Something to kick around

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:58 pm

Tommy, just out of interest, what are your views on judo?
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:01 pm

And another question, what are those blocks all about in Karate? I can't grasp that idea at all, has anyone used one in a proper row?
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:46 pm

Rob,
I like Judo although I think I prefer the old style Judo I have seen. What Kano did (I think) was to form a way of practicing all out, techniques that you can actually practice hard and for real; rather than practicing deadly and harmful techniques that you had to do half assed or not at all due to the danger. Judo has a lot of merit in my book. It practices for real....it's alive. Same for wrestling. However I always believe in diversity. These thins are just welcome additions Smile

I'll have to get back to you on the blocking thing, there are so many interpretations it is sometimes like a maze.
In the mean time here is part two of your question on kata being free flowing. I combined it with stance work which is part of the 'free flow' problem.
____________________

Here is another problem with kata fluidity and the disconnect from fighting. “ Stances.”
There are some systems of Okinawan karate that practice higher more mobile stances but most Japanese styles use low and long stances. Okinawan Goju is an Okinawan style that utilizes a low stance also. Either way, what tends to happen is that these stances become more about aligning the feet and perfect measurements rather than being useful. They become a base for you to stand on while you perform a technique. Many times you will hear it explained that these are only training stances and that in actual application they would be shorter and higher. Ok then, why not practice how you will fight? Also, how long must one keep using the training tools? You could be a 5th dan and some 9th dan will tell you your stance is too high or short or the feet aren’t straight. Why keep practicing these basics for life? Kind of like printing the alphabet before you write each time isn’t it?

Eventually the stance becomes disconnected from the technique also if one isn’t careful. I have seen so many students trying to use a technique as they see it in the books and photos. They want to apply a block in a perfect stance and with a perfect hand positioning. The problem is that isn’t the technique, that is the finish! Whatever that block and stance was meant to do happened long before it finished…it happened on the way “in motion.” How I retooled my karate was how I interpreted it and how I assumed the originators may have intended the stances to work. However, I wasn’t there so I don’t know and at this point I don’t care, I did what I thought made more sense and this is how I taught my stance work. Forget about the feet and their positioning, that is for idiots and teaching groups to make it easy to understand. What matters is weight distribution. It is better understood if I am in front of you grabbing your lapels. With my feet in a natural stance, left foot slightly ahead of the right (doesn’t really matter much) if I send my center of gravity forward with a slight push from my rear foot I move you back slightly that’s a karate front stance. If I send my center back I pull you toward me …a back stance. I move my center down and slightly back I pull you down and off balance and my front foot is lightened a bit so I can use it against the inside of the knee…that’s cat stance. If I drop my weight that is a horse stance. All this is stance work based on principle. No dramatic foot movement only different weight distribution. I don’t even really bend my knees. If I stood in front of you, you may not even be able to tell I am moving…only my center is shifting and it’s very subtle. If I was wearing a Hakama you couldn’t tell…the feet are a natural width and they don’t change position. Subtle movement to aid in moving my body weight in an advantageous manner to unbalance and control you. If I’m punching I can be more dynamic and drive my center forward using the drive of my rear leg to send my center/bodyweight forward into the punch. That was the “karate” way. I no longer use that although I still have similar principles in my training.

Many students don’t understand control of the center and thus can’t control their opponent either. They stomp along moving forward by moving their feet and having their body follow. They lead with their chest and the same holds true for moving backward except their ass leads the way. I used to let the center move the feet not the other way around. The problem arises when you practice kata or do stance work still using the training tools. I have a clip of myself, along with a lengthy explanation of stance work, combined with the opening movements of Pinan Shodan/Heian nidan (kata). I used that kata because it is basic and it can easily show a possible application of stance as well as the hand movement. Often you will hear it said that in application the techniques aren’t done exactly as in kata. Kata works on form and so the outward form of the kata isn’t the fighting form. Well, in my clip I give an example of how the more upright stance might work as well as the fighting application. But I also explain, “If this is so, then why not practice it that way….exactly how you would use it.” Ahh, but it doesn’t look pretty.
If you were to film a boxer while he was shadow boxing or even while fighting and then freeze frame it into many small segments you would probably see many variations of stances. However they are not noticeable during the fight. They are all transitional and blend into each other. The boxer doesn’t practice each little stance or stand in them for ever while performing his punching and blocking techniques statically. Karate should be no different. The stances are transitional and should flow into one another seamlessly. Control of your center and weight distribution, however the fight needs to go. Most of the stances I interpret for use in close range or clinching/grappling/controlling. For block and punching front and a natural stance will suffice. When I practiced my karate I tried to re- connect it to the fight but traditionalists looked upon this with disgust because it no longer has all the little form constraints. It isn’t pretty anymore.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  bob on Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:20 pm

Steve Morris
Whether you’re in a gi or out of it, you need to have a reality check. It must go beyond drilling. It has to be fighting.

