whats your take on "alive" concepts

MJS

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rmcrobertson said:
However, I also think that, "aliveness," has rapidly become one of the Big Silly Cliches in martial arts--or, as another poster mentioned, one of the new advertising slogans. For example, this stuff about training in all sorts of different situations, as though it were possible to either train in every possible situation or actually duplicate the feeling of being in trouble for real.

Training for different situations??? Whats wrong with that?? Granted, we may never be prepared for every single thing that comes our way, but I've seen people post things on here about training in low light, and you did nothing but bash that. Why?? Why not do something like that Rob?? I mean, do you never leave your house at night?? What about training outside? I can assure you that its a different feel than wearing no shoes and a loose fitting gi. Again, if you dont want to do it, thats fine, but why shouldnt someone else be able to?

Mike
 

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Incidentally, traditional martial arts offer another approach to this whole, "different situations," jazz--some of which involves those useless, dead, frozen kata. The idea is to train so that the situation won't matter very much.
Yeah, but sometimes the "situation" requires you to run. Hows your 440 time? Sometimes it may require to to shoot (if you carry). Sometimes it may require you to just hide and call 911, hows your awareness of your location, address, surroundings?..Many trad arts fall short on the full spectrum of what "awareness" implies. Situational training isnt about training for "all situations" its about "training in" certain concepts in a "realistic" (as possible) scenario. Its like saying that static, target style range training will prepare me for the realities of a gunfight. A "scenario" I do at work is solely designed to reinforce the use of cover, not to cover all the possibilities.
 

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rmcrobertson said:
And one other thing: how many people are there--on the real planet--who genuinely have the time and energy to train in several different arts to build all this reality?

There are actually quite a few Rob. You just need to look around a little...they are all over.

Mike
 

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I cant understand why this topic irks people so much....it seems like common sense. I can understand why this guys approach may bother people though, but he trying to sell.
 
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rmcrobertson

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I'm sure he is, "just trying to sell," as anybody running a commercial studio would have to do. Nothing really wrong with that, given the way the world is.

I'm also sure that while there are undoubtedly some folks who do have the time, energy and talent to train in nineteen different things effectively, there're a lot fewer of these folks that some of the claims would suggest.

I was wondering--when was it that I said that I only ever practiced on a mat in a gi? And who said anything that suggested in any way that people weren't allowed to train however they damn well please? except, of course, for the constant claims that anybody training traditional martial arts--whetever the heck that would be--is wasting their time?

All I'm really saying is this: if you looked at all the assorted schools that offer "reality-based training," I'm pretty sure you'd find about the same proportion of dead, useless, unrealistic training that you'd find in the school claiming to offer, "traditional," (and I still wonder exactly what THAT word means) training.
 
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RCastillo

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Old Fat Kenpoka said:
Mr. Castillo:

Didn't say aliveness was missing from your training. I would think exactly the opposite. I strongly suspect that you do quite a bit of thumping in sparring and techniques as a member of Tracy's Kenpo organization. :asian:

However, there are instructors, schools, or even styles that focus entirely on Kata and pre-set drills with no sparring and no live interaction. Individual practitioners in these may be aware of their training focus and enjoy the health and spiritual benefits of their training. Other individuals may be deluded believing that their Kata practice and pre-set technique drills are all they need to develop invincible self-defense skills. These other individuals are the ones most in need of a kick in the pants from StraightBlast.


I know you didn't. Just bantering with ya! Relax, it's Friday! :boing2:
 

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rmcrobertson said:
I'm sure he is, "just trying to sell," as anybody running a commercial studio would have to do. Nothing really wrong with that, given the way the world is.

Yup...you're right. Everything is all about the $.

I'm also sure that while there are undoubtedly some folks who do have the time, energy and talent to train in nineteen different things effectively, there're a lot fewer of these folks that some of the claims would suggest.

19 different things?? Nope not that many.

I was wondering--when was it that I said that I only ever practiced on a mat in a gi? And who said anything that suggested in any way that people weren't allowed to train however they damn well please? except, of course, for the constant claims that anybody training traditional martial arts--whetever the heck that would be--is wasting their time?

