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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    CMA,Muay Thai ,Yudo,TKD
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by FromBehind
    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.
    That pic cracks me up. It looks like several guys trying to stop some dude from getting the last donut.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Weight Training
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It has twenty days since our friend last posted. I will email him to remind him of this thread.

  3. #13
    Arhetton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The attackers had made their first mistake: They each grabbed a wrist

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Chinese Kenpo
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by PizDoff
    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:

    Quote Originally Posted by PizDoff
    Edit: Americans call it the flamingo? HAHAHAH!!

    Quote Originally Posted by PizDoff
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by PizDoff
    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:

    Quote Originally Posted by PizDoff
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by PizDoff
    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.)

    Quote Originally Posted by PizDoff
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by PizDoff
    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.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lv1Sierpinski
    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]

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapper
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapper
    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..

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapper
    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."

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapper
    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)

    Quote Originally Posted by Whorian Gracie
    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

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Seoul, South Korea
    유도 (Judo)
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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.

  6. #16
    Teh El Macho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Porcupine/Hollywood, FL & Parmistan via Elbonia
    creonte on hiatus
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Guys, please. jkittredge took the time to write back. Ergo, do the same and stay focus and reply back to his points.
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

    My crapuous vlog and my blog of training, stuff and crap. NEW: Me, Mrs. Macho and our newborn baby.

    New To Weight Training? Get the StrongLifts 5x5 program and Rippetoe's "Starting Strength, 2nd Ed". Wanna build muscle/gain weight? Check this article. My review on Tactical Nutrition here.

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    The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris

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