I think that Karate etc will continue + other forms of TMA that are generally ineffective in a fight because many average TMAers dont want a reality check because it will threaten their perceived sense of authority etc.
Since the Coventry experience I actually set fire to my MA certificates, it felt liberating to me! I havent burnt the gi as yet because I might start a friggin bush fire!

Tommy,
You make many good points that I can personally relate to.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Bryson Keenan on Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:19 pm

I'll try to address Steve's initial qustion first (as I think the context has changed somewhat since page one!); then I'll address the issue that it has turned into...(!)

Recapping Steve's original post...

Steve said that he has met untrained 'natural born killers' who could kick arse... Yep; there are a number of those characters around. I'd dare to say you were probably one of those guys yourself before you started training, Steve!

And yes, there are a whole bunch of 'trained' martial artists who purport to have 'deadly hands' or whatever... No arguments there at all.

And the MA trained bouncer-types who had some regular experience mixing it up on the doors, etc. Ok; I am with you so far...

And yes, alot of being a doorman has to do with NOT fighting.

I would argue that alot about SELF PROTECTION has alot to do with not fighting as well... Not that this is an excuse for so-called self defence experts to NOT be able to fight...!

And yes, there will be a bunch of ex-doormen or ex-military people who have never been in an actual confrontation where their skills were challenged.

So, who do we listen to (I think that was the question...)?

I think what you TRY to do (easier if you have a little experience; more difficult if you are a raw beginner...) is conduct a little 'due diligence' investigations on potential teachers/coaches (whatever you want to call them).

How do you tell whether Mick Coup's British Army experience is better/different than Nick Hughes' Foreign Legion Experience or some Navy SEAL or my Australian Army experience? Unfortunately, it is just a bit of 'suck it and see...'. How do you know Geoff Thompson's door experience is any more or less valid than my instructor Bob Jones in Oz? Yo never will unless you experience it for yourself.

As you said at the end of your post, Steve, 'don't take any expert at their word'. That must be true whether the expert is Morio Higaonna or Steve Morris though, no...? Wink

To go back to the current 'karate (or TMA) is crap' thread that this has become... Wink

Some of you blokes want it both ways... You can't say that karate hasn't kept up with the realities of fighting on the one hand and then, when some karate style DOES try to address it (whether Daido Juku or Zendokai or whatever), you reckon it's not really karate, but MMA with a helmet, so it doesn't count! A bit of having your cake and eating it too, methinks...

If your definition of 'karate' is the touch-contact thing the WKF does, then I can see where you are coming from, but that is a very narrow box...
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Bryson Keenan on Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:50 am

I knew someone would bite... Wink

Brian, which karate are you talikg about when you are saying that it has 'certain' training methods and structures?

The training methods of WKF sport karate, Kyokushinkaikan and Zendokai Sogo Kakutogi differ as much from each other as they likely do from whatever it is that you might do yourself...

As has been pointed out just yesterday in another post on the forum, karate's reverse punch, boxing's right cross (and likely a bunch of other similar techniques from related systems) are much the same in theory (albeit not always in the execution); the human body only works in a limited number of ways...

The point about 'both ways' I will state again. There are those who have moaned that karate hasn't pulled itself kicking and screaming into the modern era by adapting with the times etc., but then, when a karate school attempts to do so, whether Jon Bluming in the sixties throwing some Judo in, my instructor adding Muay Thai kicks in the seventies and submission grappling in the nineties, suddenly they can't call it Karate anymore? Why? As you say, adapting methods from other styles is a goooooooood thing.... What I choose to call it is, surely, my concern...?

The karate knobbers who reverse-engineer their kata to drag some meaning out of moves for which the meaning has long been lost is as much a source of frustration to 'us' (read: those with what we think is a solid karate base) as it obviously is to you, Brian.

That isn't to say that there aren't grappling moves in some of the kata (elbow break in Sepai, arm bar in Shisochin, wheel throw in Seiyunchin, throat grab in Seisan, to name a few), but they are indeed limited, as the karate of that time was primarily a striking art.

Contrary to the claims of some of those guys, that a downward block is also a throw, a breaking technique, and might even make a coffee for you (!), I am as anti-that-shite as the next man; trust me...

