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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:19 am 
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Van Canna wrote:
what is your take on 'depth of knowledge' ?

Do you know the difference between undergraduate and graduate engineering school? It's the depth of understanding of the material. When I was in undergraduate, I was constantly hearing fellow whining students say things like "Is this going to be on the next test?" or "Am I really going to need this when I get my job?" It was about learning the minimum necessary to move on. When I got to graduate school I started seeing some of the same material all over again. Somehow academia knows you get only surface knowledge the first time around. Understanding something in depth is an iterative process. It's watching... and doing... and then knowing it well enough to teach it... and then moving from there to your own unique discoveries or applications.

I was in a conversation with someone the other day trying to relate the concept of having to try less and less to accomplish the same thing. When young we worry about pushing more weight in the bench press or punching a bag harder. But with age and experience we focus more on exercises which challenge our whole bodies, or seeing and exploiting the vulnerabilities right there in front of us.

In our style alone, it's being able to breathe your life experiences in and out of the dojo into the basics.

It's a bit like this... I really loved Led Zepplin when I was a kid. But when I was young, it was all about the sound, the feel, and the rhythm. I sang the lyrics, but didn't really "get" what I was singing.

About 2 decades later the song "Whole lotta love" comes on the radio. I'm groovin with it as I ride down the road. Then I start to listen.

Way down inside... honey... you neeeeed me! Loooooooove!!!!

OK now... That meant a little something different than the first time I heard it. 8-O

Then comes this line.

I wanna be your back door man!

I almost drove off the road. :lol: Do you know what I thought when I was a kid? I thought he meant that you wanted to be such good friends that you could just knock on the back door like a neighbor and come right on in to borrow a cup of sugar. And now, after having experienced a bit of life, I knew that it meant... that I was such a good... uh... friend that I could go right on inside via the back door and get me some sugar! 8O :mrgreen:

That, my friend, is "depth" of knowledge. ;)

It's like those circles after the "groin strikes" in Seisan. At first everyone tells you that you're doing a block after whacking someone in the family jewels. Then one day... Can you say paradigm shift?

Or learning that sometimes a circle is just a circle, and has so many different applications that you suddenly realize how you never really understood it all along. And that's when it starts to get fun.

In my opinion the only way to get there is to get out of the dojo and look around. A good teacher knows that, encourages it, creates the environment to stimulate the cross training or outside study, and welcomes the result right back in the dojo or training hall.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:25 am 
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Very well spoken Van! The concept is something that I dream of often..Simply said.We all have something to learn from each other.. I especially liked the analogies you offered to this post.. It is very simular to the Military fluidity and you are correct, as a Brotherhood we can not survive Political reasoning to bring us a stronger future.. I will depend on Nigiri Gami and Makiwari and my own strong will to forge that..With that said I must also thank you for the Old Sarge simplicity that you explained what I was trying too hard to get across..Very well said and a gift for life.. Thank you Sir..

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Last edited by Stevie B on Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:31 am 
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PS... What Bill eventually got to as well// This is what we look for in Seniors.. Someone that will help us to live to our potentials and sometimes push us a bit beyond..Because they believe it is in us... That is what we must live up to Gentlemen..A Sobering thought indeed!!! :|

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:32 am 
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Thank you Bill, for a 'PHD' way to put it. I think most people got it. Smile.

And Steve, your last post was a well reasoned _ intellectual response to this seniority question that can be daunting at times, the reason why we see most readers abstain from participating.

As you said, we all have something to learn from each other, matters not the rank or 'lineage' _

I still learn everyday from new students who have ways to sober up even strong and experienced teachers with their natural attributes they bring to the dojo. As an example, George could comment on a certain Tom Bruno from the old days of the Mattson academy. I have a similar green belt student in the Shinkokai dojo …I doubt a tank could stop him if he decides to come after you.

And Bill mentioned Master Kanei Uechi's humbleness.

I remember him fondly and in amazement at his always encouraging and respectful treatment of students in class or coming before him…regardless of what he saw on the floor performance wise…and also very complimentary of every sensei he came across.

Any corrections he made were done in such subtle ways that it never made anyone feel inadequate.

Tomoyose sensei was also the same in his interactions with students.

I have some wonderful memories of the love and respect the Okinawan masters showed us during their visits to the States.

