change

change

Postby mikemurphy » Sat Apr 27, 2002 1:22 pm

Just wondering how everybody feels about the topic of change. They say nobody likes it, but it is something we all have to go through. I suppose I could be talking about physical or mental change, but I'm talking about stylistic changes.

I have been practicing and teaching Jujitsu for many years now, and it is a relatively new art (as traditional jujitsu styles go), but it was devised by a Japanese man who exudes the concept of budo. He created the style in order not to lose the aspects of the original jujitsu techniques that he thought were being lost. With that said, from the day I first met him through my sensei some 15+ years ago to today, he has changed many of the things that I do. And I'm not talking about the little things (i.e. angles, hand position,etc.), I'm talking about major things to the system. Furthermore, he keeps adding to the system things no one teaches outside of Japan (I suppose that is another topic altogether).

I don't mind change that much. God, I been through enough with the Uechi system!!:-) But the jitsu systems are different that the do systems in that you are learning and practicing more of the combative aspects instead of looking for that perfection of form. I'm not saying one is better than the other, just different in the ways and means of training. My question is that with all the changes thrust upon me and my students (BTW, the only in Massachusetts who as far as I know train Nihon Jujitsu/Kokusai Budoin), is that normal for other grappling arts?

I'm interested in knowing from the more traditional jujitsu arts as well as from the more contemporary (i.e. Brazilian JJ) arts.

Thanks,

mike
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Postby Joe Sullivan » Mon Apr 29, 2002 8:33 pm

Mike, it seems like in The Uechi-Ryu system change is very bad. Techniques, stances, and katas go for many decades without being "disturbed." I don't believe this is a very good thing for a system.

In brazilian jiujitsu, change and evolution of technique is everything. If you practice one way for too long, you are surpassed by everyone else that is evolving and refining their techniques.

I have friends that go to Brazil to train. When they get back we ****** every ounce of new information from them that we can. We can actualy ask what does not work anymore because someone, somewhere, found a counter to that technique and rendered it useless to other jiu-jitsu guys.

Hope this was pertinent

Joe P.
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Postby Gene DeMambro » Mon Apr 29, 2002 11:59 pm

Non-rhetorical questions specific to your situation:

<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
<LI>When Mr. Sato comes to the US, how many hours do we get to actually train with him?

<LI>How deep and advanced can he get with a class 50% made up of karate people, who don't even know ukemi? I'm not talking about us, but karate (exclusively) students who take a JJ seminar for laughs.

<LI>Even if he can't get that advanced, how much new stuff do we still learn? Lots, it can be argued.

<LI>How many of these "changes" are things that have been there all along, but for some reason were ignored/dropped/fell by the wayside, either on purpose or accidentally, only to be introduced as "changes" later on? Examples of this in Nihon Jujitsu.

<LI>How many "changes" are the result of students becoming more proficient and higher rank? How many things in Uechi-Ryu do you (personally) teach "wrong" so later, when students grasp the concept, you can tell it to them the "right" way? There are examples to this in Nihon JJ as well.
</UL>

There may be changes to what we (you, me and our students/dojo mates) do now, but are they really "new" changes, just introduced to the world? Probably not. They're new to us, but old hat to the regular students at the Embassy Club.

The reason, I think, things are added to the system that no one teaches outside of Japan is that, well, that's where Mr. Sato lives. If he lived in Hoboken we could say the same thing about that great city as well. Think of how many "changes" have been made to your karate. Would those changes have been made if you lived in Newton and took classes at the Hut? What do you think Summer Camp people go through!

Take a look at your current JJ rank. Can you hardly expect things not to change between now and 10th Dan? I know at my rank, I don't expect things not to change. 'Tis the reason why I foray across The Great Pond. Give it a try Image

What specific, major changes are you referring to?

Clear as mud, I assume!

Gene



[This message has been edited by Gene DeMambro (edited April 29, 2002).]
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Postby david » Tue Apr 30, 2002 11:04 am

I don't think forms/katas were intended to be written in stone, unless we want to perform like stone. Image

A kata changes, albeit subtlely, when it is performed from one person to the next.

A kata changes when a person through his experience emphasizes or deemphasizes certain patterned moves. This is necessary to make something one's own. For crying out loud, everytime I buy clothes I have to modify it because I don't fit the standard size. Guess I am just used to that. Image

Adaptation/evolution has always been the natural process of survival. In the fighting arts, exposure to something else/challenges require change and a fluid mind.

