Thread: No Illusions
2/07/2003 11:55am, #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
Let this be a real intruduction to who I am in the Bullshido forum. If you don't like to read, then this post isn't for you.
Over and over again you guys contrast the practical to the impractical, striking versus grappling, ABC vs XYZ. Well, I'm a huge fan of the practical, but there is a point where the argument is worthless. You might dislike a certain art's style of sparring because of the rules it applies, and I'm no huge fan of the king of silly sparring rules, TKD, but you have to take in account that all fights have rules.
Yes, every fight. Europeans had silly rules up until a few centuries ago while employing vast armies armed with rifles. Current wars are supposed to exclude the use of shotguns, chlorine gas, etc. not to mention the really nasty stuff like biological weapons. The US could even just nuke Saddam if it weren't for the implications that resrict them from doing so (essentially, rules). If you're only slightly threatened in a personal fight, you're not going to gouge out eyes, rip out someone's throat or otherwise kill, maim or cripple the other person. If you're a bouncer, cop or a camp counsellor, you're not going to kill someone who decided to swing at you, but rather use submission holds or whatever.
The real problem with a fighting 'art' is that you can't fully simulate a fight without it really being a fight (with all the scars, stiches or worse to follow). Fake guns don't pierce, rubber knives don't cut and foam battons don't bruise. What ensues are sparring matches that don't 100% reflect reality. If they get turned into a sport which awards winners and losers because of conditions under the given rules, they should not be looked at as something that you can always uses in a real situation. This brings me to the next item, the question always posed to martial artists, "What if they have a gun?" This is a very valid point, since it brings the whole realism thing into perspective. I don't know about you guys, but I'm not going to be fighting a guy who might have a gun in the first place. Hell, I'm not going to be fighting in even a semi-real situation anyway.
Basically, my first point is, you have to train with rules in mind. You adjust those rules when presented with a real situation and try to make what you know fit somehow. The real danger I see is when McDojos teach TKD and give a blackbelt to a student with the false pretense that this student could handle him/herself in a real situation.
I'm a Haidong Gumdo practitioner, HDGD being the traditional Korean sword art and reportedly Korea's fastest growing martial art. The meaning this art has for Koreans is significant, as it trumped up as the indigenous sword art as opposed to Kendo, which symbolizes centuries of Japanese imperialism. The full truth I won't really explore here, but it's certain that HDGD is nothing like Kendo. The forms used are unique to the land but the technical aspects resemble Kenjutsu/Iaido (yet, after all, it is bascially the same weapon, so the differences can't be too vast). The art is a battlefield art, where combat versus more than one opponent is standard. It tries to be as practical as it can, considering the circumstances of a battle: fully armored warriors, many on each side or, at the most cheezy level, a duel between 2 'samurang' (Korean equiv. to 'samurai') but, sorry, samurai don't ever fight in bath robes, they'll have some sort of hard armor.
No illustions. Someone asks me, "What if the other guy has a gun?" I ask right back, "Why the **** would I be carrying a sword?" No illusions. After studying the art for 3.5 years I know how to carry myself better, I'm stronger, can react faster, etc., but I'm not going to delude myself into thinking my black belt qualifies me to take on 10 thugs by myself, unless I had 3 feet of razor sharp steel in my hands. Which, by the way, I won't. The only chances of that happening was during the whole Y2K-end-of-the-world thing, but we got through that OK.
The irony to all this is that Haidong Gumdo is extremely practical. You end up cutting hard objects that simulate flesh and bone. The sparring matches have no rules. You heard me, no rules. You can use kicks, knees, elbows, hilt butts or whatever you please. Therefore, the sparring gear is very complete, with hard head gear but soft padding all over the body (very flexible compared to the rigid Kendo sparring armor...I'll see if I can get pics and vids later). The only real objective is to eventually make a cut that looks like it could kill, if it were in a real fight. There is no point scoring system. It's been said that if your opponent says "OUCH" then that's as close to a 'point' as you'll get. Proper technique is encouraged and the instructor or otherwise referee might stop you to point out a good or bad technique, averting the students from that which wouldn't cut through cardboard. There are never winners or losers at the end of a HDGD spar, only things learned.
Yes, for a traditional martial art, it keeps pretty high practicality. The reason being that the art has the same basis was what warriors would learn before entering the battlefield. Meditation and candle snuffing (using sword to strike and nuff a candle without touching the flame) are really the only mystically useless aspects art. Yet, candle snuffing shows technique and meditation serves its own end. Again, what is the end? Nothing useful at all. Only self development. No illusions.
Nice to be around you guys. Mull through that and reply if you wish. I'm open to discuss anything (but I hope I didn't open a whole other can of worms by mentioning TKD like I did ;p ).
2/07/2003 12:10pm, #2KC ElbowsGuest
I don't think anyone would have any problems agreeing with you, after all, you're saying that here, this is the art I do, it is good for me, but it's not something that makes me invincible, because it's sword work, and we can't carry swords. Where problems ensue is when people say that their way is good for fighting, but they don't really know, because they haven't tested it.
As sword arts go, sounds like you've found a good school. You are now a scary home defender, because you are good with a sword. That's how I think of weapons training. "Well, the only time I'll ever use this is if someone busts into my house. Hmmmmmm..."
