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  1. Sheol is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/16/2002 8:31am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    He/she is a person wanting to transmit his knowledge whilst enjoying the best possible living standards for him and his family, and the lowest possible economic risk.
    So don't open a school. Seriously. Good business is about controlling risk while selling a product. Generally speaking, the lower the risk, the lower the rate of return. If you're taking short-cuts in order to boost your returns, then SOMEBODY is paying for it. In the case of the martial arts, it is generally the customers, the students, who are paying for it. If that doesn't bother you, then you're a McDojo waiting to happen.

    So perhaps not all McDojos are really McDojos. Some might be run by very good teachers who will teach some students one way, because they show willingness, and to the masses will offer a formulaic feel-good get-fit have-fun package which might not turn them in wong fai hung but will give them belonging, fitness, skills, achievement, confidence, friendships, determination and some defence skills.
    A school isn't a McDojo because they have a slick ad campaign, flyers, and after-school programs. A school is a McDojo because they compromise the nature of the martial arts and conduct their business unethically. If someone wants to have a feeling of belonging, confidence, or achievement, put them in a team sport. If they want fitness, give them exercise. If they want skills... why are they at your school??? You can't give true friendship and determination. They have to develop these things on their own. Self-defense can't be gained in anything less than a serious program without the distractions commonly found in McDojos. To offer self-defense as part of a 'main-stream', "feel-good", program is deception. If they want self-defense, then they want a serious program, not some "do you want fries with that" system. Self-defense is NOT a product that a McDojo can provide. It requires honesty and dedication on the part of the instructor and extremely hard work on the part of the student. I'm not saying that it has to be as brutal and bloody as boot camp, but it has to be true to the martial nature of the true martial arts.

    And maybe that is exactly all what 99% of the population can handle, needs and is looking for when it comes to MA.
    "You can't handle the truth!"
    That's a cop-out. Martial arts is a two-way street. Your students have to travel the road and so do YOU. If that isn't what you want, then open an aerobics center specializing in "Tae Bo" programs.

    Mike Tyson, when he started boxing, I'm sure spent the first months countlessly repeating the basic punches and combos to drill the proper techniques.
    You don't have a clue when it comes to boxing. When you start boxing, you learn the basic punches, you learn the combos, and perform drills, but a good coach will NEVER have you perform them in a repetitive sequence. It builds a dependency on fixed techniques and makes a boxer predictable in the ring.

    So do all the Chinese full contact military champions when they start.
    That's because military training includes indoctrination and elimination of the individual in favor of the group. Don't believe me? Talk to a drill sergeant.

    So does every Shaolin school. So did the Gracies. ..... please go tell them that repeating basic techniques and sequences (forms is a name for them) over and over again is McDojo. :)
    That's their problem. It's part of the tradition that has created the current mess in the first place.

    Edited by - Sheol on August 16 2002 08:44:30
  2. chinpau is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/16/2002 2:05pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    quote: 'A school is a McDojo because they compromise the nature of the martial arts'

    and what is the definition of compromise? Well, martial arts were originally create to conduct war and kill/maim opponents. I guess that pretty much all of todays MA training, including full contact in the ring nhb stuff, is pretty much compromised. But wait a minute....what about the fitness aspects? and the inner balance? and the discipline? and the performance aspects? and the basic self defense applications? Are they all useless aspects of the arts least we "compromise" them by refocusing on more useful 21st century goals rather than solely kill/maim opponents on a non-existing battlefield?

    quote:'You don't have a clue when it comes to boxing'

    why is it that people have too often the tendency to pass judgement on those whom they do not know.....and sometimes on topics they themselves show little knowledge of?

    quote:'...conduct their business unethically'

    that is born out of customer deception. If you clearly define the product you offer, you let people try it, you outline the realistic outcome they can expect from it, then it seems to me that ethics is not really a factor. The factor is more what people get from MA training vs people's "action movie" perception of what they get, often completely subliminal and unrelated to what they are tought at MA class.

    quote:'(about repetitions and sequences) That's their problem. It's part of the tradition that has created the current mess in the first place.'

    any physical activity, be it high jump, hoop shooting, or doing MA, requires repetition of basic principles endlessly to make them authomatic and perfect without thought and self-awareness of action. Self-awareness and thought is the biggest hurdle to the proper execution of any physical action.
    Try this: run a sprint by thinking "left forward, right forward, contract calf, bend knee, ..... " at every step. Then just run the same sprint without thinking about the technique of running, just running. See which one is faster. That's because the movement of running is just perfectly ingrained in you since you've been doing it for your whole life. That's how your punches, or kicks, or whole combos and sequences will be once you've done them millions of times: natural, instinctive, authomatically perfect, and that much faster/better for it.

    Thanks for a stimulating post and an interesting conversation.