Ahh...how did I know you'd come back with that Rob. I do recall in a past discussion that the topic of the low light was questioned by you. Do I have to go back and find it?? Oh wait...if I do, then you'll accuse me of leaving things out of the quote. Well, not the case, as I copy it just like its said.

All I'm really saying is this: if you looked at all the assorted schools that offer "reality-based training," I'm pretty sure you'd find about the same proportion of dead, useless, unrealistic training that you'd find in the school claiming to offer, "traditional," (and I still wonder exactly what THAT word means) training.

Ahh..I beg to differ. Again, look around a little and compare for yourself. As for tradition....you're an English Prof. correct?? What is your def. of the word??

Mike
 

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Thanks for sharing the article Tgace. Some good points to consider. I think the "aliveness" concept is essential to any art that wishes to be practical. I am confounded only that so many deem it revolutionary. Perhaps many folks of olde simply didn't pursue their skill set long enough to reach that stage of training, or those methods were withheld for one reason or another in the past. I think he has simply re-invented the wheel and many people forgot what a wheel looked like while some were saying nothing and rolling by.
 

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rmcrobertson said:
And of course, I agree that much of martial arts involves whatever this, "aliveness," jazz is

rmcrobertson said:
All I'm really saying is this: if you looked at all the assorted schools that offer "reality-based training," I'm pretty sure you'd find about the same proportion of dead, useless, unrealistic training that you'd find in the school claiming to offer, "traditional," (and I still wonder exactly what THAT word means) training.

Robert: I must say that I am continually amazed that someone of your obviously gifted and frequently exercised intellect, someone who can so clearly communicate his understanding of EPAK concepts, remains confused about commonly articluated martial arts concepts such as Aliveness and Tradition. :idunno:


rmcrobertson said:
Incidentally, traditional martial arts offer another approach to this whole, "different situations," jazz--some of which involves those useless, dead, frozen kata. The idea is to train so that the situation won't matter very much.

rmcrobertson said:
And one other thing: how many people are there--on the real planet--who genuinely have the time and energy to train in several different arts to build all this reality?

Robert: you begin to answer your own question with the dichotomy of these two statements from two of your earlier posts on this thread. Many people feel they must train in several arts in order to prepare for the whole "different situations" jazz because they do not believe they can find it within their art or school. The solution du jour to this problem is Mixed Martial Arts training--taking the best techniques from Boxing, Kickboxing, Wrestling, and Judo/Jiu Jitsu and training in all of them. As far as finding the time to do all this and gerenate an effective self-defense or fighting capability...that comes from eliminating time spent on "dead" drills such as Kata and blocking/striking from a square-horse stance instead using that same time and techniques in an "Alive" manner against a mobile and attacking opponent. Kata practice and square-horse training are examples of "Traditional" martial arts training methods that can be supplanted by more modern "Alive" fight-training methods much as Nautilus equipment has supplanted the more traditional log-splitting for body-building.
 

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while 'alive' concepts are good training, the elimination of forms (or kata, if you will) is bad practice. just think... if you fight someone every day, you'll learn how to fight that one person very well. if you fight 10 different people everyday, you'll learn how to fight 10 people very well... but if you practice your form every day, you'll learn how to fight anybody, very well.

sparring is a good test of your forms and your art, not the other way around.

cross-training in multiple arts is good, but not at the expense of taking short cuts. get good solid training in as many as you have the proper time... and if you don't have the time, try to get a little exposure to other styles, but don't confuse that with cross-training.

pete
 

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pete said:
while 'alive' concepts are good training, the elimination of forms (or kata, if you will) is bad practice. just think... if you fight someone every day, you'll learn how to fight that one person very well. if you fight 10 different people everyday, you'll learn how to fight 10 people very well... but if you practice your form every day, you'll learn how to fight anybody, very well.

sparring is a good test of your forms and your art, not the other way around.

cross-training in multiple arts is good, but not at the expense of taking short cuts. get good solid training in as many as you have the proper time... and if you don't have the time, try to get a little exposure to other styles, but don't confuse that with cross-training.

pete

Well, duh, if you only have one sparring parter you are going to have a pretty limited game...but isn't that what a form is? Except a form doesn't hit back. If you think that you will learn how to fight "anybody" (I think you meant anyone, right?) by practicing a form...rather than by training against a variety of resisting and attacking opponents...then you are just...plain...naive.
 