Funnily enough, I think our basic thought processes are far more closely aligned than you might expect...

As far as 'the rest of you' just looking for effective ways to fight... I am 49 years old and trying harder the older I get to find effective ways NOT to fight. 'Self Protection' and 'prize fighting in the ring of any kind' are not necessarily the same ball of wax.

I'd love to continue this discussion in more depth, Brian, but think we are taking up Steve's forum with something that's gone a bit off-topic (feel free to PM me, or we can go into the general forum... I'll see you 'outside'...!)


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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Joshua Orange on Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:54 am

Just a couple of thoughts fellas, as I'm failing to really grasp the substantive points of a couple of the issues, especially relating to the karate thing, but also to the original question.

1. Part of the perceived problem with karate seems to be that, in order to be 'karate' it must contain certain necessary properties (whatever they may be - kata and the like) and that these properties are flawed or limited. If it changes those properties, then it's no longer 'karate' but something else, and misleading to call it such. Is this the correct understanding of the issue? If so, then, by extension, the Brasilian form of jiu-jitsu isn't really jiu-jitsu at all, and is probably misleading people to call it such. Its training methods, techniques, and development are radically different to the Japanese version. BJJ seems to do much of the stuff that counts in the other discussion - pressure testing, etc (criticisms of competition and MMA as reality aside for the moment), whereas JJJ largely doesn't. BJJ and what follows from it, then, is both effective and jiu-jitsu on this logic. Isn't that having it both ways? Wouldn't we have to say either that it's not effective, or deny that it's really jiu-jitsu? If the latter, thengiving anything a name becomes something of a vaccuous enterprise.

2. On the question of why MMA fighters aren't seeking out karate for grappling if karate has grappling in its syllabus. As a matter of logic it doesn't necessarily follow that because karate may have some groundwork in its syllabus that MMA fighters would then be seeking it out. It might just be that karate's grappling, though present, is just not as good or effective as modern variants. Or, a different explanation, might be that the grappling in karate is, say, more akin to japanese jiu-jitsu - containing gouges, small joint manipulation, spinal breaks etc, that are not allowed in MMA/BJJ tourneys. Not having seen much karate grappling I'm not sure, but these are possible explanations.

3. Back to the original point about who to go to in order to get instruction. Again, a little confused here. Clearly the consensus is that the minimum threshold level for a competent instructor is that he/she must be 'experienced' not just 'learned' (better both, surely). But the question is what type of experience counts, and how do you tell. (And of course there are lots of other facets of being a good instructor - such as good teaching ability). Doorwork may, or may not be the right kind of experience, depending on what was done with it and its relationship to what the student wants. How do you tell must, as others have said, be largely a matter of trial and error. Especially so for beginners for whom there is no real benchmark. I get people come to class who have done nothing, and have never been in a violent situation since school. And they say, oh, but that would never work in reality... From what basis do they speak? Sometime you just have to invest some time. The more experience we get, the better, by and large, we get at filtering these things.

However, the other point about experience and natural born fighters is more interesting in my view. Why are natural born aggressive individuals so impressive? If this is the guiding star, then I'm screwed and people should stay away from anything I teach. I'm not, and never have been very aggressive. I do a damned good impression of it though. I ended up working the door for about 7 years, as well as a bunch of other security jobs. I was never a natural doorman, and avoided trouble like the plague, only putting hands on people when absolutely necessary, rather than because I enjoyed it or had a natural inclination to. I overcame plenty of the natural born killer types, but largely on technical ability (not karate Wink ), will to survive, acting skills, and old-fashioned good luck. Does this make me underqualified to teach self-protection?

As I say, just a few thoughts.

D

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Joshua Orange on Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:26 am

Brian S wrote:1 - And BJJ does not use the same name as JJJ, nor does it say it is JJJ. The words Jiu (or Ju) and Jitsu may be in the title..... but they do not pretend to be the same. The point seems null and void.
.

Not sure this is entirely accurate, to be fair. The Gracies called (and call) their stuff Jiu-Jitsu. They saw and see it as the direct descendant of jiu-jitsu, just with updated training methods, techniques and rules. It's largely those outside of Brasil that have labelled it Brasilian JJ. They (the Gracies and Brasilians generally) keep the same monica, and it would seem deliberately so. But, if your point is valid, then why can't karate do the same? Why can't someone update training methods, techniques (and rules?) and call it, I dunno, Combat Karate, or knit-one karate, whilst still accepting the temporal heritage and the name in the title? This would only be the equivalent of the Gracies. It can't be acceptable in one case but not in the other purely on those grounds. If, by contrast, it is just hollow naming, then why worry about the name karate at all? Seems far from null and void.