    C
  3. Royal Dragon is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/16/2002 3:09pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    On ranks:

    If you are a competitor at the level desribed, then create a curriculem, and assigne rank at certan levels, and whala, you've got a Rank system for your students. Make yours an Instructor level Black sash (or what have you), and don't worrie about it. Rank is specific to YOUR SCHOOL, and no one else unless you belong to an association and CHOOSe to follow their ranking systems for synergistic reasons.
  4. Sheol is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/16/2002 4:52pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    chinpau:
    and what is the definition of compromise? Well, martial arts were originally create to conduct war and kill/maim opponents. I guess that pretty much all of todays MA training, including full contact in the ring nhb stuff, is pretty much compromised. But wait a minute....what about the fitness aspects? and the inner balance? and the discipline? and the performance aspects? and the basic self defense applications? Are they all useless aspects of the arts least we "compromise" them by refocusing on more useful 21st century goals rather than solely kill/maim opponents on a non-existing battlefield?
    Then isn't that a redirection of the original intended purpose? It's one thing for the neo-martial arts, the sporting arts, to do what they do. Their intention is declared and evident in their goal: the fight ring. It's another thing entirely when you have arts claiming to follow tradition, disregarding their origins in favor of a spiritualistic approach. If someone wants fitness, they should join a gym. It will give them a wider range of choices. If someone wants inner balance, there's a number of religions well suited for that. If that's not their bag of tea, they can consult with a therapist or read a self-help book. As for discipline, it's widely apparent throughout the MA community that years of training doesn't result in discipline outside of the subservience (and THAT is dubious in itself)to the school or teacher. Of course, a lot of that is discipleship... the cult-like following that often arises around the great and not-so-great. Of course, that might be part of the "more useful 21st century goals", than the intended purpose.

    why is it that people have too often the tendency to pass judgement on those whom they do not know.....and sometimes on topics they themselves show little knowledge of?
    Probably because none of us are Ghandi, Buddha, Muhammed, or Jesus Christ. Because people make comments about topics that run contrary to what actually is. If you want to dispute what I've said, go ahead, but don't think that it changes the way that boxers (at least in USA Boxing, USA Savate, or the professional associations) train.

    that is born out of customer deception. If you clearly define the product you offer, you let people try it, you outline the realistic outcome they can expect from it, then it seems to me that ethics is not really a factor. The factor is more what people get from MA training vs people's "action movie" perception of what they get, often completely subliminal and unrelated to what they are tought at MA class.
    Sounds great, but the schools that we call McDojos often misrepresent themselves, the art, the training, and often do not offer the ability for people to try it out or watch a class. They ENCOURAGE the misconceptions formed by the illusions created by movie-makers So, while I do not disagree with what you are suggesting, I wonder why you are bringing it up in the first place.

    any physical activity, be it high jump, hoop shooting, or doing MA, requires repetition of basic principles endlessly to make them authomatic and perfect without thought and self-awareness of action. Self-awareness and thought is the biggest hurdle to the proper execution of any physical action.
    Try this: run a sprint by thinking "left forward, right forward, contract calf, bend knee, ..... " at every step. Then just run the same sprint without thinking about the technique of running, just running. See which one is faster. That's because the movement of running is just perfectly ingrained in you since you've been doing it for your whole life. That's how your punches, or kicks, or whole combos and sequences will be once you've done them millions of times: natural, instinctive, authomatically perfect, and that much faster/better for it.
    ...And while it sounds neat when you put it that way, you are talking about tasks that are repetitive, non-interrupted, and generally require little sense of the "now" to perform successfully. Further, to practice running, you still run from one place to another, if only in a circle. To practice jumping, you still jump from one place to another. How many of us learned how to run by pretending to run? How about jumping? I don't recall any Olympic athletes who practiced for their events by PRETENDING to compete, then showing up for the Olympics and winning. So, how do we best learn how to fight: by fighting or by pretending to fight? By fighting! One can throw punches at the air all day long, but the best way to learn is to fight a living opponent, if only in a sparring match. Throwing a hundred punches and kicks in the air cannot even remotely compare to doing the same in fights.

    The "classical mess", as Bruce Lee put it, was formed when disciples took exercises and then made them 'scripture', placing undo emphasis on them to the detriment of the art as something suitable for war. They lost sight of the "why" and look only at the means as the goal. Take generations of masters, each adding layer upon of additions to it, and you have something out of touch with it's very purpose. Many martial arts that are around today, are practiced like religions, the instructors sitting as spiritual leaders to guide the herds of sheep practicing their forms as if they could achieve martial Nirvana by means of repetition. Today, the martial aspects are merely gimmicks by which instructor attract DISCIPLES to provide a living and assuage his/her ego.
  5. Royal Dragon is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/16/2002 6:52pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "Many martial arts that are around today, are practiced like religions, the instructors sitting as spiritual leaders to guide the herds of sheep practicing their forms as if they could achieve martial Nirvana by means of repetition"

    Reply]
    I have to aggree this is a problem. It's called "Forms collecting". The thinking here is the guy with the most techniques is going to rule. What they have forgotten (or never taught) is the forms are tools to be taken appart and used both as many individual tools in single and two man practice as well as practiced as complete sets.

