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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 1999 2:38 am 
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The lethal force instructors are adamant on this point : do not give yourself permission to practice lots of techniques ! Avoid complex techniques like the plague ! They teach that in addition to the mastery of a few proven basic techniques , you must critically measure the reality of those skills to be deployed in combat..that is ..after you get your mind right !

Keep your training very simple , but with powerful intensity! Think about it , how many of you do this ..not many …you become seduced by the traditional concepts that training should be relaxed , serene ….. things will take care of themselves ..mushin is the king …

Then suddenly you are toe to toe ;your opponent looks mean … you may choke , you flail , you can't get up to speed , you feel like a white belt ..you cannot project resolve into your opponent's scary demeanor ..you have doubts …your self esteem comes into question in one brief doleful moment ! You either disappear from the dojo in shame or you come back the next day with a chip on your shoulder trying to beat up all your buddies in a sparring match in a frenzy to regain your self respect you had handed to your opponent….provided you are still around !

So why train with pointed intensity ? Modern studies have shown that it is intensity that forces the brain to store ..program..the long term muscle memory skills you will need to bring to the surface in a split second !

Train to visualize the infinity of controlling factors of street fights and train to respond along basic concepts deeply ingrained !

For the ones with concealed carry permits , here is something sobering in spite of your delusions of what a "gunfight" will be like : According to a California Peace Officers Standard and Training study , the average shoot-out occurs at a distance of five feet , takes only 2.4 seconds from start to finish and the "bad guy[s]" fire four rounds at you ! ___ Mike Izumi of LFI !

But some of you [ elitists] will argue these points , in deep denial , because you have the "secrets" whispered in your ears by your "lineage" sensei in some dark room some place so far..far away ! Secrets WE will never understand as we only possess the "shell" ……

Other questions we were discussing with Mattson sensei at the Halifax camp : if the chances of getting involved in a real fight are so infinitesimal in life for most people , then why is it that most martial artists have had at least one or two , with others claiming lots more ?? And why is it that most martial artists are in constant denial as to why they took up karate ? You know ..for exercise ; my health ; for sport; for the art ; self discipline ; to become a better person ; to be better coordinated etc.


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 1999 3:37 am 
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Posts: 55
Location: Portsmouth,NH,US
O O O O!
Thou Uechi wag!
Thou mischievous man!
Another elegant,
And intelligent
Point.

My remarkable sensei, Stephen Perry, illustrated your point in his dojo this very day:

"Ever notice how hockey players fight? Each grabs with the left, pounds repeatedly with the right, trading blows. The guy with the longest reach tends to win."

His point -- and yours -- are made obvious by that commonly-observed example. He added, echoing your words, that we should learn one or two techniques intensely. We then practiced, over and over, blocking a roundhouse, striking with open hand to the head, then repeatedly driving knee strikes to the abdomen.

Yes, I've had to rethink the reasons why I stick with Uechi. I do appreciate the real gains in strength and poise, but there's more. (A demure bow of the head, by the way, to Dr. X. here. I'll explain later.) As my magical world of fairy tales and silver spoons fades to reveal an often shocking landscape of fractured psyches playing out unpredictable battles against whatever demons inhabit their minds, it just makes plain damn sense to be prepared.

Michael


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 1999 5:44 am 
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Ok, since we are on the topic of DEAD SIMPLE techniques in combat, how about throws?

For last few months I have been incorperating Circular Chi Na into my studies. My approach is derivative from White Crane Kung Fu, but Chi Na also forms the basis for many techniques in Aikido and Ju-Jutsu. What I have found is that many people don't understnad the DEVASTATING potential of throws. Even most aikidoka only see that the art of guiding an opponent's energy into a throw is a GENTLE means to control him.

I have found that in at least 30% of the physical altercations I have been involved in, I have very naturally used throwing or guiding techniques. My studies in Chi Na have afforded me greater knowledge in this area and I have found that when an assailant attacks with great forward momentum (a charge, long swinging hooks) it is very easy to violently direct them in whatever direction you wish. Tell me that a cranium smashing fall onto the concrete isn't effective!

Understand that I am not saying that Chi Na or any other throwing techniques are the be all and end all of street altercations. I in fact believe that most throws and Chi Na techniques are not street worthy. However I DO believe the fighter should consider a simple throw as a first response to great forward momentum from an assailant.

-Collin


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 1999 11:42 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Collin touches on a sensitive subject for me.

Throws onto concrete, against cars, lampposts, parking meters can definitely be devastating. Having just done 5 years of aikido, I can also say a lot of throws in the curriculum will not be as easily appllied as in the dojo with a strong, non compliant oppponent on the street (my opinion).

