Question about Style Creation

jarrod

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Kano is interesting, if he did what he did today he would be called a fraud and the art bogus. Instead he is called a genius and innovator. He only studied for 4 yrs total and created Judo at the age of 22. That is also why I ended my post about does the art fit what YOU need it to?

good post punisher. kano is an interesting case, for a number of reasons. one, while he is the grand poo-bah of judo, i don't think anyone would argue that he was the greatest judoka. to me, this says that he definately had something to teach. it is also a good indicator of whether or not the style was worth creating. is the creator interested in knowing more of this particular martial art that anyone else, & therefore holding back knowledge? or does the style progress with each generation? if the latter, that tells me that the creator had ideas worth listening too, even if he didn't have the most credentials on paper.

another interesting thing about kano is that judo inadvertantly saved jujitsu. jujitsu wasn't initially seen as a different style, but a new form of jujitsu. kano's efforts to win a teaching contract with the japanese police by staging public, high-profile competitions renewed interest in a dying martial art that was seen as rustic & outdated by post-meiji japan.

so in short my point is; if a created style is good, then it's often very good. if a newly created style is bad, then it probably won't last more than a generation or two.

jf
 

Brad Dunne

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Almost all the bases have been reviewed and opinions offered and they are all correct in their assessments. Now lets offer a slightly different venue.

The TKD practicioner who wishes to seperate him/her self from the ever present Mcdojo's and the sport orientated Dojang's that have no self defense criteria incorporated. We've all seen the discussions on this subject, but now what happens when this practicioner, who has the suggested collective knowledge and time vested under the TKD banner, now decides to venture forth and attempt to distance themselves from the aforementioned labeled venues? Should they continue to use the label TKD and add something to it, "Combat TKD", "Original TKD", "Old School TKD" or something similar, or should they just rename what they intend to teach to totally remove the often placed stigma that's associated with todays TKD? Can or should they revert back to the origins of TKD, when the majority of Korean MA's were under the Tang Soo Do Heading? Should they go back even further and call it Shotokan or should they just make up a new name and call it whatever they have knowledge in? For example, a blend of TKD and Hapkido, which for many "old school" practicioners was the norm and call it.......HapTaeDo or perhaps JuTaeDo for those that have some Judo in their background. Do you feel that they are doing a dis-service to their original art or has their art done a dis-servise to them?

Starting a new discipline, regardless of what the motivating force is, does not automaticly offer fame and fortune. It may stroke some ego's, but ego's are soon deflated as are wallets.
 

MJS

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Personally, I think the TKD banner should still be used, even if they want to distance themselves from a particular group. IMO, the name, kinda like bragging about how many stripes one has on their belt or how many arts they've trained in, is really moot. Once the person sees how the art is taught at the particular school, they should be able to determine if its for them or not. In other words, if they're looking for a hardcore TKD school, and there is that McDojo feel to it, they should turn and walk away.
 

Flying Crane

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I know of a guy locally that has extensive background in kempo, Muay Thai and BJJ and a couple other things (he has been in MA for years) and he has a school and he teaches MMA and defensive tactics and I have no problem with this at all. Actually I am rather impressed by his background, attitude and dedication to MA. But if he took all that combined it and called it Kempo I would have a problem with it since Muay Thai+BJJ+Kempo does not equal Kempo. It could still be very effective but it is no longer kempo.

I suppose it kind of depends on whether or not one of the systems predominates in the final product. It could be mainly kenpo based, with Muay Thai and BJJ influences or "units" or "chapters" in the program or something. It's a fuzzy line and it can't be clearly defined when it's been crossed. I think it's really an intuition that someone decides it's really different.

But does it need to have a completely new name? Could it just be Joe Schmoe's Kenpo/Combat Arts, or does it need something entirely new like KenJuThai or something? Or Schmoe-Ryu? I kind of think in this kind of scenario it doesn't need a completely new name, it's still mainly kenpo.

But if all the contributing arts are more equally represented in the final product, maybe it requires a new name. Or maybe he can just say I teach a blend of kenpo, bjj, and muay thai, and leave it at that.

I think Western society likes to compartmentalize things, and maybe that doesn't need to always happen.

Doesn't Sun style Taiji have Xingyi and Bagua influences? But it's just Sun Taiji...
 

Xue Sheng

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I suppose it kind of depends on whether or not one of the systems predominates in the final product. It could be mainly kenpo based, with Muay Thai and BJJ influences or "units" or "chapters" in the program or something. It's a fuzzy line and it can't be clearly defined when it's been crossed. I think it's really an intuition that someone decides it's really different.

