What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

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What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Dave on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:35 am

My son is 17 and has a background in boxing and some thai-boxing. Recently (approx 2 months ago) he has started to attend a local Shotokan style Karate centre. and very recently he passed his grading and went straight to red belt due to his ability, this was also true of some other people in the class.

Now, since he has been back after the grading he has been practising his 'free style' sparring with the other students. He does hold his hands similar to that of a boxer and he does have an aggresive mental approach to sparring but hes not physically over aggressive. His stance isnt as low as traditional karate practitioners, however his style is very effctive especially his movement. On this latest class he was told by the Sensei that his hands are to high and his stance also. He was also told that his fighting style was 'thugish'.

One of the reasons this club was recommended was due to the fact that they use pads and bags to allow some full out striking training, so I assumed that they would be quite open minded about people using bits of other systems.

Now, I trained in Shotokan some 30 years ago and trained with such people as Frank and Jimmy Brennan, Andy Sherry, Bob Poynton and the like. Some of those sessions were physically tough and we didnt use any bags or pads, we were always taught to pull our strikes. I understood then that Karate was quite strict in its techniques. But surely schools were more opened minded these days, especially when you want to learn a system for self defence reasons.



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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  David Turton on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:05 pm

Dont want to stir up trouble here, but if your son wants complete self-defence then go elsewher

you should always check a few schools out before starting to see how they are run and what they teach.

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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  GOVINDA on Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:23 pm

They are not all like that mate, it just depends on how much "reality" the instructor has come across........reminds me of when myself and a couple of dudes used to do some combative type training at a local hall in Belfast, sometimes our times in the hall crossed with the traditional Aikido class, they would watch us slapping the pads etc and shake their heads and smile lol, probably thinking " those poor fools, haven't they heard of Steven Segall" affraid

Anyhoos, if its Karate for Karate's sake leave him there, if its SD he needs then at 17 he will probably work it out for himself Wink
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Mr Nobody on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:20 pm

Dave,

It sounds to me like the instructor can see how effective your son's style is against his more traditional one when he spars and is trying to "protect" his class from thinking that he teaches shit that doesn't work.

Even in this more enlightened age, some people still hold onto unusual beliefs around traditional styles.
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Jagunco on Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:32 pm

No I'm sorry to rock the boat but, appart from calling him thugish which was a poor choice of words, I agree with the karate instructor that if he's there to do karate then he should be doing karate.

This is not to say that he can't train as he sees fit in his own time or mesh things up, in fact I would encourage that, but in a shotokan class then the technique should be shotokan.

When he gets up through the belts then he can make his mark and start adapting stuff but for the moment....

And by the same token I agree with Dave as well.... if he's just there to learn to Self Defence then he's best off somewhere that focuses on self defence.

In fact there's no reason he can't do both. When I did capoeira sent one sunday a month training at John Skillens gym in pure self defence and the two never got in the way of each other.

I'm waiting with interest for Nick to join this thread Very Happy
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Chris on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:05 am

It's a bit like going to a driving instructor. There are good ones, bad ones and those in between. You just need to find the right fit if Karate is actually what he wants to do.

If the class isn't for him then that's fine. The class wont change to suit him so it may well be that unless HE makes the change then there wont be a meeting of minds and there will continue to be friction.

The instructor is free to conduct his class largely as he sees fit. The other side of the coin is that you can always leave and try something else.
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Socrates on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:30 am

All good points. One thing to take into consideration is what the schools' finished articles look like. If the senior students are totally amazing, then trust the instructor, do what he says and be patient. On the other hand, if your boy could wipe the floor with the seniors, then look somewhere else.
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Dave on Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:50 am

As usual there are a lot of good replies. It was my who son came up with the idea of Karate, as he thought that it would help his kicking (I think he meant the variety of kicks taught) compared to that of thai boxing, as he was looking to add to his arsenal not rreplace them. Also I think that when he attended thai-boxing classes when he was younger no one was ever accused of being 'thugish' and all styles were welcome to attend.

