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  1. HonkyTonkMan is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 5:59am

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     Style: TKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Patterns in TKD

    It is often said on this board that Kata/Patterns/Forms , whatever you like to call them, are useless. There is often no explaination as to why some feel this way, they just simply do.
    Is it from a lack of experience in a TMA such as TKD, or just repeating what they believe everyone wants to hear?

    It is also said that the static, line drill method of teaching is useless. Again, is this said out of ignorance, or bias? I believe yes, that this is often the case.

    I have taught TKD for almost two years now, and have noticed some things about what traditional training has to offer.

    Lets take a look at what line drills and patterns teach us, and how other martial arts, yes even the "good" ones, have the same practices.

    [For the sake of discussion, lets all assume that TKD is being taught as a means of self defense. No TKD sucks, hur hur hur]

    Patterns/Line Drills:

    1) They teach coordination in a controlled environment.
    2) They teach how to put a series of moves together.
    3) They teach good form. My motto is, "Good form, Good Function."
    4) They teach one to breath properly, while going through a series of movements.
    5) They teach timing.

    Now some would say, "You can teach all that while sparring!!111!!" In a way , yes they are correct. In a way No, they are wrong.
    While sparring the competetive spirit takes over, and form and coordiantion, suffer. The urge to throw a powerful punch or kick overrides the need to throw a correct punch or kick.

    Example: I have seen MANY people (kids and adults alike) throw wild haymaker punches when sparring. Often these are the lower ranks of TKD practitoners. They want to hit something so badly that they just start swinging away.
    I then watch the higher ranks sparring and see the control, well timed movements, and good form that comes with practice and time.

    Patterns/Line Drills put them in a place where there is no competion, where thay can concentrate on their form, breathing, and coordiantion/balance.
    Im not advocating that "alive" sparring be replaced, or that all one should practice is patterns.
    I am simply saying that they are a valuable learning tool for Martial Arts.

    Try doing a pattern at full speed, and keeping your form and breathing under control. Not so easy is it? You will find that you are winded afterwards. Im not talking about competition pattern work. I am talking about using patterns/drills for what they were intended for.


    Now for a look at other "good" Martial Arts and there "dead" training.

    Judo:

    1) Practices hours and hours of Ukemi.
    2) Teaches set up scenarios and defenses against them.

    Ukemi is a training tool to teach one to fall correctly. By using the prevailing logic on this board, then one must say "The best way to teach someone to fall is to just throw them."
    However, I doubt anyone here would advocate taking Ukemi out of Judo class.

    Brazilian Ju Jitsu:

    1) Teaches many escape drills such as shrimping which are done alone, in a line drill capacity.

    This example follows the same guidelines as my thoughts on Ukemi.

    Muay Thai:

    1) Hours of kicking a heavy bag.
    2) Line drills, of punch punch, kick kick.

    Note: I have only witnessed MT practice. I have never taken a class. I have trained in Judo and BJJ.

    Drills such as these have the same benefit as a properly done pattern. None of them is done against a fully resisting partner.

    In summary. While often bashed here on Bullshido, patterns, and line drills, WHEN DONE CORRECTLY, can be a valuable teaching tool.
  2. tkd panda is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 8:59am


     Style: taekwon-do

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i agree with most of what your saying in that patterns teach timing and coordination however it is not as effective in learning as sparring.

    granted patterns have a place but not as the main part of training.
  3. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 9:53am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think part of the problem lies in what people perceive as "aliveness."

    BigBoss from MAP forums made this little FAQ of Matt Thornton's description of the concept:

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Boss, MAP, Aliveness FAQ
    OK, [edited out] I thought I would use this time to try and write a definitive FAQ on aliveness, so that next time there is a thread on aliveness and someone says something like "well I guess Matt Thornton doesn't think sit-ups are very useful then" (someone actually said that) instead of spending time trying to explain why they are so stupid I can just point them to this thread. Ok here goes...

    BTW to save me repeating myself when I say "real combat" or "actual combat" or "real fight" I am referring to both in the ring and on the str33t.


    Q: What is "aliveness"?

