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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 1999 4:02 am 
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"The biggest fault with traditional training , and this applies to most of the martial arts, is a lack of communications between instructor and student . The student needs to be told how it really is ,how and why a live situation is going to make him feel scared ****less, that some of the big slow movements they practice are not recommended for self defense . Most instructors will not or cannot pass on the kind of enlightenment a student needs if he is going to survive in a savage world . Some of the top martial artists instructors in the world have little or no fighting experience , so how can they teach something that they don't know? All they can teach is how they think it will be "!! { Geoff Thompson __watch my back }

How do we argue these points without escaping into fantasy ? Are we studying the martial arts with a view towards potential engagement or just to exercise and feel good about ourselves ; are we studying the 'art ' aspect of it ?

Peyton Quinn , in his book 'Real fighting' indicates that :

"if we are truly objective an diligent in researching the historical records of the Asian founding masters , it becomes clear that that their intention was to establish an art , not a fighting system for real world self defense ! After all most of those founding masters had never been in a real fight either ! While there is certainly applied self defense value to be found in classical systems , the individual will never realize that value simply by 'learning ' to perform in the dojo "

Heresy , you say? How would we respond ??


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 1999 7:42 am 
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Canna Sensei -

I'm not familiar with Peyton Quinn, but he must have been referring to the latter day masters whose credentials multipy exponentially as they approach the shores of the great consumer kingdom.

My understanding of Uechi Sensei's experience in Nanshou is that he, as any contemporary would have done, made himself available to demonstration and challenge prior to being deemed worthy of even opening his academy.

The History of Karate (Higaonna) contains a charming reference (p 18) to the practice sitting on the back of a stone lion guarding the Manju bridge in Fuzhou to invite challenge.

You, and your generation of brothers know the character of the Okinawan Uechika. Certainly the stories of their fighting prowess are not idle smoke.

How many people in our number have learned gung-fu either directly from,or a have a grand teacher, who was a triad enforcer? That question is not rhetorical.

Regardless of the anecdotal information we possess, history and Donn F. Draeger tells us that prior to the shift from "jutsu" to "do" our arts were deadly serious. History is suspect, but if Draeger Sensei says it's so, I believe!

Sadly though, as a commentary on todays M.A. scene perhaps Quinn's words have some validity. We address these issues on a daily basis on your forum. Your opening paragraph pretty much sums it up. Not that teachers must make a career out of personal acts of violence, but to fail to prepare their students for the real world sounds pretty much like faulty parenting to me. "Sifu" ('father protector')

Always in gratitude,
David

[This message has been edited by David Elkins (edited 03-05-99).]


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 1999 1:18 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
Van & David,

My response here is also relevent to your "Fighting Mindset" thread. Of course, I cannot speak for anyone else, but I think that most Uechi teachers teach our art with an eye toward the physical engagement mindset. The problem occurs when, if you have ANY sense of reality, you inform your students that, hey, not everything we learn is going to be truly useful in a real life situation.

When you start explaining about fine and gross motor concepts, primal reversion, tunnel vision, adrenal dumps, there are going to be some students that are going to pack it up and go across the street to Master Hi Flying Booty's school where the "Master" will stroke their frail egos and explain that while a lot of the Uechi techniques they learned really will not work (just like their teacher was trying to explain), his 5,369 deadly techniques ALL work and the student made the wise decision in coming to him.

Getting a student into the proper mindset is not very easy. Why will a lot of people sacrifice themselves in order to prevent harm to a loved one but on the other hand, think so little of their own self-esteem that they would find it extremely difficult to use physical violence to defend themselves? Is it the use of physical violence (and that is what it really is) that abhors them? Or are we faced with the additional task of imparting to the student that they are just as worthy to be defended as anyone else?

Or Both?

Moe Mensale


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 1999 4:30 pm 
There was a sea change in Karate, probably around WWII (in Okinawa). The Old Masters didn't have systems, organizations, or schools. They taught to small numbers of students in their back yards (sometimes in the dead of night), and tested their arts in reality. Motobu Choki had a reputation as a nasty street fighter and was despised by Gichin Funakoshi as a lout and a brute. Most importantly, there was no money to be made from Karate.

After the war, money, oganizations, bureaucracy, and money raised their nasty heads, and it all became academic.

There are masters who know what they are talking about. Tak Kubota, for example, who started the Shotokan Organization I once belonged to, learned his stuff on the bomb and crime ravaged streets of post war Japan, and now teaches cops and corrections workers. Standing in his presence was like standing before a force of nature. The man uses sledgehammers as makiwaras, and, in his sixties, is potentially one of the most frightening men I've ever met.

The thing is that nowadays karate is a sport and a hobby for about 90% of its practitioners and they are the ones who pay the bills. Reality has nothing to do with it, and most of them don't want to know about it.

