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PizDoff
11/16/2004 5:02pm,
Click for funny picture!

http://nsimg.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=NS&Date=20041115&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=111150047&Ref=AR&title=1&MaxW=580

Staff photo by Kevin Jacobus
Independent Karate School Shihan Jason Kittredge, center, demonstrates defense against multiple attackers during a demonstration as part of the school’s celebration of its 25th anniversary at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua on Sunday. From left to right are black belts Jeff Maistrosky, Chris Marsh and Kevin Tipa.



Well this is an interesting article, you can clearly see the ups and down of the school.




NASHUA - Maria Milton broke an almost 10-year-old record among female students of the Independent Karate School on Sunday.

She also broke seven concrete slabs with her well-aimed foot, and with a yell that resounded off the walls of the Bishop Guertin High School gymnasium.

Milton was among about 75 students, of brown- and black-belt status and aged 12 and older, participating in the school’s 25th anniversary celebration, which involved an all-day exhibition.

“It felt really good because I’d been frustrated with breaking seven for a long time,” said Milton, 16, of Merrimack.

She had been working on the move, called the flamingo, which involves raising one foot in the air with heel poised to strike, since last year’s tournament, she said. Edit: Americans call it the flamingo? HAHAHAH!!

“This (school) is an independent island in martial arts,” said headmaster Peter Desmarais, whose father Louis Desmarais founded the Nashua school in 1979 with his partner Victor Nastasia. Both are now retired engineers and highly active in the school as grand master teachers, each with the highest degree of black belt. The school has also expanded, opening a branch in Merrimack. Edit: Meaning this paid more money than their engineering job? OH WAIT! It's for the love of teaching!

“We don’t believe in sending (our students) to all these outside tournaments,” said Peter Desmarais, Edit: Translation, our students suck so we don't want them going out and getting beaten silly point sparring. who seems to enjoy conveying the accomplishments of his students that fall outside the world of karate. The school has given out more than $54,000 in college scholarships over the years, he said. Edit: That is cool, very cool.

“I want this to be a place where they can develop (karate) and use it,” he said. “I don’t like it when it becomes their whole life.”

On Sunday, several of the school’s most accomplished alumni were judges, sitting back-to-back in a line of chairs in the center of the gym while two groups of contestants carried out all sorts of footwork and handwork, including breaking wooden boards, concrete slabs, and tracing fierce arcs and angles in the air meant for imaginary opponents. Edit: Land swimming...

In one demonstration, students brandished various weapons, including long poles, a flashing dagger-like instrument, and colorful fans with metal parts. In another, students faced each other in pairs and followed directions issued by the judges, slipping out of headlocks, falling on the floor with loud thwacks, and mildly twisting their opponents’ arms.

At times, it looked more like a pantomime of fighting. The school is nonviolent, avoiding actual hitting, according to Louis Desmarais, who calls the school’s form of the martial art, classical karate. Edit: How is that classical? People actually beat on each other back then.

For all the throwing of bodies, swirling of weapons and aggressive grunts, there were plenty of polite “sirs” and “ma’ms” in the room; adults addressed each other with “mister” and “misses.”

Pete Desmarais emphasizes the school’s commitment to fostering respect and teamwork among the students.

“If you’re polite to people, it stops arguments,” he said.

The patrolmen and detectives involved in the school help make it clear to the younger students that they are not to use what they learn to hurt anyone, Desmarais said. The school also has a close relationship with school guidance departments in the area.

Sunish Oturkar, an 18-year-old student in electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University, has been practicing karate for 12 years, attending the school sometimes four times a week when he lived in Nashua. He had traveled from Massachusetts to participate in the exhibition. As a black belt, he has also been able to teach at the school.

“I don’t know what kind of person I’d be without this,” he said.

Oturkar’s experience at the karate school helped him avoid the temptations of drugs and alcohol during high school, he said.

“I was always asked, and it was always easy to politely decline,” he said.

He also managed to avoid physical confrontations.