He actually just calls what he does Martial Arts but he does train MMA fighters and some of the local Swat

But does it need to have a completely new name? Could it just be Joe Schmoe's Kenpo/Combat Arts, or does it need something entirely new like KenJuThai or something? Or Schmoe-Ryu? I kind of think in this kind of scenario it doesn't need a completely new name, it's still mainly kenpo.

But if all the contributing arts are more equally represented in the final product, maybe it requires a new name. Or maybe he can just say I teach a blend of kenpo, bjj, and muay thai, and leave it at that.


I think Western society likes to compartmentalize things, and maybe that doesn't need to always happen.

Go to China take a little bit of Chen and take a little bit of Long Fist slap them together and call it Chen and see how far it gets if the Chen family knows about it :)


Doesn't Sun style Taiji have Xingyi and Bagua influences? But it's just Sun Taiji...

Yes it does but it also ahs a founder that was considered highly skilled at Hao style Taijiquan, baguazhang and Xingyiquan. He was not some guy eho trained a bit of Xingyiquan and then some Bagua with some Taiji on the side.
 
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Tames D

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To those who thought I was insulting the arts mentioned I was NOT. Please re-read the post. The point of that particular part was that, it doesn't matter WHAT art you study, there is somebody out there who will try to judge it and say that their art is better. Those were comments I have heard and read concerning those arts in particular, NOT what I feel about those arts. I think if we all looked hard enough we could find someone dogging every single system known.

Kano is interesting, if he did what he did today he would be called a fraud and the art bogus. Instead he is called a genius and innovator. He only studied for 4 yrs total and created Judo at the age of 22. That is also why I ended my post about does the art fit what YOU need it to?

I think that there are various reasons that people create their own style. I think it does run the spectrum of thinking that their approach is better to an ego title. There is also probably some blending in there as well. I also think it could be that you want to teach what you want to teach and so you create your own organization/style so you can do that and not have to be told what you can or can't do, or what is "style x".
No need to explain. I knew where you were coming from and thought it was an excellent post. Besides, I got over all that Kung-Fu bashing along time ago.
icon7.gif
 

Flying Crane

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Go to China take a little bit of Chen and take a little bit of Long Fist slap them together and call it Chen and see how far it gets if the Chen family knows about it :)

ah, well, if it's a family name involved, that's different. The family can always stand up and say "no, that's not what we do", and nobody can dispute that.

Yes it does but it also ahs a founder that was considered highly skilled at Hao style Taijiquan, baguazhang and Xingyiquan. He was not some guy eho trained a bit of Xingyiquan and then some Bagua with some Taiji on the side.

exactly, but it's still known as a method of Taiji. I've never heard Sun style Taiji called "taiji/xingyi/bagua". Altho I know that Sun style Xingyi does exist as an art of it's own.

My point is simply that Sun just called it his own method of Taiji. He didn't see a reason to come up with any fancy new name, inspite of the other influences.
 
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Cryozombie

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So what about someone who studies... say...

Tae Kwon Do, but throws in some japanese weapons, opens a school and claims they are teaching "ninjitsu"

or someone with a background in a couple schools/styles of Karate but opens a school for "Kung Fu"

Both of those examples are things I've run into... Thats clearly silly, yes?

Or what about a school that teaches what they claim to teach, but then have somthing like a "Ninja Night" for the kids and teach them "ninja skills" like sneaking around or "shuriken throwing" with toy ninja stars? Is that sort of thing really "acceptable practice" for an art?
 

Xue Sheng

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ah, well, if it's a family name involved, that's different. The family can always stand up and say "no, that's not what we do", and nobody can dispute that.

Wang Xiangzhai was a Xingyiquan master and he trained some taiji, Bagua, White Crane and other things but he did not call his style when he was done Xingyiquan, he called it Yiquan.

My point was actually to the compartmentalizing in the west, which we no doubt do much more than the east. However make up a MA in China and it is likely someone will call you on it sooner or later which can make or break your style. However here Joe MA guy makes up a style and if someone calls him on it he can refuse and walk away and go on teaching. If he takes that challenge and looses he can go on teaching. It still does not always work that way in China.

exactly, but it's still known as a method of Taiji. I've never heard Sun style Taiji called "taiji/xingyi/bagua". Altho I know that Sun style Xingyi does exist as an art of it's own.

My point is simply that Sun just called it his own method of Taiji. He didn't see a reason to come up with any fancy new name, inspite of the other influences.

And likely no other Taiji, Bagua, Xingyi person either cared or challenged or won the challenge if they did.

