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  1. Ming Loyalist is offline
    Ming Loyalist's Avatar

    solves problems with violence

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    Posted On:
    3/29/2007 1:18pm

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     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    resting on the laurels of your sifu/sigung

    this thread is about one of the main reasons that i find most TCMA schools to be watered down, and producing students unable to defend themselves or compete effectively in full contact competition.

    we get a lot of people in here who say things like "i have never used this technique but i know it works because my sifu/sigung has used it effectively in the street/rooftop challenge matches in hong kong/secret tournaments on private islands/etc.

    due to the litigious nature of modern society and the general frowning on fighting by society, most martial artists are in the position of having never used their art outside of a sparring/tournament scenario. as the generation gap increases, more people are 2-3 or more generations from anyone who has tested these techniques in real self-defense scenarios, or even more importantly against a skilled opponent.

    let's examine this phenomenon: sigung "a" has spent a lot of his life fighting. let's say he was living in hong kong in the 50's-60's and was challenged a lot, lived in a rough area, or for whatever reason had to fight a lot.

    his student sifu "b" was a good and serious student, but due to where he lived or pure luck, never had to use his skills to defend himself. perhaps he entered full contact lei tai tournaments as a way to test himself.

    his student sihing "c" was also a good and serious student, but has neither used his skills for self defense OR fought on the lei tai, all his fight experience has been in medium contact kung fu tournaments with extremely limited rulesets.

    ok, so if everyone is being honest (with their students and themselves) "a" can speak about his experience and say what has and has not worked for him. all "b" can do is say "well, my sifu has done this and it worked for him, but i am only really qualified to speak about how this stuff works on the lei tai" and "c" can only say "sigung says it works but i don't have any experience in this."

    the problem comes about when "c" becomes an instructor and tells students that the techniques in question work. if asked how they know, they say "sigung made it work, so it works"

    this is especially bad when more generations are introduced to the equation.

    for instance, i have heard lots of stories about wong fei hung, and all the amazing things he could do, how he and a handful of students fought against overwhelming odds and won, etc etc. this is all fine as long as it is taken as a folk story and not as fact.

    if i turn around and use it as evidence that my art is effective, then i am guilty of misrepresentation and quite possibly leaving the students with a false sense of security.

    what can we do about this? i feel that as instructors, we need to be candid with our students about our experiences and hands on knowledge of the style.

    i am in the position of "b" from the above example, as is my sifu. my sigung is in the position of "a" as is one of my sifu's training brothers who is a LEO and worked undercover narcotics, and has had to use his skills in many "live" situations.

    when explaining a technique, especially one that involves breaking sport fighting rules, i am careful to point out that i don't have direct experience using it, and that if they have questions about its use they should address them to either my sigung or my sibok (the LEO)

    i welcome comments/questions/opinions on this
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  2. SifuJason is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/29/2007 2:03pm


     Style: WHKD (Kaju), Sub. Grapple

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I agree you should be explicit in saying what type of person you are. I, for one, am a "b" person according to your list. To further this discussion, what is appropriate to teach/state? Can I only teach/state the experiences I have personally had. I feel that while desirable, this is unrealistic, not just in martial arts, but in all forums of learning.

    In the martial arts, as you implied, it is a lot harder to find the "opportunities" to test everything out compared to 50 years ago, which as you mentioned probably has a lot to do with our increasingly litigious society. While in the past, every MA could be an "a" person, now days it seems that only a few in a given school have such experiences regularly, at any given time. These people, by virtue of their jobs, etc are responsible for validating what the art is teaching, but the rest of the people in the group will have to take their word on it.

    In larger society, this is often the case. Speaking to scientific learning, which is the only other field I have personal experience in, people don't just teach those experiments, theories, etc they have personally come up with or used regularly. They trust the peer review system and the fact that others have validated what they are teaching.

    Where MA runs into trouble is the fact that our "peer review system" is non-existent, and thus there is no trust community-wide. Sites like this are a step in the right direction, of course.
  3. dwhomp is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/29/2007 7:34pm


     Style: Xing-Yi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I would say I am an A.b (cause I was a pretty stupid kid and played in full contact). I also dont teach outside of like the newboe teaching.

    But you bring up a good point but it is not one limited to this forum or CMA at all.

    No sparring doesnt make you a killer
    Sparring is not full contact competition
    Full contact competition is not a real fight

    All arts are guilty of this from karate, to BJJ, to TKD, to CMA.
  4. socratic is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 1:25am


     Style: gah, transition again

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good work, Ming, I can personally say that my MA has this problem. The founder has had extensive fighting history, in competitions and various scraps etc, the instructors that teach me (who in turn learn from the founder) haven't had street fighting experience but a few have had limited mixed martial arts competition experience, and so once it gets to my level as a student, there's very little verification beyond say, full contact drills and padwork.

    Then again, my art is a little lacking in aliveness in general, but that's something I hope can be fixed.
  5. Tonuzaba is online now
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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 5:15am

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     Style: (Beautiful) Spring Roll

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good thoughts and intent, ML. Although I stopped teaching years ago, I fully agree with you in your point of being honest with the students. Back then I'd be a "c", although we had no "medium contact tournaments", we had regular hard contact instructor fights, on rounds.
    Still I think there are things that need to be described more precisely. Even instructors who compete regularly/have extensive street fight experiences didn't use every single technique they teach "in combat". Does it mean they shouldn't be teaching it?
    I mean, where's the borderline of the need of personal "real" usage of a technique other than hard sparring/tournaments?
    Can one teach the uppercut if one never sent any opponent to sleep with it?