If anyone ever busts into my house, my goal is to get in practice with all of the weapons I will never find another opportunity to test. The police report on it's own would be netertaining.
THEN THE DEFENDENT PUT DOWN THE THREE SECTION STAFF IN FAVOR OF THE BOKKEN/KNIFE COMBINATION. HE STRUCK THE INTRUDER WITH THE BOKKEN, THEN SWITCHED THE KNIFE WITH THE CHAINWHIP. THE ASSAILANT FLED THE SCENE. ;)
Of course, I'm joking. If someone's in my house and I don't know if he has a gun, I'm not gonna be switching weapons and such. It's a last resort sort of thing. But enough of my babble.
2/07/2003 12:19pm, #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2003
I certainly respect your view of training. Hats off to you.
2/07/2003 12:26pm, #4
Kwan Dao, all the way baby!
I'd actually employ my (limited) training with Japanese style staff, because you're more likely to have one around in the home, ala a mop, broom, etc. The Chinese staff form is MUCH better looking, but IMO, only good in open spaces and not really practical as it's larger on one end and thusly, unlike a broom handle.
By the way KC, did you hear there's going to be a CMA tourney coming up soon somewhere in KC? I'll try and dig up info on it. I'll probably go and check it out.
2/07/2003 12:36pm, #5
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- Jan 2003
Heh, this is getting better response then I expected. Do I have to boast to get a flame or two? Like saying "I can take on anything with my sword" ? Well, I feel I can, as long as it's short of guns, arrows or grenades. Let's see if anyone can comment on that. ;p
But, yeah, Kwan Dao is awesome. The weapons I would like to learn next are in order Chinese Spear and Kwan Dao. Well, Kwan Dao is very similar to what I study, since they both employ circular motions in battlefield situations.
Heh, the problem is that I haven't found a really good school. I've found a great style with a good federation but crappy organization in the States. More on that later....
2/07/2003 1:01pm, #6
Nice post....but can you SWALLOW that sword? THATS some impressive shiit, my friend. A guy takes a fukking sabre and sticks it in his mouth and right down his throat BAM into his stomach. What the fukk is WRONG with these guys anway? Who was the first person to look at a 4 foot razor blade and say "Hey, I know what I'M going to do! I'm going to stick that in my mouth!".
Do you guys ever relly cut each other up with those swords or what? You know how people get out of hand from time to time and start sparring really hard? That must be a BITCH in your school man...... Who cleans up the gore?"All warfare is based on deception." -Sun Tzu, ca. 400BC
Reverse punch Kiaii!!!
2/07/2003 1:09pm, #7
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
that no rules thing is true. when jj lee went for his 3rd degree(i don't know if it was kendo or gumdo) he did a jumping back kick and sent his opponent flying.
2/07/2003 1:31pm, #8
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
Hehe, that art sounds cool. Well honestly the name kinda sounds like Cajun food but the aspect of the Art sounds cool.
I remember way back in Labangon, I was eating at a Sari-sari restaurant, when these two Eskrimadors walk out near the street. My cousin told me it was one of the Canetes and some other guy from the Doce Pares Club.
Canete goes, "Hoy Walay Judo-hay ha," (no Judo/grappling ok?) the other guy goes "O lagi" (ok) So they start sparring no pads or anything, no padded batons, the other guy starts losing and tried to throw Canete.
Canete kinda grabs the other guy and starts jabbing the bottom part of his stick into this guy's leg saying "Gi Ing-nan tika walay judo-hay" (I told you no grappling)
It was hilarious. I guess the moral is, even if you're in a fight with rules there's always that jackass who breaks them, so you should be prepared for it.
As for guns and knives, the only chance you have is when the person is drawing them out. Other than that bleak prospect, you're pretty much screwed.
2/07/2003 1:51pm, #9
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
- Chicken Town
Ken Oh, that was a very interesting post. I enjoyed your perspective and description of Haidong Gumdo. It sounds like an interesting art that will have a lot of physical and mental benefits. I would like to see it in action one day, if I am lucky enough to be able to.
As far as TKD goes, well, everyone paints with a broad brush on this style, so I am not offended. However, at our school we do sparring classes that fall within the sparring rules, and we will be having sparring classes that fall outside of the rules also, hand strikes to the head, etc. We also train in joint locks, ground fighting, and other aspects of self-defense. We do not stick to high kicks, as many people claim. In fact we are warned against using them on the street, as it presents an opportunity for your opponent to harm you greatly.
All in all, a great post. Keep them coming my friend.
Knowing it is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.Knowing it is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.
Never approach a Bull from the front, a Horse from the rear, or a Fool from any direction!
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. -- Thomas Payne
2/07/2003 2:21pm, #10
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- Jan 2003
Yeah, I forgot to mention that real swords are only used in forms and cutting. In sparring we'll use bamboo swords (you guys might know it as shinai) or wooden sword if you're hardcore about it.
To Bolverk, I really think that every style has its own merit in its own context. The problem with TKD is from my run in with McDojos. In fact, I know plenty of respectable TKD practictioners, many who attend the more traditional school in my hometown. They've told me that TKD was developed mainly to knock invading Mongols off of their horses. If that's the case, then TKD's high kicks have great merit in that context. But, just like my sword thing, you're not going to use it for what it was intended. What is the point then? None really. You do it just because.