There is an old maxim in aikido, still referred to by the really old (and soon to be passing) guard of the aikido world like, Saito and Nishio senseis (we recently lost Shirata and Shioda), that atemi (strikes) are in 90% of aikido techniques. (This is the converse of saying throws are inherent but hidden in many Uechi techniques.) The reason that atemi SHOULD be in 90% of the techniques, I think, is the recognition that throwing a skilled opponent is a very iffy proposition unless one has connected a good strike to disrupt the balance and the "sober" state of the opponent. A good strike may even take the opponent down and out, precluding the need for a throw.

The other 10% probably include, as Collin indicated, an opponent rushing in with great momentum and/or strength. In this case a strike may actually be counterproductive by stopping the energy that can be used for a quick powerful throw. Anybody who saw the heavy weight match between Ethan and Josh Wiseman was given a good example. With Ethan coming in, Josh grabbed, fell back and threw Ethan over him in a classic sutemi (sacrafice throw). Ethan, with prior judo training, knew enough instinctively to tuck his head and roll. Somebody else could simply slam head first into the concrete, resulting in a fractured skull and/or neck. Definitely an effective way to end a fight.

As I see it, there is growing problem in mainstream aikido these days in the movement away from the simple atemi for the sake of "flow", beauty and I believe a mistaken notion of DO. Quite simply, atemi is seen as abrupt, brutish and not in keeping with "harmonious" (and some complex) technique. Atemi is not practiced, nor encouraged and rarely demonstrated on most aikido mats today. Yet, there is a delusion being perpetuated by significant number of teachers and students themselves, that they are still practicing an effective self-defense art. Delusion is not part of DO in my eyes.

As in a lot of marital arts dojos, the pursuit and the granting of rank seem to more important than anything else for too many. If one doesn't test, one can gets a quizzing from fellow students and eventually from the instructors. One of gets a sense of not being part of the game and the culture of the dojo. To stay, one has to make some accommodations or be a pariah of sorts, uncomfortably looked on and related to by others -- regardless of one's skill levels.

Several months ago, I tested for second kyu. My partner was someone who worked with me a lot and knew my attitude and "style" of doing. He was a great uke, attacking at full speed and full power. After each throw he would jump up and rush me again while other folks took their time, set up and sort of waltzed in with their half hearted attack and fell with a half hearted throw. I implemented the maxim -- 90% atemi -- consequently giving my uke a black eye because of the speed we were going at. My uke took it and kept going even as his eye swell and blackened on the mat. In randori with multiple partners, again, something I ingrained regardless of the prevailing culture, strike first and throw as hard as you can. My partner felt very comfortable about what we demonstrated and the responses by some of my fellow students -- "remind me not to uke for you. Heh, heh..." Several black belts, including instructors, opined that I was way too rough, that I should have "calmed" down. Both my partner and I were "puzzled" to say the least.

Perhaps, coincidental, but a week later, an edict came down to the early morning class, of which I and my partner were part of a small cadre, that we were to no longer do "free practices" on our own after classes, that a instructor must be present. Two students, me being one, who were given keys and the responsibility of locking the dojo after the last student were told to turn the keys in. Yes, coincidental, perhaps, but my approach to aikido certainly did not jive with the prevailing one. After five years of 4 to 5 practices a week, I submitted my request for a leave of absence. Some of my cohorts and those who started after me are now busily preparing for their dan test... Oh, that black belt goes so well with the black hakama.

Oh well, enough venting. Hopefully, some of this post is related to the thread at hand.

david


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 1999 1:35 pm 
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Location: Evansville, IN, USA
I did a couple of years of Jujutsu (not Brazillian, the small circle kind) in order to cross-train and improve my grappling (stand up and ground) skills (I love Kyokushin, and yes we do teach throws, but not with the intensity, regularity and skill of the Jujutsu crowd).

Anyway, it was constantly drilled into us that except in the rarest of circumstances you must strike your opponent before attempting a throw. It doesn't have to be a flattening knock-out blow (although it helps) it simply has to freeze the opponent in place for a moment (by either the shock of being struck, the actual force of the blow ... or for whatever reason). In fact, the instructor believed this to such a great degree that the first two kyu promotions were based largely on kicking & punching technique, and a little bit of grappling (ahh yes, the good old, you have to keep a black belt on the floor for 1 minute ... boy, that was hard ). Even afterwards, kicking and punching remained a very important part of the class.

Van Sensei wrote "if the chances of getting involved in a real fight are so infinitesimal in life for most people, then why is it that most martial artists have had at least one or two , with others claiming lots more ?? And why is it that most martial artists are in constant denial as to why they took up karate ? You know ..for exercise ; my health ; for sport; for the art ; self discipline ; to become a better person ; to be better coordinated etc. "

Although likely intended as a rhetorical question there are four possible answers.