    A: Aliveness is a term that describes a training methodology. The basic idea is that, for training to be effective at preparing you for real combat it has to contain elements that are present in real combat. Let me give you an example, shooting a basket ball in to a hoop repeatedly will help your performance in a real basketball game, because it contains the elements found in a real game i.e. a ball, a basket and the necessity of landing the ball in the hoop. If however, you repeatedly made a motion like you were shooting a ball, but without having a ball in your hands, this would not help your performance in a real game, no matter how many times you did it. Because there are no elements of a real game in this exercise, there is no ball, no hoop and no need to actually land the ball in the hoop. This is a crude example but I think you get my point. So we need to exam what the aspects of a real fight are. The first and most obverse thing in all real fights is resistance, no one in a real fight is going to let you just hit them without trying to stop you (resist you). The next thing always present in actual combat is timing. For example in a real fight if you simply throw a punch at any random time it probably wouldn’t land on your attacker, you would have to throw the punch at the right time when the target presented itself. The last thing that is always present in real combat is motion. If someone is attacking you they will be moving, if you defending an attack you will be moving. So for training to be effective it must alway contain timing, energy (resistance) and motion.

    To summarize, aliveness means training with timing, energy (resistance) and motion.


    Q: Is aliveness something new?

    A: No, absolutely not! On the contrary martial arts such as Muay Thia, Judo, BJJ, Boxing and wrestling have been training in an alive way for years. In fact Mauy Thia is about 800 years old and wrestling dates back to as early as the ancient Greeks which would mean that alive training actually predates dead training!


    Q: Why is alive training so important?

    A: Training in an alive environment is the only way to prepare yourself for actual combat. Dead training can not in anyway prepare you for actual combat, so if you ever want to be able to actually apply any of the techniques you've learned, you have to train alive.


    Q: Don't all MA schools train alive?

    A: From my experience the vast majority of MA schools don't train alive. As an example, every time you walk up and down a line doing techniques in thin air, this is dead training. Every time you do partners drills were one guy attacks then just stands there and lets the other guy to some sort of defense with no resistance, that is dead training. Anytime you do patterns of any sort, that is dead training. Every time someone stands in front of you with focus mitts whilst you just repeatedly punch them, that is dead training.


    Q: But most MA schools spar, thats alive right?

    A: Yes, sparring is alive and most schools spar (although there are quite a few that don't!). However from my experience in most TMA schools sparring makes up, at best, 15 minutes at the end of each lesson, which means you have spent the entire rest of the lesson doing dead (useless) training. Also it is important to note that even though many TMA schools do spar, which is alive, the sparring is often very unrealistic i.e. no head punch no low kicks or sweeps as in WTF TKD, point stop style as in many Karate's or just very light contact as in many schools.


    Q: But how can you really learn anything just by sparring all the time?

    A: Although sparring will be an integral part of any school that trains alive, aliveness DOES NOT mean constant sparring! Most schools that train alive will use what is called "the I methord" (introduction, isolation, integration) to teach techniques. Let me give you an example of how this methord works and how you learn techniques in an alive way. For the example I will use the Muay Thia 'teep kick' which, for anyone who is not familiar with it, is basically a front kick off your front leg.

    Introduction: The kick will be fully demonstrated and explained to the student. Then the student will be allowed to practice this kick, slowly and methodically, until he/she understands exactly how to do it. Normally they would be practice the kick against a stationary pad until they become more confident with the kick, when the pad could begin to be moved and presented to them at different times when they would have to kick it.

    Isolation: When the student has become suitably confident with the technique and understands properly how to perform it they can then start to train the technique against a resisting oponent. The are any number of alive drills/games that can be used to do this, in this case I would personally use something like this; Get 2 students, the one has the job of "attacker" this student can only box so his job is to close this distance and punch the other student. The other student the "defender" (a teep kick is a defensive kick, so this drill is suited to this particular technique) can only use the teep kick they have been practicing. So what will happen is the attacker will be actively trying to close the distance on his opponent whilst the other will be trying to stop him with teep kicks. Thus he will be training this kick only (isolated) against a resisting oponent.

    Integration: In this phase the student is allowed to integrated the new technique, with other techniques he has learned, in an alive way. Sparring.


    Q: But isn't the first part of the I methord basically just dead training? And you said dead training was useless.

    A: I said " Dead training can not in anyway prepare you for actual combat" and this is true. The right kind of dead training can prepare you for alive training, but it can not prepare you for actual combat. Let me put it another way, if you have been training in nothing but a dead way for 10 years you will be no more prepared for real combat then someone with no MA experience what so ever. However if you have been training for 10 years in nothing but a dead way then you will (providing its the right kind of dead training) be ready to start training alive, which will prepare you for real combat.

