Interesting first post. Would you be able to do a short book review on the Self-Defense for Children. I am most interested in that since so much of what I see today seems a little removed from reality.
I've always wondered about the attitude of people like Bruce when mainstream martial arts were developing during the 50's and 60's. These are quotes from Bruce's 1968 book Nerve Centers and Pressure Points:
If karate is to become a modern sport . . . there will have to be a change in the rules of contest. Protective gear worn by the contestants has proven cumbersome; it interferes with free and flexible movement . . . It requires as much skil to touch or hit low-risk-of-injury target areas . . . as it does to make points by aiming at the vulnerable areas now permitted in karate contest. Under the present rules accidental contact is dangerous. Changing the rules would improve karate by reducing the unnecessary risk without affecting the pleasure and excitement of tournament play (p. 107)
There is one faction moving toward dangerous, spectator oriented, sensational exploitive matches. Other groups are working toward the acceptance of karate as a modern sport geared to the health, physical development and physical well-being of the participants. (p. 106)
1. Had there been better, cheaper, or more effective protective gear would Bruce and others have promoted karate as full-contact? Was this movement a deliberate concession to win popularity for karate among a broader American audience, or was it felt that contact was simply too dangerous for newer American students?
The old-fasioned view that self-defense instruction is training to reach a high-level of fighting skill has the effect of eliminating those individuals who have the greatest need. It is precisely those people who are unwilling or unable to become fierce fighting machines who benefit from practical self-defense instruction to the greatest degree . . . People learning to defend themselves against assault ought not to be trained as though they were preparing for warfare . . . Effective self-defense, in many instances, does not even involve inflicting physical pain or resorting to physical actions . . . The relationships in self-defense are very different from those in combat or combat sport (pp. 13-17)
2. In terms of the second quote, did Bruce and others who made this argument truly believe that karate and related MA's were exploited when applied as contact, combat sports?
3. Obviously, people are still making the same (weak) argument as quote three, that self-defense and sport fighting (as in the UFC, Pride, etc) are two quite separate things. What led Bruce and others of his time to this view?
All in all, many sections of Tegner's book NC + PP read like a foreshadowing of Bullshido, such as when he discounts the "seven-day death touch" and "driving the nasal bones into the brain" and other myths, and warns against the unquestioning acceptance of "ancient" ideas and theories. This makes me all the more interested in knowing why he (and others, if you read them from that era) maintained the views above, which clearly set the foundation for much of the bullshido (lower case b) to come.
The Bottom Line: You can't learn to fight without learning to fight.
100% right, I just wonder, in the case of people like Tegner who were great athletes and competitors, was it cynicism, idealism, naivete, public pressure (supposedly there were alot of articles about "Bloody Karate Battles" back in the day) or what that made these guys dumb-down martial arts like karate. I suppose you could argue they had already been stultified before this, but it's hard to believe a judo champion could really think you'd be an effective fighter without fighting.
Originally Posted by MaverickZ
Sorry for former inappropriate reply form. Anyhow, did the review. Do you want to edit? Do I send it to you this way?
Originally Posted by PizDoff
Hey a word to the new guys, outside of newbietown things are pretty rough around here. Using the same analogy as foxguitar about fighting... you might need to toughen up your feel-bads a little but if survival is your game. If you can't hang with a faceless person on a forum who disagrees with you, then you will probably cry the first time an aggressor gets in your face to do you harm.
Alrighty then, what was the resurrected topic?
When I was a small kid who lost fights, I borrowed some Bruce Tegner books from the local library. Don't ask me which ones, we're talking mid-80's here. Anyway, I hadn't yet learned the douche baggery of compliant partner training that exists in martial arts schools, so my brother and I would work on self defense moves in the back yard. I didn't become some super undefeated brawler, but I did utlize a hip throw and headlock successfully in two fights.
That's real results from "teh playground" for ya, thanks to Bruce Tegner. Hoo rah.
I thought the Tegner books were cool.
One has to remember he was in era when martial arts were a mystery to most westerners.
In todays day and age there is a MA studio on every block .
But getting back to Tegner , He was legitimate and knew his ****
speaking of back in the day anybody ever study Judo with Hank Kraft who ran a Kodokan Dojo in Middle Village Queens NY.
I remember trying to learn Judo but I was too young to get it so I didnt stay with it. I must of been under 10 at the time. And a kid 40 years ago under 10 is not like a kid today .
Which I dont know is always a good thing.
a 10 year old today can play Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" on Guitar Hero...
But can he play it on a real guitar ?
Originally Posted by theotherserge
But todays kids are more worldly and grow up way too quick I think.
I joined just so I could comment on Bruce Tegner from a personal view.
I am not a martial arts student, but I respect the dedication I find in these pages.
It is heartwarming to hear of Bruce's continued legacy. He had no children, but he was my (believe it or not) "Uncle Bruce." He and Alice McGrath were two of my parent's best friends from the early '60's. He passed away in 1985 and I just today attended Alice's memorial.
My dad trained with Bruce from about 1960 or '61 until he closed his studio in Hollywood. My folks moved to Ventura in the mid-60's, and convinced Bruce and Alice to move here too. Alice was the powerhouse behind his books, and a powerhouse in her own right. Look up Alice McGrath on wikipedia or anywhere -- an amazing woman.
But back to Bruce: no one, I mean no one, was doing what he did when he did. Until martial arts became popular in the mid-60's, karate and judo might have well as been alien planets, at least from my perspective. His books were among the first, and he was trying as an American to introduce this really foreign idea to America after a youth spent in Japan, with parents into the disciplines.
As a kid, I remember Bruce cooking exotic foods (remember, this was 1961) like sukiaki and tempura and (delicious shudder) sushi! Raw fish! Seaweed! Mom refused, but I got his thumbs-up approval when I tried his tuna roll.
He was a wonderful, funny, charming man who somehow maintained an ability to totally inspire respect in the studio (dojo, but no one called it that then) and a kid's ability to have fun. I adored him.
One final Bruce story:
When I was about 10, Dad showed me some basic self-defense moves if anyone ever grabbed me (Batman was very big at the time and even if I was a girl I wanted to punch and pow). I learned some good ones for a child: the two fingers to the eyes, the weak little finger twist, stomping on toes, kicking knees -- but appropriately girly defenses.
A few days later, Bruce came by the house. Dad wanted me to show Bruce my moves as kind of a party trick. Bruce watched solemly, offered a few bits of advice on technique, then asked Dad if he could show me one more move. Dad agreed.
Bruce stood up and cupped his hands over his crotch. "See this, honey?" he asked helpfully. "If you can get to that with your foot or your knee, hard, you can get away fast." While Dad turned purple and tried to catch his breath, Bruce continued, "Even if you have to use your elbow or fist, that's it, honey, all you need to know." Bruce sat down. Lesson over.
Can't say I ever needed the lesson, thankfully, but I will never forget it or the confidence it gave me!
I respect everyone here, and take no part in the defense/serious trainer debate, but I'd rather have that bit of training than none at all.
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