1) The chances are, in fact, not very small at all.

2) A lot of martial artists are liars.

3) People who get into a fight or two seek out the martial arts in case they get into more.

4) People who get into the martial arts become so confident in their ability to fight that they seek out, or don't tend to avoid fights when they could.

Of course, the truth is that it is likely a mixture of all four.

Osu!
Jason


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 1999 2:13 pm 
Hockey: I think it is pretty difficult to execute an effective front kick while on skates. On the ice, one often has to grab hold just to keep the other guy from sliding back while getting struck. But last year I did see a pair at a Providence Bruins game remove their helmets, square-off and duke it out as if they were standing in a sandlot.

Train with Pointed Intensity: Some styles conatin many techniques which require yeqars to learn. One I am thinking of claims over 2,000. Most schools of that same 'style' also conduct nightly sparring. so they must be good at self-defense, right?

The few who become proficient at sparring and the fewer who actually seem to posses decent self-defense skills appear to have done it on their own using their own initiative, and outside of class activities.

Denial: But for "most martial artists are in constant denial as to why they took up karate ? You know ..for exercise ; my health ; for sport; for the art ; self discipline ; to become a better person ; to be better coordinated etc. " maybe it is not really a 'denial' because as far as I'm concerned that's all they have with their practice because their practice doesn't deliver fighting training, and maybe they really think they can magically defend themselves successfully with "what they know" if the need arose.

Through the years I have come to believe that most 'martial artists' have never been in a single fight in their entire life and wouldn't know how to conduct themselves if ever faced with a confrontation. Period!

Van, I'm not contradicting you because I cherish your knowledge and wisdom, but... I have travelled different paths than you. It seems to me that schools which have more physical close-in contact and deliver more bruises attract people who know that contact and know those bruises and that styles that don't -- well, don't. You know, the same 'mindset.'

------------------
Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]

[This message has been edited by Allen M. (edited 07-14-99).]


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 1999 8:00 pm 
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I would like to make it clear that body cavity strikes (<font color ="red">atemi</font>) are not nescessary precursors to all throws. The situations in which I described involve such great forward momentum of the assailant that a strike is not nescessary to dissorient the attacker, as they are doing it to themselves already.

The purpose of atemi, or body strikes, is to upset the conciousness of your opponent so that you can move in quickly and offset the opponent's balance. If they are sitting on their haunches, waiting for your attack, a throw will not work. Throws can only be applied to a dissoriented opponent.

David:

I feel for you in this situation. If you look through old aikido texts, you will see that it is clearly stated that 90% of aikido techniques must be set up with atemi. In the current style of aikido, most instructors rarely teach atemi and certainly don't stress its use. You might occasionaly here your sensei say something about, "If you have to use this Kote Goshi in the street, be sure to set it up with atemi first." O sensei modified Aiki-Ju Jitsu to reflect his personal beliefs. In the tradition of his teachings, most sensei's stress the "gentle" approach of aikido and would look down upon giving any uke a black eye. Unfortunatley for aikidoka, aikido in the dojo is much different from effective aikido in the street.

-Collim


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 1999 8:54 pm 
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Location: Marlboro,MA US
"The purpose of atemi, or body strikes, is to upset the conciousness of your opponent"

the purpose of a body strike is to put a hole in your opponent :-)


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 1999 3:32 am 
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Just read an article by Ralph Mroz , lethal force specialist and long term martial artist !

To make a point that simple works best under stress , he writes that, on one hand , our bodies are " hard wired " by mother nature to do certain things under life threatening stress ; and, on the other, certain things we call upon to do to deal with the situations , are not so hard wired !

HARD WIRED: tunnel vision , shaking , auditory exclusion, distorted sense of time , loss of fine motor control, threat focus , crouching ; going stupid under stress etc.

NOT HARD WIRED: the execution of effective fighting techniques , whether empty handed or with a firearm ! He believes that these skills are very difficult to train /ingrain for effective response action under the chemical cocktail !

He recommends that we accept and not try to fight the hard wired responses , because it would be a losing game against mother nature …so go with the flow !

Not hard wired : some basic fighting skills must be developed in order to survive notwithstanding the difficulty in making them instinctive and effective !

And so the job of the competent teacher is to understand which skills are truly adaptable to variables of combat situations and which are pure window dressing !

It is also the student's responsibility to immerse in deep study of the dynamics of real confrontations by blending tradition with modern concepts and refuse to practice techniques that seem cumbersome and stupid ! And we see plenty of those don't we , in both kata and prearranged kumite !