On point 2 it seems there needs to be a more fine-grained distinction here to avoid talking at cross purposes. If the calim by someone is 'hey, look, karate does all that BJJ/MMA/etc does, just look at this picture from 1935 to prove it' then clearly this is false, and you are correct in that. I'm guessing no one with an ounce of understanding would contest the fact that there have been tremendous developments in groundwork in the past few decades. If somone were selling their karate as holding that repetoire of sophistication on the ground, then it would surely be fraudulent. However, from reading the above posts, my understanding of the claim was that the kind of statement 'karate doesn't include grappling/groundwork' is false. These two claims are not inconsistent. I can say that my style of karate (speaking hypothetically) has groundwork elements, and that we practice these regularly and in lots of different ways, but also agree that MMA/BJJ does groundwork better. And here's the crux, for the arena in which it is based. The qualifier is important and makes the two claims consistent. As a karate bod I might subscribe to the view that certain limited skills are necessary on the ground for the arena I'm training for, and my syllabus provides these. And, still agree that MMA/BJJ has a far greater skill set, which is more applicable to grappling tourneys or the cage. But just to say of course karate grappling is inferior to BJJ/MMA begs the question, for what? The better question strike me as being is the skill set taught sufficient for the arena being trained for?


Over to you
D

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  James Marshall on Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:22 am

The point for me is not how good a coach is at fighting, but how can they help me get better?
If most people take up M.A. to learn how to defend themselves, then that should be the emphasis of the training. Dempsey mentions it in his book that people take up boxing for self defence and then are told to work on things to enter competitions. Karate it is gradings and competitions, and before you know it you have entered a cul de sac that you can try to make prettier an nicer , but in the end it isn't going anywhere.

I am not too caught up in what has happened in my past experience- it is what can I do now, and how can I improve that counts. Being good in a limited environment - your dojo\ style- can become the object of your training if you let it. I know lots of karateka who won't go to another club, let alone another martial art because it is outside of their comfort zone.

I would rather go somewhere and be bottom of the pecking order and at least realise it, than be delusional and prance about as a "senior grade" always in my comfort zone.

I am not interested in some hero worship of so called born fighters who recant tales of beating people up from road rage, go home, slap their girlfriend and then go down the pub for a lovely pint and some jellied eels.
If that is what they do in their own time, fine, but that is not a reason to train with someone.

As to one style being tougher than another because we break each others ribs\ noses etc. Great, I have dished that out and received it in training, but I don't think it made me a better fighter. Being under pressure in a situation that I haven't fully got a handle on seems to me to be more realistic.
Being injured just pisses me off and I am out of training for a few days/ weeks- how does that help? Injuring other people doesn't make me feel good, and if they have £2k dental bills, or can't work because their hands are bust- they won't come back. Accidents happen, but I am sure you can create pressure/ panic situations without the loss of teeth.

Wearing gis- I ditched that because people get carried away with the rank and structure and baggage that comes with that. The focus becomes on what grade you are, not on what you can do.

If a someone runs a challenging session, that has variety and practical applications, and help me work things out when I am not there, then I will train with them. I have no "real" fight experience, managing to get out of trouble relatively ok, but I know the predators are out there. I don't want to be in cloud cuckoo land thinking I am ok because I practised kata for 15 years.

Also, from my own background and knowledge, I don't want to hear a load of cock and bull about fake biomechanics or mindset strategems. To me, Steve ticked all the boxes when I read his site. Training with him was even better. But, it is down to me to butter my own toast.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  524526 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:00 am

Forget it Brian ,

They'll never admit it , that's the whole game for them, any which way but lose face , because the exotic cultural fantasy is the be all and end all . If that image is distorted by reality, then it must be repaired by more propaganda.

Me, I don't care lave them as they are I say but i don't want to know.

Excellent posts Tommy , you clearly are very knowledgeable.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Joshua Orange on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:32 am

Brian, yep Maeda was a Judo practitioner and a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who utilised tools appropriate to the context he was competing in (elbows and low kicks, body locks in anything-goes contests). The Gracies took the label jiu-jitsu because that was a more faithful representation than Judo of what they were doing. The 'Gracie' bit came later. The point is they did strike a new direction, they do develop, which is great, but they still call it jiu-jitsu. I don't see any objection to that - there's different types of jiu-jitsu. They copy and they develop (see some of the latest Gracie book offerings to see how much they've copied from other arts!) and still call it jiu-jitsu. That's fine. My question was simply why, if this isn't objectionable, then doing the same with Karate is?

