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  1. weechey is offline

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    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    California
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    319

    Posted On:
    3/28/2007 9:12pm


     Style: TKD BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    wackamole...

    Thanks for your reply...Here are my comments

    1. I am not familiar enough with epistemology as a discipline...however, the methods that you described in your prior post are methods used in Epidemiology.
    2. You are correct that as a physician, my training tends to give me a certain perspective of the body that is not complete. After all, medicine is the study of disease - and not everybody is sick all of the time. I would not claim to understand everything that the human body can do.
    3. Your statement was that performance in a static drill was a marker of a skill set that translated into performance in the ring. Now, personally, you could be right or wrong...frankly I don't know. However, the evidence that you gave consisted largely of anecdotal examples and testimonials - which I would not categorize as sufficient proof. The problem with such evidence is that they are highly subject to bias, and do not account for a number of other skill sets that may have developed concurrently that could equally have contributed to success in the ring.
    4. Perhaps the problem here is one of causality - do you mean that performance in this drill simply identifies people who have a certain martial fitness level, or do you imply that if you perfect this drill then your average MMA person will not be able to take him down? For example, I could make the statement that if somebody can do 50 pushups quickly, then he will succeed in the ring...but this ignores the fact that anyone who can do 50 pushups should have a fitness level that is required for fighting.
    5. What might be more convincing would be to look at a group of people who a) compete in the ring, and b) are able to do the static exercise that you mention - presumably they would be practicing the Yiquan style that was alluded to. Look at the success rates. Compare the rates to your average MMA school...are they the same? Less? More? Comparable or less success would go against your argument. It would be difficult to control for confounding, but it could be attempted, at the very least.
    6. Your comment re; the value of observation is well noted. I agree that there is great value in actually "being there" to experience something. However, I am also cognizant of the fact that many people will want to believe what they want - the very nature of bias. I still recall attending a qi seminar watching while a qigong master made people move from a distance, claiming that his energies would influence everyone in the room. I just sat there and guffawed. But you know what? Ask the people who believed, and they'll say it's real.

    The point of Bullshido, I believe, is to separate what we observe into what is belief versus what is known. You have presented us with what you believe - which may be valid or not...we don't know. What the forum members are asking for is more objective evidence...what is known.
  2. wackamole is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/29/2007 2:50pm


     Style: etc

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by weechey
    wackamole...

    Thanks for your reply...Here are my comments
    You're welcome.

    I want to clarify-- Akuzawa teaches Aunkai, which is his own method. He is not an yiquan teacher.

    My personal opinion is that there is some overlap between the two in terms of what they develop in the body, but they are different. Akuzawa's curriculum in my experience doesn't' do a lot of standing around. Standing around in different postures is pretty much the foundation of yiquan. From what I have seen, Akuzawa's material tends to emphasize movement a lot more.

    I'm going to have to be kind of quick with this post because I have a lot of other work to do today, but I felt that it was important for me to reply.

    1. I am not familiar enough with epistemology as a discipline...however, the methods that you described in your prior post are methods used in Epidemiology.
    Okay. I guess you could say that I was attempting (poorly as you pointed out) to use a certain set of tools to try to figure out what is happening objectively. As far as subjective knowledge...a lot of the training I'm talking about is based on subjective knowledge. As you can see, that's a problem when you're trying to talk to other people about it.


    3. Your statement was that performance in a static drill was a marker of a skill set that translated into performance in the ring. Now, personally, you could be right or wrong...frankly I don't know. However, the evidence that you gave consisted largely of anecdotal examples and testimonials - which I would not categorize as sufficient proof. The problem with such evidence is that they are highly subject to bias, and do not account for a number of other skill sets that may have developed concurrently that could equally have contributed to success in the ring.
    Sure. To my knowledge, the guys I went to the open mat session with had much less grappling experience than the guys with whom we rolled. But there hasn't been a formal study, you're right.

    4. Perhaps the problem here is one of causality - do you mean that performance in this drill simply identifies people who have a certain martial fitness level, or do you imply that if you perfect this drill then your average MMA person will not be able to take him down? For example, I could make the statement that if somebody can do 50 pushups quickly, then he will succeed in the ring...but this ignores the fact that anyone who can do 50 pushups should have a fitness level that is required for fighting.
    Yes, I think that the ability to maintain balance in a compromised position indicates a certain level of body development. The drill itself is just a check in. From my experience, it's not a matter of perfecting the drill, i.e. learning angling or something like that. It's a matter of learning to work with feelings and strengths developed in the solo practice. I'll get to this point again in a minute, but solo practice is very subjective, which can be a problem.