The best example of this was shown at LFI when taking a combat trained shooter to assume a weaver stance , he promptly reverted to Isosceles stance under stress !

" Every time you train you are making a choice about what you are training into yourself .If your goal is practical defense then try to make your choices by recognizing the distinction between thing s that you must master and things you aren't likely to , in other words , KIASAP { keep it as simple as possible} __ Ralph Mroz

Collin -san

I agree with you on throws ! One of The toughest fighters I have ever come across, Taro Tanaka , collegiate champion under master Sago Tada of Japan , was fond of saying " all you need is punch , kick and take down " and when you faced him you swore you were tangling with a freight train !

David-san

"Throws onto concrete, against cars, lampposts, parking meters can
definitely be devastating."

Amen brother ! Sorry about your aikido experience ! But as you read in " real fighting " Peyton was only impressed by O'sensei Toyoda of Chicago whose Aikido applications are like farm machinery gone wild ! The rest of Aikido demonstrations I see today leave me lukewarm ! Atemi is a dirty word to most of them today ! Stay out of there , you don't need them !

Jason-san

Good observations __"Of course, the truth is that it is likely a mixture of all four." You have the answer !

Allen-san

"Through the years I have come to believe that most 'martial artists'
have never been in a single fight in their entire life and wouldn't
know how to conduct themselves if ever faced with a confrontation.
Period!"

Well said ! The truth hurts , doesn't it ?

Tracy-san

"the purpose of a body strike is to put a hole in your opponent"

How do you argue that ? Think of the dynamics of a street fight against a real thug , think of what happens to your body under stress and go ahead and give it an argument !

When it is all said and done , basically that's what it boils down to ! Your mindset should be to stop / destroy the will to fight in your opponent at first contact __ you may not get a chance to get a piece of him beyond first contact ___ this is for some reason so hard to understand , that's why Allen's comments are right on the money !

Dr Knight

"He added, echoing your words, that
we should learn one or two techniques intensely."

Steve is a very good teacher and smart karate-ka and a strong fighter in the ring …I am not surprised at what he says !

Raffi -sensei seems to share similar sentiments and he runs a reality based dojo !

Peace




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


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 1999 6:26 am 
David:

Sounds like you had a great test that the whole dojo should have been proud of. It is a shame when dojos lose people like yourself because it weakens the spirit and training. As Van Sensei said you don't need them. You will find that you will miss the people who trained at the same intensity that you trained, so meet them elsewhere and continue to work.


Van Sensei:

A great thread once again.

I think that there is an evolutionary process that martial artists go through, although some get stuck at certain points. I think that everyone runs though a "gathering" phase (I certainly did). You learn technique after technique. A thousand different ways to deal with a lead hand. After a while you see the principles that run through the techniques. After a while you see that while techniques are used to teach principles, in themselves they are pointless. Only the principles matters. Once you see the principles everything tends to get simpler. Excess baggage sloughs off.

I think though that it is a phase that must be gone through. My friend Rick Bottomley is firmly convinced that you have to learn to do this wrong before you learn it right -- or else how would you know?

I still look around and play with new things. I look at different styles for what they may use against me -- surprise is what will kill you. But in the end it all just gets simpler.

But the martial artist has to be prepared to give up those techniques. They must be prepared to concentrate on the principles. But can they give up all those cool looking techniques that draw the unknowing in? Over ten years ago I picked up a decent magazine that showed six martial artists response to say ten attacks. The moves were simple and direct. About three years ago I found another magazine set up the same way only now each response had a minimum of SEVEN steps! Flashy flashy flashy. All of them pointless crap that were intended to impress the Ninja Turtle crowds.

I haven't got near the experience or knowledge as many posting on this thread but I had a great lesson years ago on giving up the baggage of techniques and simplifying. It was when I was researching dealing with an opponent armed with a knife. I learned all kinds of "cool" techniques to deal with them (and yes I taught them -- duh). But there was this consistent problem, there were too many techniques and every different angle or thrust had a different defense. End result -- TOO MUCH CHOICE -- you lose. So then a Kung Fu fellow spent an hour with me and gave me the kernels of a way to deal with it. I began to work and develop what he gave me until I had really only one response to most common knife attacks. However, to make the change I had to put aside all those really cool techniques. (Now, no training is ever wasted, I learned a great deal about how to break limbs etc..) However, it was very hard to set them aside. Not only some ego thing, but I had invested a lot of time in learning
to make them look real good under controlled dojo conditions. In the end I did what I had to. Those cool techniques had too slow a response time and were too complex to deal with that kind of trouble. But in the process of giving it all up to travel a completely different and simpler path I learn one of the best lessons ever -- I have no problem dropping off baggage.