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I'd like to contrast this with my view on 'religeous' teaching. There are a multitude of different religeons out there, but they carry the same message. That message is not literally displayed in the particular passages or stories of the text, rather they manifest in the subtle meaning revealed once the book is read, re-read, studied and pondered.

But how many people just don't get the message? They take the text literally, and consider the literal meaning absolute. The meaning is deeper than any literal translation can reference, and some people just don't get it. So they keep going to church, following the golden rule, listening to the preacher, and never really get the point. But that's OK for them. It makes them feel good, and that's the main thing.

That's what goes on in martial arts.

Many people who train are not picking up on the subtleties, and programs like this just straight out appeal to them.

I also think that most of the people who frequent this forum do not fall into that category. People who are passionate about the arts generally spend enough time thinking, doing, training them to make the connections.

But what of the people who go to one group class once every two weeks, and don't take any other initiative to train on their own time? Or just aren't 'Martial Art Types', or particularly athletic, (read woosies) but think they really "should" be doing something, because they don't feel safe?

The world is made up of all types, and there's bound to be a market for everything. If they serve their niche of the market honestly and well, great. But it's not for me. I do not require it. I am motivated enough to figure out on my own at what intensity and how often to train, in order to achieve my own goals. Because I am honest with my self, have an aptitude to learn, and am aware of what I can do.
 

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flatlander said:
I'd like to contrast this with my view on 'religeous' teaching. There are a multitude of different religeons out there, but they carry the same message. That message is not literally displayed in the particular passages or stories of the text, rather they manifest in the subtle meaning revealed once the book is read, re-read, studied and pondered.

But how many people just don't get the message? They take the text literally, and consider the literal meaning absolute. The meaning is deeper than any literal translation can reference, and some people just don't get it. So they keep going to church, following the golden rule, listening to the preacher, and never really get the point. But that's OK for them. It makes them feel good, and that's the main thing.

That's what goes on in martial arts.

Many people who train are not picking up on the subtleties, and programs like this just straight out appeal to them.

I also think that most of the people who frequent this forum do not fall into that category. People who are passionate about the arts generally spend enough time thinking, doing, training them to make the connections.

But what of the people who go to one group class once every two weeks, and don't take any other initiative to train on their own time? Or just aren't 'Martial Art Types', or particularly athletic, (read woosies) but think they really "should" be doing something, because they don't feel safe?

The world is made up of all types, and there's bound to be a market for everything. If they serve their niche of the market honestly and well, great. But it's not for me. I do not require it. I am motivated enough to figure out on my own at what intensity and how often to train, in order to achieve my own goals. Because I am honest with my self, have an aptitude to learn, and am aware of what I can do.

Hey buddy! Watch it!!! I'm not particularly athletic...not athletic at all in fact...but I'm no woosy!

Other than that, your message is clear and well said. As you said, "If they serve their niche of the market honestly and well, great". The problem arises when people are lulled into a false sense of security--believing they can protect themselves in all situations because they practice kata.
 

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Old Fat Kenpoka said:
Well, duh, if you only have one sparring parter you are going to have a pretty limited game...but isn't that what a form is? Except a form doesn't hit back. If you think that you will learn how to fight "anybody" (I think you meant anyone, right?) by practicing a form...rather than by training against a variety of resisting and attacking opponents...then you are just...plain...naive.

Very true OFK!!!! In addition, I wonder if anyone has given any thought to any of the other training that you'd find with many of the RBSD inst. out there. Peyton Quinn for example. His adrenal stress course is geared to giving the student the proper mindset in a confrontation. This is also a very good example of alive training. The student is faced off with the 'attacker' who is in a padded suit. He then goes about putting you into the proper mind frame, by yelling at you, calling you names, pushing you, etc. You are able to get the feel of a real attack, in a controlled setting, and still get the alive feeling. But then again, some people would look at that and just think that it was a fantasy.

