seperate but "valid" style.
 

MJS

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I would have to say its a combo of ego and money. People want the spotlight shining on them, and they think, and sadly it happens more often than not, that people will ohh and ahh, over the thought of training under a 'founder' of an art. Little does that unsuspecting person know, the 'founder' didn't create anything new, just repackaged an existing art with a new name.
 

bluekey88

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It's a good question...certainly ego may play a part. However, all the arts we study today had to start with some guy/gal at some time...what differentiates what they did from what someone is doing now? (Time...if the art is able to survive then it becomes "traditional").

In a way, we all create our own art as we study and learn. My tae kwon do is different from my teahcer's tae kwon do. partly due to physical build issues, but also do to education and experiential issues as well. Were I to go out and start teaching I wouldn't market what I do as something distinct from wjhat I was taught. However, I can see where someone is doing legitimate MA and feels they have mved away from their roots and are doing something different.

To make that break takes a huge amount of ego...not necessarily a bad thing...but certainly a very bold statement...the only way to tell if it's legit is time. Legit arts survive, scams don't.

Peace,
Erik
 
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Cryozombie

Cryozombie

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To make that break takes a huge amount of ego...not necessarily a bad thing...but certainly a very bold statement...the only way to tell if it's legit is time. Legit arts survive, scams don't.

Peace,
Erik

True, but an art can be legit, but that doesn't mean it's new... you can be a great teacher, teaching the exact same TKD techniques, but will caling it "The Deady Art of Bluekey" make it a better or worse art? I mean, what's the benefit?
 

bluekey88

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right..that's true in MOST cases. But let's say I take my taekwondo...blend it with the taijutus i started studying and the Aikido I used to do. In a way...that's what I'm really doing now. In the end, if someone did that and felt that what they had was distinctly different from what they used to do...what's wrong with saying this is a new style?

Taijutsu is really a blend of 9 different ryu's correct? (I'm 2 classes in and not up on all the history). Taekwondo is descended from Shotokan karate which is in turn descended from Okinawan systems.

Aikido descends from daito ryu aiki-jujutsu. One with some knowledge can see the similarities...but the overla tactics, strategy and philops-phies of these systems as well as the training methodologies have diverged over time.
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Conversely, there are cases where astyles share a name/root but really look different (thin ITF and WTf TKD).

basically, i can see how a person can say that what they do consitute a new style. I can see where that might be legit. This does not hold true for most. Also, there are those who do this simly for ego/money. However, everything we study now started as someone basically "making their own style."

peace,
Erik
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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I really think people who create their own styles think their method is superior to whatever they learned from.

As humans we are going to have our own interpertation of things but what sets interpertation from creation I believe is the strong view of superiority.

I think this strokes the ego of the creator when people start joining.

From seeing profit can be made I think it snowballs from there.

Looking at the cycle we see on forums we see a young person trying to create a style who most likey has his own interpertation which is borderling on superiority complex.

Then we have people like "insert Koga Ninja ryu-ha" who actually believe their own delusions which may have stemed from a superiority complex or the very least greed.

The masters of old I am talking about at least early19'00's most likely created styles based on something pure. By this I mean combination of something,stripping of something,or modify something. But the interpertation was not so much for profit I think it was a geniune idea that was battle tested.
 
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Cryozombie

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right..that's true in MOST cases. But let's say I take my taekwondo...blend it with the taijutus i started studying and the Aikido I used to do. In a way...that's what I'm really doing now. In the end, if someone did that and felt that what they had was distinctly different from what they used to do...what's wrong with saying this is a new style?

yeah... I hear you... this is the exception portion of the original post... my question was more about the other stuff... taking the same art and putting it in a shiny new package and calling all your own.

Liken it to breakfast cereal: Kelloggs can mix up all the leftover bits from Raisin Bran, Rice Crispies and Chex, and Call it "Bigg Mixx" and there is nothing wrong with that IMO... but If they take Rasin Bran, make a second package and start calling it "Dehydro-Grape Flakes" and put it on the shelf next to the Raisin BranI might scratch my head and go huh?

Does that make sense... the way I see the difference?
 

kidswarrior

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The masters of old I am talking about at least early19'00's most likely created styles based on something pure. By this I mean combination of something,stripping of something,or modify something. But the interpertation was not so much for profit I think it was a geniune idea that was battle tested.
So if I am understanding this line of thought, the masters of *old* (turn of 20th century, you say), in making an art their own were pure, while someone today who makes an art their own is driven by ego and greed?