“I’m very opinionated,” he said. “If people get to the point where they want to fight me, you just talk your way out of it,” he said. “There are so many ways to just not fight.”

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041115/NEWS01/111150047

A half-hearted search for the school's website turned out negative.

NextGuard
11/16/2004 7:49pm,
Looks like they have two sites
http://www.enshudo.com/index.html

http://www.independentkarateschool.com/

>>


About Enshudo

The founder of Enshudo, O-Sensei Louis L. Desmarais has traveled the world and trained with some of the very best and true martial artists to bring his students this special art of self defense.

There are over 150 techniques taken from 25 basic jyu-jitsu moves (called Nuggets). Enshudo has two "Katas", the Cane Kata and Kata Enshudo which incorporates many of the basic Jyu Jitsu moves making the Katas not only a thing of beauty but the essence of practicality.

Students learn to use the least effort to obtain maximum results in practical real life situations. An Enshudo student becomes familiar with various martial art styles including Aikido, Kenpo Karate, Judo, and many others including O-Sensei's tutelage in boxing. Together, students not only appreciate the various styles, but are able to combine them to make what we believe is a truly unique experience.<<

jkittredge
4/09/2007 4:03pm,
This seems like an interesting site, but the comments I read were a bit one-sided and came from a position of ignorance. I just wanted to clarify what our school is about, and some of the things that came out in the edits:

"She had been working on the move, called the flamingo, which involves raising one foot in the air with heel poised to strike, since last year’s tournament, she said. Edit: Americans call it the flamingo? HAHAHAH!!"

JK: I would say that this is a misinterpretation of the interview that the reporter had with Miss Milton. Among martial arts schools that teach kicking with a "chambered" position, it is fairly common to use the term "flamingo"... particularly when teaching children. Her break was actually a "forward heel stomp" using our school vernacular. We do describe the chambered position as a "flamingo" which is how the reporter got that term in the first place.


"“This (school) is an independent island in martial arts,” said headmaster Peter Desmarais, whose father Louis Desmarais founded the Nashua school in 1979 with his partner Victor Nastasia. Both are now retired engineers and highly active in the school as grand master teachers, each with the highest degree of black belt. The school has also expanded, opening a branch in Merrimack. Edit: Meaning this paid more money than their engineering job? OH WAIT! It's for the love of teaching!"

JK: I am more than a bit offended by this, and ask that whoever wrote the editor comments please reconsider how they reached this opinion. In fact, running a traditional karate school with the values that the Independent Karate School has is most definitely *not* more profitable than a full time engineering job. Mr. Desmarais senior had reached retirement age, and his partner Mr. Nastasia left his other job because the school needed his attention full time. The sarcasm about the love of teaching is vastly misplaced, and anyone who has visited our school will know how inappropriate the above comment is.

"“We don’t believe in sending (our students) to all these outside tournaments,” said Peter Desmarais, Edit: Translation, our students suck so we don't want them going out and getting beaten silly point sparring. "

JK: No. Our issue was primarily a safety concern because our students are primarily under age children. We've witnessed that open tournaments can have very loose definitions of "light contact" and "no contact". We don't want to bring any of our students into an environment that has the potential to be unsafe.

Bluntly, we don't care that much if our students win or lose. But we do care if they might get hurt. Anyone with any experience in the open tournament arena knows that there are jackasses out there.

"On Sunday, several of the school’s most accomplished alumni were judges, sitting back-to-back in a line of chairs in the center of the gym while two groups of contestants carried out all sorts of footwork and handwork, including breaking wooden boards, concrete slabs, and tracing fierce arcs and angles in the air meant for imaginary opponents. Edit: Land swimming..."

JK: Not quite sure what this is supposed to mean. Is this a criticism of traditional kata? (e.g. Funakoshi's Heians) We teach traditional kata, but it's certainly not a training methodology invented by our school. We find it valuable.

"At times, it looked more like a pantomime of fighting. The school is nonviolent, avoiding actual hitting, according to Louis Desmarais, who calls the school’s form of the martial art, classical karate. Edit: How is that classical? People actually beat on each other back then."