    Also I think it is important to note that all 3 phases of the I methord will take place in just one class, which means the actual amount of time spent on introducing a technique in a dead way, will probably only be about 10 minutes. The rest is spent in the isolation and integration phase.



    Q: My instructor says that we do train our stuff against resisting opponents, but we have to train for a long time until we are advanced enough to do it.

    A: There is absolutely no reason why you can't train alive from day one, Judo guys do it, BJJ guys do it, Boxers do it, Muay Thai guys do it. The only reason a technique or combination can't be trained in an alive way against resistance is if it wont work against resistance, in which case the technique is useless. Also from my experience all the people who say that their stuff does work but you just have to be advanced to use it are lying to you and themselves and the simple reason why they don't do it against resistance is because it doesn't work.


    Q: Yeah but that's your definition of aliveness what about other peoples definitions?

    A: This is something that personally annoys the hell out of me. People often try to put there own definition on aliveness (normally so it can seem that, by there definition atleast, their training is alive) aliveness is what it is (see above, "what is aliveness) and nothing else, you can not put your own spin on it and trying to is simply ridiculous. Let me give you an example. Imagine we are debating the effectiveness of using representative democracy to run a country and I say "well Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of popular sovereignty by the people's representatives. The representatives are charged with the responsibility of acting in the people's interest, but not as their proxy representatives—i.e., not necessarily always according to their wishes, but with enough authority to exercise swift and resolute initiative in the face of changing circumstances. and I think this is effective because..." then you come back and say "ah, well thats your definition of representative democracy, to me it means...." representative democracy is what it is, now everyone is well within there right to debate its effectiveness at running a country but to try and say it has multiple definition in so that you can make it sound like you agree with it but actually don't is stupid. The same is true of aliveness you have every right to debate it effectiveness but don't start trying to make your own definition of it.

    Q: Well what about sit-ups/puss-ups/running there not alive but they will help your training?

    A: Aliveness is only concerned with technical training, so anything that is solely for conditioning falls out of the realm of "alive" or "dead". Sit-ups may be very beneficial to a fighter in helping improve his condition, however when doing sit-ups he is not training any techniques and is solely doing fitness training, therefor it is neither alive nor dead. However if he was doing sit-ups and claiming that he was in fact training some sort of head butt from the ground this would then fall in to the realm of alive or dead.


    Q: Where can I find out more info on aliveness?

    A: If you go here http://video.google.com/videosearch...t+thornton&so=0 you will find a number of informative videos by Matt Thornton. http://www.straightblastgym.com/why.htm here you will find lots of articles on aliveness and the broader SBG philosophy.
    The part I bolded should address the issue of dead training in systems that are highly respected on Bullshido.net. Basically, arts like BJJ and Judo have dead training yes, but it prepares the practitioner for live training, which drilling and free rolling often make up the majority of the class. In stark contrast, your typical TKD school will move from dead method to dead method, finally getting to the alive training in randomized drills or sparring, which is generally the minority of the class.
  4. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 10:03am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by oldman34
    Patterns/Line Drills:

    1) They teach coordination in a controlled environment.
    2) They teach how to put a series of moves together.
    3) They teach good form. My motto is, "Good form, Good Function."
    4) They teach one to breath properly, while going through a series of movements.
    5) They teach timing.
    I agree with #1. #2 - most traditional TKD forms are chock full with moves you will never do in sparring, so IMO if you are gonna work combos, might as well do it with techniques you will actually use. #3 - again since you won't be using these techniques, having good form in them is irrelevant. #4 - I'll agree with this one. #5 - Timing is distance, and without a partner, there's no timing to be trained.

    Now some would say, "You can teach all that while sparring!!111!!" In a way , yes they are correct. In a way No, they are wrong.
    While sparring the competetive spirit takes over, and form and coordiantion, suffer. The urge to throw a powerful punch or kick overrides the need to throw a correct punch or kick.

    Example: I have seen MANY people (kids and adults alike) throw wild haymaker punches when sparring. Often these are the lower ranks of TKD practitoners. They want to hit something so badly that they just start swinging away.
    I then watch the higher ranks sparring and see the control, well timed movements, and good form that comes with practice and time.
    You don't have to jump right into sparring. The idea of "one step sparring" is pretty valid, but it's just the way it's done that sucks. Prearranged, with both practitioners usually using the traditional techniques that they would never pull off in sparring.

