Traditional Arts - non traditional technique/principle

Buka

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For those that teach a traditional art....

If you are away on holiday, or just out and about in your daily life, and ran into an old friend, or maybe a new friend, and did some training together, and you learned a wonderful technique/principle that you hadn't known before. If you liked it, thought it worked well, then trained the heck out of it to understand it - would you teach it in class? Or after class? Or to your senior students?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I value your opinions and greatly appreciate your thoughts.
 

Bill Mattocks

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For those that teach a traditional art....

If you are away on holiday, or just out and about in your daily life, and ran into an old friend, or maybe a new friend, and did some training together, and you learned a wonderful technique/principle that you hadn't known before. If you liked it, thought it worked well, then trained the heck out of it to understand it - would you teach it in class? Or after class? Or to your senior students?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I value your opinions and greatly appreciate your thoughts.

We learn things in class all the time that are not from our art specifically. Last Monday, our Sensei had one of our students who came to us from another art demonstrate some of his takedown throws and armbars, which are not part of our style of karate. It's all good, and if it works, it works. We focus on our own art; but we'll study and learn good techniques no matter where they come from.
 

SahBumNimRush

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I'm with Bill on this one. I will incorporate techniques from outside of our art from time to time, giving credit to the technique's source. We focus on MDK TKD, but I think it's a good thing to keep an open mind and an open door when it comes to effective techniques.
 

pgsmith

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I'll add to the others' agreement. We have classes that are totally unrelated to the art that we're learning, because they will teach something that has bearing on our main art, or is just a good thing to have in the toolbox.
 

K-man

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When it comes to the traditional form, it stays the same. What I mean is, it is the kata and the basic principles that make a traditional style. The bunkai, or application of kata went missing about 100 years ago and many traditional practitioners are now trying to join the dots and fill in the gaps. Often I see a SD technique somewhere and the penny drops. It is the same position as one of the positions in the kata. Although it came from outside it fits the form.

Outside of that concept you can add something like BJJ to your traditional training without losing your style or even compromising principles. Same if you are incorporating training to defend against weapons. Even then, I find that most of these things can be incorporated into your 'traditional' training without actually changing it.

Last night, for example, I introduced a knife training drill from Silat. It is not something I will spend a lot of time with, but, within the Goju system it fitted well as it basically was an exercise in blending.

If I see anything interesting elsewhere I will take it to my class, even if it's just to pressure test. By the same token, I ask my guys to show me anything that they find interesting as well.
 

pgsmith

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. The bunkai, or application of kata went missing about 100 years ago and many traditional practitioners are now trying to join the dots and fill in the gaps.

Could you explain that a little more? As far as I am aware, Japanese karate wasn't developed from the Okinawan arts until less than 100 years ago, and none of the Japanese koryu that I'm familiar with need to recreate the application of their kata. So, I'm a bit confused as to what you are referring to here.

Thanks!
 

jks9199

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When I'm exposed to some technique or kata from other styles, I look at it a couple ways. If I'm training with them, I'm doing things their way while I'm there. I may take a lesson back; I may not. Before I incorporate it, though, I look at whether if fits the principles and underlying approaches of Bando.

Some things are very easy, like a teaching methodology. I was taught a way of teaching material in a Krav Maga Worldwide Force Training Instructor class. I took that approach back, because I like it and I think it works well. But some of the techniques? I keep them for teaching that material, but they're not in harmony with the underlying principles of my style, so that's as far as they go. Others? I adjusted & tweaked, and could see how they're just another presentation of the material. In some cases, I've been shown material at seminars from various teachers that just so deeply violate principles or safety rules that I've walked away. I've got enough to work on that I don't need to spend time on stuff that's not going to ever fit.
 

K-man

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Could you explain that a little more? As far as I am aware, Japanese karate wasn't developed from the Okinawan arts until less than 100 years ago, and none of the Japanese koryu that I'm familiar with need to recreate the application of their kata. So, I'm a bit confused as to what you are referring to here.