Personally I think that if a Martial Arts Class passes itself off as teaching self defence then it should be open minded about individuals and teach towards that persons strengths and not expect that person to dismiss everything learned previous, especially stuff that is natural to them. For me the instructors should use the students experience as a base and add techniques and skills that compliment those abilities. As it will be these abilities and skills that become gross motor skills when dealing with confrontation and danger.

I also think that Mr Nobody has a point, on a couple of occasions as a white belt my son had other students come up to him asking how he did certain techniques. This was usually when they had bag work and again my son would resort to handwork from boxing. I dont think that the instructor liked his students doing this especially as some where higher grades than my son.

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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Nick Hughes on Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:30 pm

I'm totally on the side of Jag on this one.

If you come to my karate school to learn my style of karate then that's what you're there to practice. Save your personal preferences for outside the dojo. You have to understand with traditional and/or classical systems they are preserving a system that is taught that way for a reason.

One of the cool things about traditional martial arts was that I could, and did, go to dojos around the world and, even though I didn't speak the language, the techniques were, for the most part, the same. For an analogy, go to a McDonalds anywhere in the world and the fries and the burgers are the same. Karate styles are like that and, if you don't like it, go somewhere else.

Let me put this another way that might make it easier to understand.

Imagine I decided I wanted to go to my local boxing club to get some extra work on my hands and then I started kicking everyone in the ring. Do you think they might have a problem with it? I suppose I could use the excuse "it's one of my strengths and it's stuff I learned previous."

Nick
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Jagunco on Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:15 am

Another thing about karate is that a lot of the training style has less than obvious goals.

I recall a discussion on kata years ago, a lot of people can't see the point to it but it does work brilliantly on both spacial awareness and timing. But since a lot of people can't really see that on the tin they take away the kata or simply use it as a rather poor way to drill techniques.

The very low stance was alway ther to train your legs and your centre of gravity (or it was when I was doing shotokai) and trust me they took it out and I have to stop myself cringing when I look at the result.

It is a longer way round but if karate is used properly (nd I'm not saying it alway is, far from it) then it is an effective art.

If I had to pick problems these days with karate its intructors who don't know how to use it but think they do and bone headedness about modernizing it in the right way
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  David Turton on Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:56 am

the long low stances of shotokan introduced by Yoskitaka Gichin (Funakoshi's son) were to build early strength for the cannon fodder infantry... Funakoshi didnt do tem or expect you to drop them as they werent in the original Okinawa-Te

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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Dave on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:56 am

I respect what Nick, Jagunco and others are saying. But there is a big difference between Nick's example of kicking someone in a boxing class, (where obviously kicks are not allowed), and taking part in freestyle sparring and kicking or punching someone where both punches and kicks are allowed. My son was told early on that knees were not allowed in sparring and so he doesnt use knees.

I do appreciate that he can study that art and take from it what he wants and add that to his own fighting style, I even appreciate that during drills and kata his stance and style of punch or kick need to be those taught in the Shotokan style, but I fail to see the problem in 'freestyle' sparring with him using kicks and punches which are within the rules and natural for him to use.





Last edited by Dave on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  Jagunco on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:24 pm

I never knew that Dave but it was the main stay for all the years I did Shotokai. There were distinct differences between the styles that I can't comment on having never done shotokan and I did notice that the style suffered when they started letting people adopt higher and easier stances.
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Re: What is it with Trad Martial Arts schools

Post  David Turton on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:18 am

which makes sense with ANY style of martial art
if the style requires certain postures, stances etc etc and these are not used, then the application of techniques based around those 'positions' will suffer.

with regards to the application of karate/martial arts during the 'war' years of Japan from 1937 to 1945 meant that you didnt want to wait a couple of years before your 'soldiers' were capable

a quick few weeks hard training to strengthen the body and toughen the mind were the real precursors of long low stances

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