As for the kata....I'm a little lost by this quote


while 'alive' concepts are good training, the elimination of forms (or kata, if you will) is bad practice. just think... if you fight someone every day, you'll learn how to fight that one person very well. if you fight 10 different people everyday, you'll learn how to fight 10 people very well... but if you practice your form every day, you'll learn how to fight anybody, very well.

How is doing a dead pattern in the air, with no resistance, nobody there to attack you, going to help you fight anybody very well???? Again, you can take the moves from the kata and apply them, but without someone giving you resistance, I dont care how many times you do that kata, its not going to help.

Mike
 
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rmcrobertson

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First off, to deal with a logical error: arguing that turning down the lights in the studio and scattering stuff around the floor isn't the be-all and end-all of training simply is not the same as a claim that I don't in any way do any of this stuff. I think that doing those worthless forms in the back yard as the sun's down, and avoiding stepping on a) metal sprinkler heads; b) assorted thorns from trimming the roses counts.

Now, chew me out for those worthless kata, please.

As for the goofy claim that someone of my intelligence and education shouldn't have any problems understanding what, "aliveness," and, "tradition," mean, my response wouldd bee that this is EXACTLY the sort of thing that some of you guys should be worried about.

Without getting into arguements I've had with a couple of you previously, please note that:

a) on this thread, a number of people have remarked that the "reality based," folks are selling reality and aliveness--and yet it doesn't seem to occur that this can easily be read as one more bit of martial arts hucksterism, a long tradition that includes punching out blocks of ice, breaking the horns of innocent cows, the unbendable arm trick, and how much of contemporary arts?

b) you consider forms the height of unrealism. I consider all this talk about being a, "warrior," infinitely more unrealistic, and dangerous. The considerable majority of us are not warriors, and are not going to be, and were never going to be. A good thing, too. We are not in an army, and to repeat one of my favorite quotes, there are no ninjas in the parking lot.

c) I still say that there remains a lot of confusion between training techniques and sheer raw athletic ability (of which size is but one example) and an aggressive attitude; as we all know, raw ability will get you pretty far, but it won't get you everywhere. And an aggressive bully's attitude, in the end, ain't good for you. No, I am not saying that everyone who trains differently that me is an aggressive, stupid bully. I am saying that I wonder about admiration for aggressive, stupid bullies in the martial arts. I also firmly believe that some of this stuff is driven by the movies.

d) I've never met anyone in the martial arts who just does kata. I'm sure there must be a few out there.

e) I'm interested in self-defense, not street-fighting. And some of the training methods I'm seeing advocated are foolish. An example? Know anybody who trains and takes a lot of head shots because, "it's more realistic?" Who slams students down on the mat again and again and again? Hate to speak like an oldster, but ya know, repeated insults to the body do take their toll. So what's the concept? is it that we should train in ways we KNOW are damaging, because of the possibility that we might get damaged?

f) As a follow up--those little Chinese guys, men and women, who do the useless t'ai chi forms and live to be 97--who's the great martial artist then? Them, or Bruce Lee? Them, or Mr. Parker? Them, or Elvis?

In other words, I think that we should be asking questions about "simple," and "obvious," things. Because it's pretty clear to me that I have a very different concept of "martial arts," "realism," and a lot of the other terms that, to me, are gettting taken for granted.
 

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rmcrobertson said:
First off, to deal with a logical error: arguing that turning down the lights in the studio and scattering stuff around the floor isn't the be-all and end-all of training simply is not the same as a claim that I don't in any way do any of this stuff. I think that doing those worthless forms in the back yard as the sun's down, and avoiding stepping on a) metal sprinkler heads; b) assorted thorns from trimming the roses counts.

Ok.


As for the goofy claim that someone of my intelligence and education shouldn't have any problems understanding what, "aliveness," and, "tradition," mean, my response wouldd bee that this is EXACTLY the sort of thing that some of you guys should be worried about.

Speaking of tradition Robert, could you provide us with what it means to you??

