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Dochter
11/08/2002 11:46pm,
I've noticed an interesting and troubling tendency among a lot of the postings on this website. Many of us that have posted will complain about the rapidity with which some schools hand out promotions in general and black belts in particular. My instructor calls it black belt inflation. Here it is considered symptomatic of a McDojo.

Most of us here contend that a black belt should only be awarded after many years of intense work. I myself have had the rank explained to me as being representative of a thorough and effective understanding of a particular art's main or basic techniques. This is believed to take a long time to achieve (though those fortunate enough to train many hours a day, live at the dojo (forget the Japanese name for such a student) etc. can do it a lot faster).

These statements are made with the understanding that it takes many years to learn and absorb the complexities of a style. For some it is a lifelong pursuit.

I think thus far most everyone agrees with me. However, with this background, statements such as "I took style XxX for 3 months and it sucked!" or "I took aikido for a year and don't see how it could ever be applied effectively on the street" are frequently made, by people who have said exactly what I wrote above.

To these sorts of comments I say: Well duh! If something takes a long time to learn (remember you all agreed with that) then how can you say an entire style sucks after only limited exposure? Even sport fighting systems (boxing etc.), which generally have a more narrow array of techniques take a long time to become proficient at, and competitive fighters in these systems will intensively train everyday. This is not to say that you canít smell out a McDojo quickly, it does mean you canít learn a style quickly. We are a fast food nation (in every aspect of our lives) which is why this website is aptly named and it needs to remembered that few things worthwhile come easy.

Iím still only in my first couple of years of training but Iíve already greatly improved my fighting ability, primarily in striking, kicking balance and the like. I have not yet mastered some of the more subtle techniques that Iíve seen, breakouts, some attack defense throws and the like. I do know they work though because Iíve had them done to me (if you can break out of my grip, you can break out of pretty much anybodyís grip). Just because I canít make them always work doesnít mean they donít work, it means that I need more practice. Some aspects can be quickly learned and applied, some take longer.

When I first started training I heard my instructor tell a fellow new student that taking martial arts wasnít a good idea if all you want is to learn some self defense techniques. It takes to long for that. If, however, after a long period of training you canít defend yourself better than before either you or your instructor failed in your training. Lets keep this in mind when discussing techniques and styles.

aikitattoo
11/09/2002 1:03am,
live in student = uchi-deshi

Well said.

PeedeeShaolin
11/09/2002 1:13am,
I've trained for a long time and I'm pretty capable of seeing for myself what is real and whats not. Thats one of the biggest myths/problems in the martial arts: People think you have to train for 10 years in order to tell if something is effective or ineffective. Thats crap. A little common sense goes a loooong way my friend.

When Bob Smith's wife comes home from Moneybagz TKD and tells him she can get out of his bear hug by doing some ridiculous foot stomp and then palming his groin followed by a hip throw he instantly doubts it because common sense tells him too. And common sense is correct.

When he grabs his wife and she cant escape her instructor tells her that its because she didint REALLy hit him or because she didnt practice enough yet. The problem is not her OR him. Its the unrealistic technique and theory.

How many times have we talked to guys that have done Karate/Kung Fu for YEARS and then went into a boxing gym and immediatley noticed the difference in realism. It doesn't take 5 years of boxing to learn this. It takes 1 hour.

The same goes for BJJ. The minute you get on the mat and are totally dominated by someone smaller than you you truly appreciate the effectiveness of the art.

Common sense.

Dochter
11/09/2002 2:34am,
I wasn't saying that they're aren't techniques that are ineffective in some circumstances and that common sense doesn't help discriminate those cases, rather I was saying that just cause it didn't work when you tried it once doesn't mean it doesn't work. Additionally as has been often said many techniques were developed at times when they would've been used frequently and when challenges between schools were common they had to work.

It takes a lot longer than i hour to learn to box well. It takes a lot longer than that to do anything well.

Boyd
11/09/2002 3:19am,
So wait, Peedee, I'm confused here: are you implying that a BJJ practticioner can defeat a larger, stronger opponent? BALDERDASH. I'd have to see proof.

sakurabafan
11/09/2002 3:44am,
I believe that the key to evaluating a technique or an art is through experimentation. By that I mean testing the technique against a resting dynamic opponent. This is achievied by sparring, rolling, pummelling etc. For example if you are shown a particular wrist lock, practice it with a partner until the technique is done with the proper form, then have your partner resist and see if the technique can be achieved or not. If you can consistantly make the technique or techniques work against resisting opponents, then not only does the technique work, but that technique is now yours. Meaning that you can apply that technique in a dynamic way under pressure from a real opponent. Obviously, the more you practice in this way, the better you will be at applying the techniques against dynamic resisting opponents. This process of experimentation should be extrapolated for the art itself as a system. Can the techniques applied against resisting opponents? Does the art have a systematic approach towards these techniques? Does the art address the different ranges of fighting (standing, clinch, ground)? If through experimentation you find that the art successfully answers these questions then the art "works", if it does not then I think that you have some new questions to ask yourself. Good luck, I hope you find the answers that you are looking for.

Gezere
11/09/2002 9:19am,
>The same goes for BJJ. The minute you get on the mat and are totally dominated by someone smaller than you you truly appreciate the effectiveness of the art

Guess that is why I don't appreciate BJJ because this hasn't happened to me yet! :)

Seriously I don't have much against the techniques found in BJJ. I hate the BJJ propaganda. (GJJ can beconsidered fraud for the simple fact that the Gracies came out and said "GJJ is Unbeatable" "GJJ is INVINCIBLE" which we know is NOT the case)

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invinsible Asia) Emporer of Baji!!! THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST THE UNITED AUSSIE FRONT!!

poorboy
11/09/2002 9:37am,
peedee and asia both make good points. you could maybe make some techs work in 5-10 years, but why not learn things that you can apply in a month? think how tough you'll be after training that for 5-10 years.

