The problem with "traditional" martial arts part 3

KPM

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Here is another good article from Paul Rackemann. Starting a new thread because both of the others drifted off in other directions as threads tend to do. A big part of the theme here continues to be lack of sparring and/or not sparring with others outside of the school. But here Paul addresses the "mindset" often seen behind "traditional" martial arts.

Why the psychology of traditional martial artists leads to failure. - Rackemann Wing Chun
 

drop bear

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The whole premises that martial arts is not about winning sort of encompasses the whole issue here.
 

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Interesting article

Some of it I can see the rational in other bits is the author (like anyone else's opinions) making and drawing his conclusions.
 

Flying Crane

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This Rackemann fellows main problem is that he wants to paint all traditional martial art schools with the same brush. He seems to have some notions of what happens in a school teaching a traditional art, perhaps some of that is from his own experience, perhaps some is just his own musings. Honestly, I dont know why he doesnt just go train MMA since that seems more his flavor, and all the power to him if he does.

I think the best thing to do is stop reading his nonsense and just focus on your own training.
 

hoshin1600

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not a bad blog post but not great either. he bring up some good points but his explanations and examples are lacking. ill give him a pass on this because i know myself that when i try to find examples its not always so easy to communicate what im thinking. however his examples do lead the reader into exactly what he is rallying against,,, groupthink.

Illusions of invulnerability The belief that the group cannot fail
Most MMA schools are isolated from the outside world. When a group of likeminded people train together long enough, without leaving the safe confines of their dojo, it isnt too long before a sense of superiority falls upon these students (and the coach). We can see this with the example of the MMA fighter who was knocked out cold in a convenience store by a group of young men, by all accounts, he seemed to suffer an illusion of grandeur.
....see what i did there...:)

Rationalising the tendency to explain away contracting information. This is also known in psychology as confirmation bias. The behaviour of group of people to only recognise those examples that support their view point and rationalize away the data that is contradicting their belief system.
Himself and his students explained away the disastrous defeat by claiming he wasnt properly nourished before the match.
the problem with this example is that it is not just traditional martial arts. any fighter in any discipline is known to make excuses for thier loss.
 

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I think a lot of these articles could be distilled down into "Schools which do not spar regularly, lack sparring skills. If those schools just do drilling with compliance, their techniques will only work where the opponent complies. Chi Sau is a tool but it cannot replace sparring." Job done.

I think the rest of the article lists a bunch of stuff which applies to anyone. "its us and them" "they lose, they'll excuse" etc.

I am not sure about his comment: "Spar with them, again using either boxing, kickboxing or mma rules." If I learn to dance the Cha-Cha why would I want to compete doing the waltz with waltzer, I'll force them to dance the ChaCha with me.
 

hoshin1600

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The whole premises that martial arts is not about winning sort of encompasses the whole issue here.
Define winning.
i have yet to hear anyone in the MMA groupthink define "winning" in a way that has the best possible outcome along iterated instances in a real life scenario that is an acceptable choice for a civilian population. by civilian i mean those who are under no obligation to confront or intervene in interpersonal violence.... meaning not police or doormen/ bouncers.
what the MMA Groupthink fails to understand is that the "best possible" outcome does not always equal beating the other guy up. i fully understand the concept of the ability and willingness to engage and dominate. while it is unacceptable to not engage and dominate due to a lack of ability, that doesnt mean that if you have the ability to do so that it is always the "best outcome" of the situation.
if we turn the situation away from bar room fighting and look at confrontation within relationship we can see the issue without the bias.
situation:
your arguing with your wife in a very heated way, is it the best outcome for you to "win" the argument? you may think to yourself ..."well i really showed her!! i demolished her stupid point" yes you won the argument but you have to go to sleep you know...:wideyed: do you want to live with her after that..she is going to be bitter about it forever and your not going to have a happy relationship. maybe the "best outcome" is not to win the argument but rather find another resolution that doesnt involve you dominating the conversation and demolishing her opinion.
when you have to pay the consequences for your "WIN" the next day, sometimes it aint a win.

