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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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ElfTengu wrote:
...constantly declaration of the superiority of this art entirely based on the semi-legendary exploits of our last grandmaster, against opponents of unknown quality, is just not worth the constant repetition.


Although it has been said a million times, it bears saying again: No art is superior, regardless of what any practitioner says. All arts have masters, wizzes, wackos, half-asses(me) and the whole bag of human experience. This art is superior for the people who experience it as such, and not an iota more.... just like every other art.

On a side note - ever wonder if the Takagi guys talked smack about the Gyokko guys, who may have talked smack about the Katori guys etc.....'cause I suspect this same argument has been around the block a few times.

Posted on: 2011/2/4 20:35
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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dbkaruson wrote:
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ElfTengu wrote:
...constantly declaration of the superiority of this art entirely based on the semi-legendary exploits of our last grandmaster, against opponents of unknown quality, is just not worth the constant repetition.


Although it has been said a million times, it bears saying again: No art is superior, regardless of what any practitioner says. All arts have masters, wizzes, wackos, half-asses(me) and the whole bag of human experience. This art is superior for the people who experience it as such, and not an iota more.... just like every other art.

On a side note - ever wonder if the Takagi guys talked smack about the Gyokko guys, who may have talked smack about the Katori guys etc.....'cause I suspect this same argument has been around the block a few times.


Well said.

And I doubt if anyone talked smack in the old days, they just fought and proved their point.

Imagine if the stories about Takamatsu Sensei consisted of him wandering round telling everyone he couldn't fight or spar with them because he was too deadly and vastly superior to any 'competitive' types!

Posted on: 2011/2/4 23:51
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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ElfTengu wrote:
Well good points but why does Muay Thai and BJJ turn out people who could clearly handle themselves better in a real fight, despite the lack of 'deadly' techniques, in such a short space of time when according to youtube 99% of taijutsu practitioners could not fight their way out of a paper bag after 20 years of study and are just told to 'keep going'. Until when? I might need it next week, and I've already put a good few years in.

Or it could be that only 1% of practitioners put themselves on youtube, therefore negating the aforementioned fact/opinion. I know that none of the people I hold in high regard can be found on there, so this might be the case.

I am not having a go at the art itself, which would be ridiculous as I am going to 'keep going' regardless, but this totally unproven constantly declaration of the superiority of this art entirely based on the semi-legendary exploits of our last grandmaster, against opponents of unknown quality, is just not worth the constant repetition.


I understand how this can be disconcerting. I think a lot of it has to do with people not understanding the fundamentals of their taijutsu. It isn't about knowing the kihon happo as a list.

It's about understanding what the components of the kihon happo do. The same with the sanshin.

For example, chi no kata produces movements that are very important for understanding something like ippon seonagi from Judo. For us, it is gyaku zeoi instead. If you don't have the connection in your taijutsu in your movement and kamae, then neither will work.

Sport systems have the luxury of focussing on a few techniques. Boxing has the jab, cross, hook, uppercut and variations of these. Muay thai has those along with elbow, low, middle, and high kick, and teep (sport version).
Judo has 64+ throws, but really most practitioners polish about 5.

We have the kihon happo and the sanshin, but how many people have really specialized in them the way that a competitor would? No, instead so many try to apply them to everything down to using a ball point pen as a weapon, before they have even really studied the fundamental application thoroughly.

That's my viewpoint, at least. Your mileage may vary.

Also, there is something to be said for naked aggression. It is sloppy, and can get you killed when things go beyond mano y mano, but it can carry people pretty far. This is fighting spirit. It can be dangerous. It explains a lot of the high injury rate I see in other dojo around me, because it is used instead of good technique.

Sometimes this is missing in some taijutsu circles. In sports' circles it is relied on too much.

In these matters, it is important that we find a good balance.

Posted on: 2011/2/6 15:58
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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Yes, see the point about seoinage/gyakuzeoi, although anyone who can pull this off except against a close attack from the rear has my respect.

I'm not sure as many people who profess to know kihon happo (in its true/full form rather than a 'list') really do, because so many of them have not done the eating of the pudding for the proof of it.

It is not only sports systems that rely on the 'luxury' of a limited repertoire, many 'combative' systems such as Krav Maga have done likewise. Is it better to have a limited number of 'high percentage' (of success in application) techniques/principles, or a vast number that most of us will never really attain a level of usability with (in a real situation)?