JK: We're a traditional non-contact school. Historically martial arts schools have existed in both contact and non-contact formats. Classical in this description does not imply non-violence, but it is different from many martial arts schools that ignore classical training techniques.


Thank you for your time.

Neildo
4/09/2007 4:23pm,
http://neildato.googlepages.com/threadnecro.jpg

Wounded Ronin
4/10/2007 3:56am,
Well, to be fair, jkittredge did do a point by point address. But, yeah. Still. It's 2+ years old.

Lv1Sierpinski
4/10/2007 6:50am,
Way to step up to the plate and address opinions others have of your school. Welcome jkittredge, hopefully you'll continue to contribute to the forums.

But try to stick to recent threads...otherwise the wrath will be swift.

Out of interest, setting aside tournaments, what level of sparring do you do in class?

Scrapper
4/10/2007 7:37am,
jkitterege:

Welcome to Bullshido. We say mean things here. We do it because confrontation implies ultimate resolution. If we say your school sucks, you are obligated to prove us wrong, or allow that opinion to stand unchallenged. It's how we work, don't take it personally.

The classic issues we are going to have with your school as described in the article are as follows:

No competition: Competition provides you with objective feedback to the quality of your training. If you win, you must be doing something right. if you lose, you are doing something wrong. No individual fighter, or training method is without flaw, and competition allows the most accurate demonstration of these flaws. This facilitates the subsequent elimination of said flaws.

No contact: Not hitting = not fighting. Notfighting = not "martial" art. If you are not making contact, you do not know how you will react to contact. if you are not moving at full speed with real intent, then you do not know what full speed and intent will entail. Ergo, you are NOT prepared for actual fighting. This is where the "land swimming" comment comes in:

Suppose you can't wim, and you hire a swimming teacher to help you learn. But all he does is have you practice various strokes while on land. You spend a year learning backstroke, freestyle, breast stroke, butterfly, and crawl. You drill the strokes over and over again until they are second natur,e and you an do them flawlessly. Then the instructor gives you a diploma and leaves.

What is going to happen the fisrt time you jump in the water? Hence "land swimming."

Those are absically the salient points that would cause us to question the trining methods of your school. If your school's goal is just to provide some exercise and entertainment for it's members, and doesn't relly focus on actual combat proficiency, then that is OK. Not everyone wants to train for the real thing. But if it is your contention that your school's training approach as described in the article constitutes a self-defense system, then I think many will take issue with that.

But don't let that dissuade you. Stick around and discuss it. Keep in mind that we cuss and tease here, and have a thick skin and you will be alright.

Chers!

PizDoff
4/10/2007 9:45am,
Hello jkittredge, I appreciate your feedback on my post.
I'll respond to it when I have more time tonight.

Didn't know 'traditional' schools did 'self-defense' style drills.
http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/9133/27058716mf6.jpg

Neildo
4/10/2007 11:04am,
Well, to be fair, jkittredge did do a point by point address. But, yeah. Still. It's 2+ years old.

ah, hehe....my bad. I thought he just reposted that chunk and wrote "Thank you for your time." I didn't see the point-by-point until later.

PizDoff
4/10/2007 2:25pm,
JK: I would say that this is a misinterpretation of the interview that the reporter had with Miss Milton. Among martial arts schools that teach kicking with a "chambered" position, it is fairly common to use the term "flamingo"... particularly when teaching children. Her break was actually a "forward heel stomp" using our school vernacular. We do describe the chambered position as a "flamingo" which is how the reporter got that term in the first place.
So the reporter was ignorant?



JK: I am more than a bit offended by this, and ask that whoever wrote the editor comments please reconsider how they reached this opinion. In fact, running a traditional karate school with the values that the Independent Karate School has is most definitely *not* more profitable than a full time engineering job. Mr. Desmarais senior had reached retirement age, and his partner Mr. Nastasia left his other job because the school needed his attention full time. The sarcasm about the love of teaching is vastly misplaced, and anyone who has visited our school will know how inappropriate the above comment is.

