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Ring age
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The topic on sparing is badly flawed simply because no one is willing to pin down exactly what they mean by the term. How many of you are aware of the term "Ring age"??? You will only be exposed to this if you have trained at the top professional levels as in boxing, muy tai, etc where a persons living depends on their ability to compete. What it refers to is the number of rounds you have fought in the ring. Heavy sparing is kept to a minimum by these professionals because they know that they have only so many hard blows to the head or twisted joints, or kicks to their body before their body no longer functions. I ran regularly for a lot of years before I started training in Karate, it only took a couple of years doing those unnatural kicks to tair both of my hips up requiring that I stop running and get two surface replacements on my hips.(while in my 50s!!) I mentioned Joe Louis and my memory of talking with him, what about Mohamed Ali or Casius Clay as he was first known? He is also in that state. All those really top individuals now live with the results of beating up their bodies, that ladies and gentlemen is a fact of life. You only have so many "hits" until it effects your life in a very negative way. I had never heard the term "ring age" until I had a conversation with Charles Daniel today. He has trained with the top levels which many people can't do either from physical condition or ability to pay the money needed for such training. This term is very real to them. Now how is it that this concept seems so foreign to most martial artists? To most of the people here? Especially those who advocate this "hard" sparing, of which I still don't know their definition? Most of the one advocating this type of activity are still too young to know what they will experience by the time they are in their 40s or 50s, yet they seem to know how EVERYONE should be doing their training. Ask those who have already attained an age of 40s or 50s what they have experienced, that will be YOUR future too! Now if you think you won't get to that age so be it, destroy yourself, but I am here to tell you that those years pass a lot faster then you think and you WILL live with what you've done. Robert Heinlein wrote something about stupidity which I will paraphrase: Stupidity can not be corrected through education, it can't be changed by legislation, Stupidity is not a sin, a person can't help being stupid,but it is the only universal capital crime. Their is no appeal and sentance is carried out immediately and without pity. I consider deliberately destroying your body to be nothing but stupid, but it is your choice.

Posted on: 2008/6/8 0:01
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Ed Martin aka Papa-san
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Re: Ring age
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I am going to split your post up only because you cover too many things to just deal with in a single reply.

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
The topic on sparing is badly flawed simply because no one is willing to pin down exactly what they mean by the term.


I am not sure this is accurate. Most of us are pretty clear on what sparring means. Please read the original ARTICLE that started the recent thread on sparring. Please.

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

How many of you are aware of the term "Ring age"??? You will only be exposed to this if you have trained at the top professional levels as in boxing, muy tai, etc where a persons living depends on their ability to compete. What it refers to is the number of rounds you have fought in the ring. Heavy sparing is kept to a minimum by these professionals because they know that they have only so many hard blows to the head or twisted joints, or kicks to their body before their body no longer functions.


This is not what ring age refers to. Ring age is one of many factors in deciding if a boxer or fighter is in danger of injury - continuing to compete at a licensed, professional level. "Body functioning" is not part of the equation directly. See BSI for more information on this (Boxing Severity Index).

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

I ran regularly for a lot of years before I started training in Karate, it only took a couple of years doing those unnatural kicks to tair both of my hips up requiring that I stop running and get two surface replacements on my hips.(while in my 50s!!)


This begs the question Ed - when did you start training in Karate? From the paragraph above, it looks like you started training in Karate in your late 40's (at the earliest). Do you think that your experiences (starting martial arts in your late 40s) is at all indicative of the results someone would get if they started in their late teens? Surely you are more intelligent than that.

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

I mentioned Joe Louis and my memory of talking with him, what about Mohamed Ali or Casius Clay as he was first known? He is also in that state. All those really top individuals now live with the results of beating up their bodies, that ladies and gentlemen is a fact of life.


This requires a reality check here Ed. Joe Louis and Mohamed Ali were taking punches to the head from the worlds best heavy weight boxers. Please name someone in the BJK who could get that kind of abuse from a BJK class? Repeatedly. For decades.

Seriously - you need to take some of your free time and figure this out before you post things that make you look this foolish.

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

You only have so many "hits" until it effects your life in a very negative way. I had never heard the term "ring age" until I had a conversation with Charles Daniel today.


I had heard this term long before today. Perhaps you should ask Charles how many BJK shidoshi are advancing in "ring age". Ask him, from his point of view, if "ring age" is more of a concern than "no ring experience at all" for your normal, average, BJK shidoshi.

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

He has trained with the top levels which many people can't do either from physical condition or ability to pay the money needed for such training. This term is very real to them.


Yes. To them. The ones who are dealing with professional fighting, it is a real term. Not to us.

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

Now how is it that this concept seems so foreign to most martial artists? To most of the people here?


See above. The concept isn't foreign to me. And you should check into normal ring age of professional fighters. I don't know how many full fight rounds you have completed (I am guessing your ring age is VERY VERY low).

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

Especially those who advocate this "hard" sparing, of which I still don't know their definition?


Who advocates "hard" sparring as a regular staple to their normal training? Who Ed? Can you name... ANYONE?