Cryozombie said:
I'm not neccessarily talking a guy with who blends some stuff he/she feel effective and opens a school with a generic name...
This is a distincition in the OP which I think we skipped over, and maybe need to come back to (as Cryozombie just did while I was typing this :uhyeah:). Some may be *founders* because they truly are ego/greed driven, others may just fall into it by being true to what they know. Example, someone who finds themselves in Bluekey's situation:
let's say I take my taekwondo...blend it with the taijutus i started studying and the Aikido I used to do. In a way...that's what I'm really doing now. In the end, if someone did that and felt that what they had was distinctly different from what they used to do...what's wrong with saying this is a new style?
Does he have to teach the three arts separately for them to be *pure*, or can he just be himself--a person who had integrated all three into who he is as a MAist--and teach what he thinks is most effective? If he does the latter, is that ego/greed driven? Bluekey doesn't seem like the type at all from what I know of him. :D

I'm playing devil's advocate here, guys, but it's important we not generalize too sweepingly. ;)
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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So if I am understanding this line of thought, the masters of *old* (turn of 20th century, you say), in making an art their own were pure, while someone today who makes an art their own is driven by ego and greed?

The interpertation I believe is pure. This goes for both modern and of old.

From the purity comes the idea of superiority in creating a style.

In the gathering of students resulting in sucess I believe the Ego is stroked. This goes for both modern and old.

But the thing with old is that creating a style was not driven by Ego but interpertation. I don't think those of old went around calling themselves Dai soke or even cared if they had lots of students.

Compared to modern days the Ego is stroked by lots of ranks collected,students,outragous claims,money.

I don't really see that in the old ways which was just training and taking maybe a few students.
 

BrandonLucas

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I think that in order to make the judgement on this, there needs to be a specific "art" in question.

If someone has changed the name of a prepackaged art to something that they've come up with, and none or a few of the concepts have changed, then yeah, thats questionable.

For instance, I practice ITF TKD. I can't really go out now, open my own dojang, and start calling it Brandon-Fu and get away with it. If I want to call it Brandon-Fu, and it be a legit art, I would have to mix the ITF TKD that I've learned with at least 1 other art that I've spent enough time in to have truly learned the applications of the techniques. Then, I would blend the 2 arts together, using what I deem to be effective for whatever purpose, and leaving out what is not effective. Then, and only then, does it stop being the ITF TKD or other single art that I learned.

I do think alot of it is about ego...but I also think alot of it comes from people thinking that they can seriously help others by cutting out what isn't needed and adding things that are into other arts.

But, again, I think that in order to make a proper judgement on whether it's a legit name for an art or not, they should be looked at individually. It's basically the same as not being able to judge all who practice TKD by the same standards....just because I practice TKD does not mean that I compete for sport...that kind of thing.
 
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Cryozombie

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I think that in order to make the judgement on this, there needs to be a specific "art" in question.

I don't think so... Because...

If someone has changed the name of a prepackaged art to something that they've come up with, and none or a few of the concepts have changed, then yeah, thats questionable.

For instance, I practice ITF TKD. I can't really go out now, open my own dojang, and start calling it Brandon-Fu and get away with it. If I want to call it Brandon-Fu, and it be a legit art, I would have to mix the ITF TKD that I've learned with at least 1 other art that I've spent enough time in to have truly learned the applications of the techniques. Then, I would blend the 2 arts together, using what I deem to be effective for whatever purpose, and leaving out what is not effective. Then, and only then, does it stop being the ITF TKD or other single art that I learned.

This hit my question on the head, and you could apply it to any art for the sake of the argument.
 

BrandonLucas

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I don't think so... Because...



This hit my question on the head, and you could apply it to any art for the sake of the argument.

Ok, if that's the case, then yeah, I would say it's a pointless thing to do for nothing else but monetary gain and an ego boost.
 

Xue Sheng

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In some cases it is money and in others it is not.

Read about how JKD came to be or about why Wang Xiangzhai came up with Yiquan/Dachengquan
 

BrandonLucas

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In some cases it is money and in others it is not.

Read about how JKD came to be or about why Wang Xiangzhai came up with Yiquan/Dachengquan

I think that these would be different because they were derived from different styles...what the OP is talking about is, I believe, people who open their own school after training in only 1 art, and think that they can simply rename the art because they've made the "necessary changes" that are designed to suit their own needs.

Now, their actual intentions may be that they want to help others, but the mistake that they're making is renaming the art. Just because they made a few changes to the core art doesn't make it their own. The actual act of renaming the art under these circumstances is where the ego trip and greed issues come into play.
 

JTKenpo

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Personally I feel the Kajukenbo guys have it down best.

Master A in Kajukenbo also studies TKD, Shotokan, and Karate.
Master B in Kajukenbo also studies Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong.

