Great writing. Replace "Isshin-Ryu" with "Shotokan" and it reflects exactly my experiences...
What makes this amusing is how many ex karate types it's bringing out of the woodwork.
People are always talking about how bullshido posters have never done anything but MMA and dont know a thing about REAL karate.
In truth, we already did your shitty style and realized, some of us quicker then others, that it sucks as bad as we're saying it does.
I was lucky to have my current karate teacher say 'Your cross training in MMA? NICE!!!"
Honestly though, my previous experience prior to my uechi/MMA in martial arts is alot like what you described however.
My old karate and "muay thai"(he lied about the MT) teacher once said that "Those UFC guys are great athletes, but they have no real technique"
What the hell is 'real technique?
Hip Chamber and poweful kia's, like the sportage.
Terrible thought flashed into my head of her getting raped and not even attempting to pinch her attacker off, because in the horrific reality of the moment she wouldn’t have time to lie, even to herself.
You're a cruel man and we all love you.
I enjoyed the "Comical-Fat-Man" part. Being a fellow practicer of Isshin-Ryu I know some of the tactics employed can be ridiculous. Some of it is alright though.
I think this story is a perfect example of how drastically different schools can be, even within a particular style. My experience with Isshinryu is completely different. The training at our school was downright brutal. We sparred without pads and approached full contact as one approached black belt. As for the grappling thing, most advanced karateka I know definitely know how to fight on the ground...they just prefer to stay on their feet.
William Duessel, the current head of the IWKA in the US, originally started his martial arts career in jujutsu. The late John Lennox was a black belt judo instructor before he took up Isshinryu. My instructor, Mike Wadiak, is a former student of the late Don Nagle, who was good friends with and even shared a dojo with judo champion Ernest Cates. Gary Alexander also studied judo prior to taking up Isshinryu and Michael Calandra is a very advanced jujutsu practitioner.
Another thing to consider is that training is definately different for lower ranks than black belts. This is even more true for students under 18. My sensei would never promote anyone younger than 18 to black belt, and most had to be at least 21. Part of the reason for this is because the training required to reach black belt is simply inappropriate for minors. Having adults spar full contact without pads is risky enough, but doing so with children is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Boyd said that the black belts in his class didn't practice outside of the 2 formal classes each week. That is not only sad, it is very unusual. Every Isshinryu sensei I know basically requires students to practice outside of class. Class was for instruction, feedback, and sparring. Practicing and conditioning was mostly done outside of class. Typically, our advanced students would stay after class for additional practice. Unfortunately, this would often include practicing sanchin kata. Bascially this was were sensei would use students as a punching bag. The kicks to the groin were particularly unpopular.
It's unfortuante that Boyd's only experience with Isshinryu was apparently a watered-down version. It's even more unfortunate that many people will read his articles and think this is a typical example.
Oh, no doubt. I myself made it to Shodan in my Isshin-Ryu class, and I have had my fair share of blows to the junk. Sensei B told us to start wearing cups, and I didn't buy it the first time. I learned to focus after a while. We were actually taken to full contact tournaments, half contact stuff, and I could actually hold my own with the best of them. My Isshin-Ryu experience was a damn good one and it has pulled my ass out of the fire a time or two.
I never criticize an ENTIRE martial art. Some schools just suck is all.
I have been in Isshinryu since 1968. I began with Ed Johnson one of the founders of Isshinryu in the US. Ed was in Okinawa in 1959. I also knew the late Sherman Harrill who died in 2002. I believe I have fought about 4000 rounds of bare knuckle no rules fighting in my day. It was refered to as the "Blood and guts" era, before the safe-T- kick, punch invented by Jhoon Rhee. Before Safe-t-kick etc. there was no padding used except full contact armour used in Isshinryu and other Okinawan styles.
I was also senior private student to Grandmaster Dr. Dae Shik Kim who taught me TKD as a martial art (Dr. Kim began training in Korea in 1946) , kyokushinkai and aikijujitsu, Dr. Kim was one of the 5 founders of TKD in the US. Dr Kim was also on a demo team in the early 1950's that got martial arts into the Korean Tiger Division and White Horse Division. Dr. Kim was the director of the 1988 Olympic TKD tournament where TKD was introduced as a demo sport.
I know, big deal, just establishing my frame of reference.
Sparring in the 60's to very early 70's was real. You could get permanently injured and I know many that were. It is the watered down American karate, (boxing with a few kicks and too many rules) that the MMA types are finding flakey.
Some sparring is essential to have any grasp of reality. Today it really is impossible to do the old style 60's sparring of that era as lawsuits would be excessive.
We all have to find our path in martial arts. You can find old films of Shimabuku doing all the katas on Youtube Shimabuku, also you tube mas oyama.
Good luck on your path.
I think this story rings true for a lot of our own experiences, excellent writing on top of that just makes this quite wonderful to read.