Without getting into arguements I've had with a couple of you previously, please note that:

a) on this thread, a number of people have remarked that the "reality based," folks are selling reality and aliveness--and yet it doesn't seem to occur that this can easily be read as one more bit of martial arts hucksterism, a long tradition that includes punching out blocks of ice, breaking the horns of innocent cows, the unbendable arm trick, and how much of contemporary arts?

Ok.

b) you consider forms the height of unrealism. I consider all this talk about being a, "warrior," infinitely more unrealistic, and dangerous. The considerable majority of us are not warriors, and are not going to be, and were never going to be. A good thing, too. We are not in an army, and to repeat one of my favorite quotes, there are no ninjas in the parking lot.

Well Robert, as I've said before, we all train for different reasons. I want to know that if the situation should arise, that I can defend myself. I really dont think that having that 'warrior' mindset is a bad thing. It has nothing to do with being in the Army, Navy, or Marines..it goes back to each individual person and what they want out of the arts.

c) I still say that there remains a lot of confusion between training techniques and sheer raw athletic ability (of which size is but one example) and an aggressive attitude; as we all know, raw ability will get you pretty far, but it won't get you everywhere. And an aggressive bully's attitude, in the end, ain't good for you. No, I am not saying that everyone who trains differently that me is an aggressive, stupid bully. I am saying that I wonder about admiration for aggressive, stupid bullies in the martial arts. I also firmly believe that some of this stuff is driven by the movies.

You dont need to be an athlete to defend yourself Robert. You make it sound like unless you're a muscle bound monster, that you wont be able to fight effectively. Let me ask you this. There are some overweight Kenpo Seniors out there. Do you think that they cant defend themselves???

d) I've never met anyone in the martial arts who just does kata. I'm sure there must be a few out there.

Could be.

e) I'm interested in self-defense, not street-fighting. And some of the training methods I'm seeing advocated are foolish. An example? Know anybody who trains and takes a lot of head shots because, "it's more realistic?" Who slams students down on the mat again and again and again? Hate to speak like an oldster, but ya know, repeated insults to the body do take their toll. So what's the concept? is it that we should train in ways we KNOW are damaging, because of the possibility that we might get damaged?

And again, that is your choice!!! I think that you're still missing the point here.

f) As a follow up--those little Chinese guys, men and women, who do the useless t'ai chi forms and live to be 97--who's the great martial artist then? Them, or Bruce Lee? Them, or Mr. Parker? Them, or Elvis?

I dont know, why dont you ask them!!!

In other words, I think that we should be asking questions about "simple," and "obvious," things. Because it's pretty clear to me that I have a very different concept of "martial arts," "realism," and a lot of the other terms that, to me, are gettting taken for granted.

Yes you do have a different concept. However, I still wonder....if you think that this 'aliveness' stuff, and the talk about RBSD is worthless...then why do you continue to post on the subject thread????????????

Mike
 

pete

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As for the kata....I'm a little lost by this

simply put, the forms are part of the art. learn the art. practice the art. then your style won't be limitted the abilities of your training partners.

Again, you can take the moves from the kata and apply them, but without someone giving you resistance... QUOTE]

didn't you read the rest of my post? i'll repeat "sparring is a good test of your forms and your art, not the other way around"

those little Chinese guys, men and women, who do the useless t'ai chi forms and live to be 97--who's the great martial artist then? Them, or Bruce Lee? Them, or Mr. Parker? Them, or Elvis?

much is said here, not the least of which is that the tai chi masters train diligently in form, but constantly test the applications within those forms during pushing hands and free form sparring. again, a good test of their art.

this is the truth about martial arts, the ability for the smaller, weaker, slower, etc to overtake the bigger, stronger, faster with skill. that's not naive...

one small oversight, however, Elvis didn't die... he just went home...

pete.
 

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Wait a sec....no ninja's in the parking lot! (resheaths Katana). Hella good points, Robert.

Here's my critique...