One or the other. I personally know one gym owner has taken his time AWAY from the kung fu school he co-owns to focus on his job. Simply put, he needs to provide for his family and that comes first.

The owners of the above article were able to open another school, so that probably means the first school was successful. Successful in raising funds since another school does take some investment.


JK: No. Our issue was primarily a safety concern because our students are primarily under age children. We've witnessed that open tournaments can have very loose definitions of "light contact" and "no contact". We don't want to bring any of our students into an environment that has the potential to be unsafe.

Bluntly, we don't care that much if our students win or lose. But we do care if they might get hurt. Anyone with any experience in the open tournament arena knows that there are jackasses out there.

Your students are primarily underage children? Then something like a tournament just might help their developmental skills. There are many tournaments, even point-sparring and kata tournaments in kiddie-karate that have oppurtunities for under-age children.
Do your 'off-age' students actually compete?
Is it that you don't compete because you cannot prepare your charges adequately for competition?



Edit: Land swimming..."

JK: Not quite sure what this is supposed to mean. Is this a criticism of traditional kata? (e.g. Funakoshi's Heians) We teach traditional kata, but it's certainly not a training methodology invented by our school. We find it valuable.

Land swimming is an anology of learning how to swim without actually doing it. Similar to doing kata without cultivating viable martial ability. This is a criticism of people that only do kata or patterns without application and testing.


"At times, it looked more like a pantomime of fighting. The school is nonviolent, avoiding actual hitting, according to Louis Desmarais, who calls the school’s form of the martial art, classical karate. Edit: How is that classical? People actually beat on each other back then."

JK: We're a traditional non-contact school. Historically martial arts schools have existed in both contact and non-contact formats. Classical in this description does not imply non-violence, but it is different from many martial arts schools that ignore classical training techniques.


Thank you for your time.

You are kiddies day care with a martial arts theme.
Thank you for taking the time to post. I am open to your response and see your points that you try to make. I never speak from a position of ignorance nor do I close my mind to possibilties that I may be wrong. I hope you are of similar mind, read the responses and dwell on them. I'm sure you may have one point practised realistic martial arts training but no longer endevour to pass on the same practices to your charges.

Ronin.74
4/10/2007 2:40pm,
Hello jkittredge, I appreciate your feedback on my post.
I'll respond to it when I have more time tonight.

Didn't know 'traditional' schools did 'self-defense' style drills.
http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/9133/27058716mf6.jpg

That pic cracks me up. It looks like several guys trying to stop some dude from getting the last donut.

PizDoff
4/29/2007 10:17pm,
It has twenty days since our friend last posted. I will email him to remind him of this thread.

Arhetton
4/30/2007 1:27am,
The attackers had made their first mistake: They each grabbed a wrist

jkittredge
5/03/2007 2:09pm,
Hi everyone,

I apologize that it's taken me so long to reply, but life gets busy. I want to give a little bit of a background about why I responded to the posting (even if it's two years old). My purpose for posting is not to change anyone's opinions, but rather to clarify some points that I believe have been misrepresented.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I want to make clear when I feel false assertions or implications are being made. I'd also like to address specific points that have been brought up.

This posting was brought to my attention two weeks ago when our webmaster did a routine google search for our school. Initially my inclination was to simply ignore it, but I chose not to because recently a lot of our potential students have been coming to our school after doing research on the internet. I realized that a posting about our school on a website that's proclaiming to fight fraud in the martial arts may leave potential students with a bad impression of what our school is. For that reason, I decided it was necessary to speak up.

Please understand, I think that the concept of the site is a really good one. But the purpose for me to come here is to simply make sure that the context of decisions that my school has made is clear. I'm not trying to convince anyone that kata is a better training technique than full contact sparring, or that anyone else's concept of what a martial arts school should be is wrong. I was specifically looking to the points Piz Doff brought up in his original posting and addressing what I believe were misrepresentations.

Below are responses to the additional postings that have been made on this thread recently.