One memory in particular will never fade as to their group, that included Shinjo Kyohide sensei, was the asking me to be part of their demonstration team, once at the Goju Ryu Dojo of Anthony Mirakian, Watertown Mass…who had trained in Okinawa and had met the Uechi Masters….and the other in a demonstration in Florida…where other styles were also putting on a show, during a tournament.

In the Old Kyhon there is a photo of me with the Masters' group that included Shinjo sensei, and Yonamine sensei. Something I treasure.

As you point out, Steve, it is this kind of interaction that will perpetuate our beloved style for the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:11 pm 
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As to depth of knowledge, using this term not to disparage anyone, but as a reference point for what I believe is 'must have information' for TMA people envisioning the use of their skills in a defensive encounter...read this wonderful article that gives a window on how the hard wired body alarm reactions will make us respond in street encounters.

http://www.forcescience.org/articles/st ... ctions.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:44 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
what is your take on 'depth of knowledge' ?

Bill Lewinski, Ph.D. wrote:
The more someone understands, uses, and even exploits these adaptive stress reactions, the more successful they will be.

Van often uses fear of failure as a device to awaken the sleeping martial masses. It's why years ago I often was turned off to his modus operendum. I've always been the insufferable optimist, seeing the possibilities in the chaos.

Lewinski's conclusion to his article about altered perceptions under neurohormonal stimulation is what unites Van and I in our quest to expand our understanding of what works and what doesn't. And this is what both of us mean when we think of "depth of knowledge." Sometimes you have something staring right at you, and you don't see it. And you'll never see it until you get out of your martial comfort zone and begin to investigate.

Has anyone ever give a second thought to why you do three sanchin nukite thrusts in three directions (in Seisan kata) after having bent over to shoken the bad guy? Or why you did three shokens in the first place, instead of just one? Bill Lewinski's article is a hint. But you can do that pair of triple thrusts 10,000 times over, and never get it. Or... You can begin to expand your knowledge via reading, education, combat training, etc. Then one day you're driving down the highway putting random thoughts together, and...

Not quite like that back door thing, but still pretty cool. ;)

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:35 pm 
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Like!!! If you can see the the possibilities in the face of chaos it means you have trained long enough(and/or hard enough) to somewhat control your nuerohormonal responses...Some folks theorize.. Others have "been there, done that!!!" :lol: :lol:

I starting to believe there is more to Bill than the Doctorate degree hanging on his wall :wink: (which in itself rates tremendous respect) But speaking for myself, I'm liking this side of you Doc... :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:46 am 
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Bill, Steve_

Good conversation.

Despite the initial 'turnoffs' _ that so many people in the past experienced simply because they did not or would not take the time to 'investigate and resolve' along the roadways I was pointing them to… I know Bill understands, always understood where I was coming from in my own personal way of reaching the primal brain of the student, by writing the way I did/still do …and I still stand firmly on my past 'experiences' and schooled beliefs, in part fueled by quite a few 'been there done that' events from childhood in 'rough quarters' to present days.

The most 'tell tale' epiphany though, occurred during my training with the Lethal force Institute where failures brought about by the very 'assumptions' that Rory Miller talks about in his books… meant sure death …no second chance.

I recall Okinawan masters, specifically Tomoyose sensei, when questioned on the efficacy of Uechi Ryu for self defense, stating that a Master teacher is necessary to forge the student's basic tool box…but that it is up to the student to make those tools work.

What he meant to say in my view was that it is up to the student to continue being a serious student for life and learn from all available sources what works best for him. Given that any use of force, whether we win or lose is fraught with incredible complications these days…we just cannot sit back and rely on the 'Mighty Mushin' to insure our self preservation.

This is the 'depth of knowledge' I believe Tommy-san was referring to and exhorting students to reach out for.

Bill writes
Quote:
Van often uses fear of failure as a device to awaken the sleeping martial masses.


I would not necessarily put it that way Bill. What I was trying to get across was simply to point people to sources of crucial information that would help us in comprehending engagement situations more fully and imprint the primal brain to decide on the best action to take, physically and strategically.

'A sharpening of the warrior's edge' if you will. As per the book of Bruce Siddle, you and I also trained under at camp. I presented on my page excerpts from his articles, which are exceptional reading.

In his book we read this quote
Quote:
It is our performance that grants us the respect of courage, not the lack of our fear.