Thanks!
OK. Please forgive me if my base understanding is incorrect but I thought the 'Koryu' referred to the traditional Japanese arts that evolved in Japan over the centuries. Things that would be in that category for me would be Daito Ryu, Jujutsu, Kenjutsu, Ninjutsu etc. Karate in any form is a modern art in Japan along with, for example, Aikido.

Karate was the last evolution of Okinawan Te. Now I'm not claiming expert status here but my recollection is that Bushi Matsumura was the first Okinawan of note to train in China to a high degree then return to Okinawa and teach. He was in time followed by Kanro Higaonna and Kanbun Uechi. They all trained in the Fukien region of China.

These guys all achieved master level in the form the trained which was basically the Crane forms of gungfu with possibly some Tiger and Dragon.

When Uechi and Higaonna returned to Okinawa they modified the local martial art, Te, to suit their acquired knowledge and expertise. This is pretty much the genesis of karate. Matsumura's style became Shuri-Te, Higaonna's Naha-Te and Uechi's Pangainun Ryu and eventually Uechi Ryu.

All of these men learned the Chinese fighting systems as the kata and they would all have had the understanding of the bunkai or application. Now, we know that Hohan Soken acquired that knowledge but I'm not sure if Higaonna or Uechi passed their knowledge on. If Chojun Miyagi possessed the knowledge, he most certainly didn't teach it. Hence my claim that the knowledge of the bunkai was not passed on.

Guys like Iain Abernethy and, dare I say, George Dillman have done an enormous amount of work to understand and pass on the information they have gleaned. Others like Patrick McCarthy have worked on individual pieces of kata and Masaji Taira has produced some of the most practical kata bunkai I have seen.

Hope that has clarified and not clouded my post. :asian:
 

Chris Parker

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OK. Please forgive me if my base understanding is incorrect but I thought the 'Koryu' referred to the traditional Japanese arts that evolved in Japan over the centuries. Things that would be in that category for me would be Daito Ryu, Jujutsu, Kenjutsu, Ninjutsu etc. Karate in any form is a modern art in Japan along with, for example, Aikido.

Hey Russ, I'm in agreement with the rest of your post, but might clarify this part for you.

Koryu isn't Jujutsu, Kenjutsu etc, although Kenjutsu Ryu-ha can be Koryu (most are), same with Jujutsu Ryu-ha, and so on. So the closest in your list is Daito Ryu, albeit rather controversially. But the key thing is that general skillsets aren't Koryu, individual Ryu are Koryu.
 

Jenna

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For those that teach a traditional art....

If you are away on holiday, or just out and about in your daily life, and ran into an old friend, or maybe a new friend, and did some training together, and you learned a wonderful technique/principle that you hadn't known before. If you liked it, thought it worked well, then trained the heck out of it to understand it - would you teach it in class? Or after class? Or to your senior students?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I value your opinions and greatly appreciate your thoughts.
Buka, are you saying that this technique you are shown is NOT TMA, or is it just not part of YOUR TMA?

I think it depends who are your students and how formally you run your own class. If your teaching style is to adhere to syllabus or your students are less experienced then perhaps it would reduce integrity or add confusion?

If your teaching style does not mind a bit of this or a bit of that or you have your "own" style ;) or your students have greater experience to properly assimilate external knowledge and can appreciate the mechanics of incorporating it then I think it is all good.

Me I like accumulating other things that fit together inside my art, though I am not a purist and it was not appreciated by the PTB.
 

Rich Parsons

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For those that teach a traditional art....

If you are away on holiday, or just out and about in your daily life, and ran into an old friend, or maybe a new friend, and did some training together, and you learned a wonderful technique/principle that you hadn't known before. If you liked it, thought it worked well, then trained the heck out of it to understand it - would you teach it in class? Or after class? Or to your senior students?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I value your opinions and greatly appreciate your thoughts.

