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It's here!!

Postby mikemurphy » Thu Mar 15, 2001 8:13 pm

Well folks, it looks like the momentum is swinging our way. With the help of Sensei Joe Pomfret, the Uechi world is finally coming to see that not all is right in "technique land."

As stated a thousand times over, what we do in our kumite and our bunkai is great for learning the movements, but not really that effectual in reality (just talk to someone who participated in Gary's seminar last week). We must begin to look at our Kyu and Dan Kumite as well as any and all bunkai that your dojo many do. Are the moves you are teaching and practicing teaching you anything? That's the question you should be asking.

I'm not saying we have to dump all the "traditional" stuff, but why can't we learn them and go on to evolve into more creative and modern material. Let's use some brain power.

You don't have to feel bad about doing it either if you really consider yourself a "traditionalist." Think about it, did Kanbun or Kanei Uechi ever do any of the bunkai or prearranged kumite? I don't think so. So now there is no reason not to go and investigate!!!!

mike
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Postby david » Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:28 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
As stated a thousand times over, what we do in our kumite and our bunkai is great for learning the movements, but not really that effectual in reality (just talk to someone who participated in Gary's seminar last week). We must begin to look at our Kyu and Dan Kumite as well as any and all bunkai that your dojo many do. Are the moves you are teaching and practicing teaching you anything?


Mike,

While you didn't say it exactly here, I do like your perspective that existing bankai's and kumites are but set forms to begin the exploration of applications but are not to be construed as the sole applications written in stone.

The problem is that most do not going beyond what has been taught and, indeed, view the bankai's and kumites as sacrosanct and immutable.

The solution is for folks to be willing to question and explore other interpretations, possibilities, and approaches.

The challenge is that the curriculum will be that much more immense. For example, if grappling techniques become part of the new interpretation/applications, then students and teachers must begin to incorporate ukemi as part of the basics just as Sanchin is now.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
You don't have to feel bad about doing it either if you really consider yourself a "traditionalist."


Implicitly, this touches on the sense of "betrayal..." What and who are we betraying in questioning and exploring? This is an important perspective to consider for each of us.

david



[This message has been edited by david (edited March 15, 2001).]
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Postby Van Canna » Fri Mar 16, 2001 12:11 am

[quote] Implicitly, this touches on the sense of "betrayal..." What and who are we betraying in questioning and exploring? This is an important perspective to consider for each of us.] /quote]

I see it this way:

The practitioner, mired in theory and without having been put to the test on the street, is so deluded that those traditional bunkai applications will work magically “when the time comes”, that when he sees otherwise, he goes into denial and depression over his now probable failure, which, in turn, lead to anger and despondency about his training and standing as a sensei.

So he will fight tooth and nail to discredit the “modern approach” and label all who dare question the “standard” as heretics and holders of the shell as opposed to the meat and potatoes of the system.

Basic human nature, nothing really new. Image



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Postby Joe Sullivan » Fri Mar 16, 2001 9:12 pm

Joe Pomfret here,

I believe the bottom line is; Our Uechi instructors cannot assess a new learning standard if they do not know the material themselves.

A note for Uechi instructors without any reality takedown or ground skills...which is most: Your students will LOVE it. Mine did. They screamed for it. Especialy the women (they know that is exactly where a big guy will bring them).

When I began teaching my Uechi student grappling, I didn't know much at all. But, everything I learned, I taught. I knew this would make me better at it...it did. I attribute much of my success to learning through teaching.

Skeptical? Spar with a Uechi guy that has ground skills and see for yourself. My door is always open.

Add one takedown to kanshiwa Bunkai (my favorite) just for fun.

Answer me...would you REGRET adding a takedown or two, a takedown defense or two, to your bunkais or kumites?

Why or Why not?
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Postby mikemurphy » Sat Mar 17, 2001 12:14 pm

David,

You're right David, that's exactly what I mean. Interpretation and application is what bunkai is about. Those instructors and students who do NOT interpret when the time is right for exploration do not know what they are missing, and thus lose out on an important part of their budo training.

Worse than that though, are those people who go to a seminar or camp, learn someone's interpretation, like it and it's concepts, and then goes back to his or her dojo and continues to train the simple, non-interpretive way they always have. That's the big loss here.

Van-sensei,

A heretic?? Then so be it, I'm a heretic (but a happy one). But seriously, no one is espousing that we give up the "traditional" way of doing bunkai, only that people should explore other options as well. Come on you traditionalists, do you really think that someone is going to stand still while you plaster an elbow into their chest? Do you really think that someone will throw a straight punch at you on the street? Time to wake up folks!!


Joe,

Correct again on your assessment. How can someone teach something they do not know? Instructors should have to learn this as well. Does this mean that they must become a world class competitor like you? Absolutely not. Does it mean that they have to start at rock bottom in some jujitsu class like me in order to attain a black belt first? NO again. But it should mean that they get off their complacent butts and find someone (or have someone come to their dojo) to show them the basics every once and a while. Too many times during seminars or camps you look around and see instructors sitting around chatting with some individual and not taking the opportunity to enhance their knowledge at someone else's seminar. Why? Are they afraid they may look just as silly as some of the under-dan ranks? Is it pride?

Those comments are not intended to insult anyone as I think we are all guilty of it once in a while, but before we make excuses at to why we can't do something, shouldn't we at least have good justification??

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