    If all you do is the complete set in the air, you will only get the gross motor skill programming. You are suposed to USE the forms, by disassembling them and extrapalating the conditioning drills, the two man exerises, and actually WORKING them with both a complacent partner for memorising the technique and learning timming and distance as well as against resisting opponents so you can learn to actually figure out how to make them work.

    Finnally, you are suposed to free fight them so you know how to get them in and really make them work in a randome totally wild enviroment.

    Obviously, safety must be taken into account and some technique can never be done full force (Like throwing someone on their head), but you have to get as close to real combat as safetly as possible.
  6. Knifefighter is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/16/2002 7:54pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You are suposed to USE the forms, by disassembling them and extrapalating the conditioning drills, the two man exerises, and actually WORKING them with both a complacent partner for memorising the technique and learning timming and distance as well as against resisting opponents so you can learn to actually figure out how to make them work.
    Why should a student have to extrapolate from the forms? Why not just learn it the way it is supposed to be used?
  7. Mercurius is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/16/2002 8:10pm

    supporting member
     Style: Karate, Wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Knifefighter, let's say a karate student learns a form, and in that form, they execute in sequence block X, punch Y, and kick Z.

    What the form does is show them how XYZ can be used in application, for example, where does block X intercept the attack, how should I target punch Y, what is the objective of kick Z.

    If that same student learned block X, punch Y, and kick Z individually, they wouldn't be accustomed to stringing them together the way the form teaches.

    Even if they learned to apply them in combination, basic drilling would have them standing still before and after they execute the combo with a partner, which is like a woman kicking a rapist in the balls and then not running away.

    Forms teach techniques, they teach combinations, and they teach continuous fighting, not just step 1, 2, 3, but something like "circle-block, then punch to exposed ribs, kick to create distance, turn to face new attacker".

    Gichin Funakoshi said, "Practice forms with deadly seriousness." If you just do the moves like you're dancing, you don't get **** out of it, but if there's an imaginary opponent there who wants to kill you, you'd better make that block right and throw a punch to break his ribs so he'll change his mind about pissing you off.

    --------------------
    And that's what I call REAL Ultimate Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "The morning glory blooms for an hour. It differs not at heart from the giant pine, which lives for a thousand years."
  8. Royal Dragon is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/16/2002 8:49pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "Why should a student have to extrapolate from the forms? Why not just learn it the way it is supposed to be used?"

    Reply]
    Deciphering technique from the form IS the way it's suposed to be used!!! Well, one of the many ways.

    Forms are very versitle tools used to train fighters. It's NOT traditional to just do them in the air like many people think.

    Don't forget that fighting never happens like in practice. Learning to extrapelate techniques from the forms builds cognitive abilities that can later be used to "Inevnt" something new on the fly when confronted with a situation they have never seen before.

    It is also important to give sound examples of how the form's techniques are used so the student has a base of understanding to work from, but you can't spoon feed them everything, or even most of it.

    I can give an example of half the form's uses, and the student will then be expected to figure out not only the rest of the form themselves,but a second use for all of the techniques I already explained to them.

    They NEED a foundation based in prinipal, not memorasation of technique. Students are exposed to many techniques often as a way of teaching principal through "Osmossis". It is also a way to expose a student to many different ways of doing things. Ideally though, a student should tend towards techniques that they themselves have figred out how to applie against many situations, NOT memorise many techniques that are applied to few situations.

    It is better to learn (or figure out) many techniques, and forget 70% or even 90% of them in favor of your own unique group of techniques that really works for you, than to learn only a few thechniques that really don't fit you.

    Either way, you end up with few techniques. Only the student who was taught and figured out many and forgets 70% of them ends up with a few that really works for "them" specifically. They also have the ability to really use them in a lare variaty of situations.

    You can't train robots. you must train THINKING fighters. Exprapalating technique and uses for those techniques is one way of building a thinking fighter.



    Edited by - Royal Dragon on August 16 2002 20:53:38
  9. 9chambers

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    Posted On:
    8/17/2002 3:18am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Advanced students should be choreographing their own forms, I agree.
  10. ruk is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/17/2002 4:29am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    yes. not at all impressed. i get the impression he hands out blue belts simply if you come to class long enough.

    Ruk, have you ever rolled with any blue belts from Rorion's school. I never have. I am wondering about how good they are...

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