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    I got BULLSHIDO ON TV!!!

    "Bruce Lee sucks because I slammed my nuts with nunchucks trying to do that stupid **** back in the day. I still managed to have two kids. I forgive you Bruce.
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  6. Lv1Sierpinski is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 6:19am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think you also make allowances for the possible physical devides between students and instructors, especially in striking styles. Just because my instructor has made something work, doesn't mean I'm going to make it work as effectively.

    There's always going to be a degree of seperation between students and techniques they learn (perhaps they'll use some, or none at all in an actual fight). And as some of those students become instructors, that degree of seperation will persist...but not necessarily get worse. If my instructor never used a punch, then I'm taking the word of someone without firsthand experience...which is exactly where a student of mine would be.

    But I absolutely agree that candid discussion is required. And perhaps that discussion can lead to more testing of techniques...even if only with more/harder sparring.

    Baby steps gang...baby steps.
  7. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 12:19pm

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     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    of course there are issues with thinking this way... it's limiting, and by all means i still teach techniques that i don't personally use, or haven't been able to, but i always add the caveat that "i've never been very good at this" or "i have my doubts about this working for me, but you can ask sigung/sifu etc about their experiences with it" and i ALWAYS suggest that students try out strikes on a bag, dummy, sparring partner, etc and see what works for them.

    as far as sifu jason's suggestion that there should be a peer review system, unfortunately there isn't one. and this site doesn't really serve that purpose well either.

    short of requiring all schools to compete in an annual limited rules full contact event, if they want to claim to teach fighting, i don't see a way out of this.

    one problem about the litigious society we live in, is that if when you expose a bullshido artist you are attacking their business and they can sue over that. we're pretty careful about how we approach that on this site, but it leads to more drama and long legal battles, as the worst offenders have a serious financial incentive to keep up their business.

    i wish we could force them to admit to being "entertainment" as happened to the world wrestling federation, who had to change their name to world wrestling entertainment when they couldn't prove that they were a real sport because the matches are obviously faked.

    all i can do as an instructor is to try to hold myself to the highest standards possible and to be as honest with myself and my students as possible. we can always hope that leading by example will help, but to be honest that sort of approach doesn't have a great track record in general.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  8. ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 1:07pm


     Style: Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist
    of course there are issues with thinking this way... it's limiting, and by all means i still teach techniques that i don't personally use, or havhttp://www.bullshido.net/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=1403599
    Reply With Quoteen't been able to, but i always add the caveat that "i've never been very good at this" or "i have my doubts about this working for me, but you can ask sigung/sifu etc about their experiences with it" and i ALWAYS suggest that students try out strikes on a bag, dummy, sparring partner, etc and see what works for them.

    as far as sifu jason's suggestion that there should be a peer review system, unfortunately there isn't one. and this site doesn't really serve that purpose well either.

    short of requiring all schools to compete in an annual limited rules full contact event, if they want to claim to teach fighting, i don't see a way out of this.
    Is this really that un-realistic? I know in Judo in Brittain under the BJA or the BJC you simply can not have an instructor who is not at B level because of the nature of the grading system, you need to be a brown belt to teach a class (Higher to lead a whole school) And you need to compete and win to get your brown belt.

    I guess the big difference here though is that while Judo is aa pretty tough activity which can lead you pretty beat up and, for want of a better word, hurt, in a striking art I see much mroe possibility for actual full out injury.
  9. SifuJason is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 1:11pm


     Style: WHKD (Kaju), Sub. Grapple

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slindsay
    Is this really that un-realistic? I know in Judo in Brittain under the BJA or the BJC you simply can not have an instructor who is not at B level because of the nature of the grading system, you need to be a brown belt to teach a class (Higher to lead a whole school) And you need to compete and win to get your brown belt.

    I guess the big difference here though is that while Judo is aa pretty tough activity which can lead you pretty beat up and, for want of a better word, hurt, in a striking art I see much mroe possibility for actual full out injury.
    In relation to Judo I guess the question is (from a self-defense perspective, not a competition perspective): have you (the instructor) ever used this throw against someone attacking you on the street?

    Also, I am a bit confused by what you mean by "un-realistic," specifically the noun attached to the adjective.
  10. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 1:18pm

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     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    well, judo has the advantage of not only having governing federations, but also being a sport with regular competitions which are generally accepted as a good way to judge the practitioner.

    we don't have that in TCMA.

    the closest thing we have here in the states is an annual full contact lei tai tournament in baltimore. believe me, the first thing i ask someone when they tell me they come from a TCMA school is "have you guys fought at the USCKF lei tai tournaments? how did your guys do?"

    but we can't make it a requirement for all schools to compete, or for instructors to need to be able to do well before they can teach, because each system and school has their own rules and regulations, plus there will always be the "too deadly for the lei tai" crowd (although with both tai chi and _ing _un schools well represented it's hard for people to make that claim and not look like wussies.)
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
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