I think this story rings true for a lot of our own experiences, excellent writing on top of that just makes this quite wonderful to read.
I got shodan at 17, but at that time 1971 there were few juniors in karate, it was too severe. I never fought a junior match even at 14. I fought bare knuckle senior open wt. Oh, then there were no weight divisions. Lightweights fought who you were lined up next to, middlewts or heavywts didn't matter.
And for real, I started "Karate" in 1966 at Pat Burleson's Korean Ways at 5400 Camp Bowie, building now gone, we did osotogari and tai otosh throws full speed on hardwood floors, NO MATS, I was 12. My brother and myself were the only juniors at the dojang.
Working with Dr. Kim was 5 hour workouts, private. You would do the Palgwe forms 4+ hours straight, no rest. I was 22 and had been in the martial arts 10 years, was doing 500+ kick routines every other day and for the summer before I began with Dr. Kim my training scedule was to get a job at a local under construction golf course out in the country (Lake County Estates, Boat Club Road) and swing an axe 8 hours a day clearing trees under the June-August (12 weeks) Texas sun. Then I would often do a Judo workout with Sam Numijiri one of the founders of Judo in Texas after work. My first contact with the martial arts was in 1961 when I was too little to practice but my 6 year older brother did Judo at the downtown Ft. Worth, YMCA. I would sit at the edge of the mat, not talk or squirm and "Sam" would show me how to do breakfalls and a few throws after the class as I sit formally and watched, 6 I think.
Doing what people now see as meaningless forms past exhaustion was the old Korean training. I remember after 3 hours or so my attention span would completely scramble, you would loose your focus and frame of reference but you would not stop. Then for 15 min. or so you would regain your composure this time with much greater focus. I now know what was going on, you "Hit the Wall" as in marathon running. You use up glucose/glycogen and began to metabolize fat. You feel this when it happens is an understatement. So, you hit the wall and then Dr. Kim would start messing with you. Having studied Native American medicine (more psycoloogy than medicine) for 20 years or so now I understand what he was doing, he was seeing if at you wits end you would shift into self-pity ( I can't go on, this is too hard.) or self importance ( Hey, screw this, this isn't going anywhere, your're wasting my time) ( Does this sound like any MMA types you have heard from??) These are two extremes of the same energy, ego self centeredness. Only someone who does not shift on these polar extremes of the same thing is allowed on to higher teachings, in this case Kyokushinkai actual fighting, not sport and Aikijujitsu. Dr. Kim was a senior student to both Mas Oyama, founder of Kyokushinkai and Tomiki founder of Aikijujitsu. And Dr. Kim was tournament director of Mas Oyama's first THREE world championship tournaments and first 4 I think Kukkiwon World Championships. Just filling in the frame of reference.
What I got with this training was a clear focus of attention, I also just knew that survival might depend on your level of awareness, not just fighting ability. Dr. Kim grew up under Japanese occupation just in time for the Korean war, survived both and came to the USA to get a Phd. His survival, I am sure took a lot of awareness and some fighting ability.
And since then I have always gotten a sense on the street if, "Something Ain't Right" before something occurs, and can very often just avoid it....(You get a strong feeling or intuition something is wrong and you get a direction IT is coming from, just before occurance) Dr. Kim used to say, "Violence and angry persons on the street are a little like a pile of dog poo on the sidewalk, you don't always go and stick you nose in it, if you step in it, it gets on you." Walk around it if you can,,,,,common sense. Also comes from the space of having nothing to prove.
A spiritual fault of many MMA types is extreme insecurity, always needing to prove something. This adds up to too many head shots and Neuro damage sooner than later in life. Hey, I know some of the early full contact fighters who now are presenting symptoms of Epilepsy, the human brain cannot sustain blunt force trauma. Something will give, and guys, Girls don't find epileptic seizures "Hot".
About that time (early 70's) I also found an excellent meditation teacher, Stuart Perrin (google) in Denton, just North of Fort Worth, (Kundalini yoga chakra breathing) and in the 80's at the same ashram started studying both Native American medicine, (Deer Tribe), rebirthing, and got 10 rolfing sessions. In 1993 I ran into Don Augustine Rivas an Ayahuasca shaman from the Peruvian Amazon did the cerelony 5 times with him with a 30 or so group, and currently have been doing Falun Dafa 3 years, Google F. D. local contact, it is always free.
Some people go on and on about Falun dafa and the founders Buddhist point of view, but I don't care if they sprout wings, fly to the dark side of the moon and plant turnips, the 5 exercises work for me.
