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Leaving Bullshido: Shorinji Kempo

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    #16
    Originally posted by WhiteBelt1234 View Post
    The odd thing is that I'm confident it wasn't an active deception. I think often people react in a complaint way to the techniques because of the belt the practitioner holds and then that re-affirms the perception of effective technique. Although this is an extreme example I think it illustrates my point /watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I there would have been no reason for that 'master' to create the challenge unless he genuinley believed in his techniques and the reason he believes in them is because he has complaint students who affirms his belief in his own technique. In fact my instructor on several occasions asked particularly complaint students to give more resistance.
    Since I have trained traditional styles for over three decades, I can say that in many instances of compliant and semi-compliant arts most of the instruction given was honest reproduction of the one received by the teacher, and which was believed to be effective or the only way to train safely without becoming regularly injured or having to endure the more intense rigors of a professional fighter. The less dogmatic teachers I knew considered Muay Thai for example to be much more dangerous than karate and that it was like karate taken up several levels, but who would want to endure such a brutal training? It was hard to contemplate in mostly hobbyist environments. And some older, less open minded teachers, dismissed it as simple brutality and believed in the higher purity of their arts.

    I trained under some very demanding karate teachers, and did pretty hard sparring with minimal protective equipment and often no protection at all. I had teeth broken by kicks, a broken nose and multiple face cuts from punches, a fissured rib, and a busted knee from a violent scissors take-down. BUT it was still mostly compliant during the practice sessions. In fact, one of the problems was that the drills and paired training and the light regular sparring left too wide a gap compared to what the harder fights in competitions or even hard sparring during exams could become. So the compliant training was not really preparing the less naturally-gifted people to jump to the even the in-style fighting and there was a great amount of desertion from the schools once regular fighting became expected. And in my experience, those instances of hard sparring and competition fighting were also pretty low-skill and rudimentary even if more aggressive precisely because people were not really prepared to train for the actual fighting. So we had a lot of idealized kihon and kata and lots of conditioning and then we were thrown to improvise during the fights with barely some combinations trained semi-compliantly.

    I think that most of the teachers simply did not know better. That was how they were taught and they did not believe you could train more realistically without risking serious injuries or losing the refinements of their styles (a whole other bag of beans that one). A lot of the people who did regular sparring only used competition rule-sets and never tried to experiment with alternative rule-sets. Most local schools here could not even afford boxing gloves. For a while I began sparring regularly with people from a local kung-fu style who used quasi-Kyokushin rules (no face punches, full contact on the body, full power kicks to the head, and throws) and suddenly I was beating up in karate much better athletes than me just because of the expansion in fighting practice. One time I got to spar with a local karate teacher wearing borrowed boxing gloves and almost knocked him out in half a minute, and he had 40 pounds on me, and my boxing was really poor at best. Any amateur kickboxer could have creamed most of the local people.

    A lot of the poor training I think could be blamed on both the dogmatic over-stylized systems inherited that worked more on assumptions than reality, or which were sporty devolutions of not that firm original foundations, and also on the lack of proper equipment. Most places I knew did not even have a heavy bag. One place never hung it up and just used it for people to sit on at the sidelines. We punched car tires supported against walls. There was no space to shuffle about while doing drills so most drills were static and trying not to get into the space of the people next to you. So all this resulted in very crap fighting skills.

    But when better equipment DID become easier to get, when mats could finally be used instead of having to fight on concrete and dirt floors and the UFC gave everyone a practical laboratory for technique application under closer approximation to real fight conditions, a lot of those teachers were already trapped by the fallacy of investment. They could not adapt and instead retreated into dogmatic denial that anything was missing or incomplete in their practice. In that reaction to NHB competitions and BJJ challenges most styles actually became more compliant or specialized only in more narrow sport rule-sets that while of increasing athletic demands, were each time farther away from general fighting. Some acknowledge this change in intent honestly. Others do not, either from dishonesty or from a reactionary self-delusion. I do not know which is actually worse.

    Most of the honest people I know either acknowledge they practice sports only marginally applicable to real fighting, or try to improve their practice with whatever is better and now available.

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      #17
      Originally posted by BackFistMonkey View Post
      So all you do is train? It's a great gig if you can land it.

      To me it sounds like you are seriously over extending yourself, receiving substandard instruction, or possibly full of crap. I mean if all you are doing is training... no school, no job, no strength training ... you should be fine with 18 hours a week on the mat and in the ring.
      I used to train 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, back in the late 80s and early 90s and it was mostly just karate and kung fu, while also studying civil engineering and doing amateur theater, so it was doable. I was about 132 pounds on 5'8". My knees and back now curse my foolishness, of course, specially all the training and jogging on hard concrete.

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        #18
        Originally posted by ksennin View Post
        I used to train 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, back in the late 80s and early 90s and it was mostly just karate and kung fu, while also studying civil engineering and doing amateur theater, so it was doable. I was about 132 pounds on 5'8". My knees and back now curse my foolishness, of course, specially all the training and jogging on hard concrete.
        I'm still relatively young (25) so maybe I can still get away with it but when I've settled down at a place and there is somewhere to train, I try and make it to every lesson they have. I'll do 9 hours at work, hand digging or doing other such manual tasks and then hit the gym. Currently just got back into the mix with a local gym (been working away at various places for the last 3 years) and I'm there Monday to Saturday doing ever lesson I can possibly do regardless of what it is. So I don't find it surprising.

        Honestly, it can get pretty addictive if you have the time to do it. I've even got my fiancee and my niece into it, though they don't come quite as often. I hope when my little step son comes of age, he'll be coming too.

        As weird as this sounds, I actually like the sore feeling you get once all the adrenaline wears off. Feels good, feels like you're bodies working.
        Last edited by Sovvolf; 3/09/2016 2:45pm, .
        "BJJ!!! Guard can't protect you from collapsing gym roof, tough guy!" - W. Rabbit

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          #19
          Originally posted by Sovvolf View Post
          Honestly, it can get pretty addictive if you have the time to do it. I've even got my fiancee and my niece into it, though they don't come quite as often. I hope when my little step son comes of age, he'll be coming too.
          As weird as this sounds, I actually like the sore feeling you get once all the adrenaline wears off. Feels good, feels like you're bodies working.
          There comes a stage when you actually enjoy the pain and find your being able to handle pain to be a measure of your toughness. We are stupid that way.

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