    5. What might be more convincing would be to look at a group of people who a) compete in the ring, and b) are able to do the static exercise that you mention - presumably they would be practicing the Yiquan style that was alluded to. Look at the success rates. Compare the rates to your average MMA school...are they the same? Less? More? Comparable or less success would go against your argument. It would be difficult to control for confounding, but it could be attempted, at the very least.
    As I said, Akuzawa is not an yiquan teacher. But, your point is well taken. There are yiquan guys who have done kyokushin also and achieved some level of success as competitors. However the big problem as I see it is that if you look at two people doing solo exercises , it's hard to see which one is doing it right and which one is doing it wrong. That is because, in my experience the one huge point of solo exercises in something like yiquan or Aunkai or taiji or whatever is to develop and strengthen certain feelings in the body. Strengthening these feelings in my experience, also strengthens the body.

    I think you'll agree that it's hard from the outside to observe what someone is feeling on the inside of their body.

    This is where the "testing" practices come in. Yiquan doesn't actually (that I've seen anyway in print or video) do the pushout drill that is in the video I sent. They do some other stuff with a similar idea however, of having someone push on the practioner.

    Ultimately (again my experience) is that this type of training requires pretty much unflinching honesty on the part of the practioner, since it's easy to mislead oneself.


    6. Your comment re; the value of observation is well noted. I agree that there is great value in actually "being there" to experience something. However, I am also cognizant of the fact that many people will want to believe what they want - the very nature of bias. I still recall attending a qi seminar watching while a qigong master made people move from a distance, claiming that his energies would influence everyone in the room. I just sat there and guffawed. But you know what? Ask the people who believed, and they'll say it's real.
    Yes. That stuff is ridiculous.

    The founder of yiquan, Wang Xiangzhai, wrote a lot about his style and kung fu generally. Even among people who don't practice yiquan (like me) the stuff gets passed around. One of the things that he emphasized was that a person had to do find the feelings in standing practice, then try to use the feelings to move, then move against a partner giving predetermined resistance, and then fight. Otherwise a person could just get delusional. Which is a problem when people are spending a lot of time in their own head, so to speak. Sometimes people doing a lot of standing training can have a bad reaction to it:

    I'm going to take a risk here and link to some medical journal article extracts. You are obviously in a better position than I am to evaluate them:
    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...00002/art00007
    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/179/2/178-a
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...?artid=1117788

    I think this can definitely happen in martial arts when people aren't sparring or engaging in any kind of free practice.


    The point of Bullshido, I believe, is to separate what we observe into what is belief versus what is known. You have presented us with what you believe - which may be valid or not...we don't know. What the forum members are asking for is more objective evidence...what is known.

    That's the problem. How something feels in the body is subjective and depends on the honesty of the practitioner to evaluate it. This is not to say that the solo training couldn't be evaluated with western scientific tools. There is a guy at UCI who it attempting to do that, and I think he's done studies about bloodflow during qigong. However, I notice that most of his recent research is published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary medicine, which , for all I know, isn't reputable at all :
    http://mindbodylab.bio.uci.edu/
    http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=3309

    I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this, since , again, you're in a better position than I am to evaluate what the guy is doing. You probably also have access to the databases to actually read the articles =)

    The biggest problem here is that I don't know of anything other than anecdotal evidence as far as the application of the traditional training to the ring environment. Then again, I don't see a lot of formal studies (in the sense that you were talking about) quoted here on bullshido either.

    In the end, it comes down to trying the practices and seeing if one's own subjective experience (how it feels) can actually create an improvement in practice and in the use of the body. That's hard. My understanding is that some people can practice for a long time and never feel anything, while others can practice for a short time and it is obvious to them. I would guess that most people are somewhere in between. I only became convinced of the validity of Akuzawa's system because I practiced the exercises, felt certain things in my body consistent to what his students described, and saw results in my own judo practice. I'm still not an awesome fighter or anything but I am better than I was. Of course, you could say that I'm not controlling for a variety of other factors, and that would also be true.

    From what I've seen of Akuzawa, his system has a pretty high success rate. But, then again, you might say that may just be a result of the type of people that stick around in the class.


    There isn't a certain answer here--yet.
    Last edited by wackamole; 3/29/2007 2:54pm at .
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