I like what SBG says about "aliveness," however, sometimes I get the feeling that it is presented as if they invented the concept. To me it seems obvious..."aliveness" exists in any martial art that works. Now, does that mean you you shouldn't work on technique, body mechanics, sensitivity, and other sorts of attributes and things, without someone getting slammed in the head in the process? There are reasons for Kata, drills, and movements not releated to "NHB," and those reasons can be illustrated when you view someone like Ching Men Ching vs. Muhammad Ali, and how articulate they are/were in their old age.

Point is, "aliveness" is not a new concept, and exists in any valid art, IMHO. But, this brings me to my next point...not all people are juiced up on roids, raged up, and athletic NHB fighters. However...some of these NHB a-holes would/have their asses handed to them by someone who is not interested in "fighting," but rather just interested in self defense. My point is, NHB, boxing, kickboxing, grappling (all stuff I've done and do, btw) takes athleticism. Not everyone has that. A 55 year old with bad knees has no business in the ring...but that doesn't mean he can't learn to defend himself profeciently. The groovy thing about martial arts (and this is coming from someone who has done the sport martial arts thing, and who could be considered a better then average athlete), is that it doesn't have to rely on sheer athletic ability. So...there are reasons for working on certian things that SBG might consider "dead," and those may be bettering your attributes and abilities so that you won't have to rely on the fact that you can bench 400, and that you get hit in the head alot for your self defense.

Which brings me to ANOTHER point. Sport martial arts, no matter how elequent you try to argue around it, is NOT reality self-defense. In reality, your goal is to survive and defend yourself, or complete a mission if your an operator. REALITY is not standing in front of someone in a cage, trading blows until you hug, then rolling around for 20 minutes working a submission (meanwhile all the real fun stuff like gouging, fishhooking, small joint locks, knives, guns, and allowing your buddies to jump in and kick the crap out of your opponent, etc, are not allowed). We call that a very tough SPORT. Now, some of these atheltes are tough SOB's, and I am sure can handle themselves in a reality situation better then many "martial artists" out there, but that's not the point. Sport based martial arts are ONE way of getting to proficiency in self defense. THere are other ways. In the arts that I study and teach, we train and spar as if we can be gouged, purred, hooked at any time. We train as if a weapon, wierd terrain, or multiple opponents can be introduced into the fight at any time. We train with the mindest that anything can happened. And you know what...this STILL isn't reality. "Training" is "training" and Competition is competition; none are the same as defending your life. I tell my guys to get in the ring, and in fact, get in the ring with them. However, to mistaken training or competition for REALITY is a mistake that could cost you greatly, in my opinion. Now, I am sure some clown will get on here and argue, "bu..bu..but sport training IS closest to reality then any "traditional" martial art." Well...I say not nessicarily.

Final point is on geeks and nerds in martial arts. Sorry, but it doesn't matter whether you train traditional, tactical, or sport, there are geeks. Maybe the geek factor might have different characteristics in each, but it is all the same to me. I can't tell you how many guys with shaved heads and goatees sporting a T-shirt with something clever on it like "snap or tap" on it that I have talked to who try to get in retarded conversations with me about how their grappling is nothing but the s**t, when I don't even consider myself a grappler, and I know that some of my students would give them a run for it playinng by his rules. How many nerds have gotten thrown out of martial talk because they just couldn't help themselves from going into the kenpo or TKD section just to tell them that they all suck because they haven't had their nose broken as many times as their kickboxing coach. Not to mention, I can't tell you how many fights I have seen or heard about where the grappler or boxer has their asses handed to them because they treated it like a boxing or wrestling match. I knew a guy who had gotten into a fight, and had executed a wonderful double leg takedown, only to have to have his knee stitched up later from the cement, and that was after he had his head stitched up from his opponents buddies that he didn't see while he was on the ground with his eyes buried into his opponent. I could tell similar stories involving "traditional" or "reality bases" martial artists. My point is that there are nerds in every spectrum of the martial arts. And, there are people who have their asses handed to them in every spectrum as well. Just because you train "alive," you group is not exempt from this.

Anyways...I like the way THornton explains "aliveness," and I like a lot of things about it. However, it is not knew to me, really, and above are some of my critiques.

Yours,
Bald Bull
 
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