One of the responses to this is that Karate is an art, they then copy someone else, and say they've been doing it all along. In one way this assumes what it seeks to prove - that there is something unchangeable about karate (but not about jiu-jitsu). In another, it is quite clearly correct - if karate-ka are saying they've always done stuff the same as BJJ etc then they're wrong. But that wasn't how I read the claim. I read it as a far more modest claim - that some karate systems have some groundwork; and this groundwork is, by-and-large, sufficient for the arena they train for.

SimonLau wrote:Forget it Brian ,

They'll never admit it , that's the whole game for them, any which way but lose face , because the exotic cultural fantasy is the be all and end all . If that image is distorted by reality, then it must be repaired by more propaganda.

Me, I don't care lave them as they are I say but i don't want to know.

Who's this 'we' Kimo-sabe? Sounded bit like someone saying to their mate outside the pub 'leave him Brian, he's not worth it...' Wink

Seriously, though, I have no real interest in Karate, and have never practiced it for more than a few months. So I have no vested interest in 'defending' it or not bearing any emotional costs in giving up any time invested in it. So, I'm not sure I fit with the 'they' statement. My questions to (predominantly) Brian S were purely out of genuine interest, and because he seems quite happy to explain his views. I'm happy to be persuaded on the matter, but as yet haven't quite grasped the reasons for saying 'all karate is X' but not 'all jiu-jitsu is X'. That's why I really like this board because retreating to faith-based certainties (such as I don't care what they want to believe, I know the truth; or it's just my opinion so you can't challenge it) is rarely adopted by any sides in the discussion.

D

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  BN on Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:56 am

The last point made about karate getting slated and Jiu Jitsu not, is a good one.

But I think it's 'cos Jiu Jitsu, BJJ/Gracie BJJ anyway, has been proven in an open arena. Obviously that's not "streetfighting" or "self defense."
However, at least the techniques ect have been seen on a world stage to be effective. Especially when we consider the early UFCs in which Royce fought big buff action man types and handled them.

BJJ is seen an as effective art. Rightly or wrongly depending on your focus and point of view. With karate, all we really have to go on are stories. Unless you are one of the guys with real hands on experience. But us punters have to judge the book by the cover we see, and arts like BJJ have a more respectable cover than arts like karate.

On another note, I realise that this thread has turned into a bit of a 'karate bashing" dicsussion. But I honestly feel that arts like karate and PARTICULARLY wing chun bring criticism down on themselves due to the arrogance with which they are often promoted. Not everyone does this, but I honestly believe that lots of instructors in the aforementioned arts are pretty up themselves. Read any MA mag if you disagree.

Most infuriatingly, any valid criticismis usually brushed aside with time honoured crap like "train harder." DUH!

I don't think that the "anti karate posse" on this thread wants to "have it both ways." If you want to say, "MY karate works," DO karate. DON'T do other arts mixed together and then say ," Voila, look how freakin' effective my karate is." Do one step sparring, kata, kihon (marching up and down the dojo in unison), do that. Do what we understand TO BE karate, and THEN say it works.

We critics of karate are just not accepting it when any old thang that happens to work is suddenly a "karate move."I applaud karate ka who are driving forward to change what they do, and to adapt to the present day world. But lets be honest and not try to pretend that that is what katrate is. The updated stuff is an amalgam of various styles and approaches. "Traditional" karate is what we could see a few pages ago in those pictures of LOL Gichin LOL Funakoshi LOL LOL.

p.s. LOL @ Gichin Funakoshi.

p.p.s. The caps are for emphasis. I am not shouting or trying to be rude!


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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Joshua Orange on Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:00 am

Yep, I brought it in. The reason being to test the robustness of the claims via extension. If something can be said about karate, but not about jiu-jitsu, then I want to know the explanatory reason for the difference. The reason now is via empirical evidence of testing in 'real' fights not myths. Yep, happy to accept that, if it's true. It would certainly be a better reason than the other stuff about labels and names... We're agreed that MMA is more succesful in winning MMA competitions. I'm not sure I know anything more than anecdotal evidence about how many other 'real' but non-MMA fights different styles have won or lost. But none of that is inconsistent with saying X also has groundfighting stuff in its syllabus, it's been there a long time (not just the last 10 years) and it's sufficient, by and large, for what we train for...