This is called a "straw man".

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

Most of the one advocating this type of activity are still too young to know what they will experience by the time they are in their 40s or 50s, yet they seem to know how EVERYONE should be doing their training.


Straw man again.

Let me be crystal clear with you here Ed:

Ed Martin - you should NEVER spar hard - not now, not tomorrow, not for the rest of your life. Your advanced age and your body's condition indicated you are not ready to handle hard sparring. Sorry. If you were my student, you wouldn't be ALLOWED to spar "hard" in my class.

For those who are still young enough to take a few good shots - by all means, get in a mix it up a bit. It isn't going to kill you, and you will likely learn a bit from it.

Don't just walk to the backyard and slug it out with someone else - and don't do it every Mon / Wed / Fri. This is called, "Common sense". Seems there is a shortage of that around here sometimes.

For you Ed, specifically: Why is it that I can see when things like this are appropriate and when they aren't... but you can't even admit that is it appropriate for anyone to EVER spar? You claim that we (the sparring group) seems to know what is good for everyone else, but YOU are MORE GUILTY of this than ANYONE else. Is it because you are old(er) so you feel you are entitled to tell us everything - while being exempt from your own rules?

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

Ask those who have already attained an age of 40s or 50s what they have experienced, that will be YOUR future too! Now if you think you won't get to that age so be it, destroy yourself, but I am here to tell you that those years pass a lot faster then you think and you WILL live with what you've done.


I currently train with Gene LeBell as well, Ed. He is 76 yrs old - still teaches diligently - and is VERY supportive of hard training and competition. I realize that you outrank him (you being 15th dan - he is only a 9th dan in Traditional Kodokan Judo / 9th Dan in US Ju-Jitsu and US Taiho-Jutsu (USJJF)) - despite him having twice as many years training in Martial arts. He is still PLENTY quick and intelligent. And... he disagrees with you. So... .. .

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

Robert Heinlein wrote something about stupidity which I will paraphrase: Stupidity can not be corrected through education, it can't be changed by legislation, Stupidity is not a sin, a person can't help being stupid,but it is the only universal capital crime. Their is no appeal and sentance is carried out immediately and without pity. I consider deliberately destroying your body to be nothing but stupid, but it is your choice.


You are free to think whatever you want. There is a guy down in Santa Monica on the beach right now with tin-foil on his head who thinks the Government is trying to read his mind, and he believes that those of us NOT wearing tin foil on our heads are stupid as well.

I guess it comes down to choosing who and what to believe in.

Me? I will take the advice of someone who has been at the VERY top level of the world over some guy who didn't train until he was already well into middle age any day of the week and twice on Saturday. Maybe in 40 yrs, I will regret that move - but I somehow doubt it.

But feel free to warn everyone about advanced ring age (despite the fact that the vast majority of people here in the BJK have NO ring age). Your prerogative.

-Daniel

PS. Sorry I am not just putting my thoughts down - I know you want me to not just attack your ideas... It is more important for people to see why your thoughts are incorrect than it is to put my own thoughts next to them (as if they have equal weighting).

Posted on: 2008/6/8 2:59
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Re: Ring age
Kutaki Postmaster
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:

Robert Heinlein wrote something about stupidity which I will paraphrase: Stupidity can not be corrected through education, it can't be changed by legislation, Stupidity is not a sin, a person can't help being stupid,but it is the only universal capital crime. Their is no appeal and sentance is carried out immediately and without pity. I consider deliberately destroying your body to be nothing but stupid, but it is your choice.


My dad once said "Some people are so stupid that they themselves don't know that they're stupid"

My advice: Don't always believe what you believe

Posted on: 2008/6/8 11:38
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Mark Franco
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Re: Ring age
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Ed can I also recommend you start a new paragraph after about 3-4 sentences or when you seg-way into another point. It makes it easier to read, especially on a computer screen.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2008/6/8 11:42
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Mark Franco
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Re: Ring age
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I understand why each ideas exist about it. Be sure that we already have had this problem since Edo era. The conclusion of this problem was already obvious in those days.

There are many stories or information about the conclusion. Researching and discovering about it are all up to one's responsibility. It is your life.

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU

PS Don't ask me. I need time to practice rather than answering to it.

Posted on: 2008/6/8 15:08
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Re: Ring age
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I'll try to do that Mark, thanks for the suggestion.
As for this "ring age", would not all of you agree that it is a rather important principle to the discussion on sparing?

If that is true as I am certain it is, then why Daniel, since you "already knew" about this, didn't you mention it before? Is it just possible that the information found in this "well-known" concept contradicts your rather strident pronouncements about how one must train? Perhaps you should ckeck out these sites on the subject.

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/boxing/news/story?id=3105787
http://www.judoinfo.com/lee.htm
http://ejmas.com/jcs/2004jcs/jcsart_landa_0804.htm

Posted on: 2008/6/8 23:16
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Ed Martin aka Papa-san
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Re: Ring age
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Quote:

Tamatora wrote:

PS Don't ask me. I need time to practice rather than answering to it.


