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Do you think Kung Fu and other TMA ever "worked?"

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    #46
    Originally posted by Guird View Post
    I think this is the function it serves in ashihara and enshin karate, but in those two arts the techniques you use it to remember are worth remembering. I have no reason to believe this is true for most karate.
    File those under the same Performance Art category that Kung Fu comes under, save for the schools that actually train to compete in the san da/san shou etc. tournaments.

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      #47
      Originally posted by Cake of Doom View Post
      File those under the same Performance Art category that Kung Fu comes under, save for the schools that actually train to compete in the san da/san shou etc. tournaments.
      Fair enough.

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        #48
        Originally posted by leonard99 View Post
        I'm sure something like this has been asked before, but I thought I'd give it a go, since I've been thinking about it lately. Anyway was watching a UFC documentary the other night and they were talking about how things evolved, and it got me thinking about the general criticism of traditional Kung Fu and other traditional martial arts as not being effective in a real(read: as close to real as the UFC gets) fight situation and it got me wondering if those martial arts were actually effective 100's of years ago or whatever and then got watered down over time? I mean CMA for example has an extensive history. You've got the Shaolin Temple and a ton of different styles over a period of 100's of years, was it all bunk? Or did the lack of use lead the styles to slowly evolve into ineffectiveness?
        I will repeat what I have posted on another thread at http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=124221

        In my opinion, part of the reason that a lot of traditional martial arts seem to suck in emptyhand combat compared to modern UFC-style sports combat is that back in the days when those traditional martial arts were relevant, the focus would have been on weapons, and emptyhanded combat would have been a Hail Mary.

        Think about the giant arm-sweeping blocks you see in traditional karate. Are you going to block a punch like that? How absurd. It took me about 5 minutes back in high school to figure out that my friend can jab me in the face faster than I can sweep his arms out of the way. A giant blocking motion like that would be more relevant if you are using weapons and need to deflect a heavy incoming weapon. Why else would you have such a forceful movement?

        All those low stances and straight torsos work better if you are swinging a weapon than if you are using emptyhand. You will never see anyone succeed in modern sports fighting if they waddle around in a horse stance.

        However, if you ever swing a longsword and spar in historical fencing, you do end up in something very similar to a horse stance. Basically, that posture facilitates effective use of a swung weapon and maximizes your reach and power when using a weapon. This is easy to test out. Take a golf club or something similar, hold it high, and swing it as though you're trying to crush someone's skull. Try it first from a boxing stance, and try it again from a horse stance. If you really commit to the swing you'll get more reach and power from the horse stance. The other thing to consider is that if you had an opponent who was also trying to crush your skull with a golf club, the low stance would protect your head. If you struck at each other at the same time and your golf clubs collided in the middle, you still might get hit by his club if your head is up high. If your head is low and his head is high and your clubs meet in the middle, you have a better chance of being safe while the other guy still gets hit in the head.

        So, yeah, the myopic focus on emptyhanded combat in the martial arts is basically bullshit. The real deal was weapons like swords, spears, and staves, and frankly that's when a lot of the weird stuff you see in traditional martial arts that fail against modern emptyhanded methods finally start to make sense and work.

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          #49
          Originally posted by Guird View Post
          So what do we mean when we talk about goju/shotokan/kyokushin techniques? do we mean the techniques that good fighters produced by these styles use or the techniques that set these styles apart from boxing/kickboxing/muay thai? Because there is an enormous difference.

          I really think that karate schools which produce good fighters do so in spite of, rather than partly due to,the things that make them karate. Good karate fighters strike with their guards up, rather than pulling their reverse hand back, they defend with covering, parrying, and evasion not age/soto/shuto/uchi uke. It's no secret that competitive and successful full-contact karateka spend little if any time doing kata and traditional kihon, in favor of focusing on the techniques and habits that they are actually going to use. You ever seen GSP try to demo a kata?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO_TJxoujXQ

          That is not a man who spends a lot of time on kata.

          And Machida's karate skills and strategies clearly stem from JKA competitive kumite, not shotokan kata.

          I spent my fair share of time trying to justify the time I spent learning traiditional karate techniques. Maybe it's a roundabout way of teaching you important things about fighting? maybe I just don't know the right applications? maybe these techniques somehow do work well bare knuckle? (hint: they aren't used in lethwei or BKB)

          Or maybe it has been just as easy to sell BS for the last 100 years as it is now.