Siddle writes that the effects of the fight/flight syndrome are 'hard wired' and the brain stem, in a controlling sense, shuts down the thinking cortex at the same time that it prepares the body for action.

When we talk about street-fighting it is in our best interest to visualize them as life threatening and not as some half/ass punch-out against stool-bums.

As such then, there will always be some 'anxiety on performance' because we will be up against unforeseen/unpredictable use of force situations against us.

And this will, in many cases, cause hypervigilance…with manifestations of bizarre/ineffective actions also documented in officers and soldiers in combat, including the very finest we have.

Reading Siddle's book is an education unto itself that will greatly benefit our great Uechi tool box.

Here is a good article touching upon the need of emotional competency, which has really been the thrust of my forum since it inception, and which has demonstrated to be exceedingly popular.

http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/fear.htm

But even as to 'fear conditioning' as you indicate I may have been using…let's see what is written here
Quote:
Fear Conditioning Fear conditioning is a particularly efficient form of classical.

It is a quick and long lasting mechanism for acquiring and storing information about harmful or potentially harmful stimuli and situations.


In the 'book of Van' it says it all. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:41 pm 
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I don't think anyone should have to justify reasonable techniques which yield success. And I don't think any of us in a heterogenous group of individuals needs to be anyone but themselves. What is interesting from my humble viewpoint is how two people can have very different views and approaches, and still reach the same destination. If anything it validates that which both parties are seeking.

I never needed anyone to scare the sheet out of me. I was the younger brother who understood fear and understood what it was like to get pounded on. I also have lived with a familial tremor, and yet made a living for 4 years doing open heart surgery in the lab. Nobody needed to tell me how neurohormonal stimulation made fine motor coordination go to hell. I went into surgery each day without caffeine, and did my best to bring my zen mind to my work.

But what's obvious to me from my perspective isn't so much from another. That's why it's useful to see so many different perspectives from so many different branches of the hard and soft sciences melding with sport and the physical arts. The more views the better.

In opening others up to my not-so-direct journey to many stages of personal enlightenment, I hopefully let others understand how it's rarely a perfect journey and we don't always sing from the same hymnal before finally making music together. In science they created the scientific method to referee the process of smart men arguing like children before finally figuring things out. (If you want to see a parody of this, watch The Big Bang Theory.) I share these personal thoughts because others after us will have their own paths of discovery. And it's useful to know that we can disagree along the way, and still collectively put something together that we all see is useful and good. No culture escapes personal differences - not even the Asian cultures we have grown to admire. What we seek through it all is collective accomplishments.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Hello Van Sensei, I am not one you see here often but THIS TOPIC wow ! I think I will just sit back and read this one for a while and just say this for now.The skilled craftsman will climb the ladder with a few worn tools,does the job with speed and precision then tells the customer your all set and then move on. The less experienced will climb the ladder with a six pocket tool belt complete with one of every tool,this tool belt is heavy and bulky and makes it difficult to move while standing on the ladder. Now not realy knowing the proper tool to use starts trying one of every tool and has difficult time finishing a rather simple project,then tells the customer I did this ,I did that because of that I did this because I once did this when I did that when I was doing that when I once did this!!!! I will understand if you don't post this :D


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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:46 pm 
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Good post Bill and I agree.

The Italians have a saying "all roads lead to Rome" which essentially means > different paths can take one to the same goal < and we all know that so many travelers got to Rome much faster than others.

It is and always will be an individual thing…some people need different ways to see those roads…to recognize which roads might be easier and faster to trek to destination…thus the so many researches by so many according to the evolutionary process…such a process is happening even within the Uechi system as it always did and will continue.

Practitioners/senseis of the future will invariably be better, stronger and more effective in performance and teaching abilities.

Generally the expedient of scaring some people to motivate precise learning and survival is seen as a sound process by so many field experts.

It is used effectively by driving instructors in teaching young people to drive…reason why the kids are shown films of terrible accidents/wrecks/injuries.

As an infantry soldier, I recall the manner in which we were taught the handling and tossing process of hand grenades, as one example. Another was the bayonet training at close quarters.

Yet another was the lining up of eight/nine soldiers, one behind the other, and tell the grunts that an M1 Garand…'06 round…would go right through all of them…to scare soldiers into learning the proper safety handling of the battle rifle and other weapons in general.