    Brazilian Ju Jitsu:

    1) Teaches many escape drills such as shrimping which are done alone, in a line drill capacity.

    This example follows the same guidelines as my thoughts on Ukemi.
    Never done Judo or MT, so I will address BJJ.

    I'm not sure how it's done at your school, but we spend maybe a minute out of 2.5 hrs shrimping on the mat. The only time we have anything where we are remotely in lines doing things solo is the warmup, which takes like 5 minutes...
  5. jtkarate is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 11:17am


     Style: karate,judo,JJ,Aikido,TKD

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I agree with oldman

    Patterns/Line Drills:

    1) They teach coordination in a controlled environment.
    2) They teach how to put a series of moves together.
    3) They teach good form. My motto is, "Good form, Good Function."
    4) They teach one to breath properly, while going through a series of movements.
    5) They teach timing.


    Now I will also say that you cannot go from just doing kata to fighting that is a gradual change..

    But doing kata does help develop good muscle memory so that there are moe options for you to draw upon when fighting ..more on the street than in the ring.

    Which goes into Eternal rages point of if your not going to use it then why practice it.

    But how do you know you will never use it. Just because some people say a spinning back kick wont work on the street or in the ring does that mean we should do away with it all together.

    All it takes is for one person to use a technique that was previously thought of as being useless and do it effectively and then everyone jumps onto the bandwagon saying how great it is.
  6. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 12:31pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtkarate
    But how do you know you will never use it. Just because some people say a spinning back kick wont work on the street or in the ring does that mean we should do away with it all together.

    All it takes is for one person to use a technique that was previously thought of as being useless and do it effectively and then everyone jumps onto the bandwagon saying how great it is.
    I've never seen your kwan's training or your forms so I can't say anything about it. But if your forms are taken or modified from Okinawan karate, and you do things like chambered fists, low front stances, back stances - basically any traditional karate-esque movements - you're most likely not going to use them often in sparring. When is the last time you used a "double high outer forearm block" in horse stance?

    Whatever little fringe benefits you get from forms are pretty much outweighed by the fact that dead training is supposed to prepare you for live training, and traditional Korean MA forms in general are useless for this since none of the movements are really used in sparring to begin with.
  7. Thaiboxerken is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 12:39pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    TKD patterns do involved chambered punches, low and wide stances, high-blocks, low-blocks. Basically everything you see in Okinawan Karate. I've trained a couple of TKD classes and I did a couple of forms. Afterwards, they emphasized the importance of learning the low stance and chambered punches because they are the basics that lead to good fighting. After the long lecture, they decided to show us the sparring stance (which looked like a modified boxer's stance) and told us not to chamber punches.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." – Voltaire.
  8. jtkarate is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 12:59pm


     Style: karate,judo,JJ,Aikido,TKD

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by EternalRage
    I've never seen your kwan's training or your forms so I can't say anything about it. But if your forms are taken or modified from Okinawan karate, and you do things like chambered fists, low front stances, back stances - basically any traditional karate-esque movements - you're most likely not going to use them often in sparring. When is the last time you used a "double high outer forearm block" in horse stance?

    Whatever little fringe benefits you get from forms are pretty much outweighed by the fact that dead training is supposed to prepare you for live training, and traditional Korean MA forms in general are useless for this since none of the movements are really used in sparring to begin with.

    Point taken ...there are some that are a little to outrageous to be practical in a fight .....but they still have value in training one way or another.
  9. Thaiboxerken is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 1:06pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtkarate
    but they still have value in training one way or another.
    Little value, if any. If they were really valuable to training, you'd see it more in all of the full-contact martial arts.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." – Voltaire.
  10. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2007 1:59pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtkarate
    Point taken ...there are some that are a little to outrageous to be practical in a fight .....but they still have value in training one way or another.
    The only value it could have, assuming your form is something that you might actually use, is to prepare you for live training, as described in Big Boss's FAQ.

    The only time I'd ever do a form from my Korean MA is if I've already went running, jumped rope, did my BJJ warmup exercises, hit on my standing bag, and did crunches/pushups/conditioning. And I would only do one. Maybe more if I'm in an artistic mood.

    The way I regard forms now is something like a wai kru in MT - something artistic you do to show your lineage and origins of your system, not an actual training method.
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