EDIT:
this is the concept of the Nash Equilibrium. what is the best possible outcome for you...but also for you the next day and the next year...that is also the best possible outcome for your family, AND the other parties involved. people have a thing called retribution and restitution that needs to be configured into the outcome.
to only think about winning the fight is very short sighted.
 
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Gerry Seymour

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The whole premises that martial arts is not about winning sort of encompasses the whole issue here.
Yeah. I can't help thinking that (as Rackemann says) having even one student at a school who competes would be significant, if the instructor (and senior students) embrace that student's goal.
 
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Anarax

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It seemed his argument started falling apart the longer it went. Though what he says about isolation and personal skill delusions isn't untrue, this isn't unique to TMA alone. It seems he has a hard time grasping the idea of there are good and bad TMA schools, as well as good and bad MMA schools. What the school teaches isn't that important part, but who is teaching it and how it's being taught is.

He thinks that anyone who provides a counter-argument is saying he's "stupid", yet he doesn't mention the articulated points others have made. What he's doing isn't new, focus on a lesser part of a group and take them as a sample that represents the rest of that group.
 

Flying Crane

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Here is another good article from Paul Rackemann. Starting a new thread because both of the others drifted off in other directions as threads tend to do. A big part of the theme here continues to be lack of sparring and/or not sparring with others outside of the school. But here Paul addresses the "mindset" often seen behind "traditional" martial arts.

Why the psychology of traditional martial artists leads to failure. - Rackemann Wing Chun
You practice a traditional martial art, dont you?

Are you on board with Rackemanns positions? Do you feel it sucks? Or do you feel everyone else sucks, but not you because youve got it figured out?

Any further comments, care to discuss, or are you gonna make the post and walk away?
 
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KPM

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This Rackemann fellows main problem is that he wants to paint all traditional martial art schools with the same brush. He seems to have some notions of what happens in a school teaching a traditional art, perhaps some of that is from his own experience, perhaps some is just his own musings. Honestly, I dont know why he doesnt just go train MMA since that seems more his flavor, and all the power to him if he does.

I think the best thing to do is stop reading his nonsense and just focus on your own training.

Rackemann spent many years studying Wing Chun in a "traditional" fashion under Sifu Lo Man Kam in Taiwan, and has interacted with many others in TCMA. He speaks fluent Chinese. So yes, he does know about "traditional" martial arts and this is not just his musings. And Rackemann practices and teaches his own version of "Wing Chun Boxing".....and doesn't practice or teach "traditionally" any more. So no need to "just go train MMA."
 
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KPM

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It seemed his argument started falling apart the longer it went. Though what he says about isolation and personal skill delusions isn't untrue, this isn't unique to TMA alone. It seems he has a hard time grasping the idea of there are good and bad TMA schools, as well as good and bad MMA schools. What the school teaches isn't that important part, but who is teaching it and how it's being taught is.

He thinks that anyone who provides a counter-argument is saying he's "stupid", yet he doesn't mention the articulated points others have made. What he's doing isn't new, focus on a lesser part of a group and take them as a sample that represents the rest of that group.

Yes. There may indeed be a lot of truth in this! Realize that Rackemann has been working on and teaching his own version of "non-traditional" Wing Chun Boxing for awhile now. He has had a blogsite and youtube page for awhile as well. So he gets a lot of negative comments and out-right attacks from petty and narrow-minded people within "traditional" Wing Chun. And there are lots of them!! So I'm sure that his recent series of "anti-traditionalism" blog posts are a reaction to this. He told me he is even planning to drop the "Wing Chun" part from the name of what he does because he is pretty fed up with having to deal with idiots like that.
 

JowGaWolf

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When I read articles like this, it makes me think what one may experience in certain "camps of thought". Even though he says TMA he often reflects back to Wing Chun. This article may be more about how he sees many Wing Chun schools than TMA in general.
 
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KPM

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You practice a traditional martial art, dont you?

Are you on board with Rackemanns positions? Do you feel it sucks? Or do you feel everyone else sucks, but not you because youve got it figured out?