They both go out and teach what they know, but have very different backgrounds outside of Kajukenbo. Do they teach different styles? NO!

Master A teaches Master A method of Kajukenbo.
Master B teaches Master B method of Kajukenbo.

They both teach the same style although very different in their directions there for have different methods.

Does that make sense to anyone else, and any Kaju guys can feel free to chime in about it if I am off base here or on target.
 

BrandonLucas

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Personally I feel the Kajukenbo guys have it down best.

Master A in Kajukenbo also studies TKD, Shotokan, and Karate.
Master B in Kajukenbo also studies Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong.

They both go out and teach what they know, but have very different backgrounds outside of Kajukenbo. Do they teach different styles? NO!

Master A teaches Master A method of Kajukenbo.
Master B teaches Master B method of Kajukenbo.

They both teach the same style although very different in their directions there for have different methods.

Does that make sense to anyone else, and any Kaju guys can feel free to chime in about it if I am off base here or on target.

That's true, but I think that's down the same path that bluekey was going down...it's the converse issue.

I agree with you, though, so don't get me wrong there.

But, what they've done is to keep the same name of the art, but they have different approaches and styles to the same art. TKD is like this, with different styles belonging to the same art...i.e: ITF and WTF styles.

You're on the right track, just on the other side of it, from what I can see.

Excellent point, though.
 

kidswarrior

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So what makes it still qualify for the original art's name, and at what point would it cross over and become something else (i.e., maybe the Kaju guys wouldn't want it called Kaju anymore... or Kenpo guys, or TKD guys)? In other words, what does it have to retain to retain its legitimate use of the name? I know this is the opposite side of the question in the OP, but still relevant I think.
 

GBlues

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Well, consider this and I just want to throw it out there. My understanding is that Musashi never had a formal instructor. He pretty much developed his own style, through fighting basically. He later began to teach. Now this would be somebody one of the old master that created there own style. In today's world he would be laughed at. Trying to open your own school, without having a black belt in at least one other style. The word "SCAM" would be used alot.

Now consider this, we talk about the masters of old, being pure. Remember back in those days, payment was basically keeping the school clean, providing food for the instructor, etc... I've heard stories of students that were required to bring a chicken once a week as payment. Martial Artists did not get rich back in the day, and most of the good ones, that just want to pass on what they know, don't get rich. I would imagine there's a few, but probably not very many. I mean they ain't living out of a shopping cart but they're not rich either you know. They do it for the love of the art.

Now, Instructor A studies I don't know Chinese Kenpo, ok. Just as an example. Gets into a few scuffles here and there, and Kenpo has served him well. He decides he wants to pass this knowledge on to a younger generation so that they will know how to protect themselves.

Instructor B also studies Chinese Kenpo, but for him he got stomped one night in the bar. He said man, that Kenpo stuff didn't work to well for me. I need something else. SO he studies Wing Chun. Get's pretty good at it, and one night he's down in a bar, and gets into, or walking home in the dark whatever. He defends himself using both kenpo and wing chun, and says to himself, " Holy crap it worked. Man if more people knew what I know, they wouldn't get stomped like I did 2 years ago, after getting my Kenpo blackbelt." So he teaches Instructor B's Kenpo Chun. Ok Just an example. But they both have good reasons for doing it.

Now, SCam artist A get a green belt in Kenpo, a yellow sash, in Wing Chun, and about six months of BJJ. He says, " Man I need a job. But what am I going to do. THe wifes chewing my butt, all the time, I know,I'll teach martial arts. I'll make a crap load of many on dvd's and instrucorship licenses, and grading tests. Yes! I'll call it, Scam Fu JU! HEHE! I'll tell everyone that I taught the navy seals, and green berets. Who will ever know.!" So he opens his school, makes alot of money and then about 2 years later, he ain't making so much money anymore cause everybody figured out he was full of crap!

I think honest people create there own systems because they feel they have gone far enough away from they originally learned that they feel they should call it something else. Because they don't feel they're doing authentic tkd, or jkd, kenpo, or kung-fu or any other number of arts. I thinks those that are dishonest are more like scam artist A. Guys who don't know much, but think they'll get rich quick if they teach martial arts. I know of at least one instructor who is very successful just teaching one art, he offers others that he is an instructor, in, but it is separate from his kenpo training. He's been around for about 10-15 years I would say. Good guy, good instructor, like you guys say, those that are good, and real, will be around along time.
 

jarrod

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interesting thread, thanks for bringing this up.

i think there are far too many possible motives to narrow it down to just one.

it could be to create a safe, new sport such as the case with judo or more recently chanbara.

i could be to design a superior military hand-to-hand system, as with sambo, MCMAP, or any of the hundreds of jujitsu ryu of old.