So the reporter was ignorant? I would say that the reporter is ignorant of the martial arts, and misinterpreted part of an interview they had with one of their students. (Specifically the term "flamingo" referring to the technique used for breaking rather than a reference to the chambered position of the leg). The simple answer is yes.

The context of this was the original quote:


Edit: Americans call it the flamingo? HAHAHAH!!



The owners of the above article were able to open another school, so that probably means the first school was successful. Successful in raising funds since another school does take some investment.
I will grant that the first school was moderately successful, but certainly not as financially lucrative as their original jobs. However, you've also made another assumption here - that the original school owners opened a second school. At various points in time we've had anywhere from 2-7 schools operating at the same time, and in most cases our "satellite" schools have been operated as franchise schools, meaning that the investment in the other schools were handled by people other than the owners of the original school. (Typically in the past it will be a student who has been with the school for 15 years or so who would like to try running their own dojo).

What I read in your original posting, and perhaps I misinterpreted, was that you were implying that the school owners gave up their lucrative engineering jobs so that they could fraudulently make fortunes off of the unsuspecting masses pretending to teach karate. If that was the intent, I'm saying that you're blowing smoke with nothing to substantiate such a supposition. If I misinterpreted, then I apologize.

Edit: Meaning this paid more money than their engineering job? OH WAIT! It's for the love of teaching!
You read a short newspaper article on the internet, essentially claim that the school owners are rip off artists without even doing any basic research on the topic that you're addressing. (I'm stating this based on the fact that you only did a "half hearted attempt" to find a web site) You've never spoken to anyone connected with the school, you have little to no knowledge of the schools philosophy (just what you've read in a short newspaper article), but believe that you're qualified to make these assertions. And when I'm calling you out on them and saying that you're making the claims from a position of ignorance, you're response is "I never speak from a position of ignorance."

I question here what knowledge that you have about my school that makes you feel that you are less than ignorant on the topic. If you've spoken with some of our students, former students, parents... or even someone who has stepped foot into our dojo, I apologize... you've at least done some basic modicrum of research. If you haven't, then I say that you're speaking without knowing any of the specifics of what you're talking about.

Please understand, I'm not questionning your qualifications as a martial artist (I don't know them), but rather questionning whether you are in a position to make any assertions about my school system at all.



On the topic of competition:


Your students are primarily underage children? Then something like a tournament just might help their developmental skills.
I agree. Our school hosts "school only" tournaments annually. We typically have about 200 competitors participating in a number of different events broken up by age and rank categories. We don't compete in outside tournaments. As I mentionned in my original response, this is primarily due to safety concerns. We have judged at enough open tournaments to know how unsafe they can be, and have met enough headmasters with a "win at all cost" attitude that we feel would would be doing a disservice to our students if we brought them to open tournaments.



Land swimming is an anology of learning how to swim without actually doing it. Similar to doing kata without cultivating viable martial ability. This is a criticism of people that only do kata or patterns without application and testing.
Thank you. That's actually a really good analogy, and I can see where a school that only teaches kata would be doing a disservice to their students. Thankfully, you "never speak from a position of ignorance", and I would be curious as to your logic about how the other training techniques used in our school are inadequate as "application and testing" of our kata.

You've made this assertion about my school and I'd like to hear you justify your position. (Of course if you don't know what other training techniques we use in our school, perhaps you are speaking from a position of ignorance.)



You are kiddies day care with a martial arts theme. I respectfully disagree. But as you never speak from a position of ignorance, I'm sure that you're more than qualified to reach your own conclusion based on the vast research you've done on my school.



Thank you for taking the time to post. I am open to your response and see your points that you try to make. I never speak from a position of ignorance nor do I close my mind to possibilties that I may be wrong. I hope you are of similar mind, read the responses and dwell on them. I'm sure you may have one point practised realistic martial arts training but no longer endevour to pass on the same practices to your charges.

You're welcome. As I think I've made clear, I don't agree with some of your opinions and conclusions, but appreciate the conversation.