          Notice that I didnt'say anything about kung fu, which is because I have no real experience with it. I suspect the same is true there but I'll withold judgment. I understand that enshin and ashihara styles of karate did away with traditional kata and replaced them with fighting movements. Those kata are probably not a waste of time, since they can improve your ability in actually applicable techiques. For all I know a number of kung fu styles consist of highly applicable movements too.
          I always thought kata was a way to remember and pass on a wide body of techniques in the days before widespread literacy. Good for kinetic learners, people who can't read, and people who have trouble writing out precise descriptions of physical motions using kanji.

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            #50
            Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
            That is a dick move, and I don't blame you for being annoyed by it.



            I understand where you are coming from and agree with much of it. However, I have to ask, would you say the same thing about Kyokushin? If the answer is no, and I suspect it is, then why not? Kyokushin's primary influences were Goju and Shotokan. Yes, Oyama did some CMA, Boxing, and Judo as well, but the other two are the primary influences from everything I have seen. What he did was alter the manner in which it was trained and tested.
            I think Goodlun has beaten me to the punch (forgive the pun). The nature of both Goju and Shotokan is to be prescriptive and reactionary in the nature to offensive 'inputs', as opposed to something like Kyokushin which allows for the transmission of the same base techniques (a punch is a punch within reason), but is not solely based around an 'input-output' methodology (i.e. 1-step sparring) or limit the ability to truly engage with the core syllabus through a full engagement and utilisation of techniques to allow for their refinement and development (point-contact sparring instead of full contact/alive).

            Ultimately, I believe that we have to stop talking about they're being 'good' examples of arts, which when it comes to TMA's, as it is being utilised as a way of forgiving the epistemological issues that plague the transmission of technical knowledge from teacher to student, because the arts themselves have multigenerational ingrained practices that have resulted in sub-optimal performance output that is near impossible to institutionally challenge.

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              #51
              Why reinvent Owkinain Karate to become Kyokushin when Kyokushin is a thing?
              Why reinvent JJJ to become Judo or BJJ when those are also already a thing?

              Seems like a lot of wasted effort to just end up with something we already have?

              I mean if you wanted to take say Boxing + Greco-Roman wrestling and mash them up into a sport and a style of its own, now that makes sense.
              You would have a style that has having a very sturdy base in a fight that covers a few ranges and combines striking and grappling in a manner not currently done.

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by Bar Humbug View Post
                I think Goodlun has beaten me to the punch (forgive the pun). The nature of both Goju and Shotokan is to be prescriptive and reactionary in the nature to offensive 'inputs', as opposed to something like Kyokushin which allows for the transmission of the same base techniques (a punch is a punch within reason), but is not solely based around an 'input-output' methodology (i.e. 1-step sparring) or limit the ability to truly engage with the core syllabus through a full engagement and utilisation of techniques to allow for their refinement and development (point-contact sparring instead of full contact/alive).
                I don't disagree with any of that, but I see all of what you stated, while true, as indicative of the training and testing methodology.

                Comment


                  #53
                  Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
                  I don't disagree with any of that, but I see all of what you stated, while true, as indicative of the training and testing methodology.
                  You keep thinking the the System and training and testing methodology are some how separate.
                  They are not.
                  training and testing methodology is more a part of the system than the techniques cause they are what actually shape the techniques.
                  They shape the way they are done.
                  They shape the philosophy of how to use them.
                  The training and testing methodology IS the System.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Originally posted by goodlun View Post
                    You keep thinking the the System and training and testing methodology are some how separate.
                    They are not.
                    training and testing methodology is more a part of the system than the techniques cause they are what actually shape the techniques.
                    They shape the way they are done.
                    They shape the philosophy of how to use them.
                    The training and testing methodology IS the System.
                    Then how was Oyama, whose primary influences were Shotokan and Goju, able to change that? If they are as inseparable as you say, then this should have been impossible.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
                      No, they wouldn't. Kyokushin's root arts are Shotokan and Goju. Oyama studied some other things, but those were his primary systems. Not a good analogy.
                      It doesn't matter what the root is. Kyokushin competes in a knockdown format with no punches to the head. This informs the fighting style and technique. Karate lineages that don't compete will fill up with flowery kata or whatever to justify the students' time spent. Lineages that compete in a point system will utilize techniques that create contact quickly, which if used in a realistic setting, suck.

                      If a goju school competed regularly in a Kyokoshin format, it would quickly look like Kyokoshin. If a kyokoshin school started competing exclusively under WTK rules, it would look like TKD. If chunners started competing in Golden Gloves, they'd look like boxers. If a boxing gym didn't compete, it will start producing some daffy looking nonfighters (which sure as shit is happening IRL, see: cardio boxing).

                      Or they'd not change, and they'd all suck in those contests.