Any further comments, care to discuss, or are you gonna make the post and walk away?

There really is no need to post in such an adversarial tone.

I agree with Anarax to a large degree. Like anyone who has a theme and is trying to make a point in a blog post, I think Rackemann is guilty of somewhat "overstating" his case in most of these blogs he writes. But he does make some excellent points, and ones that do often apply to "traditional" schools. I do believe that you can't generalize what he says to ALL "traditional" martial arts, and he would probably tell you the same thing. And a lot of what he says could also apply to the local boxing gym or MMA gym. But most of his points are well-founded. Rackemann never said that he is the only one that "doesn't suck" and "has it all figured out."

Again, this article was all about the "mindset" of a lot of traditional martial arts. Obviously you can't generalize it to ALL of them, but I've seen it as well. If you don't have this "mindset", then you have nothing to worry about.
 
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KPM

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When I read articles like this, it makes me think what one may experience in certain "camps of thought". Even though he says TMA he often reflects back to Wing Chun. This article may be more about how he sees many Wing Chun schools than TMA in general.

Possibly. But he has had a lot of exposure to other TCMAs as well. So I don't think he is exclusively referring to Wing Chun. He has done some Southern Mantis and other styles as well, and interacted quite a bit with people from other systems. In my experience some of the Southern Mantis I have been exposed to fits into a lot of what he says.
 

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Most traditional martial art schools are isolated from the outside world.

The Chinese wrestling is traditional too. I still remember my teacher told me that he went to Mongolian to test his skill against Mongolian wrestlers. One time he heard about a Judo master came to Beijing, China, he went to Beijing to test his skill against that Judo master.

To test your skill against other MA systems used to be very common in the CMA society. Today people think "challenge" is bad. Without "challenge". how can you test your MA skill against people from other MA systems?

Define winning.

You don't have to beat up your opponent to win. I still like to challenge people that if they can

- punch my head within their 20 punches,
- take me down within 2 minutes,
- ...

they win. Otherwise I win.

You don't always have to use challenge fight to test your offense skill. You can use it to test your defense skill too. Challenge fight can still be civilized, friendly, and fun.
 
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drop bear

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Yeah. I can't help thinking that (as Rackemann says) having even one student at a school who competes would be significant, if the instructor (and senior students) embrace that student's goal.

Even if the students want to legitimately take each other or their instructor.

Then they would have to develop concepts that facilitate that.
 

drop bear

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Define winning.
i have yet to hear anyone in the MMA groupthink define "winning" in a way that has the best possible outcome along iterated instances in a real life scenario that is an acceptable choice for a civilian population. by civilian i mean those who are under no obligation to confront or intervene in interpersonal violence.... meaning not police or doormen/ bouncers.
what the MMA Groupthink fails to understand is that the "best possible" outcome does not always equal beating the other guy up. i fully understand the concept of the ability and willingness to engage and dominate. while it is unacceptable to not engage and dominate due to a lack of ability, that doesnt mean that if you have the ability to do so that it is always the "best outcome" of the situation.
if we turn the situation away from bar room fighting and look at confrontation within relationship we can see the issue without the bias.
situation:
your arguing with your wife in a very heated way, is it the best outcome for you to "win" the argument? you may think to yourself ..."well i really showed her!! i demolished her stupid point" yes you won the argument but you have to go to sleep you know...:wideyed: do you want to live with her after that..she is going to be bitter about it forever and your not going to have a happy relationship. maybe the "best outcome" is not to win the argument but rather find another resolution that doesnt involve you dominating the conversation and demolishing her opinion.
when you have to pay the consequences for your "WIN" the next day, sometimes it aint a win.

EDIT:
this is the concept of the Nash Equilibrium. what is the best possible outcome for you...but also for you the next day and the next year...that is also the best possible outcome for your family, AND the other parties involved. people have a thing called retribution and restitution that needs to be configured into the outcome.
to only think about winning the fight is very short sighted.

Winning is achieving your objective.

Your concept within a martial arts school is what I think fosters the issues OP has mentioned.

People encourage and enable failure to maintain the piece.
 

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