I do believe that some of the assertions/implications that have been made have been done so from a position of ignorance, but if you really are open-minded about this, I think you may see where I reached that conclusion. I wish you all of the best in your future endeavors.

I don't mean to be rude, but it's unlikely that I'll be monitoring this set of postings in the future. As I mentionned above my main purpose for even replying in the first place wasn't to get involved with this sort of a debate, but rather to clarify what I believed were erroneous implications from the original post.


Again, thank you for your time.


------------------------------------

As I probably won't be reposting here (or at least won't be doing so very often), I did want to take a few moments to address some of the other things that were brought up in this thread by different posters. As I mentionned, my original intent wasn't to bring up a debate, rather just to clarify some assertions/implications brought up by the first poster. (However, I don't want anyone to think that I'm just ignoring them.)



Well, to be fair, jkittredge did do a point by point address. But, yeah. Still. It's 2+ years old. The original post is about two years old, but as I mentionned in this post, it had just come to my attention recently when our school webmaster did a routine google search for our school name.



Way to step up to the plate and address opinions others have of your school. Welcome jkittredge, hopefully you'll continue to contribute to the forums.

But try to stick to recent threads...otherwise the wrath will be swift.

Out of interest, setting aside tournaments, what level of sparring do you do in class?
Seems like a good forum, and I wish I had more time to become a regular contributor. But honestly, it's pretty unlikely.

As I mentionned the only reason I even posted was because the thread was specific to my school and experience, and has only recently come to my attention.

To answer your question about sparring in class - For most of our classes we have "non contact" point kumite. Our school rules are basically this:

- No contact to the head
- Light contact to the body is permitted. At lower ranks/younger ages we do not require contact for a point. Among our older students and black belts light contact to the body will generally be required to score a point, (but really it's the discretion of the judges)
- Intentional malicious contact (contact where the intent was to injure the other student), can be grounds for dismissal from the school. This hasn't been a problem for many years. We are fully aware of the fact that accidents can and do happen, but have a no tolerance policy for purposely trying to hurt another student within our dojo.

The same rules apply to our school tournaments. Our actual rules document is quite a bit more complex than this, but I think that this probably addresses the "level of sparring" we do in class.

Oh, and some of our senior students (older black belts) will occasionally don 16oz gloves and spar without the "no contact" rules. [However, these events aren't part of our normal school curriculum]



Welcome to Bullshido. We say mean things here. We do it because confrontation implies ultimate resolution. If we say your school sucks, you are obligated to prove us wrong, or allow that opinion to stand unchallenged. It's how we work, don't take it personally.
Well, honestly, I don't feel that I'm obligated to prove anything to anyone here... you're all certainly entitled to your opinion. What I am trying to do is take specific assertions made about my school and challenge them specifically.

I feel that the thread with PizDoff addresses the specific items that I feel were unwarranted/ill conceived.

However, I will address the specific points that you brought up. Understand that I'm not trying to change your opinion, rather just expressing my own. As I mentionned, I don't expect to be continuing to participate in this forum, but I felt I at least owe you my opinions about the topics that you brought up. If you disagree with them, I respect that, but I'm not planning on arguing about them.


No competition: Competition provides you with objective feedback to the quality of your training. If you win, you must be doing something right. if you lose, you are doing something wrong. No individual fighter, or training method is without flaw, and competition allows the most accurate demonstration of these flaws. This facilitates the subsequent elimination of said flaws.
I agree with almost everything that you've said here. (I would actually argue that "the most accurate demonstration of these flaw" is actually very dependent on the quality of the judging of the competition) My school doesn't lack competition: it just doesn't participate in open tournaments. Honestly, from my experience in open tournaments "winning" or "losing" has a lot more to do with who is doing the judging. I've seen judges more concerned with what school patch a given student was wearing than how well they fought, or demonstrated whatever it was they were being judged on. I believe that competition is a good way to improve the quality of your training. I don't believe that open tournaments are a particularly productive way of doing that. *shrug* This might not be universally true, but based on our personal observations we've chosen not to participate in open touraments..