I have no issues with someone or myself bringing a technique into class to discuss.
 

seasoned

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When it comes to the traditional form, it stays the same. What I mean is, it is the kata and the basic principles that make a traditional style. The bunkai, or application of kata went missing about 100 years ago and many traditional practitioners are now trying to join the dots and fill in the gaps. Often I see a SD technique somewhere and the penny drops. It is the same position as one of the positions in the kata. Although it came from outside it fits the form.
And so it is....................:)
 
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Buka

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Buka, are you saying that this technique you are shown is NOT TMA, or is it just not part of YOUR TMA?

I think it depends who are your students and how formally you run your own class. If your teaching style is to adhere to syllabus or your students are less experienced then perhaps it would reduce integrity or add confusion?

If your teaching style does not mind a bit of this or a bit of that or you have your "own" style ;) or your students have greater experience to properly assimilate external knowledge and can appreciate the mechanics of incorporating it then I think it is all good.

Me I like accumulating other things that fit together inside my art, though I am not a purist and it was not appreciated by the PTB.

Either or (as for the not TMA or not part of your TMA) And I wasn't really saying, I was asking. :)

As for the students, what you said got me thinking. If the students are less experienced, maybe they wouldn't know the difference anyway. I don't mean they wouldn't know whether it's part of the style/school, I mean they probably wouldn't know the difference in a physiological sense. Inexperienced students are pretty much blank slates.
 

Jenna

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Either or (as for the not TMA or not part of your TMA) And I wasn't really saying, I was asking. :)

As for the students, what you said got me thinking. If the students are less experienced, maybe they wouldn't know the difference anyway. I don't mean they wouldn't know whether it's part of the style/school, I mean they probably wouldn't know the difference in a physiological sense. Inexperienced students are pretty much blank slates.
We tried integration of some RB techniques a long time ago and the organisation did not view it positively. I think it is viewed as arrogance or conceit (even though I promise it all fitted perfectly and is still how I practice). I do not know how the powers that be in your art would regard integration of external techniques? It led to a group of us being asked to leave and we did. Perhaps for you it is not a factor? For some, affiliation is of utmost importance.

Yes, exactly as you say, inexperienced students are blank slates for you to inscribe how you see fit. As an instructor or school owner you have been set in a position of trust. It is your discretion how you use that position. Some I have seen do not realy care about anything cept making theirselves seem big and clever.

I will make a point that I worry that there are some people who learn a little - it is usually in cross training in my experience- and they think to theirselves oh I will just slot that in there, without really appreciating the mess they are making for the followup technique. I think as long as an external tech is properly thought through always asking oneself: then what? And then what? etc. and practiced around to prove it is really more useful that not including it at all then there is nothing wrong with adding it. I would liken it to modding your motor. There are purists who will say, nope it is an original motor and it is conceited of me to imagine I can improve upon factory RnD. I say, yes and but a few extra horses are always welcome :) As a tinkerer, I know when to say, no that is enough. Any more amounts to what I call retrograde upgrades :) It is the same with MA I think. A LITTLE uprating is good. When you start adding rollbars, lock welded doors, roof-borne confederate flags and Dixie carhorns to your Kia Sedona then you have just gone off in the total wrong direction, yes? (and shown everyone a lack of discernment).. haha I am rambling.. sorry :) Uh.. in summary, a question: what are the motives for adding this technique?
 

Jenna

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I have no issues with someone or myself bringing a technique into class to discuss.
Ah yes and but to discuss is not the same as just slotting it in on the fly yes? What would be YOUR criteria Rich for adding something that was alien to what was taught to you from your own teacher whom you respected and of whose technique you knew all fitted properly together from one to the other?
 

Rich Parsons

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Ah yes and but to discuss is not the same as just slotting it in on the fly yes? What would be YOUR criteria Rich for adding something that was alien to what was taught to you from your own teacher whom you respected and of whose technique you knew all fitted properly together from one to the other?

