Traditional Style / System

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Disco

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With the many posts on many of the threads, there are many references to the term "Traditional" With so many styles now available, where does the term traditional start. I perceive the martial arts as a pyramid. The starting point, from the history that has been presented to us, would be kung fu (Shaolin) As we go down from the top, the arts keep diverging and branching out. We keep getting layer after layer of styles / systems that are offshoots of other styles / systems that are themselves offshoots of something before them. Where does the term traditional fit or at what particular style does it start? One would assume that all styles / systems, even all the new and improved ones of today, will and do pay homage and respect to those that came before it and where they received their first insights into the Martial Arts world. Could you not call that traditional?
 

Zepp

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In a word, yes.

Martial Arts traditions are being redefined all the time. The word "traditional" only really means something if you're comparing two styles in the same art, such as someone's modified "modernized" style of, say, Shotokan, compared to "traditional" Shotokan. (I don't know of any such "modernized" styles- but hypothetically speaking.)

I don't think it's a good way to classify arts personally.
 
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R

RyuShiKan

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Originally posted by Zepp
In a word, yes.

Martial Arts traditions are being redefined all the time. The word "traditional" only really means something if you're comparing two styles in the same art, such as someone's modified "modernized" style of, say, Shotokan, compared to "traditional" Shotokan. (I don't know of any such "modernized" styles- but hypothetically speaking.)

I don't think it's a good way to classify arts personally.

You could take that a step further and compare traditional Shotokan (if there is such a thing) with the art that it came from Shorin Ryu.
Basically when you say Shotokan you are talking about Japanized Shorin Ryu from Okinawa
 

pesilat

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Originally posted by Disco
With the many posts on many of the threads, there are many references to the term "Traditional" With so many styles now available, where does the term traditional start. I perceive the martial arts as a pyramid. The starting point, from the history that has been presented to us, would be kung fu (Shaolin) As we go down from the top, the arts keep diverging and branching out. We keep getting layer after layer of styles / systems that are offshoots of other styles / systems that are themselves offshoots of something before them. Where does the term traditional fit or at what particular style does it start? One would assume that all styles / systems, even all the new and improved ones of today, will and do pay homage and respect to those that came before it and where they received their first insights into the Martial Arts world. Could you not call that traditional?

I think different people have different definitions of "traditional." Often, though, it basically means a system that's been around for a couple of generations or more.

Unfortunately, not all systems give any credit to their sources.

30 years ago, Jun Fan/JKD was a "new, modern system." Now, near as I can tell, it's considered a "traditional" system by most. I think "traditional" implies "it has traditions." A new system won't have traditions. Traditions are developed over time.

I assume you were just using Shaolin as an example of the point of your pyramid, or you were specifically referring to Chinese arts. I mean, Bodhidarma (or Daruma, or Tamo, or Damo, whatever you want to call him) came from a warrior caste in India and developed the exercises from that background. So, assuming there were no MA in China before that (which I don't believe), then Shoalin has its roots in Indian MA.

I'm not sure if you were implying a "sun source" of MA or not. If not, then I'm taking a bit of a tangent and hijacking your thread ... sorry.

Personally, I don't believe in a single source. Fighting is part of human nature. Anywhere humans gathered, there would have, eventually, been problems that led to violence. And after Hugga-Mugga the caveman took a beating from his neighbor, he probably went out and looked for better ways to defend himself. I think this scenario played out all over the world completely independently of each other.

But whether there was a single source or not, we'll never know because it all started long before any sort of record keeping.

I think (but could be wrong) that the oldest proof of systemized martial arts found to date was in Egypt. Doesn't mean it was the first or the source. Just means that they were the first (as far as our current discoveries have uncovered) to make record of the fact that they had some sort of systemized fighting arts.

Mike
 

Zepp

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Originally posted by pesilat
I think (but could be wrong) that the oldest proof of systemized martial arts found to date was in Egypt. Doesn't mean it was the first or the source. Just means that they were the first (as far as our current discoveries have uncovered) to make record of the fact that they had some sort of systemized fighting arts.

Coolness. Would you happen to know where we could find more information that?
 
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M

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Freestyle and greco-roman wrestling are traditional. Boxing is traditional.
 

pesilat

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Originally posted by Zepp
Coolness. Would you happen to know where we could find more information that?

Oops. Reading this: http://martialartinstitute.com/social_sciences_of_combat_2_ancient_combat.htm

It looks like I was mistaken. Apparently, the oldest documentation of combat sport is to the Minoans in Crete (12,000 BCE).

However, there's some info about this and Egypt and the known history of combat sports in general on that page. I'm sure you can find others out there. Google is an awesome tool :)

Mike
 
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Disco

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Mike and company, thanks for the inputs. Interesting about Crete and Egypt. I'm still a little confused though. I've noticed that on other posts (ie; appropriate to create a new martial art), a constant rebuttal against someone who has created a new style / system is a comparison to a "Traditional" Style. From the replies, the term traditional seems to be a catch phrase. As stated before, with so many styles out there (they were all new at one time). When and how does a style become the vangard when being used as a dissension against something new?
I was somewhat adament on the subject of new styles, but upon reflection and the disserations of some, I revise my position.
 

pesilat

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Originally posted by Disco
Mike and company, thanks for the inputs. Interesting about Crete and Egypt. I'm still a little confused though. I've noticed that on other posts (ie; appropriate to create a new martial art), a constant rebuttal against someone who has created a new style / system is a comparison to a "Traditional" Style. From the replies, the term traditional seems to be a catch phrase. As stated before, with so many styles out there (they were all new at one time). When and how does a style become the vangard when being used as a dissension against something new?
I was somewhat adament on the subject of new styles, but upon reflection and the disserations of some, I revise my position.

Like I said, I think that each persons definition of "traditional" will be unique.

Also, I think people tend to be prejudiced. If their instructor says that their system is "new" then everything else tends to be considered "traditional." If their instructor says that their system is "traditional" then everything else that's not as old or older tends to be considered "new." But this is something of a generalization.

I don't think you'll find a clear cut definition of "traditional" outisde of the dictionary. And the dictionary definition won't be applicable to the discussion(s) here.

Here's my Webster's definition:

tradtional: (adj.) of, handed down by, or conforming to tradition; conventional

So, by this definition, any system that's in its second generation (i.e.: the founder's students are now instructors and "handing down" the system). But, like I said, this definition won't be accepted as applicable to some people.

Mike
 

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