Sun Lutang did not just say hey I think I will call it Taiji and that was that he either had to prove it or was allowed to based on his standing in the CMA community; he was a pretty skilled fighter. There was a saying about him in the area he lived something about bandits and officials traveled quietly near his home because they were afraid to wake him up...or something like that.

Today in the west though Style creation is rather easy and rarely painful. But I will admit I am a bit of a stickler for a style being what it claims to be not a conglomerate of style masquerading as a style it is not.


But I do believe I may be getting off post here.
 

MJS

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So what about someone who studies... say...

Tae Kwon Do, but throws in some japanese weapons, opens a school and claims they are teaching "ninjitsu"

or someone with a background in a couple schools/styles of Karate but opens a school for "Kung Fu"

Both of those examples are things I've run into... Thats clearly silly, yes?

Or what about a school that teaches what they claim to teach, but then have somthing like a "Ninja Night" for the kids and teach them "ninja skills" like sneaking around or "shuriken throwing" with toy ninja stars? Is that sort of thing really "acceptable practice" for an art?

Sad but true. And people, those that don't do their homework, will fall for that and actually think that they're learning Ninjutsu, even though the inst. is having people do jump kicks. I don't know for sure, but I doubt the X-kans teach TKD kicks.

Now, during a Kenpo class, I've taught a flow drill from Arnis, but I make sure the people know the difference. :) I don't pass something as Kenpo if it isn't.
 

BrandonLucas

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Almost all the bases have been reviewed and opinions offered and they are all correct in their assessments. Now lets offer a slightly different venue.

The TKD practicioner who wishes to seperate him/her self from the ever present Mcdojo's and the sport orientated Dojang's that have no self defense criteria incorporated. We've all seen the discussions on this subject, but now what happens when this practicioner, who has the suggested collective knowledge and time vested under the TKD banner, now decides to venture forth and attempt to distance themselves from the aforementioned labeled venues? Should they continue to use the label TKD and add something to it, "Combat TKD", "Original TKD", "Old School TKD" or something similar, or should they just rename what they intend to teach to totally remove the often placed stigma that's associated with todays TKD? Can or should they revert back to the origins of TKD, when the majority of Korean MA's were under the Tang Soo Do Heading? Should they go back even further and call it Shotokan or should they just make up a new name and call it whatever they have knowledge in? For example, a blend of TKD and Hapkido, which for many "old school" practicioners was the norm and call it.......HapTaeDo or perhaps JuTaeDo for those that have some Judo in their background. Do you feel that they are doing a dis-service to their original art or has their art done a dis-servise to them?

Starting a new discipline, regardless of what the motivating force is, does not automaticly offer fame and fortune. It may stroke some ego's, but ego's are soon deflated as are wallets.

I just wanted to touch on this briefly, because it's a great point, and it made me stop and think for a moment before I decided to respond.

If the TKD practitioner wishes to open a school, but does not want to be associated with the "McDojang" and "Sport" stigmas, then I would say it's all in how they teach the class. You can't change the perception of how the public views TKD in general (although I would love to change it), but you can change how the public would view a particular school.

Let's say that the TKD guy opens a dojang of his own. Instead of belonging to an organization, he chooses to stay independant, and does not charge outlandish fees for classes. He also does not require students to buy anything other than the uniform and very basic safety gear for sparring. The uniform is standard from 1 company, so that all the students will have the same uniform, but the safety gear for sparring can be purchased from wherever the best deal can be found, and is not required to be purchased through the school.

As far as instruction goes, he concentrates on the SD aspects of the art, and doesn't get too caught up in pushing students into tournements, but does allow them to compete if they choose to do so. He doesn't rush students through the ranks, but instead makes sure that the material is fully learned before allowing them to test.

If he follows through properly, he can remove himself from the stigma of "crappy" TKD by providing the "proof in the pudding", to quote Bill Cosby.

<quote>So what about someone who studies... say...

Tae Kwon Do, but throws in some japanese weapons, opens a school and claims they are teaching "ninjitsu"

or someone with a background in a couple schools/styles of Karate but opens a school for "Kung Fu"

Both of those examples are things I've run into... Thats clearly silly, yes?

Or what about a school that teaches what they claim to teach, but then have somthing like a "Ninja Night" for the kids and teach them "ninja skills" like sneaking around or "shuriken throwing" with toy ninja stars? Is that sort of thing really "acceptable practice" for an art?<quote>

As far as this goes...

I don't have a major problem with schools that offer extra-cirricular options to the core art...but they should be advertised as that, and not all packaged together in a "shiny new art" or renamed under an older art.