No contact: Not hitting = not fighting. Notfighting = not "martial" art. If you are not making contact, you do not know how you will react to contact. if you are not moving at full speed with real intent, then you do not know what full speed and intent will entail. Ergo, you are NOT prepared for actual fighting. Would you consider Iaido a martial art? Kyudo? They're steeped in martial arts traditions, yet don't involve hitting or fighting.

When you spar do you wear any protective gear? Do you wear a cup? Are you always aware of when the match starts and begins? Is there a single opponent? Are you both unarmed?

I maintain that no matter the training method that you use, you are never *actually* fighting. You are always approximating fighting. I can understand the argument that some training techniques more closely correspond to "real" fighting conditions.

The land swimming analogy is a good one, but really it's a matter of degree. From what I can understand of the argument, it boils down to "I've been hit in the head, therefore I know how to fight. You don't get hit in the head, therefore you don't."

As far as preparedness for actual fighting goes, I hope that most of my students never have to find out. The few that have been involved in real fights have demonstrated that they can defend themselves. It doesn't prove that all of our students know how to fight... but it's certainly more compelling evidence to me than someone simply saying "you don't hit each other, therefore you don't know how to fight."



Those are absically the salient points that would cause us to question the trining methods of your school. If your school's goal is just to provide some exercise and entertainment for it's members, and doesn't relly focus on actual combat proficiency, then that is OK. Not everyone wants to train for the real thing. But if it is your contention that your school's training approach as described in the article constitutes a self-defense system, then I think many will take issue with that.
Well, my first point here is that none of you are actually aware of the training methods of my school, other then the few things that I've described here... yet at least two posters have made assertions that what we do is inadequate. (Not having met a single person who has studied at the school or observed any classes... or even hearing someone *describe* our classes)

Maybe we actually are "land swimmers" and maybe we're not. (My opinion is that we're not, but I'm also a member of the school, so I'm biased.) I'm just unclear as to how anyone here is qualified to judge that one way or another.

Secondly, our school is probably more of a "community" than a focus on combat proficiency. I'm not willing to concede that combat proficiency isn't a part of what we do, but will certainly concede that it's not usually our primary focus. I do want to point out though that the original post here was made without any contention on my schools part that we were in fact "training for the real thing."

But as I mentionned before, contact sparring doesn't mean that you're training for the real thing either. I never made any contentions about what my school does and doesn't do... yet I find it being criticized for not living up to what one forum members expectations might be.

Perhaps I'm reading a different article than you, but I don't see any explanation of our school's training approach in the article at all. There are some allusions to the fact that we teach kata, mention of the fact that our school teaches weapons, our students break boards and concrete, and don't participate in open tournaments. I guess I'm trying to figure out how you or anyone else reading that article have reached any conclusions about our school's training approach. (Only one poster has even bothered to ask for more information about what are classes are like... presumably to get more information to formulate an opinion)



Are you ignoring a classical training technique - contact? No, I think that in certain circumstances, contact based training is a great tool. However, many of the contact schools that I've encountered are non-traditional. Our school has simply decided as a policy that contact sparring is not in the best interests of our students.


------------------------------------------------------
Really, thank you all for your comments and your time. I realize from the tone of some of the earlier postings, that you feel that rehashing an old post is a waste of your time, and I certainly don't want to do that. I'm certain that you all have much more interesting and relevant topics than this one.

As I said, I just wanted to make sure that my schools position was fairly represented in the thread, which I believe I have done. This is specifically so that any potential students who stumble across your forum while doing internet reseach will at least have more of a context to determine if my school is something that they want to look into further.

Wishing you all the best.


-Jason Kittredge
Independent Karate

rsobrien
5/03/2007 4:50pm,
Holy **** that was one of the longest post I have ever seen. Did you type this on Word and then copy and paste? I think this would have been really tedious to type in the quick reply box.

Teh El Macho
5/03/2007 5:09pm,
Guys, please. jkittredge took the time to write back. Ergo, do the same and stay focus and reply back to his points.