I don't know much about Chinese arts, but the old guys from a the Phillipines have an air of reality about them. They, too, are scary.

Sorry for rambling on like this.

------------------
maurice richard libby
toronto/moose jaw

[This message has been edited by maurice richard libby (edited 03-05-99).]


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 1999 11:13 pm 
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Interesting topic! Reality-based training is often not a part of a standard workout in the dojo. And if it is, you run the risk of the disillusioned lotus-eater running off to the scam artists who will tell the eager student that his techniques are "guaranteed" to work! Fine, let them go you say. We don't really need them anyway.

When you are trying to keep the doors of your school open, you need students to pay tuition regardless of their reasons for being there. Some don't want self-defense; reasons for studying karate can be as varied as the individuals. Some are looking for fitness, some are attracted to Oriental culture, some just want to learn the pretty moves. Some want the mental discipline, or relaxation, or self-confidence. That all of these things tie into the study of martial arts - like JD mentioned on the thread in the Roundtable - the beauty is there, but the reality is as well, it depends mostly upon the instructor and the emphasis they place on each aspect. Some dojos are more traditional, others have a more relaxed atmosphere. This is fine - as my sensei has told me: a student will gravitate to the teacher s/he needs at the time. However, it should be the responsiblity of every instructor not to give a false impression about what these karate skills can do for a student. A black belt is not a badge of invinciblity. If an instructor does not care to focus on reality-based training, s/he should at least be honest enough to inform the students that under stress and in a street situation, things will be radically different than what they appear in the controlled and friendly dojo environment.

How far they wish to carry this will be up to them, and the balance will come with experience. Too much emphasis with brand new students WILL scare them off; but by the same token, no one should be able to test for shodan without an understanding that real-life situations are going to involve more than just the ability to do a pretty kata.

Can a sensei without a lot (or any) experience in real life confrontations teach effective self-defense? Perhaps, if they are not deluded themselves. I only worked as a bouncer for just short of a year - and it was nothing like what is described in Peyton Quinn's book A Bouncer's Guide... In the exposures I've had to violent or life-threatening situations, I can say that I know that it IS radically different from a dojo environment, yet martial arts training can augment skills necessary for survival. So as an instructor I try to inject a bit of reality into my classes, taking time to explore techniques in ways that sometimes depart from the prescribed forumula. I recommend books like The Gift of Fear and Real Fighting and now also Strong on Defense so that my students can stretch their minds as well as their bodies.

*And now for a word from our sponsor*

Over on my forum, there's a thread about mindsetting on fear...and my last post there touches on much the same subject. Interesting "convergence" of forums so to speak. In the thread, which was started by David, some excellent resources are mentioned for those interested in reading more about reality-based training. Throughout the past year on the forums I've been compiling a list of texts quoted by Van Sensei and others here on this forum and have consequently added a page to my website with links to many of them on Amazon.com where it's really easy to buy them online. And now for a shameless plug: Click here to see the page. Seriously, most of these books have been read and discussed by participants on this forum - and if you have any to add please let me know.

And we now return you to our regularly scheduled program.

------------------
Peace,
Lori
email: <A HREF="mailto:lori_san@hotmail.com">lori_san@hotmail.com</A>
website: www.mindspring.com/~uechi-ryu


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 1:06 am 
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Posts: 2074
Location: Boston, MA
Lori san,

Nice list. I think it's a service to your students to provide them alternative perspective and voices.

For what it's worth... Under the your existing categories, I would add John Sanchez's "Slash and Thrust", and "Blade Master" to sparring/weapons category. These two are non partisan (stylistically centric), no nonsense discussion of knifefighting, targeting, drills and knifesparring.

Under "special interest for women", I would add "Women in the Martial Arts", an anthology, for the different reasons (all valid as far as I am concerned) women get involved with the arts and practice.

Controvesial, perhaps, I would include the "Tao of Jeet Kune Do" in philosophy.

I would add Funakoshi's writings in the Karate category because his memoires give an indication of how karate was taught and learned before commercialization. They probably give an idea how Kanbun Uechi might have learned and practiced early on.

Though there is no category for this, Stanley Pranin's "Aikido Masters" for a perspective of how aikido was practiced prior to WWII by folks who saw and practiced Aikido as "Aikijujutsu" (emphasis on "jutsu"). The practice has changed from the memories of those masters from I have personally seen and participated in with many aikido dojos I have visited. Too much inbreeding. I won't comment more than that.

No category for this, but I would include Donn Draegar's three volumes: Classical Bujutsu, Classical Budo, and Modern Bujutsu and Budo. Together, the three volumes give context to what most of us practice today. Likewise, I would include Mark Wiley's "Filipino Martial Culture" which include interviews of some of the grandmasters of various Filipino arts. In my limited opinion, Filipino and Indonesian arts are still very much (to borrow the Japanese term) "jutsu" oriented, in that many in those island countries are still living and dying by the skills they have in their practices. On these shores, the FMA's will soon replicate what has already transpired with many of the existing martial arts as currently taught and learned.