Most people have a hard time taking a new path because they have usually become quite efficient at what they do. To take a new path means that you must first become inefficient at a new way, before you become more effective in the end.

This does not mean that I do not show different ways to deal with a lead hand. Why? Because what is right for me may not be what is right for a 110 lb person. But in the end it is the principle they must find. They must find what works best for them and stick to it. And what they find will be simple. But each must chose a response that suites them, at this time, and concentrate on it. (The only thing I stress must be the same for everyone is minset.)

My friend Rick Bottomley and I have decided that, while I do Uechi Ryu and he does Uechi Ryu and Chen Taiji, we both really study "The Way Of Effectiveness". A path we are just scratching the surface of.

Rick


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 1999 10:17 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Thanks for the support, folks. The panel of five did pass me. I have a certificate sitting at the dojo (so I was told), certifying my proficiency in aikido as a 2nd kyu, for what that's worth. My name plate hangs on the wall as one of the core students and the number of these plates drops significantly up the rank echelon. Yet, I am on a leave and don't know if I am going back.

It's important for me to consider, as Rick so aptly puts it, the "Way of effectiveness" and where aikido, or more precisely, where that dojo fits in. I am sure I would be welcomed back but will I be developing myself in the "Way", or the "way of the dojo" and its prevailing culture? In the meantime, I miss my friends in the morning. I wake up every morning at my customary 4:30 or 5:00 hour, as if I were headed to a morning practice.

david

[This message has been edited by david (edited 07-16-99).]


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 1999 3:09 pm 
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Location: Marblehead, MA USA
David, Go back asap. They are not right. You are not right. You'll meet somewhere in the middle. It is always easier to go back sooner rather than later. This will bug you until you go back. I've been there!


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 1999 9:11 pm 
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AMEN MIKE!!! This is soo true David, the longer you wait the less likely your are to return, and you will hate yourself. As a true warrior it is part of your duty to help improve the effectiveness of the system you train in. Be subtle. Awaken those in the dojo to the truth of atemi. Remind them of the old texts and the need to set up techniques with atemi.

What would happen if you were the uke and completely resisted when they tried a Kote Gashi (pardon the spelling) on you. Would it work? No! Aikido techniques are designed to be applied to a dissrupted opponent, meaning they are either in movement or they are recovering from an atemi strike. So if they want to toss you while you are not moving, they have to use atemi!

If your dojo is strictly about the spiritual side of aikido, this will not go over well. If they keep self-defense in mind, then perhaps they will consider "reality" a little more.

If worse comes to worse, you could keep training with your dojo, and train up your atemi on your own time. In any case, don't quit, aikido is wonderful at teaching you how to flow with your opponent. It sounds like it is going to be up to you to learn how to destroy while you flow.

-Collin


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 1999 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2423
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Well:

you can get hurt
you can get down
you can get discouraged
you can fail a test
you can live with the realization that you are never going to be the "best"
you may get beaten
you will get hit

but if you quit

I'll be upset.

There is not always a place for you in the winner's circle, but, if you don't quit, you will find your place in Budo.


J.

------------------


[This message has been edited by JOHN THURSTON (edited 07-16-99).]


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 Post subject: DEAD SIMPLE
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 1999 10:44 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
Thanks, Mike,Collin,and John. But this is the setup. The morning classes are taught by folks who have to rush off to work right after class. My previous Monday morning instructor understood the need for free practice and arranged for the keys so we could stay even after he went of to work. I was more than willing to hang around to do "free practice" and to allow others a chance to do free practice. If the rule is no "free practice" without an instructor, than the de facto outcome is that the morning folks will have no forum for experimentation with techniques learned. The aikido class structure is very formal. In class, you do technique EXACTLY as presented. No deviation. No thinking. I have no problems with this. Nevertheless, for me to truly learn, I need to take something, work with it, make it my own or discard it.

My thinking is that edict was done because they didn't like what they saw at the test. And, if my perception is off, the effect is nevertheless that we can no longer experiment. This is not acceptable to me. I can accept being taught techniques that I KNOW are not effective in self-defense despite some instructors' claims otherwise. I can accept it because I was able still to tweak it in free practice to make it work, or to discard as not useful for my personal arsenal, though I would continue to do it in class (as I do with some Uechi Ryu stuff.) This option has been taken away. It is, perhaps, better that I find another dojo than to clash or be coopted into something I truly do not subscribe to. The ONLY reason to stay is to get my BB. And that is no where close to being enough of a reason.

I really am done venting. Please let this drop. Thanks.

david


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