View Full Version : Hello and Look Forward to the Abuse

10/08/2007 9:28am,
I earlier introduced myself the wrong way, in someone else's thread. Sorry for the extra noobness there.

I've studied at a very traditional school founded by one of the original star pupils of Mas Oyama. Yes (to anticipate the bull god's reaction) I may do a dojo/style review, but I'm not entirely comfortable doing that yet. I am a relatively senior member of my school with multiple dan rating.

As I indicated earlier in my inappropriately placed thread, our school is what I would describe as a combination legit striking school (somewhat toned down version of Kyokushin) with McDojo elements. Our blackbelt promotions (particularly when I took my Shodan) are pretty rigorous. That was (and to some extent still is) what I would describe as 3/4 full contact, and you fight rows of the existing blackbelts for at least an hour (we fought for two hours, seriously). At the end of it, I'd sustained an eye contusion (saw black spot for awhile) some seriously bruised ribs and a significantly pulled hip tendon. But I digress.

In more recent years (I've studied at this school over ten years) the McDojo elements have become more pronounced. The blackbelt promotions have been significantly toned down (hard contact discouraged) and there seems to be more tolerance for really bad, soft technique, including as practiced by the ever-growing proportion of women in the dojo.

I do see a lot of value in our style, some of it in terms of the actual self defense capabilitya nd also measured not just in fighting terms. I suppose I've drunk the cool-aid, but I agree with the founder of our style that Karate is not "just kick and punch" and can be a real road to self improvement, insight, discipline in general, and lots of good stuff that has nothing to do with putting down and A-hole who puts his hand on your wife's butt in a bar.

That said, I also see the value in putting down an A-hole who puts his hand on your wife's butt (and then teeing off on him while on the ground, snapping some joints, etc.). So, while I much value some of what our school has to offer (including some excellent striking techniques) I sometimes despair when I see overly cooperative "self defense" drills, that I think of as a kind of negative training. Also, I'm very annoyed at what I see as a real world tradeoff in "point fighting" in which those things that are sound technique in a fuller contact context (e.g. protecting the face, not lunging forward off-balance) are a real disadvantage in getting "tagged" by some flying fake backfist to the top of the head. In that situation when I see someone flying upwards over my head, my inclination out of some residual pride in wanting to have legit technique, makes me more likely to drop low and plant for a counter to the belly, which I will land just after the "tag" and so "lose" the point. It can get even more ridiculous, with "points" being scored by someone flying in with both hand extended: one aimed for the top of your head and the other for your chest, in which you can get "scored" on while waiting for a "real" technique that even registers on your self defense radar.

I'm very interested in many of the forums, including the trashing of many styles even softer than our own. I do have to say, in defense of some of the more practical aspects of our style, that there are classes in which you can find individuals with real athletic ability and a d esire to go harder, in which the classes are more semi-contact (i.e. pretty much full out to the body, but no face, some head/non-face allowed for black belts and foot sweeps as well)

I have, by the way, used my Krotty in the street once or twice and with good result, mostly in deescalating situations with enough force to let the other person know there would be a cost to continue (e.g. making a hard grab and throwing a guy backwards into a wall and taking a semi stance, causing said guy to run out a door).

I also believe in the value of hard physical work/conditioning in your training no matter what. There is even some practicality I think in the traditional ways when done rigorously: for example, I am conscientious about hand conditioning, and do lots of seikin pushups (first two knuckles) and also fingertips (5,4,3,2 just thumb) and doing them one one fist, and doing them just inside of first knuckle, and just haito, etc. The net result is that with traditionally conditioned hands, I can hit a heavy bag all day with no gloves and not care, or connect effectively on someone's face without breaking my hand, and probably with more effect than otherwise and the hand can, indeed, become a "natural weapon" (as can the shin, as most of you know).

I do see a lot of practical wisdom exchanged here, and look forward to being on the wrong end of many hilarious comments. And yes, I agree, WC and TKD suck really really badly.

10/08/2007 9:29am,
Welcome to the Bullshido Forums oldonetwo... Make sure you review your dojo (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=83) and add it to your user control panel so you can get the http://www.bullshido.net/images/dojoreview1.gif icon in your user info bar in your posts.