Well, lots of other interesting stuff. Reading about the arts is another way to challenge our own thinking and perspective as well as training methods, though we don't necessarily have to change depending on what we're trying to achieve with the practice.

sing


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 3:37 am 
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Excellent responses so far !

Now consider this :
" a street fighter in a street situation is king . Put him in the ring against a boxer or in the dojo against a martial artist , shackle him with restrictions and he will not come up to scratch. Under restrictions , the street fighter is weak , but not as weak as the karate fighter in the street where anything goes . The street fighter lacks very little .Every technique he uses has been tried and tested in live situations , nothing is left to theory . Most trained [ ma] fighters are still embryos in the womb of combat while the street fighter is fully matured . They control the 'duck syndrome' with expert ease and put most people out of a fight before they even know they are in it "

Here is something else I like :
" The fact that you are using your feet to attack , automatically loses you mobility , and the energy expended whilst kicking is double that of when you use your hands . " { GEOFF THOMPSON}

More from Mr. Quinn :
"If by using the term 'true master' one means an individual who cannot be defeated in combat , then there are no masters . Anyone can be beaten ; any man can be killed "

" Real fights are always sloppy affairs .They seldom offer any display of formal martial training by either combatant. This seems to be true regardless of whether the fighters are black belts or have no training at all ."

And closing with Geoff Thompson :
"Anything long-winded and over-technical is of very little use as most street fights are over in five to ten seconds"

And a gem from Maurice; " The thing is that nowadays karate is a sport and a hobby for about
90% of its practitioners and they are the ones who pay the bills.
Reality has nothing to do with it, and most of them don't want to
know about it."




------------------
Van Canna

[This message has been edited by VAN CANNA (edited 03-05-99).]


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 4:27 am 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
Lori,

You wrote, "If an instructor does not care to focus on reality-based training, s/he should at least be honest enough to inform the students that under stress and in a street situation, things will be radically different
than what they appear in the controlled and friendly dojo environment."

I think that if we, as instructors, look at the real underlying motivation that drives people to take up a MA, self-defense proficiency will come out on top, regardless of what else the student may indicate are his reasons for studying. That being the case, do we not owe it to the student to bring as much realism into the curriculum as possible?

Just being "honest" about it could very well cause the student to assume that, perhaps through osmosis or some other form of transference, he will instill himself with the same skills that the teacher has ("if I hang with the tigers long enough I will become one"). I think we run the risk of doing a great injustice to the student by not pounding into them the fact that NO ONE is truly invincible and that in any confrontation you ARE going to come out bloodied, even as the victor.

One of the things that really cracks me up is when students find out that their teacher was/is a "bouncer" (this isn't a putdown). Is that supposed to impart some type of mystical quality to us? I worked security at the old "5 O'Clock" club in Salisbury Beach, MA for many years and, really, what we did there had little to do with teaching self-defense techniques. As any of us that did this knows, you always worked in pairs or groups, never alone. When I was "on point" I never considered myself invincible, just extremely secure. I knew that my back was covered as well as my sides. ALL I had to worry about was the cretin in front of me. Not your typical self-defense scenario. But it did instill in me the necessary mindset that I use in my MA practice.

So, is there a point in all my rambling? I don't know. I do know that we can't and shouldn't expect too much from new students in terms of mindsetting and self-esteem. I also know that at the Dan level, there are very few Uechi people that I WOULDN'T want next to me when the s**t hits the fan.

It appears to me that, consciously or unconsciously (or anywhere along that spectrum), Uechi instructors, for the most part, do a very credible job of instilling real-life thinking, motivation and fighting spirit into our students.

Moe Mensale


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 6:01 am 
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David-san,

Thanks for the great recommendations - I'll be adding all of those titles to the list this weekend. I can always add categories if needed - I'm not constrained to any rules - (other than the ones my very strict web development teacher (aka-Tony) gives me hell for!)

Moe-san,

Actually, I liked your post above about the difficulties in getting some of the harder to take points across to newer students - I was trying to agree with you in my post ... I'm not advocating at all that teachers should underplay reality - as instructors we have a responsiblity to make these concepts a part of every student's training. I was simply remarking on the need to judge how much and when to impart what kind of info. Lay it on too thick in the beginning - and some students will turn tail and run. I've found that a student's perspective changes with time in training, and after a few months they are more receptive to reality-based scenarios than they are initially - most of them anyway. Some start right off hungry for as much reality as possible. Others are just into the "sport" part - but with time find more than they initially bargained for.

