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Re: How does someone test what they know?
Village Old Timer
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Soke has pointed out that Takamatsu also toughened up his hands by tearing bark off trees. He said this was appropriate training for the times, but that times have changed.

People train for different reasons. Not everyone wants to obtain the intensity of a Takamatsu. There have been many threads that discuss different methods of sparring and you can ramp it as much as you want. Nothing every truely prepares you for an altercation on a street, or in war time.

Soke frequently has people discuss their experiences of how they survived war, assaults, or assaults. He has never suggested that we purposefully put ourself in a dangerous situation.

I'm sure the hard core folks will say that you never know what you have until you test it, I have noticed most don't know what they had until they loose it!


Marty

Posted on: 2006/7/12 12:03
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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*SIGH*

I'll put in my .2 cents.....

Of course you cannot go out and pick fights with people. Nor is it condusive to staying healthy by traverseing known "trouble" areas of town.
There are legal ramifications and it is the height of arrogance to do so because you not only out yourself at risk, but your family also has to deal with the fall-out.

Having said that, please go find a training partner who doesn't mind getting his hands dirty and go spar. Train in an alive fashion. By alive I mean resisting uke who is actively fighting you back. Someone who won't go dead once you apply your -insert technique here- and just "give" it to you . Change your footwork. Change hands. Train gi and no gi. Go get your heart rate up and sweat a lot before class. ETC.
Consult a doctor, get a check up, and get on an exercise program that includes body weight exercise, weight training, cardio, flexibility, and core (abdominal) work.

But this is just my opinion. Good luck to you and keep going!

~ Rob Acox

Posted on: 2006/7/12 12:39
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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Thank you all for your responses! I don't have enough gratitude to show for this thread being taken seriously with real answers!

Of course putting yourself in real danger purposefuly when it is not your occupation is wrong. By "testing what you know" I don't ever want anybody to think I'm implying that. "Safety first" and all that.

I know nothing can really simulate the chaos of an actual assault. It's just that I fear running into a situation where in training, after the initial "take it slow to actually learn the technique" phase, I'm going to commonly find an Uke who "gives" the technique to me everytime. Rob Acox, I agree with your opinion. While I understand and respect everyone else's for the contexts they're speaking in (such as real life dangers) my context is simply that of how alive the training is in the actual Dojo.

Once again, thank you all for your replies.

Posted on: 2006/7/12 22:14
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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Any of the following will do the trick:
Mixing it up with other martial artist...all kinds..not just the unarmed ones.You don't have to kill each other and you don't even have to be out to "win." Just get in the arena every now and then.
Having a job that requires the skills. More dangerous than the first...but then again, you get paid.
Mixing it up with animals (even more dangerous depending on what it is you are are "training" with). Not recommended for anyone married or otherwise leading a life with responsibilities. Animals that can actually kill you will make this a little more serious (and interesting).

Charles

Posted on: 2006/7/13 10:29
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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If I may throw in something a bit "different"...

I also fight in competitive European medieval martial arts (SCA), wearing full gear of leather and metal. One of the first "initiations" we do to those who are new is to have them put on a helmet and then bash the snot out of them. This does 2 things - makes them respect the armor and the weapons, and it takes away the fear of getting hit. We tell them the first year is just getting your butt kicked, then you start to become good.

I've seen the same with some of the old school martial arts teachers - they thrash on you hard in the beginning stages to break the ego and take away the fear and stigma of getting hit.

With that said, maybe it would be interesting for you to find a good partner to pad up with and go some rounds. Feel what it's like to take a shot. Feel what it's like to deliver a shot. Once the stigma passes, lose the padding. Now feel the difference.

You'll find that when padded up, you reacted differently because you knew the hits wouldn't hurt (as much) and you delivered strikes differently because your partner didn't feel them as much through all the padding.

Now that you have taken off the padding, you'll be much more reactive because those boney fists do hurt - even with light punches to the right places.

So, I'm not saying yay or nay on aliveness, sparring, etc. Just realize it's all a process of growth and be realistic about whether or not you are learning the "right stuff" with it all in this stage of your training. Don't take any particular method as being the ultimate. There's a time and place for everything, I suppose.

I would conclude that doing any sort of this stuff really is more about losing than winning. It's being able to take the losing that would be important, not whether you score the most points or get the tapout.

Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo...

Posted on: 2006/7/13 14:09
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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Life is the test.

Posted on: 2006/7/13 20:13
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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Quote:

Charles wrote:

Animals that can actually kill you will make this a little more serious (and interesting).


Reminds me of some of the people I encounter at work!

Quote:

kendamu wrote:

Of course putting yourself in real danger purposefuly when it is not your occupation is wrong. By "testing what you know" I don't ever want anybody to think I'm implying that. "Safety first" and all that.


Since you are hedging your desire for reality both with a desire for safety and by saying that you are talking about training in the dojo, I think that the closest that you can come is by training with people that you have been training with a long time. People who you trust - both to be able to take a hit and not take it personally, who can ukemi out of your techniques to avoid injury, and whom you trust not to injure you. You also have to trust yourself. And of course the other person also has to extend the same trust to you, and also trust himself/herself in the same way. It takes a long time of training in a dojo with the same people to really be able to 'go at it' like this and still be safe. There are only a couple of people who I have that kind of training relationship with.

You can have all three: [as close as possible to] realistic, safe, in the dojo

but it takes time to develop that relationship environment. You can build it up more quickly by sacrificing one or more of the above 3 conditions, but you will sacrifice either safety or the degreee of realism in order to do so.

Shawn

Posted on: 2006/7/13 20:35
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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I too don't see a problem with sparring with people from other arts. Sure you may not get to gouge people in the eyes but you will certainly learn something (at least how you react when punched in the face or choked out) if you go at it with the right attitude. Some people may not want to take the risk of looking bad though but I guess it depends on what you want out of this art.

Instead of living in fantasy land and pretending you have unbeatable skills it is best to have a wake up call from time to time to let you get a more realistic idea of what you are and aren't capable of. When you have a good idea of your actual abilities then you'll avoid getting in over your head for real and should be able to remain calm when a situation arises you honestly know you can handle.

If you sincerely want to know more about fighting this (training with other systems), training with new people who react in unpredictable ways and getting a high-risk job are all valid, moral ways of testing yourself.

Some high-risk jobs though don't offer as many fighting opportunities as you think. I partially became a cop to have a legitimate way to test myself but I'm so damn tall and even tempered I usually don't have people wanting to take me on.

Jeff

Posted on: 2006/7/14 0:57
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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Quote:

bigred wrote:

Some high-risk jobs though don't offer as many fighting opportunities as you think. I partially became a cop to have a legitimate way to test myself but I'm so damn tall and even tempered I usually don't have people wanting to take me on.

Jeff


HA! That's wonderful. Two things come to mind;

1. You apparently really should be a cop! Many cops running around armed that have no business wearing a badge!

2. "Even tempered"... you must be a real Ninja...

Posted on: 2006/7/14 2:46
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Re: How does someone test what they know?
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About four years ago I was looking for a change of pace in my life. Because of my taijutsu training everyone around me was saying I should become a either cop, a prison guard, or something similar. I kinda scoffed at the idea essentially because I’m a lover not a fighter. So I got a job working on an ambulance. Didn’t think for one second I would ever have to use taijutsu in a self-defense situation while taking someone to the hospital. Boy was I wrong!

My first job was working for a crooked ambulance company in central California. Since the owner was desperate for any business, he had a cheap contract with the local behavioral health center to transport all their medical clearance patients to the local hospital. The problem with transporting those types of patients is the huge possibility of having them totally wig out on you during the trip. Most of the time my patients were “fresh” off the street and tweaking from a cornucopia of street drugs. Quite a few times (even with several forms of physical restraints in place on the patient) the whacked out patient would break free and come after me. After each incident I was amazed how I was able to count on my years of training to protect myself.

But none of those encounters compares to the time I had a large violent patient standing nose to nose with me. I remained calm and somehow talked him into going peacefully to the hospital, much to the disdain of the numerous security guards itching for a fight.

Ultimately you have to trust in your training. There is no clear cut answer to how you prepare yourself for real life fight. Yes, Takamatsu Sensei did test himself in the real world, but how many other young men like him ended up dead or crippled from their musha travels? He was one of the lucky ones who just happen to live to a nice old age.

Posted on: 2006/7/14 5:16
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