D

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Cuddly Werewolf on Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:53 am

Joshua Orange wrote:I'm not sure I know anything more than anecdotal evidence about how many other 'real' but non-MMA fights different styles have won or lost. But none of that is inconsistent with saying X also has groundfighting stuff in its syllabus, it's been there a long time (not just the last 10 years) and it's sufficient, by and large, for what we train for...

D
In my experience, as limited as it is (and I would be the first to admit it is), never has a style won or lost even a sparring session against me, not to mention a street fight! Different practitioners (and even non-practicing street types) have done both, however, so I find it more interesting about what makes a practitioner successful Laughing .
So, back to mr. Steve Morris original post, which seems to me a lot like "nature vs nurture" argument (I repeat-in my limited understanding!), so I will use this terms. Is "nature" (-al-born killer types) more important than "nurture" (i.e. practitioners that don't fit into this category)? And could an "unnatural born killer type" be successful against someone for whom the fight is a natural state?
Well, we should then define what makes a "natural fighter", traind or not, so efficient. I would say that it is, first and foremost, intent. All the rest follows from it, as far as I can tell. And of course, being inclined to fight anyway, they get plenty of "real" experience, which makes them dangerous with or without formal practice.
In martial arts, the Chinese masters said that martial arts are about acquired abilities, as opposed to natural abilities. Makes logic to me-if you have them naturally, you don't really need a lot of training, do you? Maybe just a place to compete with the likes of you, for fun/profit/glory/whatever. So, can a person without this fighting spirit be successful against someone who has it? Well, wrong question-he can't, of course. So, can a man for whom this fighting intent does not come naturally overcome a "natural-born fighter"?
Frankly, I do not know. But I believe the mind must be trained as much as the body, so I my bet is that it is possible to acquire abilities that surpass the ability of someone who has them by nature. You would not be wise to compete with a natural-born fighter that has had the same training that you did. He is called "champion" in order for you to know where you both stand, so that you could avoid the confrontation Smile .
All of this is just my opinion and the reasoning it is based on. I might be utterly wrong, of course, if so, be that kind to point me the error of my reasoning, which has lead me to faulty assumptions, and I would apologize if you want me to Cool !


P.S.: As an afterthought, mr. Funakoshi Gichin wrote in his books about karate and mixing different styles of it, and changing them in order to make his Karate better suited to the modern day and age. Is it Karate, then, what many people are practicing today? Frankly, I do not know, as I am not a Karate-ka, I just happen to read lots of books Smile . And the more I read, the more Modern "reality" practitioners seem to me like following the heritage of old masters, while the commonly labeled as TMA styles seem to be a modern off-shoot that kept being practiced for too long (and for reasons not related to fighting at that). In the past, "tradition" meant "efficiency", that's why Choy Lay Fut was created out of three different systems and existing styles kept adding weapons and techniques to their teachings. As to the outrageous advertising claims, well, who really expects the advertising industry to be moderate and tell you something else might be better for you, even if they know there is such a thing lol! ?
I do not want to get into the "pro- and anti- Karate" discussion however, so please, do not respond to this part of my post. I'm just sharing my thoughts on a subject, being a "third party" observer.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Socrates on Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:20 am

...so I find it more interesting about what makes a practitioner successful .

I think that´s a really important point.

Let´s take three of the people who have Q&A´s on this site: Steve Morris, Nick Hughes and Mick Coup. On the face of it, they are all very different: Nick does karate and combatives; Mick does combatives; and Steve does MMA.

The thing is if you look beneath the surface, you´ll find a lot of similarities:

- They´ve all trained for years and years;
- They're all really good;
- They´ve all tested themselves to the limit;
- They´ve all been in the army;
- They´ve all worked in professional security;
- At least two of them have fought in combat sports;
- They all have a wealth of real-world experience;
- They´ve all taken their strength and conditioning (S&C) seriously;
- They've all cross-trained;
- They´ve all thought deeply about what they do;
- They've all designed their own systems;
- Etc, etc, etc.

I´m sure that if you put the three of them in the same room, they´d disagree about many things, but each of them would know exactly where the others are coming from.

What you might find is that all of them have more in common with each other than with cowboys who claim to come from their own traditions.

For example, Nick has said on this site that he´s walked out of karate classes if the instructors let the students rest or drink water.

Mick had an argument on here with someone who wanted to set himself up as a combatives instructor, but had never had a fight.

And I´m sure that Steve would be completely horrified if he walked in on some of the so-called MMA classes that are popping up in Spain - no competition, no S&C, just a collection of techniques done compliantly.

Now, I haven´t met Nick, Mick or Steve, but I´ve read everything that they´ve put on this site. One thing I´ve noticed is that they all have a different attitude to their teachers.