The Discussion is the first step. We exam the technique. We talk about it to see how it fits and why it would fit. After that you work on it and make sure it does not create a conflict with a principal already in place.

If it is a conflict, and it still fits most or specific situations and is good for a modern issue or mindset, you make sure when you teach it to bring it forth into the material that is is "different" and "Why" it is different.

Also to give credit to a system or art as well. If you do not give the credit, then when others of the same art meet they might not understand why there are differences and people will begin to argue about which is the real list of techniques.

Now that being said, if you study your own art and review the concepts of movement and or principals of action or what other terms one might use, one could and usually does find a very similar movement or action. So then you continue the discussion. The discussion is about what are the differences between them. Is it the opening or entrance? Is it the follow up or ending? Is it the same technique only used in a different location?

If it truly is new and does not conflict, you introduce it. But you should also continue your research with others and seniors in the art or system. To see if you missed something or if it something you have not been taught it "yet".

:~)
 

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As a teacher of aiki jiujitsu, I would introduce it to senior students, perhaps adding it to Shodan curriculum. I feel that an art has to evolve and keep up with progress. Using music as an anology, a musician may incorporate new techniques without affecting his/her classical training. I think it is a matter of personal opinion though, some teachers may wish to keep their art as close to the original as possible.
 
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Buka

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We tried integration of some RB techniques a long time ago and the organisation did not view it positively. I think it is viewed as arrogance or conceit (even though I promise it all fitted perfectly and is still how I practice). I do not know how the powers that be in your art would regard integration of external techniques? It led to a group of us being asked to leave and we did. Perhaps for you it is not a factor? For some, affiliation is of utmost importance.

Yes, exactly as you say, inexperienced students are blank slates for you to inscribe how you see fit. As an instructor or school owner you have been set in a position of trust. It is your discretion how you use that position. Some I have seen do not realy care about anything cept making theirselves seem big and clever.

I will make a point that I worry that there are some people who learn a little - it is usually in cross training in my experience- and they think to theirselves oh I will just slot that in there, without really appreciating the mess they are making for the followup technique. I think as long as an external tech is properly thought through always asking oneself: then what? And then what? etc. and practiced around to prove it is really more useful that not including it at all then there is nothing wrong with adding it. I would liken it to modding your motor. There are purists who will say, nope it is an original motor and it is conceited of me to imagine I can improve upon factory RnD. I say, yes and but a few extra horses are always welcome :) As a tinkerer, I know when to say, no that is enough. Any more amounts to what I call retrograde upgrades :) It is the same with MA I think. A LITTLE uprating is good. When you start adding rollbars, lock welded doors, roof-borne confederate flags and Dixie carhorns to your Kia Sedona then you have just gone off in the total wrong direction, yes? (and shown everyone a lack of discernment).. haha I am rambling.. sorry :) Uh.. in summary, a question: what are the motives for adding this technique?

We're not a traditional art, so the powers that be don't mind.

As for the motivation - If it works, it helps, is easily taught and learned, if it fits, or if it's just plain fun.
 

pgsmith

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We tried integration of some RB techniques a long time ago and the organisation did not view it positively. I think it is viewed as arrogance or conceit (even though I promise it all fitted perfectly and is still how I practice). I do not know how the powers that be in your art would regard integration of external techniques? It led to a group of us being asked to leave and we did. Perhaps for you it is not a factor? For some, affiliation is of utmost importance.
I think the key there is that you tried to integrate outside techniques into an existing curriculum. I can see how this could be viewed as out of place, no matter how well they worked. In the koryu sword art I practice, we often explore techniques and ideas from other arts. However, I would never try to actually incorporate any of this experimentation into the school's curriculum as a regular aspect of practice. That's the prerogative of the head of the school, and he would be understandably upset if I tried to change his curriculum.

Just my thoughts.
 

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