Check out the dude's left hand...Quote:
Originally Posted by SFGOON
Check out the dude's left hand...Quote:
Originally Posted by SFGOON
Every experience I've had sparring in PTT has been closely watched by at least one black belt (with at least five years of experience leading them to that rank). We've been given specific guidance as to the type and nature of strikes, kicks, blocks, and holds we should be practicing. These bouts generally last no more than one minute, and happen between students who know and trust each other. When the black belt says "break", we break. We are welcome to wear any protective gear we choose for these bouts, though generally we choose not to. It's our choice.Quote:
Originally Posted by attakmint
The only time I have sparred with a student I did not already know has been in an even more controlled camp/tournament situation. In this case, we were being watched by multiple black belts, and unless we were sparring directly with a black belt, we were either wearing (at minimum) head guards and hand guards, or were clearly instructed to make touch-contact only. These bouts lasted about two minutes.
I believe black belt (and maybe brown sash, though I'm not certain) students engage in more free-form sparring in their training.
All I know is that in addition to working forms and such, our school also requires us to develop actual fighting experience, of greater intensity as you rise in rank. It's required for promotion at every step after white sash.
... and I am but a lowly yellow sash, sharing what I know. I do not know for certain that there are exactly 10 stances for each rank (I know about 15 at this point). Some of the stances might be more accurately termed "responses" to particular forms of attach. Others are purely formal. Clearly some are more immediately "useful" for sparring than others.Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus
My impression is that we are sometimes being taught certain holds and stances as much to force us through challenging positions - for the sake of balance, working through awkwardness, or whatever - as for the specific effectiveness in direct combat.
Thanks for the check-in about the skepticism and attitude on this site. It's apparent. And I don't expect anyone to take my word at face value. I just wanted to provide some information based on some sustained, direct, and still admittedly limited experience with PTT. MY02, YMMV, DETYS, etc...Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin.74
I don't have access to sparring videos myself - I'm just another student - and believe it would be up to the schools to decide whether to create and post them here. Visitors are always welcome at the schools, so I believe anyone who truly cares could show up for pretty much any class they wish and watch.
Hey everybody. I'm typing up a long reply to this. I've got some light to shed and I'd like everybody's indulgence while I try to type something coherent. Thanks in advance, you should have it on the boards in an hour.
First of all: www.poekoelan.com
I've held back from this for about a year. I posted in this thread, putting up a wikipedia article that was written by your people Leo and then edited by a friend to include a larger truth of whats gone on. I posted this in secret, quite frankly, out of cowardice.
I didn't want to out myself and open up a can of worms that I wasn't sure if I was ready to deal with. I can only offer this up to the members of this site as an explanation.
No excuses and no apologies, life is far too short I have learned. So here goes....
I'm posting now because I see you're young in your training there, and there might be a chance to turn you back now. I hope.
Also, I hate everything that the art stands for. Every last bit of bullshit associated with it.
This is not a personal attack at you Leo, please don't take it as such.
People reading, fair warning, this is gonna be long. Get a chair.
I hold a 1st black belt from Barbara Niggel in the very art you are now training. I was one of the "Goldens" (the title of people who basically manage and do a lot of the teaching at a Tulen school) at the recently closed New York city branch under Sam Duffy. I am going to leave Mr. Duffy largely out of this. Suffice it to say he is a dear friend and his secrets are not mine to divulge. He doesn't know I'm writing this. He and the upper echelon of instructors at that school collectively severed their connection with the Tulen organization to do their own thing, namely run the school without Barbara Niggel's interference. This was not an amicable separation. We left. Some of us left angrier and more hurt than others. Most of us felt cheated.
I began my training under Mr. Duffy in January, 2001. My previous background was in various traditional systems from both China and Japan. That is to say, traditional systems. I had some problems with the school when I got there, but I put them aside. Part of the "empty your cup" concept that is used often to deter people from asking informed questions. I believe that as a concept its great, but too often its twisted to shut people up.
Anyway, I started as you had. Took the tests as they came up. The thing that attracted me most to the system was the black belt test which is a full 48 hours long. It seemed intense and hard and I am somebody who enjoys testing himself to see if he can do something.
The begining framework of the system is in what they call Cuntao. For the indonesian martial arts people out there the general definition of Cuntao are the chinese martial arts that came with chinese people moving into indonesia and bringing their native arts with them, whereas the native arts of Indonesia Penjak Silat are indigenous.
In Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen Cuntao is a series of 108 or 104, depending on who's teaching you (there are variations), techniques. They range from escapes from locks and chokes to stripping guns and knives from "attackers." All of the locks and chokes are of the "street defense" variety. They're not good chokes and locks applied by somebody who really knows how like a BJJ, SAMBO, or judo player. (these are listed as obvious examples rather than a complete list.)
They are also all completely dead drills. There was never any attempt to make them live against fully resisting opponents. There might be a token effort of resistance. This is how they are learned and this is how they are tested. I personally believe that they could be trained "alive" but then a few things would happen:
1) Half of them would be eliminated because they would be impossible under live circumstances.
2) The learning curve would slow down quite a bit, rather than 6 months to a year of training cuntao, you'd have to spend most of your time doing it.
3) It would become the bulk of effective techniques in the system if not the bulk of the system itself, rather than a basic, beginner program.
The test to get out of Cuntao into what is called Third Phase is a timed "speed through" in which you have to complete all 108 techniques with people feeding you the attacks in under 6 minutes. This sounds very impressive. It has a few good points, you learn not to think and just act, its very demanding cardio wise, it does induce some stress to what's normally a pretty relaxed, in my opinon, exercise. But its flawed for these reasons:
In order to make time both the attacker and the defending cut corners like crazy. Weapon disarms get skipped, finishing strikes get skipped or done poorly and without any real power, proper attacks aren't followed. In essence they lose effective execution just to fufill a requirement of the test. The test defeats itself.