Nick still gives massive respect to Bob Jones, his main teacher in his youth, so he still defines himself as a karate man.

Mick said that his biggest influences were his shooting instructors in the army, so he defines himself as a combatives man.

Steve has been disappointed by most of the teachers, so he himself as MMA, which is basically an individualistic style.

If you think about this, you might come to the conclusion that the tradition you identify with isn´t as important as how you train over a period of years.

For example, imagine that you enrolled in a TMA class. What would happen if you trained for years and years; got really good; tested yourself to the limit ; maybe joined the army; maybe worked in security; and then worked your way through the list above? Surely you´d become good, no matter where you started?

Maybe the most important thing is testing yourself?

Maybe Muay Thai is a higher percentage art than karate because most practitioners in Muay Thai test themselves regularly while a smaller percentage of karate people test themselves?

That doesn´t mean that someone becomes born-again hard just by joining a Muay Thai class and it doesn´t mean that someone else can´t fight sleep just because they´ve enrolled in karate.

What do you all think?

Regards,
Rupert
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:44 am

That's pretty much what I wanted to say but your a hack and say it better! And your dead right about some of the shit you see over here, we have to fight over in England to get decent competition. The nearest club level comps for us are 2 hours away, and as for the so-called 'full contact' stuff I've seen more contact in a game of volleyball. PS Soc still laughing at 'ghosts of Spain' ! cheers Rob Mac
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Socrates on Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:51 am

Rob Mac wrote:That's pretty much what I wanted to say but your a hack and say it better! And your dead right about some of the shit you see over here, we have to fight over in England to get decent competition. The nearest club level comps for us are 2 hours away, and as for the so-called 'full contact' stuff I've seen more contact in a game of volleyball. PS Soc still laughing at 'ghosts of Spain' ! cheers Rob Mac

Nice one Laughing
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  524526 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:37 am

Rob Mac wrote: And your dead right about some of the shit you see over here, we have to fight over in England to get decent competition. Rob Mac


Really ? I thought the Spanish liked combat sports .

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  BN on Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:39 pm

As far as I can gather they enjoy watching a flamboyantly dressed man jab a bull to death with a big stick.

And now, back to topic.....
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:40 pm

Simon, there's a good comp down here in Seville that my mates entering next month. They are few and far between however, this one is once a year. Tommorow we're going to Puerto Banus to spar with some good guys(it's Andalusia day tommorow HOLIDAY!!!) that's 2 hours drive away. I have to go to England in April for my one. The comps that we have been to locally have been shite, lots of technique but no content. Spaniard, I apologise now if I'm speaking out of turn because you will know more about what goes on in Seville, we don't have any contacts up there. Cheers Rob Mac
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:43 pm

Bn, don't diss the Bullfight without first understanding it. elephant
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Bryson Keenan on Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:12 pm

I think Socrates has pretty well nailed it... Wink
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:28 pm

Sorry I'm late to the party...I've been working on three real estate deals and am closing on one tomorrow and juggling all that must be juggled...

Simon first...who wrote

What about you ? if you claim karate grappling is so good - what are your tournament credentials ? Why didn't you enter UFC , since you were there , if you truly believed your karate could work ? You can't object to this - a very fair Q in light of your claims.

My tournament credentials are not vast. I boxed professionally in Oz after breaking my anlke in a motorbike accident and not being able to kick. I was working on the door at the time with legendary Aussie boxer Jeff White and I asked him about some hand training while my ankle healed. I knocked out several of the guys at the gym so they threw me into a pro fight which I won. (I have photos but no scanner due to being in limbo...I'll get a mate to scan the pics and email them - perhaps someone on the forum could then get them up on the site?)

I entered all the semi-contact Zen Do Kai fights we ran from time to time but only for laughs. I also went in the Nth Queensland games (Bryson who posts here was in the same division i.e. the Masters div, with me) and won the gold medal

In Melbourne where I was teaching for a while William Chung turned up with two Samoan boxing champs who he'd taught to front kick to our open fight night, claiming they were Wing Chun students. Dave Berry jumped in and knocked his guy out and I beat the heavyweight. I played with the kick boxing long enough to be the Victorian heavyweight champ but missed the fight for the Aussie title due to glandular fever. I left Zen Do Kai soon thereafter (which is when I went to Townsville to set my own gig up)

In Europe - after the Legion - I got back in to Judo (a better art for EP in my opinion) and won every fight I went for. (You can't get ranked in the UK with Judo if you don't fight and win two out of two matches)

I've never said karate grappling is good (in fact I wrote an article saying Judo was better), I've only said it exists. In fact it's more anti-grappling if you like. Our goal was not to play human chess on the ground with another person. It was to get to one's feet as fast as possibly because the environment we all fought in, unlike my sporting colleagues, was one where people would kick you to death (and sadly some died exactly that way) if you were there for any length of time.