                      The name of the style is not relevant. The training method and competition ruleset create the art.

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
                        Then how was Oyama, whose primary influences were Shotokan and Goju, able to change that? If they are as inseparable as you say, then this should have been impossible.
                        Because he changed the goal and training style of his school. Have you been eating paint chips?

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                          #57
                          Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
                          Then how was Oyama, whose primary influences were Shotokan and Goju, able to change that? If they are as inseparable as you say, then this should have been impossible.
                          So what happened was Oyama used different training and testing methodology and created a different art.
                          Kyokushin is not Shotokan or Goju, despite its roots, it is Kyokushin.
                          Judo is not JJJ despite its roots.
                          BJJ is not Judo despite its roots.

                          Judo and BJJ is the perfect example cause they both are alive arts but they have different training and testing methodologies.

                          So this goes back to an earlier question I asked what is the end goal? What are you trying to invent? What are you trying to actually get at?
                          What is it you want to actually happen?

                          Comment


                            #58
                            Originally posted by goodlun View Post
                            So what happened was Oyama used different training and testing methodology and created a different art.
                            Kyokushin is not Shotokan or Goju, despite its roots, it is Kyokushin.
                            Judo is not JJJ despite its roots.
                            BJJ is not Judo despite its roots.

                            Judo and BJJ is the perfect example cause they both are alive arts but they have different training and testing methodologies.

                            So this goes back to an earlier question I asked what is the end goal? What are you trying to invent? What are you trying to actually get at?
                            What is it you want to actually happen?
                            Of course Kyokushin is not Goju or Shotokan, it was combined to make something new. However, its root techniques are based out of those arts, so the idea that what they contain cannot be effective does not add up to me. Gosoku Ryu was created from Goju and Shotokan as well, yet it does not have the reputation that Kyokushin does. What is different? Did Oyama take all of the effective stuff out of Goju and Shotokan and Kobuda take all of the ineffective stuff, or is it that Kyokushin and Gosoku, while drawing from the same well, are trained and tested far differently?

                            As for the rest, I really don't want anything to happen. My comments are in the context of the OP, which is the question of whether or not TMA were ever effective, which has since devolved to what we are discussing now.

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by Wounded Ronin View Post
                              I always thought kata was a way to remember and pass on a wide body of techniques in the days before widespread literacy. Good for kinetic learners, people who can't read, and people who have trouble writing out precise descriptions of physical motions using kanji.
                              That's my understanding of it, too.

                              I read an article a while back about how, even in the US, it wasn't until the paperback was introduced during WWII that most people could afford to buy books. Printing a book was difficult and expensive in those days and a lot of people were poor and maybe not very literate. So when these guys were codifying karate, Taekwondo, etc 70+ years ago, it makes sense that they would've wanted to come up with some other way to help people remember and drill techniques.

                              Unfortunately, a lot of people who watched too many kung fu movies think that a kata is supposed to be one giant scripted fight against 8 dudes, which is stupid. I mean, let's look at the first KKW TKD form - it's literally just like 4 different block-punch combos, each practiced on both sides. That's clearly a drill, and drilling something that you could practice with a partner.

                              Comment


                                #60
                                Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
                                Of course Kyokushin is not Goju or Shotokan, it was combined to make something new.
                                No they actually where not combined, Kyokushin is not Shotokan with Goju.
                                Its quite a bit different.
                                If you went and got a black belt in Shotokan and a Black Belt in Goju you yourself don't end up with a Kyokushin Black Belt.
                                I know that is not what you said but its where your logic points to.

                                Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
                                However, its root techniques are based out of those arts, so the idea that what they contain cannot be effective does not add up to me.
                                You keep on thinking techniques are what make up an art.
                                Techniques don't.
                                Techniques do not make an Art.
                                I could teach you BJJ without ever showing you a technique, we could do it 100% conceptually.
                                Using those concepts you are going to end up with a BJJ game that has a lot of techniques in it the same as the guy that learns technique by technique basis.
                                A lot of arts have the technique of Boxing in them.
                                Boxing is effective.
                                That doesn't mean arts with these technique in are there for effective because they contain boxing techniques.

                                Gosoku Ryu was created from Goju and Shotokan as well, yet it does not have the reputation that Kyokushin does. What is different? Did Oyama take all of the effective stuff out of Goju and Shotokan and Kobuda take all of the ineffective stuff, or is it that Kyokushin and Gosoku, while drawing from the same well, are trained and tested far differently?

                                As for the rest, I really don't want anything to happen. My comments are in the context of the OP, which is the question of whether or not TMA were ever effective, which has since devolved to what we are discussing now.[/QUOTE]

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