Recent experience has show me how many things are very difficult to apply when sparring, and sparring is a step removed from a real fight. If you can't get much of your simple taijutsu to work in a randor session with practioners of other arts, then you are going to find it even harder to apply in a real fight because there will be even more resistance from your opponent, and far more contributing factors to consider. But this does not mean that the sports/modern combatives practitioner is at a disadvantage, in fact the best analogy is of a soldier going into battle with one rifle and bayonet with which he has proven expertise, rather than a huge arsenal of potentially superior but effectively untested weaponry.

I agree about fighting spirit and aggression, although I believe they are different but undoubtedly related animals. At the end of the day, willingness without hesitation to do what needs to be done is an essential piece of the overall ability to emerge from a nasty situation in one piece, and I think a lot of people in our art dwell in the realms of fantasy and faith as far as this is confirmed.

Foundations are great, but they need to be unshakeable as well as comprehensive, and the only way to test this is to seek out those who can shake them sufficiently that confidence in them is justified and not merely imagined.

Posted on: 2011/2/7 4:52
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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You can do whatever you want but unlike kakutogi kobudo is an autocracy so unless you can convince soke of your ideas for improving his budo then you have just splintered away into something of your own making. In order to introduce a system of your own design or sparing to test the application of the kihon happo you would first have to master the kihon happo to the point that you can test it application.

I’m too busy trying to study, understand and master what my own teacher and my sempai has been trying to teach me (in the limited time I have to train with them) and apply it to spend time inventing my own ideas.

I think there are far more people talking in the Bujinkan than listening.


Posted on: 2011/2/7 10:15
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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In order to introduce a system of your own design or sparing to test the application of the kihon happo you would first have to master the kihon happo to the point that you can test it application.



But your statement is a paradox to me.

I cannot see how you can master the kihon happo WITHOUT testing it in application.

I am assuming that you are also indoctrinated to the unoriginal current thinking that one starts with a compliant uke and then to an uncompliant uke with the intention of creating the same outcome against a resisting opponent as a floppy skinny/fat dude in black pyjamas holding their arm out and freezing.

Well they don't come much more uncompliant than the kind of gendaibudoka I have been alluding to.

I'm sorry, I don't know what a kakutogi is.

Posted on: 2011/2/7 13:39
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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ElfTengu wrote:
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In order to introduce a system of your own design or sparing to test the application of the kihon happo you would first have to master the kihon happo to the point that you can test it application.


But your statement is a paradox to me.
I cannot see how you can master the kihon happo WITHOUT testing it in application.


For example if you are testing Omote Kote Gyaku in randori you have to understand the waza well enough in terms of mechanics, timing, etc to make it work otherwise you are not training Omote Kote Gyaku but just some sort of wrist lock.

Quote:

ElfTengu wrote:
I am assuming that you are also indoctrinated to the unoriginal current thinking that one starts with a compliant uke and then to an uncompliant uke with the intention of creating the same outcome against a resisting opponent as a floppy skinny/fat dude in black pyjamas holding their arm out and freezing.


I probably am “indoctrinated to the unoriginal current thinking”. It still surprises me in Japan when I see the numbers of people who go to a dojo, watch what is demonstrated and then go and do their own thing – why did they bother coming for (to be seen?). Of course all these people rush off to their home dojo and teach something of their own invention / interpretation. Personally I prefer to use the short time to absorb as much as possible, take it back to my dojo and practice. Maybe “unoriginal thinking” is original thinking in the Bujinkan?

Quote:

ElfTengu wrote:
I'm sorry, I don't know what a kakutogi is.


Kakutogi translates something like “fighting techniques”. It is the generic term in Japan for fighting sports.


Posted on: 2011/2/7 14:41
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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I doubt if anyone talked smack in the old days, they just fought and proved their point.


Good point, but simply being willing to actually physically train with someone that you are critical of or disagree with can go a long way towards gaining a mutual understanding. There have been several times when I've gone out of my way to go ask someone whose ideas or taijutsu I disagreed with to train with me. It almost always resulted in a positive experience. Physical interaction ("skinship") with another person, physically experiencing their movement, can go a long way towards settling disagreements, even if the final result is that you agree to disagree.

Cheers,
Shawn

Posted on: 2011/2/10 23:35
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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kouryuu wrote:
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I doubt if anyone talked smack in the old days, they just fought and proved their point.


Good point, but simply being willing to actually physically train with someone that you are critical of or disagree with can go a long way towards gaining a mutual understanding. There have been several times when I've gone out of my way to go ask someone whose ideas or taijutsu I disagreed with to train with me. It almost always resulted in a positive experience. Physical interaction ("skinship") with another person, physically experiencing their movement, can go a long way towards settling disagreements, even if the final result is that you agree to disagree.

Cheers,
Shawn


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Posted on: 2011/2/11 0:27
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