In black belt tests we'd have to spar with eight other guys, only we started on the ground, and they'd start standing. I think they refer to them as boot parties now and any regular sparring that went to the ground continued down there unlike most styles.

Why didn't I enter the UFC? Because I was late thirties and had just got back on my feet after rupturing two discs in my back after a motorcycle accident. I also, in case you haven't noticed, have zero fucking interest in sports versions of martial arts. Until the bike accident I was teaching COMBAT karate to cops in the drug squad and on SWAT.

As for it being a fair question...actually, it's a stoopid question to be honest. Next time you're typing look up at the top of the page and you'll see it says "SELF PROTECTION DOT COM" and not "SPANDEX WRESTLING WITH A SWEATY MAN DOT COM" nor any other variation of sporting combat. Perhaps you've wandered into the wrong forum mate...would you like some links to some dedicated to MMA comps etc?

In other words...what has MMA competition got to do with self protection? Absolutely nothing, nada, zip, zilch et al.

Now, while we're asking questions here's a couple for you? What's your tournament record? Why haven't you entered UFC? Will we be seeing you sometime soon in Pride or K1? If not, why not?

Also, are you the same Simon who popped up on Geoff's old forum going on and on ad nauseum about the deadly MMA guys who then made the mistake of mentioning he was threatened by eight guys at a phone box and had to run away because,(I assume) nothing in his training prepared him for dealing with multiple opponents?. Me mate, I've never run away from multiple opponents in my fucking life, despite ridiculous odds...can you say the same tough guy? IF not, why not? I think this is a fair question.

If you're not THAT Simon, then please accept my apologies. It's just that he was a complete buffoon who'd gone on for ages about how great MMA is in the real world who then buckled and ran the first time he was confronted with a real world scenario...we all had a great laugh about that one.

Nick
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:42 pm

Tommy next...

Nick, I made what I thought was a humorous comment, apparently you have a few insecurities and get very defensive about your credentials and "karate." Maybe I need to use more smilies? I

Mate, I apologize for the misinterpretation. If you'd been round long enough to have been on Geoff's old forum you'd have seen me say many time almost exactly what you said i.e. that if half of these discussions were being had around a table in a pub none of the would end in arguments because people would be able to discern tone and inflection etc. (But, you didn't use a smiley and that's what they're there for. Very Happy ) Brian and others who used to be on that forum will no doubt attest to the above.

Also, I've never ever claimed to be a pioneer. I have stated many times the source of my knowledge was from Bob Jones, Malcolm Anderson, Noel Hattwell, Doug Tritton et al. I stand very fucking firmly on the shoulder's of giants.

As for traditional karate being modified...I think this can be cleared up by a great definition I heard from Gavin Mulholland and that is there is a difference between traditional arts and classical arts.

Classical arts are all about preservation of the style...they wear the costumes, they learn the lingo and they absolutely will not alter a single thing because their sole goal is to preserve an art form.

Traditionally on the other hand, peasants used weapons to hand when they picked up farm tools such as nunchakus, tonfas and bo staffs etc so, traditionally, if I'm in a bar fight and pick up weapons to hand i.e. bar stools, beer bottles, pool cues etc then I'm being very traditional aren't I?
Not classical at all but traditional...very.

Nick

PS: Brian, I had absolutely no idea you were a shrink mate...you are to be congratulated. All this time I thought you were just a copper but to find you're also a psychiatrist as well...I'm impressed digger.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:49 pm

Rob Mac,

And another question, what are those blocks all about in Karate? I can't grasp that idea at all, has anyone used one in a proper row?

Steve broke someone's arm with one while demonstrating their proper application...but I digress.

I've actually said they're not blocks. Go look at a Japanese English dictionary and the word "uke" which in the old books used to be translated as "block" doesn't mean that at all.

How can something circular be used to intercept something linear that's been launched first? Straight lines being the shortest distance between two given points and so on...

Also, if you bruise your arm "blocking" semi contact kicks in class what would happen if it was a full powered kick by someone wearing boots? How does blocking anything fit into the martial arts concept of bending over against the superior force to pop up afterwards as in the old analogy about the oak tree and the blade of grass in a gale?

Nick
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