9chambers
11/09/2002 11:00am,
The BJJ you see in the ring is pretty much limited to a few techniques: the guard, the mount and the arm bar. They live off of that stuff and the few takedowns that set those up.

Those seem to work but the rest of the techniques in BJJ have yet to be seen in competition let alone proven.

I just looked at the new BJJ book with Royce in it. The one on "self-defense" .. it looks exactly like all of the martial arts that BJJ people make fun of honestly. It looks Aikido-ish.

Dochter
11/09/2002 10:42pm,
peedee and asia both make good points. you could maybe make some techs work in 5-10 years, but why not learn things that you can apply in a month? think how tough you'll be after training that for 5-10 years.



The techniques that you can make work and learn in just a month are very limited. It takes longer than that just to start breathing properly. Martial arts were and are never intended to be just a crash course in the rawest techniques, take SCARS or CDT if that's what you're looking for, because that's what they claim to sell (I don't know or care if that's the case).
I don't doubt that you can learn effective bjj techniques or any style's techniques that work from one or two lessons. However you're only going to learn one or two techniques properly. If after that training you say "hey I've learned the 'true essence' of bjj (for example) and the rest is unneccesary", quit and start your own school you've just opened a McDojo (wait for it, it will happen). Learning any style will take time (even Peedee shouldn't argue with that) and learning it properly will take a lot of work, so don't consider something useless just because you went to one class. Even my girlfriend understands she didn't learn self-defense from the self-defense class, hopefully those of us who claim to be serious about our martial arts study can make the same distinction.

Greese
11/09/2002 11:36pm,
I read the Gracie SD book. I don't like a lot of thier SD stuff for SD, but some of it is pretty bad ass Judo type stuff. However, most of the stuff really does not look very Aikido-ish, though.

9chambers
11/10/2002 10:11am,
Yea, I liked the Judo stuff. Some of your standard throws were in there. The ground work was fine.

I also liked him pushing on the shoulders of the shooter and sliding back or sprawling. I liked Royce getting the shooter in the naked choke. The defenses against weapons looked a little Aikido-ish once in a while. I liked the strikes and elbows.

I liked him hitting the other guy's hand when he grabbed his hand. Its funny, BJJ guys on here have said that was a silly idea but there's their hero doing it.

I even saw moves in that book that I remember from old Stephen K. Hayes books back in the 80s. Its just old school Jujitsu with extra emphasis on working the guard, the mount, the triangle and the arm bar. I can't complain though. It seems to work well for Royce and family.

poorboy
11/10/2002 12:08pm,
dochter,

i'm not talking about training something for a month and thinking you're a badass. i'm saying in certain styles you can amass more useable techs in a shorter amount of time. say i want to learn to defend a haymaker. i can either go to a boxing class and learn to slip in about five minutes then move on to basic punching, counter punching, blocking, working the body, ect. or i can go to an aikido school and in 5 years maybe pull off a wristlock.

now why would i want to spend that much time learning an iffey tech when i could learn many higher percentage ones quicker?

PeedeeShaolin
11/10/2002 2:03pm,
Take a look at any GJJ in Action Tape and you'll see BJJ work against bigger stronger people. You have it on video to prove it. You have Royce Gracie destroying guys that outweighed him by as much as 80 lbs in the UFC. Dan Severn was a phenomenal wrestler with over 70 national and international titels and he utweighed Royce by 80lbs and he STILL lost. He had been ground grappling for longer than Royce also. Royce tapped out Ken Shamrock in 52 seconds. And a whole lot of OTHER bigger guys too. So thats your proof man.

If your talking about just grappling then Fernando "Margarita" Pontes frequently defeats larger opponents in the "Absolute Division" in BJJ competitions. He fights guys that are bigger, stronger and some that have trained nearly DOUBLE his years....and he submits them. Its his technique that maks this possible. There is no other explanation.

Deadpan Scientist
11/10/2002 6:39pm,
Poorboy, aikido would teach you how to defend from a haymaker in a week. Ueshiba was a brute, you really shouldn't underestimate any martial art.

Dochter
11/10/2002 8:41pm,
dochter,

i'm not talking about training something for a month and thinking you're a badass.


Poorboy, Not to be an ass but that is kind of what you're saying:



say i want to learn to defend a haymaker. i can either go to a boxing class and learn to slip in about five minutes then move on to basic punching, counter punching, blocking, working the body, ect. or i can go to an aikido school and in 5 years maybe pull off a wristlock.




now why would i want to spend that much time learning an iffey tech when i could learn many higher percentage ones quicker?


I understand what you are saying, but the thing about these iffy techniques is when done right they work very well. They are very situationally dependent (rather there are specific techniques for specific situations) but that is a good thing, even if it makes a system harder to learn. The more techniques you have in your arsenal the more able you will be to deal with different situations. No system is likely to be complete in every aspect but the more a system encompasses cohesively the better off you are. Some people can learn to fight or at least pummel very quickly, it takes longer to learn how to deal with a wider array of situations.
As brandeissansoo said many of the basics can be taught more quickly in any style, but even with boxing it will take awhile to get all the intricacies.