Oh, and btw: none of my students know that I worked for a short time as a bouncer - (unless they read this thread) it's not something I advertise in the dojo as part of my background or experience. I don't usually share personal details in the dojo - or here for that matter - I just used the reference because of the question as to whether someone with little or no experience in confrontations can teach effective self-defense. I still don't know the answer to that question! All I can do is try to learn as much as I can from people who have been there - and try to encourage my students to do the same.


------------------
Peace,
Lori
email: <A HREF="mailto:lori_san@hotmail.com">lori_san@hotmail.com</A>
website: www.mindspring.com/~uechi-ryu


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 4:06 pm 
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Lori,

Good points. I think most new students will instinctivly know when it is appropriate for them to begin delving into "reality" situations. As teachers, we can let out some line and see who takes the bait then structure that student's training accordingly. To teach everyone at the same level and intensity would be inappropriate.

Concerning us ex-bouncers/military/whatever, unless our name is Master Hi Flying Booty, this is usually something that remains in the background and isn't made a big deal out of. But students being human, the question eventually can and does come up. The best way to handle it is to discuss how it relates (or doesn't relate) to what we are learning.

Van - "the street fighter is king of the 'duck syndrome.'" Right on! Why? Because 99% of the time, the defender goes right into headhunting mode. Very small target. Very stupid approach. And the street fighter ducks and comes up throwing an uppercut from the hip and a very quick opposite side follow-up.

HEY! Ever hear of Art Rabesa? GET HIS BOOK!! (Explosive Karate) If I didn't know any better, I'd swear it was a street fighter's primer!

Moe Mensale


[This message has been edited by Moe Mensale (edited 03-06-99).]


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 6:59 pm 
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Sidebar:

Polled my class today (9 students, ages 9 to 50, ranks kukyu to yankyu) about their reasons for studying MA - responses were: improve focus and concentration, mental discipline and inner peace. Only 2 said self-defense was a reason for studying karate - and one of these said it was a secondary reason. He was 21. The other was 5. I generally ask new students why they want to study karate and the self-defense answer usually comes up only about 10% of the time. But that doesn't stop me from trying to get across that street situations will be drastically different from a dojo enviornonment. I do what I can to dissuade any delusions...

Also FWIW, I did work alone when I was working security - but, like I said, it wasn't hard core - usually I just had to escort drunks out the door and kick some pot smoking punks out of the parking lot - or catch them trying to sneak in. I did have "back up" if I needed it however...

Explosive Karate is an excellent book - well worth the read.



------------------
Peace,
Lori
email: <A HREF="mailto:lori_san@hotmail.com">lori_san@hotmail.com</A>
website: www.mindspring.com/~uechi-ryu


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 7:36 pm 
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Lori,

Good responses from your charges! I challenge you to ask them again when they test for shodan. I guarantee you there will be more than 2 that wanted to learn the manly/womanly art of self-defense!

Was your backup's name Messieurs Smith & Wesson, per chance?

Van,

OK, OK - it IS a street fighter's primer! In all seriousness, though, Rabesa-san's book will change and enforce the way you look at close quarter combat. The techniques aren't new, just how they're applied. As an added bonus, you get to see his cute legs too!! (No disrespect - please don't whomp me)

Moe Mensale


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 1999 12:26 am 
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Hi guys: Good thread. Question regarding books - Which book describes the white, yellow, red zones and the like? I've seen this terminology referenced and am interested in the source.

Thanks, Rich


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 1999 2:16 am 
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Rich,

Condition white : relaxed state

Condition yellow: relaxed alertness

Condition orange: unspecified alert

Condition red: potentially lethal encounter

Condition black: lethal assault in progress

The books: In self defense by Michael Izumi

There are others , but I like the way this author presents it !

Check out Lori's Amazon link


------------------
Van Canna


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 Post subject: BUCKETS OF ICE
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 1999 5:19 am 
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Rabesa-san is a street fighter ! One of his best fights was down by the combat zone when he found four punks in his parked VW telling him and his girl friend to get lost !

The first punk went down with all the bones in his face fractured !

The second punk got lifted off the ground by a back kick fracturing his sternum !

The third punk went down with a shot to the knees !

The fourth punk ran !

In those days he could bench press 400 pounds !

Another fearsome tournament champion and street fighter of Mattson sensei's dojo , was Nev Kimbrell ! Every time we went out with him for a few drinks , Rabesa and I would be embarassed by the sudden find of knocked out bodies at our feet for no apparent reason other than 'I don't like the way he was looking at me' !

His wife was a playboy bunny and very ravishingly endowed ! One day on her way home she became the object of sexual innuendo and cat-calling by patrons of a local bar who had come out of their miserable water hole to harass her !

Twenty minutes later Nev walked in by himself and dragged out about six ' brave' guys leaving them moaning in the gutter with their faces split open !




------------------
Van Canna

[This message has been edited by VAN CANNA (edited 03-06-99).]


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