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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:41 am 
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Brown Belt-itis

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Victor Smith
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:38 am 
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Uechi Ryu certainly has its issues as a style. But while it has its issues, Brown Belt-itis isn't one of them.

There are only 8 forms in the entire system, with a 9th form added by various factions. Everything is tied together by Sanchin, and it's practiced at every class. The training structure is neither sequential nor parallel, but rather circular. More advanced forms allow one to see more in Sanchin, which over time serves as a broader and broader base for everything that follows.

Uechi's greatest strength can also be viewed by some to be a weakness. It isn't an encyclopedia of techniques, but rather a succinct reference book of principles. Without a good teacher and/or a way to practice the principles in myriad ways, one is left with a lifeless skeleton. For years Americans would hang on the every word of Okinawan Uechi masters who themselves were in the process of figuring out Kanbun's transplanted Chinese art. Any attempt to read off the script was often met with contempt. Fortunately there are many good instructors out there, and the learning is happening in many wonderful ways.

In my opinion the style suffers not from Brown belt-itis, but rather an occasional lack of creativity and imagination. In due time most such issues resolve.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:24 pm 
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Good post Bill.

I think the 'lack of imagination' has to do with the ways of application of the great principles we find in the forms.

Such as some of us shall insist, until the day we die, that Uechi Ryu must always be used by first blocking an attack, since it is a 'defensive style' whatever that may mean to the ones that _ as Rory points out_ do not grasp the violence mechanics... :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:38 am 
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Van Canna wrote:
some ... insist, until the day we die, that Uechi Ryu must always be used by first blocking an attack

Therein lies a perfect example of lacking "creativity and imagination." I'm all for teaching circle blocks. But when the prearranged practice of Uechi circles starts and ends there, we've left out half our art.

IMO a lot of the mindset you speak of, Van, comes from the domestication of a fighting art. I don't have a problem with karate as "karate do"; in fact it's what I practice. But I don't think we should ever apologize for what "it" is.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:41 am 
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Bill,

Thank you,

I interject some humor to guide the student towards personal responsibility, hence Brown Belt-itis as a disease when they at times mess up.

But my Isshinryu and other studies are not as logically constructed as Uechi Ryu is. I see your point.

I do use the circular nature of Uechi blocks in our study, shared by some former Uechi students. A small part of our studies is working to neutralize the Uechi style, though we haven't worked on it for a while. But I'm well aware of the linear Uechi techniques too.

I appreciate your experiences.

Of late I've been working on Mutsu Mizho's 1933 techniques.
Using Passive Defense, or the art of not being there when attacked uses the following six methods.

I. Evade the attack by opening the defensive stance to the side
II. Leaning the upper body out of the way.
III. Slipping the attack
IV. Ducking under the attack
V. Jumping back
VI. Jumping to the side

and Pre-Emptive or Active Defenses

Taking a step forward in regards to the opponent’s attack and taking the initiative in countering is the most effective strategy. Countering means to strongly attack before his attack can land home on one’s vital areas, giving him a finishing blow with that one attack, Alternatively, one can make ust of the consternation caused to an opponent by one’s counter attack to proceed forward and finish him

Always interesting discussion,

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:13 am 
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Victor writes
Quote:
Taking a step forward in regards to the opponent’s attack and taking the initiative in countering is the most effective strategy. Countering means to strongly attack before his attack can land home on one’s vital areas, giving him a finishing blow with that one attack; alternatively, one can make us of the consternation caused to an opponent by one’s counter attack to proceed forward and finish him


This is really what a 'martial art' is all about when it comes right down to it. Great post, Victor.

Yes there are many _so called 'component_parts' to a Traditional Martial art...all good...but to 'educate' the primal brain with potentially destructive operant conditioning and self delusive thoughts when it comes to 'using' the tools we have...when in a potentially deadly confrontation...is really sophomoric in my opinion.

All 'confrontations' are potentially deadly...from a mere 'friendly shove' to a baseball bat attack. We have seen countless examples of this…and in my work I have investigated a dozen such situations.

I think the problem is best described in Rory's book 'Facing Violence' ….page 23…and I quote
Quote:
Our normal defensive strategies and skills for dealing with conflict may e one of the very factors that work against us in a fight. These skills have been honed over a lifetime and they are efficient and well practiced and trusted, and they are keyed to an environment and a specific society. When the environment changes from a social situation where conflict is pending to a violent or predatory situation where the battle is on…these set the victim up for failure, more clearly labels the victim as 'victim'.


I see this as principles or concepts used in the application of the 'tools' not the actual movements we practice in training.

He goes on
Quote:
The very unfamiliarity of violence can be on the biggest glitches of all.


Now, really, how many of us practitioners are familiar with 'real violence'?

What he says next does not set well with the majority of karate practitioners…in fact this may cause some nightmares, as we had some defective brain once writing on my forum, that what I was writing was having him contemplate suicide. I wonder what he'd do if he read what Rory writes next
Quote:
I tell you now, the darkest side of the looking glass is one of the environments you evolved to deal with. It doesn't have to be a glitch. You do have to give yourself permission to quit being a nice person and being an effective animal.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:45 pm 
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One example of what Rory talks about, that goes to self preservation…regardless of how many moves in karate we think we know, is this:

Several years ago, I posted on my forum what happened to Laird, a Uechi student in Canada.

While in Ottawa, I think, with his family, and crossing an underground train station passageway_ they were confronted by a big menacing man who blocked their way and demanded money.

Laird told his wife and kids to run to an emergency exit, while he calmly told the assailant that he, the assailant, had made a mistake, because in a few moments_ his blood and guts would be spilling on the ground as he was going to cut his belly open.

As he said this, Laird snapped open in his pocket, with an audible click, a knife he carried for emergencies.

The assailant did an about face and walked away.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:27 pm 
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But all this still needs to be put into perspective from a legal point of view:

The standard is that the opponent must have ability [the power to hurt or kill] _

_ the opportunity [the capability of immediately employing this 'power']_

~ and 'present jeopardy'....and this is most important...(an intention manifested by words and/or action to attack, hurt, kill or cripple) for any pre-emptive force _ including deadly force to be justifiable against him.

When this present jeopardy is sensed...the fight has already started_ assuming one is not able to 'defuse' or withdraw safely_ and in many cases defusing or withdrawing may well cause deadly hesitation on our part, whereas...immediate response action would have saved the day.

So in situations such as above_where engagement is the only reasonable response action_it becomes extremely foolish to rely on first blocking then countering, because you will be forced into 'reactive mode' and mental worry of what he may do to you... the last thing you want in order to survive the assault.

If you must engage...then you should put the opponent in the position of having to worry about what you may do to him....exactly the opposite of taking a 'defensive position' and trying to block and counter.

And again it is in the way we train that we must be careful of what we program into our subconscious.

The reason why I believe that the most important part of our training is to develop this sense of impending attack through depth of knowledge of violence dynamics.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Quote:
The opponent must have

  • the ability,
    ...
  • the opportunity,
    ...
  • and 'present jeopardy'

for any pre-emptive force - including deadly force - to be justifiable against him.


This is worth quite a bit of scenario training in the dojo.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:03 pm 
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One side of triangle present= condition amber
Two sides (regardless of which two) = condition red (time to evaluate if the third part of triangle will require action based on the known two)
Three sides is GO TIME if answer to above was yes :twisted:

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