If someone wants to teach TKD and then teach a few ninja moves on the side, great...but please don't mix the 2 names or add in the ninja moves to the TKD cirriculum. It should be a TKD class, and then, if the student chooses to learn something extra, then the option's there. I think the mistake people make is that they decide that it's going to be a new addition to the set-in-stone cirriculum.

For a wrong example:

Billy Bob teaches "TKD Concepts", which is TKD at the core with "ninja concepts" added in. When his students reach yellow belt, they not only learn how to correctly perform a spinning side kick, but they also learn how to properly throw smoke bombs, and will be tested on their ability to correctly perform both techniques before being allowed to pass to green belt. If the spinning sidekicks are perfect, but the student cannot properly throw the smoke bomb, then the student must remain a yellow belt until the next testing period.

For a proper example:

Billy Bob teaches TKD during the afternoon and early evening classes, and has one late evening class twice a week dedicated to "Ninja training 101", in which students learn how to throw smoke bombs. The class has a different uniform, and is offered as a seperate class than the regular TKD class, and is not required for testing in the TKD cirriculum.

Like I said before, I really don't have a problem if a school does this as an extra benefit type of thing...that may be a great idea to keep the younger kids interested, by saying that they can't join the extra class until they earn a certain rank in the core art...

But unless you have an extensive background in more than 1 art, and would be able to teach them seperately if you were required, and you find out how to combine both arts to create something that is truly unique, you don't need to rename what you already know.

I mean, seriously, Tae Bo was terrible enough, but at least they didn't try to market that as an actual self defense course.
 

punisher73

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I mean, seriously, Tae Bo was terrible enough, but at least they didn't try to market that as an actual self defense course.

Actually, if I remember correctly they did kind of market it in the beginning that you would get in shape and learn to protect yourself at the same time. I believe that there was a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit and they could no longer claim self-defense skills.
 
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Cryozombie

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Now, during a Kenpo class, I've taught a flow drill from Arnis, but I make sure the people know the difference. :) I don't pass something as Kenpo if it isn't.

Yeah, and that kind of thing I think is perfectly acceptable... you didn't blend Arnis and Kenpo and call it "Southern Shaolin Temple Style Gung-Fu."
 

punisher73

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Now, during a Kenpo class, I've taught a flow drill from Arnis, but I make sure the people know the difference. :) I don't pass something as Kenpo if it isn't.


I remember a discussion with some TKD people about "adding" things to your art. There are several people who stated that they had learned some kenpo techniques and taught them in their TKD and didn't see a problem with that. To me, the point was you need to give credit where it is due and tell people that it isn't TKD (or whatever style).
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63508
 

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I've seen two ways that "new" styles start. Some start organically. Someone trains, whether in one system or several, and learns and adapts, and starts getting successful. If they've got the right mindset, they systematize their training or they simply start sharing it with people. Occasionally, along the same lines, someone makes an intuitive leap that leads them from their training to something new. (Steve Perry did a nice job describing this process in The Musashi Flex. This organic process isn't so much a case of inventing something new as figuring out what the "creator" was doing anyway, if that makes sense.

The other way is what we're seeing a lot of lately here in the US. Someone decides to invent their own style, often to be able to market something commercially or an even more ego driven process... Or someone splits off from their teacher, and distances themselves by renaming what they do. (Note that this is different from starting a new organization after a split; in that case, folks are still teaching whatever, just under "new management.") This commercial or ego driven process puts folks off -- and all too often, it's done by someone who hasn't really got the depth in anything to know that, at best, they're reinventing the wheel.
 

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Please forgive me for bringing this topic back up, but I have been dealing with a subject like this, and have been feeling torn about it. I need some insight on it. And I'd rather not make a new thread about something that's been discussed so many times before.
Every so often I get nostalgic feelings about my old Karate training, and spend some time working on it. I use to train Goju. But when I practice, I've made a few adjustments, change some moves, and add/remove others. It's gotten to the point that I no longer feel that I am doing Goju karate, but something else. Recently I've even began working on making a kata, to get a few basic ideas laid out. I'm even thinking about adding some Judo, and chin na to it.
This is only something I've been doing from time to time, so I don't have any plans to fully delve into it. However I feel there is potential here, and I might change my mind about it in the future.
I don't have any real desire to make a new style. I just want to learn, and grow. However calling what I'm doing Goju, doesn't feel quite right. If I were to teach it to someone, I'd feel dishonest about calling it Goju.
I"m wrestling with the question on weather or not I should give it a new name, or maybe just not name it at all.
Anyone have any thoughts?
 