it could be to develop a physical fitness regimen that is relatively safe, as with shotokan (yes i know you can still fight with it, but it was designed for physical education) or cardio kickboxing (yes i know you can't fight with it, but it's still martial based).

it could be to provide a unique & supposedly more effective approach to self-defense as with jkd, kajukenbo, or shingitai jujitsu (had to plug my style in there!)

or it could be just to get rich & make everyone call you 'master'. but i guess my larger point is that not all style founders have nefarious motives.

jf
 

BrandonLucas

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Well, consider this and I just want to throw it out there. My understanding is that Musashi never had a formal instructor. He pretty much developed his own style, through fighting basically. He later began to teach. Now this would be somebody one of the old master that created there own style. In today's world he would be laughed at. Trying to open your own school, without having a black belt in at least one other style. The word "SCAM" would be used alot.

Now consider this, we talk about the masters of old, being pure. Remember back in those days, payment was basically keeping the school clean, providing food for the instructor, etc... I've heard stories of students that were required to bring a chicken once a week as payment. Martial Artists did not get rich back in the day, and most of the good ones, that just want to pass on what they know, don't get rich. I would imagine there's a few, but probably not very many. I mean they ain't living out of a shopping cart but they're not rich either you know. They do it for the love of the art.

Now, Instructor A studies I don't know Chinese Kenpo, ok. Just as an example. Gets into a few scuffles here and there, and Kenpo has served him well. He decides he wants to pass this knowledge on to a younger generation so that they will know how to protect themselves.

Instructor B also studies Chinese Kenpo, but for him he got stomped one night in the bar. He said man, that Kenpo stuff didn't work to well for me. I need something else. SO he studies Wing Chun. Get's pretty good at it, and one night he's down in a bar, and gets into, or walking home in the dark whatever. He defends himself using both kenpo and wing chun, and says to himself, " Holy crap it worked. Man if more people knew what I know, they wouldn't get stomped like I did 2 years ago, after getting my Kenpo blackbelt." So he teaches Instructor B's Kenpo Chun. Ok Just an example. But they both have good reasons for doing it.

Now, SCam artist A get a green belt in Kenpo, a yellow sash, in Wing Chun, and about six months of BJJ. He says, " Man I need a job. But what am I going to do. THe wifes chewing my butt, all the time, I know,I'll teach martial arts. I'll make a crap load of many on dvd's and instrucorship licenses, and grading tests. Yes! I'll call it, Scam Fu JU! HEHE! I'll tell everyone that I taught the navy seals, and green berets. Who will ever know.!" So he opens his school, makes alot of money and then about 2 years later, he ain't making so much money anymore cause everybody figured out he was full of crap!

I think honest people create there own systems because they feel they have gone far enough away from they originally learned that they feel they should call it something else. Because they don't feel they're doing authentic tkd, or jkd, kenpo, or kung-fu or any other number of arts. I thinks those that are dishonest are more like scam artist A. Guys who don't know much, but think they'll get rich quick if they teach martial arts. I know of at least one instructor who is very successful just teaching one art, he offers others that he is an instructor, in, but it is separate from his kenpo training. He's been around for about 10-15 years I would say. Good guy, good instructor, like you guys say, those that are good, and real, will be around along time.


This is true...

The thing is, though, that by taking more than 1 martial art, you are, in essence, like bluekey said, creating your own art anyway. But what makes the difference is deciding the change the name and call it your own style that you created...in essence, you can't really teach what you've learned in a pure sense, because everyone is different. People have different limitations.

For example, it doesn't make much sense for me, being a 290 lbs, 6'1" man to do jumping kicks, when I can deliver the techniques with more precision while standing. Does that mean that when I start teaching TKD, that I should eliminate the kicks from the cirriculum because they didn't work for me?

Basically, the martial arts give you the fundamentals of fighting...either aggressively or in self defense. It's up to the practitioner to decide how to interperate the movements and techniques, and to judge their effectiveness in relation to their strenghts and weaknesses.

The name of an art shouldn't be changed just because you've figured out how to make the techniques work for yourself. IMO, changing the name of an art should come with significant changes to the techniques...not just omitting a kick here and a punch there, or changing a stance in a form here.

The best way I can think of to explain it is if you compare 2 different arts, you should be able to tell the difference between the 2. If someone has come up with their own "Brandon-Fu", and it looks alot like ITF TKD with only a few changes...perhaps different forms, or maybe an omission of all headlevel kicks...then I don't think that would warrant a change in the name. It's still ITF TKD, but the "creator" has put their own spin on it and is teaching his take on the art.

Which, in essence, is what most traditional instructors do anyway.
 
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