Oh, and there is no contact with the strikes, they are all stopped before hitting the attacker. Now, in a system that relies on striking to make the openings necessary for the defense, taking out the striking nullifies the defense being practiced effectively.
On top of that, when practicing, people performing the prescribed attack are ordered to "honor the softening blow" the strike used to create an opening. By honor, they mean, act as if hit. Those of you on this board familiar with actual fighting can see the fallacy inherent in this. You're building in conditioned responses which in turn gives the student a false sense of security in their power and ability. Which is a dangerous thing to do with somebody who you are supposedly teaching to defend themselves.
Sparring: Its al no-contact. Its didn’t start out that way, at the beginning you could spar with a higher ranked person and bang as hard as you’d like within reason. There wasn’t any gear used. But the longer I trained the more I saw it scaled back until if you gave somebody a bloody nose during training you got dropped for push-ups or yelled at. Yes, shouted at. Sometimes with real anger. Towards the end of my time the school had organized inter-school tournaments at yearly gatherings in which you could be disqualified for hitting harder than a tap.
There’s a lot more of this, people interested can ask questions. I’ve got a lot to say in terms of the systems workings as I was an instructor for 4 years and a school manager for about the same amount of time. I taught an average of 10 classes a week. I’d like to get now to the meat of this issue. The bullshido. Because this art is without question, absolute bullshido and mcdojo, but is adept at hiding the earmarks. Examples:
-During the bulk of my training a paid a monthly fee of $100 which for NYC is not unreasonable. But around the time I started training Barbara Niggel started offering seminars on the “secret training” of tulen. People who went to these seminars were told not to make the information public at their schools. She relaxed some of these strictures but as the seminars got more “advanced” so did the strictures on even talking about them with other students who didn’t go.
-The seminars were extra money and if you wanted to attend them for the first two or so years you had to travel to Cape Cod where the system’s headquarters resides at a gym Barbara Niggel owns and operates there. The seminars were $150 each and there was a definete feeling by those attending that they were getting the “real tulen” system whereas everybody else was just getting basic ****.
-At the beginning the seminars were very physical. You’d train for three hours at a time, they were heavy on sparring and actual physical training and I’d be sore as hell for days following. All good things. At the beginning they were each about one of the Animals of which the system is based. I’m pretty sure Leo posted those so I won’t reiterate. Anybody who wants detailed info of the seminars content as per the animal stuff, just ask.
-The first year was all physical and while looking back I realized most of it wouldn’t work in pressured scenarios with fully resisting opponents, it was at least physical, fun and exhausting.
-The second year things got weird. Very weird. And I’m ashamed of myself for going along with it. I think looking back I knew better, but what are you going to do? Change the past? The second year of seminars were riddled with:
-No touch knock outs
-weird energy work that would remind some people of religious-styled fervor. They call these sessions erasures. Yes I’ve had them, christ on occasion I paid for them. They’re supposed to heal you psychically. I think sometimes for people, somebody else has to give permission for you to allow yourself to feel good.
-poison hand techniques so deadly that frequently people had to sit along the sides to be “healed” because they’d gotten too much “poison. Group hypnosis and bullshit maybe, but certainly nobody had to be hospitalized or died from it.
-attempting to set things on fire mentally
-attempting to bend iron bars with your mind
-attempting to float, or walk on air, the drill for which was, I **** you not, that game people play at sleep-overs when they’re 12: Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.
In the beginning, there was a lot of sparring mixed in with the weird stuff so I stuck around longer and eventually the seminars were completely non-physical and included almost all this weird stuff.
If people want personal reasons from me why I put up with this for so long, I’ll post them publically, but I’m gonna try and not burden the board with my personal demons or troubles. They’re not part of this investigation.
-Eventually, the seminars were sold as a package deal of 1,000 up front by a certain time or else the price went up about 50%. Students from other schools would fly in to train. We would travel from New York to Cape Cod.
I’m a little worn out for now. I’m gonna post this, and see what happens and post more later. Thanks for listening and Leo, do yourself a favor, go to Straight Blast Gym in Portland and have a blast. Matt Thornton is an excellent guy and very familiar with the concept of martial arts cults of which Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen has a disturbing number of ear marks for. Leo if you want to communicate off this board or call me post your email and I’ll get in touch.
Oh, and if you bring this up at your school and Janesa or Scott, or one of the Sackett brothers or whoever the **** asks you who I am. Tell ‘em its justin from the new york school with Sam Duffy. Tell them what I said and tell them I said hello. Then get the **** out of there.
Couple other things:
the "Fights" for tests or anything else these people call "fights" have about as much in common with a real fight as the pope has with an honest man. For those devout catholics in the house, sorry, I mean they're nothing like fights.
They're light to non-contact sparring sessions.
Originally Posted by Mas Leo
You're getting away with not wearing gear, not because you guy's trust each other or because you're harder than a coffin nail, but because you guys aren't making contact. You're instructors aren't going to let you do that. Unfortunately. It would be very educational for the average or even advance tulen black-belt, let along a gold sash, to get hit properly. I'm not being threatening or inflamatory, I mean it. It would change the way you guys fight. For the better.
They have a school near me. Its looks like McDojo-fied Silat (LOL!).
I think they like to yell and act like animals (well, so do I but I don't call it "training").
Originally Posted by Zendetta
You're near Studio Naga in Oakland. Yes. It is. And they do.