seasoned

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Please forgive me for bringing this topic back up, but I have been dealing with a subject like this, and have been feeling torn about it. I need some insight on it. And I'd rather not make a new thread about something that's been discussed so many times before.
Every so often I get nostalgic feelings about my old Karate training, and spend some time working on it. I use to train Goju. But when I practice, I've made a few adjustments, change some moves, and add/remove others. It's gotten to the point that I no longer feel that I am doing Goju karate, but something else. Recently I've even began working on making a kata, to get a few basic ideas laid out. I'm even thinking about adding some Judo, and chin na to it.
This is only something I've been doing from time to time, so I don't have any plans to fully delve into it. However I feel there is potential here, and I might change my mind about it in the future.
I don't have any real desire to make a new style. I just want to learn, and grow. However calling what I'm doing Goju, doesn't feel quite right. If I were to teach it to someone, I'd feel dishonest about calling it Goju.
I"m wrestling with the question on weather or not I should give it a new name, or maybe just not name it at all.
Anyone have any thoughts?


To Answer your question, there is no need to add anything to GoJu, because it already contains Judo, and Chin na within the kata. It is not indepth , but there is a sprinkling that helps to make Okinawan GoJu an all around, all Inclusive art.
 

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Ironcrane, I think that there is a difference between doing what you are doing (not familiar enough with goju to have an opinion about whether what you're doing is necessary) and what people rail about. You've put together things that you've learned and are comfortable practicing; you haven't put a neon sign over your garage that reads, "Iron Crane Gojudo Taekwon Fu Dojo all lessons taught by the founder."

For the past couple of years, the taekwondo class I have been in has had some hapkido worked in. I now take hapkido as a separate course of study, but in taekwondo, GM Kim never said that he was teaching a "new style," but that he was teaching self defense. To be fair, he holds grades in both taekwondo and hapkido: he was a 1992 Korean national champion and is 6th dan, and was a hapkido instructor to the Korean Special Army. He certainly has the background to put something together based upon what he's learned, and his advanced taekwondo classes certainly go well beyond the Kukkiwon's curriculum. But if asked what he teaches, he says that he teaches Kukkiwon Taekwondo, Hapkido and Kumdo and then asks which you would like to sign up for.

Whatever it is that you're doing, enjoy it and continue to work on and develope it. Just don't decide that since you've come up with somethng new that you need to have nine gold sitched stripes on your belt.:)

Daniel
 

seasoned

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Ironcrane, I think that there is a difference between doing what you are doing (not familiar enough with goju to have an opinion about whether what you're doing is necessary) and what people rail about. You've put together things that you've learned and are comfortable practicing; you haven't put a neon sign over your garage that reads, "Iron Crane Gojudo Taekwon Fu Dojo all lessons taught by the founder."

For the past couple of years, the taekwondo class I have been in has had some hapkido worked in. I now take hapkido as a separate course of study, but in taekwondo, GM Kim never said that he was teaching a "new style," but that he was teaching self defense. To be fair, he holds grades in both taekwondo and hapkido: he was a 1992 Korean national champion and is 6th dan, and was a hapkido instructor to the Korean Special Army. He certainly has the background to put something together based upon what he's learned, and his advanced taekwondo classes certainly go well beyond the Kukkiwon's curriculum. But if asked what he teaches, he says that he teaches Kukkiwon Taekwondo, Hapkido and Kumdo and then asks which you would like to sign up for.

Whatever it is that you're doing, enjoy it and continue to work on and develope it. Just don't decide that since you've come up with somethng new that you need to have nine gold sitched stripes on your belt.:)

Daniel


Good point DS, Training should be fun. Innovation and creativity are important, and experimenting helps to tailor your chosen art to you, and your body make up. Just make sure, the foundations are well in place. J
 

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I can think of several different reasons people would do this.

Maybe their instructor does not want anyone else teaching the specific art and has a copyright on the name and wont allow someone else to teach it. So the person must rename it to move forward

maybe the instructor has a bad name, reputation, or criminal history that makes the student want to continue on without the connection, forcing him to recreate the name and distant himself

maybe the student is a criminal or otherwise immoral individual who plans on trying to get money out of others for something that is not original

maybe the student has added something significant to their existing art and wants to seperate themselves and what they do and copyright it.

maybe the student has found a new teaching method that works much greater and wants to seperate themselves and move forward

maybe the art that student has learned has such a bad reputation from poor instructors that even though a that student is great, he is dragged back by the other crappy instructors out there and needs to escape that reputation.

I could go on and on.

My personal feelings is that there is nothing new to be discovered in martial arts until we start growing more limbs, or living in a place with a different atmosphere, or gravity level.

People mix and match what has already been created, come up with different semantics for explaining and showing it, and put different emphasis on different parts of an art depending on the hot key issues of the society they are a part of.
 

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