THIS IS THE MOST PROFOUND STATEMENT I'VE EVER SEEN IN KUTAKI IN SUCH A LONG TIME

for me it's up there with "SHUT UP AND TRAIN!"

PS

sir, may i use it in my signature?

Posted on: 2008/6/9 3:16
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Griff Lockfield

"Don't ask me. I need time to practice rather than answering to it." - Harada Masanori

just playing the ONI's advocate!
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Re: Ring age
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Mr. Martin,

I do not see how those articles contradict the idea that sparring can serve as a valuable training tool.

I read through each article, more than once. While they all agree that safety of participants should be paramount, none of them infer or conclude that sparring should not be used.

One could pull each article apart and quote snippets to support either position (for/against sparring).



The first article examines one of the darkest days in boxing (IMO). I remember watching that fight with morbid fascination; one man beating another to death on television.

The concerns raised in the article are valid... to those who engage in repeated full contact, 100% balls-to-the-wall, competitive fighting matches. I do not see how they apply to the use of sparring as a training tool.


The second article you linked to is a written response to another article, written by another Judo coach, on "unorthodox ukemi" <link here>. Side note: Ukemi they describe as "unorthodox" is actually necessary to train safely in Bujinkan Budo.

I doubt either author would agree with your position re sparring as a training tool.


The third article is the most relevant of the the three to your position. However, it is too broad and anecdotal to be a conclusive warning against the use of sparring as a training tool.

Like the first article, it does serve as a reminder to those considering entering competitive training and fighting to train well. However it does not conclude that sparring is dangerous.

BTW, the author, a medial doctor and student of Brazilian Jiujitsu and Ryukyu Kempo Karate, does advocate sparring as a training tool.


I am on the plus side of 40 and still enjoy randori. I started out in Judo and think the pedagogy of kihon, kata and randori is fantastic.

For me, drilling kihon is like driving a set route on a map. Your focus is getting to your destination, but you should keep your eyes open and note other paths and junctions along the way. Yes we can use Henka to explore some of those paths and junctions, however it is still a predetermined (by the instructor) route.

A better example (IMO) is to give folks the destination (say a bent arm position - omote/ura oni-kudaki, musha-dori, kimura, etc), define the resistance levels, and then cut them loose to explore the possible routes they can take.

Start them standing and disengaged, standing engaged, kneeling disengaged and kneeling engaged. Monitor the energy levels and provide verbal suggestions when they get stuck. Jump in when they go way off course to show some transitions that will bring them to the intended destination. Jump in and work with them!!!

Of course, people need to have a good base knowledge of techniques prior to doing randori. Without that, randori is just ran (chaos) with no control; no purpose.


To return to my route on a map analogy, the purpose of randori is to explore the alleyways and back-roads of terrain your instructor has guided you through.

Sure, you might get stuck here and there. You might even get a few dings in your windshield! But your instructor will be sitting in the backseat to help navigate out of those situations. They will point out the indicators you missed, the turn that sealed your fate and remind you of how you got out.


Finally, my feeling about who can do randori is the same as training in general. I think anyone can do it, but know that not everyone will.


Train well. Stay safe.

Posted on: 2008/6/9 3:31
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Re: Ring age
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
I'll try to do that Mark, thanks for the suggestion.
As for this "ring age", would not all of you agree that it is a rather important principle to the discussion on sparing?

If that is true as I am certain it is, then why Daniel, since you "already knew" about this, didn't you mention it before? Is it just possible that the information found in this "well-known" concept contradicts your rather strident pronouncements about how one must train?


Several reasons.

The most obvious is that sparring isn't the same as competition fighting. Most of the time sparring is done between 50 - 80% speed with power pulled out of shots. On the occasions where you decide to knock it up a notch or two - you generally wear headgear - and on the even more rare occasion that you decide to ramp it up without gear, you don't spend hours in front of each other bashing each others head in.

The other obvious points are that most students in the BJK aren't of the quality of professional boxers on two important levels - stamina/endurance (most important) and power generation. This means that most guys can't actually fight a full 3 minute round with good punching through it all.

Lastly, because of the nature of boxing vs. full range arts - you take considerably less head trauma when there isn't;
A) a ring
B) Grappling / clinching / throws.

Honestly - are you seriously not understanding this, or are you purposely being polarized for the sake of discussion?

Ring age doesn't contradict sparring in the least. Your misinformation and bias against it are the reasons it APPEARS to something to consider.

Even if we decided to agree that some of the sparring done in a BJK class might qualify as rounds counted in Ring age - you have a LOT of rounds to go before ring age is a serious consideration for personal safety. You are in the BJK - you shouldn't be racking up hundreds of full contact / no equipment rounds.

I honestly don't know what you are driving at here Ed.

-Daniel

Posted on: 2008/6/9 3:42
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Re: Ring age
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I always find it a bit depressing when the majority of posters in a thread will blow right by something that a knowledgable and experienced Japanese shihan posts here without even acknowledging it because they are too busy trying to force their own points. And then people wonder why the really senior people don't often frequent the forums.

<sigh>

Posted on: 2008/6/9 12:32
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