Time to Decide

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Time to Decide

Postby mikemurphy » Sat Nov 11, 2000 1:23 pm

Much like what is happening in the United States political scene, it's time for the IUKF/NAC to decide its future course. We have long sat on our collective duffs (no offense to anyone) and proposed changes and misinterrpreted the will of the masses. Soon, we will be sitting down with those in the New England regions to solidify the shodan standards that will keep Uechi-ryu on the map because we will be promoting only those people who deserve their rank. Those who don't will have to work that much harder to be prepared for the next test.

With that said, one of the issues that will undoubtedly come up will be the idea of being more "real" in one of the portions of the test. How can we judge the candidate's ability to react and respond to real situations in a controlled situation? Tough question. As a jujitsu-ka, find it very interesting that my students may find a wonderful avenue to show off their abilities during the testing process. But how? I guess that is the question we will try to hammer out.

Maybe the answer is in Tony Blaur's wonderful (but expensive) suits. These would definately allow the uke the safety that he/she would need. As we all know, it's not the person performing the technique that is real danger of getting hurt; it's the person who steps in to play the dummy. I don't know how many injuries have I experienced because I go at someone hard so they have to "really" defend.

Anyway, grappling and groundfighting are what is real, and therefore should be taught in the Uechi curriculum, and should be displayed on the test. That's my opinion. How about you guys out there? Even if you are not a Uechi-ka, do you think that adding a grappling portion to the Uechi test is a good thing? A bad thing? Or simply a necessary thing?

Apprecitate your input as usual.

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Time to Decide

Postby f.Channell » Sat Nov 11, 2000 11:41 pm

Mike,
I think Uechi should be continued as it is. However, anyone choosing to get rank in Jujitsu, Judo, aikido, Bjj should go ahead and do so. I've met a lot of seniors in Uechi, who I think would give anyone a real rough time before they went down. Maybe a separate certification could be used? I mean why not make them defend themselves with a broom handle as well. That could happen on the street.
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Time to Decide

Postby rich_simons » Tue Nov 14, 2000 3:05 am

For better or for worse, Uechi-Ryu is not a ground-fighting or grappling system. I do not believe that it is in the best interest of the art to add an extensive ground-fighting component to Uechi-Ryu to make it "more" viable. If this were the case, we could analogize the converse -- Aikido should add more punches and Judo should have more kicks.

As someone who has done a good deal of grappling and ground-fighting, I can attest to the benefits. If people want to train Jujutsu or Judo (as I have), then more power to them. Moreover, I will be the first one to congratulate them on a very wise decision.

Once we start adding things willy-nilly, we may soon find ourselves traveling down the long and scary road paved by Chung Moo Do!

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Time to Decide

Postby mikemurphy » Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:01 am

Gentlemen,

I don't think it's anyone's intention to "add" grappling to Uechi; only to add its training to the curriculum, much like free fighting. Did Kanbun Uechi sensei jiyu kumite? Did Kanei Uechi sensei jiyu kumite? I have not heard stories of them fighing in the dojo and yet it is a major portion of our testing procedure. Does adding a grappling element to the testing change the way you learn Uechi? Would it dramatically affect the way you train for most anyway)? For example, what if we put a section into the test in which someone attacks you with an unknown attack. Obviously, it would be very difficult to break into the "karate" mode. Wouldn't it be safe to say that you would be grappling at this moment?

With that said, are we not saying that at shodan and above you should be able to protect yourself just a little bit? Then why not put the grappling into your training regime if you will most likely end up in a grappling situation regardless of the fight?
On the same level as Sanchin? No way, but at least during the testing procedure.

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Time to Decide

Postby Tony-San » Tue Nov 14, 2000 4:14 pm

Mike,

Because there is no grappling in Uechi in it's raw state, that would mean that IUKF membership would have to be limited to folks who have access to Jui Jitsu instructors. I only practice Uechi Ryu, and because it has no grappling in it, I would get creamed at an IUKF dan test.

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Time to Decide

Postby f.Channell » Tue Nov 14, 2000 4:56 pm

Tony,
Not if they can't bring you down.
And if they do the realism isn't there.
In Judo groundfighting theres no biting, scratching, hairpulling, kicking, punching, face pushing, etc... so we have the same loss of realism that is present in our kumite and free fighting. I think fighting to a groundfighting position is a blast but I don't have a bad back and practice breakfalls every week. As far as sudden attacks are involved sure put them in the test.
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Time to Decide

Postby gmattson » Tue Nov 14, 2000 8:15 pm

Great topic, but before we confuse people unnecessarily, lets define a few terms we are using:

1. IUKF consists of Chapters and Regions.

2. IUKF requires that all Regions maintain minimum standards for promotionals described in the Black Belt Test Guide. These minimum standards are equal to those used on Okinawa.

3. Individual Regions may elect to toughen black belt requirements for their candidates. This is the process New England is currently working on and should have resolved on November 19th.

Hope this helps to clarify IUKF's position on standards and dantest requirements.