We were also shown films of terrible battlefield injuries with soldiers gut shot and holding their own intestines…along with some horrible bleeding wounds…another 'conditioning' method. Some soldiers had to be walked out of the room as they began to vomit…and the stench of the vomit…caused other soldiers to begin to retch all over themselves.

There was a method to their madness…one being to impress upon a soldier the crucial importance of their own individual 'involvement' in the learning process and to explore their reactions to it.

Nothing but a way to explore realities instead of relying on assumptions as Rory Miller points out in his books.

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Hi Ed, good of you to join us. What you wrote makes me smile. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:52 pm 
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Now as I said, I never really used the fear factor in my old threads, just roadway maps suggesting investigations into more aspects of the violence dynamics factors.

People chose to perceive that information based on their own personal/emotional make up…which is fine and a good thing…and something to be respected…

Of interest to the people who have read the book by Siddle "Sharpening the Warrior's edge" is what is found in the first chapter
Quote:
In 1984 the Army Research Institute asked the national academy of sciences to explore a variety of techniques which were proposed to enhance human performance. A committee was established in 1985 of distinguished scientists from a variety of psychological sciences and the field of cognitive neuroscience.

The goal of this committee was to scientifically examine methods of learning which would prepare a soldier for combat or for complex technical operations.

The committee examined a wide range of so called accelerated learning and performance techniques, referred to as 'new age' learning techniques.


Another attempt to explore advanced training methods is "The Warrior's edge" [Alexander and Morris, 1990] an excellent text which reviewed a variety of enhanced performance principles.

The book goes on
Quote:
Sharpening the warrior's edge…will hopefully be viewed as the next evolution to establishing the science of training warriors. This text is a culmination of eight years research into educational psychology, neurobiology, motor learning sciences and thousands of hours training in the classroom training today's warriors.


The concepts outlined in this book relate in a big way to TMA learning and practice, and I recommend it to all my students.

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:53 pm 
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The skilled craftsman will climb the ladder with a few worn tools,does the job with speed and precision then tells the customer your all set and then move on


Well said and very true :) Ed, please contribute more often, I bet others have given thought to your post as well. Making Van Canna smile is a good thing as well.

Quote:
Generally the expedient of scaring some people to motivate precise learning and survival is seen as a sound process by so many field experts.

It is used effectively by driving instructors in teaching young people to drive…reason why the kids are shown films of terrible accidents/wrecks/injuries.


To be good teachers a person needs to understand who they teach and to be a good learner it certainly helps to understand ourselves as well.
I use to be involved with training teens (summer students) in a factory. Potential for life threatening injuries working with machinery regardless of all the extensive safety systems engineered to protect the operator was always present. Young adults tend not to fear death, they are invincible. They are not going to die AND if they do it may possibly be "romantic" . What they do fear is disfigurement. If you tell them (and reinforce it with actual photo`s/video) they could die walking out in front of a fork truck they for the most part "forget" in a few days. Show them what happens after a lift has removed a leg and it becomes of importance. Anything that lessons the ability of being accepted by peers and finding a mate. Telling them they may likely loose fingers or part of their nose in a knife fight has more impact than telling them they may die in a knife fight. Slightly off topic but if you wish to leave lasting "foot prints" for those you teach...you have to think like them at times.

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 Post subject: Re: Seniority
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:57 pm 
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Hi Leo,

A most excellent way to put it and so true. Thank you.

And what you said reminds me of something that happened some years back.

Some students of a Uechi Ryu sensei, given to self importance because of the way he was trained overseas [the right way you know]_ after making shodan ...decided to 'test' their 'long black belt' skills by going down the combat zone of Boston and inviting fights.

They did get the fights and an awful beating...lucky for them nobody stuck a knife into their bellies or shot them.

Along the same line...a student of someone I won't mention his name and whose dojo I took over, for reasons I also won't mention...imbued with the invincibility...imbecility...of superior powers by his sensei...

So ....Instead of clearing out...stayed on for a fight against multiple opponents who sent him to the hospital.

Later, I spoke to his father who had some /very nice things/ to say about his mindless sensei's teachings of 'no one ever being able to 'violate' his sanchin' and threatened to sue the Mattson Karate Academy.

The list goes on.

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