I'd like to stop seeing "Our Records Indicate that You Have Never Posted..."
I am amazed that people actually do intro threads...
My name is Mike, I'm 24, on the Net I usually go by Galt because it has been my screen name since the days when 56K was hot stuff.
I started doing Isshinryu karate when I was 13 back in 1995, went up to blue belt, then my school was bought out by a TKD instructor so I started commuting 80 miles each way to Wheeler's Isshinryu in Powell, Tennessee. It has good and bad points, but I haven't seen a school anywhere else that has so many old guys in their 60s and 70s who started IN the 60s and 70s. I'm hoping there's something to learn from that much experience. When Mr. Wheeler died he was in his mid-eighties and still had a great eye for other people's dumb mistakes.
I got a shodan at Wheeler's and moved to Memphis where I did capoeira and wushu for 3 years before returning to East TN and taking up Isshinryu again. I have no rank in capoeira and only a beginner 1 (the third rank received if you consider walking in the door as beginner 3 a rank) in wushu. I received a nidan in Isshinryu last summer, which should probably have only taken me 6 or 7 years instead of 11 due to the time I took off and did other things. I have taken Judo and Jujitsu classes and a grand total of one seminar from Renzo Gracie. I have a purple belt in something I was assured is "Chinese Kenpo," which apparently distinguishes it from the Ed Parker kind. I'm kind of a seminar junkie, so I have four or five hours of experience in each of a couple of dozen things. I've probably done 50 karate tag tournaments in high school and one sport-jujitsu tournament when I was 16 where I got promptly squished by a judoer who knew what he was doing.
We do a lot of pressure point (tuite) stuff at my school and I have zero faith in it, or at least the mystical rationale behind it. I used to be more ecumenical but I've seen a lot of nonsense in my day and I don't put much stock in any technique more delicate than an elbow to the face. I speak enough Japanese to hitchhike around the country, but not enough to read a comic book properly. I can usually spot otherwise reasonable sounding Japanese gobbledygook when somebody makes up nonsensical styles and techniques as a result.
In other non-MA related news, I have bachelor's degrees in Biology and Psychology (magna and summa cum laude respectively), so if somebody tries to pass off some pseudoscientific rationale for his bullshido, I have a pretty good eye for that too.
Wow. This was the most arrogant crap I have ever written. Somebody please roast me. I need it after this.
Heya. You should write up a Dojo Review for your previous school and share your insights.
Welcome to the forum.
What are you doing at the school to address your lack of faith in pressure points?
I am addressing my lack of faith by not participating in pressure point class, or invoking them when I teach. I try to refrain from speaking pressure point language in class, but frankly it's actually easier to tell people, "Yeah, hit him around Stomach-9. (in the neck)" or "Drop your elbow into Bladder-10 (which is in the back of the head)" when describing a certain technique. By the time these guys have gotten to green or blue belt they can trace all 14 acupuncture meridians and have a couple of hundred points memorized...bluh. I know them too, but I don't believe they exist. Haha.
There's a lot of good, solid brute force to be had in krotty without needing traditional chinese mumbo-jumbo. In my perfect world all the acupuncturists and other faith healers would be in the unemployment line, and they'd have to step over the chiropractors' starved carcasses to get there.
Welcome to Bullshido. I'm just clarifying, you're an instructor at an Isshinryu school now?
Yes, I instruct there, but it's a pretty good-sized school with a wealth of old guys to cover real material, so the most I do is lead warmup exercises for twenty minutes every fourth or fifth class, and teach new kata parts or administer stripe tests (no, I don't like the idea of stripe tests, and I've never had a stripe myself) to colored belters. Rather than place the burden of instruction on any one super all-knowing sensei we have a base of black belts who are all available for any question. If a student does something different from one of the instructors and can give a reason for it and tell where he learned it, the difference is probably accepted. If anything looks too weird we refer back to the ancient Tatsuo Shimabuku (the Isshinryu founder) videos from the 50s, which we give to students on DVD for free on request.
Still, I do get a significant discount on my membership dues essentially for just being there, so I don't complain about my somewhat limited instructor status. (You also won't see me on the Staff Instructors page on the school website, as it doesn't get updated often.)
Bladder 10's at the back of the head? I never knew I had a bladder there. Learn something every night.
Haha. TCM junk. There are fourteen meridians on the body, Heart, Lung, Pericardium, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Triple Warmer, Kidney, Spleen, Liver, Stomach, Bladder, and Gall Bladder, Conception Vessel and um...the other one that runs down the spine. The pressure points are numbered on these so you can refer to a pressure point as say, "Triple Warmer 17" and someone will be able to find the spot pretty quickly. I think the meridians are named because of some mystical imaginary connection they have to the organs in question, for instance it is claimed that the Heart meridian, which runs down the medial edge of the arm, is supposed to be stimulated to treat (or cause) heart conditions. (...right...)
Anyway, Bladder-10 is pretty much the base of the skull. A good elbow drop on it is going to be unpleasant whether you believe in a bunch of Yin and Yang, Ching Chang Chong mystical Chi energy or not.
BTW RunningDog, I like your quote from Connovar. I am assuming we're supposed to point and laugh, right?
I took your suggestion Phrost, dojo review is up for Wheeler's. When I sat down to think about it, I realized that most of the pressure point junk I complain about so much can be totally avoided at the school these days.