Now days I in Native American terms "Dream In" teachers. I got hit with a divorce on 09/11/01 at 08:10 am , ex, and RN just came in off a midnight shift and nailed me with it 5 min. after I had seen the 2nd airplane hit the 2nd tower. We had met in 1994 at a steam room at a local health club, I was sitting there doing a "sweat lodge " to myself, doing giveaways mentally and spiritually and ex sit next to me, took me home, and bought me breakfast, we were married by Don
Augustine Rivas 6 monthe later, he cut our wrists and joined our blood, the "traditional shamanic wedding" Two weeks later I "bumped" into a Lama from Tibet in Denton, who stopped what he was doing walked 50 yards straight to me and then told me what was going on in my life and why, I had never seen him before, now I see it was a shift I had to make in my life to walk the path I had chosen, Oh, the first year 2001-2002 I did 150 hours of power yoga and at 47 then it was a great cleanser.
Went back to college to get a Dietetic Tech. Registered license to do nutrional therapy and after the day after finals "bumped" into Meetups and for two days that week sit in meditation with Shri Anandi Ma whose teacher Shri Dhyanyogi Madhisudandas lived to be 116 and was a yoga saint. Kundalini yoga, of course.
The beat goes on. Oh, I never got an injury that stuck, 53 and work out like 33 or so. I encourage the martial arts as a way of life, not something to wear yourself out with in your 20's and then like Al Bundy (Married with Children) bore people to tears about the "Great Fight" you once had as you stumble around with a cane and did you remember to take you meds???
Last but not least, read Funakoshi's Karate Do, MY Way of Life....not fiction. And YOu tube falun dafa, shimabuku, tomiki, mas oyama, kanazawa (10 th dan shotokan) there is some priceless stuff on you tube.
You tube Morio Higaonna kata video pt. 2 the 10:18 sec. one..the last part has the best chishi exercises I have ever seen, this puts correct circular strength into the shoulder which is a ball and socket joint. Most shoulder exercises are push-pull , up down, dip and maybe pullover, chishi balances shoulder.
I didn't think someone was gonna write a reply to my post let alone have it be the length of a book. I hadn't even checked the posts so I hope you didn't think I was replying to you because I was simply commenting the main article. I took karate when I was younger and it chimed with what I had to deal with that's all I was saying. I'm not sure if you hit the wrong button replying to what I said but what you said has basically nothing to do with my comment so sorry bout that?
First let me say this was a well written story. Next let me say that I am sorry that your experience with Isshin-Ryu started or ended like this.
I am 33 and have studied Isshin-Ryu since I was 15. When I turned 15 and was able to drive I set my mind that I was going to study martial arts, but wasnt sure about type or style. I went to 10-12 different schools and style. Everything form Judo to TKD and Kung Fu to Freestyle Karate. Then I happened across the school I now attend which happened to be Isshin-Ryu. I will say this that I dont think it was so much the style but the instructor. At all the other schools I felt like I was being feed a big line of crap, I was one of those people that I had to see to believe. Ive always like fighting and growing up my brothers and friends would always fight. We bought boxing gloves and beat the crap out of each other and would wrestle and stick fight. I learned early on that the choke was a valuable tool in a fight. Ive always been stout even at 15 so I approached my deisre to learn martial arts very skeptical. I had to believe that the person I was going to study under could do what they said and most the time that ment showing me. Let me just say, this man impressed me. Nothing fancy as a matter of fact he always said 'its the basics that will win for you'. We trained hard, very hard. He was a newer instructor himself and his school was a rough place. Nothing but young men and grown men there, I was probably the younger students now that I look back on it everyone was 15 to early 30s. Seemed every night someone was going to get stitches or medical attention. After the first few months my mother actually started to make me quite, she couldnt believe how rough it was. But Im sure she looks back now and is thankful for every thing, as am I.
Presently I live about an hour away from my Dojo and I drive past atleast 3 other Isshin-RYu schools and Im guessing about 8-10 other style Dojo's I regulary go to other schools ,including other styles but I have yet to find a place I felt I could learn more. Even to this day if I did meet another instructor or find another style that I felt was superior I would be there in a heart beat.
During my time in the military I served with the 1st Ranger Bat in Savannah GA and am currently a Go-dan (5thdegree) in Isshin-Ryu there is nothing soft about me or my way of thinking.
Id advise you not to give up on Isshin-Ryu as a whole but would advise you to look more at the instructor instead of the style. If you are ever in the east Tennessee area feel free to send me a PM and Id be glad to meet and discuss martial arts with you or feel free to PM me here and we can discuss your journey, because that is what life is a journey.
People get involved in martial arts for different reasons, and different styles and different instructors are focues in different areas. But you being a young man I know where your heart and mind are and that is the Fight and I dont believe there is anything wrong with that, because if most people are speaking truth this is what leads the majority of us to martial arts. So seek out an instructor that understands this, but this is not to say that over the course of your life/training that the reasons you train will not alter.
Best of luck with what ever you do.
I concur, mad props on the presentation. That...was...epic. By the way speaking of epic, this is my first post, EVER.
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