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Time to Decide

Postby mikemurphy » Tue Nov 14, 2000 8:39 pm

Tony and Fred,

Sensei Mattson makes a good point. It's not about what the IUKF as a whole thinks, it is what the individual chapters consider important enough to put into their standards. I don't know exactly how people will look at this on the 19th, but I think most think that grappling is important from a realistic point-of-view.

Those people who think a stand up fighter has the upper hand in a scuffle may be sorely mistaken. I think we'd like to think so, but reality is quite different. Never in my father's 28 years as a cop did he get into a scuffle where they didn't end up going to the ground. I teach high school and whenever I break up a fight or see one it's always on the ground. Those fights that I have been in in my life have always ended up on the ground. I think it is inevitable. If there is no one to teach you then simply take those simple lessons you learn in your Uechi and bring the principles to the ground with you and practice, practice, practice.

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Time to Decide

Postby Tony-San » Wed Nov 15, 2000 1:47 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><I>If there is no one to teach you then simply take those simple lessons you learn in your Uechi and bring the principles to the ground with you and practice, practice, practice.</I></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mike! I like it! thanks! Image
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Time to Decide

Postby f.Channell » Wed Nov 15, 2000 2:29 am

Mike,
I only wish Uechi to remain traditional. I worry about people with back problems not testing because of the grappling. As far as self defense goes you need it, at least enough to get them off and get back up. Perhaps you could go over the principles in Uechi that work on the ground?
Tony,
Theres got to be a judo club near you, check out judoinfo.com listings for instructors in your area. Sorry I missed you last weekend, sounds like you had a great visit.
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Time to Decide

Postby Steve » Wed Nov 15, 2000 2:50 am

mike sensei - hey, I'm down with you! I'd love to see Uechi sparring at the BB test proceed from stand-up to ground fighting - as long as I don't have to fight you, either one of the Joe's, Josh, or anyone else with better grappling skills than me!

BTW, at the last BB test (Oct. at your dojo) many of the sparring matches proceeded to sweeps or takedowns - they were 3/4's of the way there already! I seem to remember Glasheen Sensei's students being particularly adept at taking people down during sparring.

Looks like the 19th will be a great meeting. See you there. Best regards, Steve

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Time to Decide

Postby Tony-San » Wed Nov 15, 2000 5:21 am

Fred,

They *can* bring you down, that's my point. IUKF will only be a good option for those who have access to this type of cross training because you cannot do this on Uechi training alone! Maybe i'm wrong though....

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Time to Decide

Postby Tony-San » Wed Nov 15, 2000 6:47 am

Fred,

I'm in luck. One of Lori's students is/was a high school wrestler (he's coaching now) and is very good. He comes over sometimes and throws us around and shows us how to torture people on the ground. We're not very good compared to Lori's student but at least we know what it's like down there with smelly armpits and all! Image

Sorry I missed you Fred. I thought about you while I was casing the joint for familiar faces! I'll see you next time. Think about Winterfest this year, it will be fun!

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Time to Decide

Postby f.Channell » Fri Nov 17, 2000 3:35 am

Sounds good tony, any kind of ground fighting should be beneficial training.
I've been going to judo once a week on matwork night and having a lot of fun with it. Many people feel that groundfighting is reality based fighting, but I feel it's just another dimension to the same level of training. Train as close to reality as possible sure, but without all those gouges, elbows, bites, headbutts etc.. how close can you really get. In the dragon times website theres an interview with Sensei Gushi where he discusses the 1958 dan test. This he says was the first test where they fought. There was no kumites or sparring prior to this ever trained. The seniors just told them to fight, and they drove right in and did. Must have been quite the scene. Because of the injuries sustained and lessons learned at that, we all can just train hard, get as close to real as possible, and hope its enough. I wonder if they ended up on the ground in 1958?
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Postby gmattson » Fri Nov 17, 2000 3:09 pm

Getting old when you can say "I was there and I was one of the fighters!"

I would love for you all the believe the matches were bloodbaths. . . but they weren't.

Students fought in every class, as part of the class (At least at Tomoyose's and Uechi Sensei's dojo. There was hard contact, but no harder than what we experience today in class or in tests.

There were lots of grappling and close-in fighting. Often, the action went to the ground, but was quickly stopped by the referee. (yes, there was a ref)

Because I was scheduled to leave the Island before the official "first" test, the board assembled two weeks (not positive about this, could have been longer) before the official test to conduct a 'special' test for me. They felt they could use this test as a dry run for the regularly scheduled test.

As it turned out, I was able to delay my departure and was able to witness the scheduled test.

Tomoyose, although he taught me in a much different manner than did Uechi sensei, followed Uechi sensei's curriculum which included a heavy measure of free fighting in every class.

As I said earlier, I would love for you all to believe that those of us who trained at an earlier time, engaged in death matches, had broken beer bottles for lunch and fought Tigers at midnight, but it just didn't happen!

I visited all the Uechi dojo on Okinawa during this time and trained with most of the teachers. Some teachers did not include sparring in their classes. However, they were tough classes with some real powerful students and teachers. Just like the classes many of us work out in and teach today.

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