Change for change sake is, of course, superfluous. It's a form of self aggrandizement. Likewise to preclude change or someone else to adapt, is also the flip side of the ego. It's like saying I know what I do is "perfect" or near-perfect so I can't/won't allow you to change it.

I agree that there is probably nothing "new under the sun" when it comes to the martial arts. While we may not be aware, it's been thought about and tested by somebody, somewhere. However, when we experience it, learn it anew, take it on as our own, then that is change. It can be a good thing. Image

david


[This message has been edited by david (edited April 30, 2002).]
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Postby RA Miller » Tue Apr 30, 2002 11:04 am

Mike-
To me it depends very much on where the change comes from.

As you said, the old style jujutsu is combative in nature- not particularly defensive and has little in common with contest at any level.

Simply, the founder used this to kill people. So did his son and his son and his son... up until the Satsuma rebellion, where the shihan at the time was executed for taking arms against the Emperor.

Since then, who of the Shihan or the instructors have ANY experience in Hand to Hand combat?

It's so easy to put your feet up on your desk and come up with different ways, "new" ideas. To take experience from third grade fights or the ring and try to stretch those to the art of killing an armed man in armor. And it's so safe- you'll never test it. Your students will never test it.

As a CO, I'm unarmed most of the time. Dealing with threats, some of whom are armed and dedicated. I'm still amazed that this guy who died 350 years ago had what I need to survive pegged so well.

With about 300 documented encounters, I'm still at the stage where I'm blown away by the sheer wierdness and chaos of violence. 300 isn't enough to generalize, not enough to give me confidence that any changes I made would be improvements.

How can I trust changes made by someone who has never fought for his life?

I do like change, and chaos and exploring and experimenting. But there are very few things I have found in my life that worked so well. I have a tendency to try to perserve those.

Rory
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Postby Van Canna » Tue Apr 30, 2002 3:26 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
I do like change, and chaos and exploring and experimenting. But there are very few things I have found in my life that worked so well. I have a tendency to try to perserve those.


Rory,

Great post. Can you give us your thoughts on the few things that have served you well?



------------------
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Postby RA Miller » Thu May 02, 2002 9:52 am

Van-

Don't know where to start. The two that have served me best aren't physical at all- they are a result of kata training. Sosui****su-ryu kata are two man sets. Typically, uke throws an untelegraphed, full power, full intent technique that triggers the response.

We're required to maintain zanshen, a total projected awareness throughout kata. It combines the thousand yard stare, the absolute being in the moment and a sort of deadly and indifferent focus. That is a real terrible job of description... but it has allowed me to silence 38 upset inmates with a look or to go into a cell with an unstable, violent, huge psych and either calm him or make him uneasy- and often both at the same time.

Kata also requires a waiting in stillness. We don't move when the attack is launched, we move when uke is so comitted that he could not change his actions. Letting a boken (or a shinken) slice at your head, full power, and just waiting gives you an incredible edge on controlling your perception of time. I can stand much to close to an inmate with full confidence that I can react in time, even though reaction doesn't beat action and I _know_ that, kata training gave me a tool to get beyond it.

There's so much more, Van. It's good stuff.

Rory
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Postby mikemurphy » Thu May 02, 2002 11:30 am

Thank you all for the response. I guess my best answer to you all would be that I understand that there is going to be change on a personal level to any art that one studies. The arts must become personal in nature. That's part of Budo. If we try to stay in that structured form we are taught as white belts, then that's what we'll become....very good white belts. And we've all seen black belts running around who are nothing but good white belts because they refuse to let go of their white belt ideals and let the art mold to them.

I suppose that is easy for me when it comes to Uechi because I've gone through it a thousand times. If it wasn't for Sensei Mattson and others being so accessible then maybe I would have a harder time at it.

As for the Jujitsu, as Gene says, there are a lot of possibilities out there as to why change does or does not occur. I'm not speaking of any one movement Geno, just musing in general. Sato sensei has always changed up little things since the day I began training (I think I first met him in 86/87). Now that he is in his 70s, the changes seem to be more pronounced, and not so little any more. Is this my perception? Is he changing because of his age and he is bringing everyone else with him? Do other styles go through this type of change with their grappling/jutsu arts?

Joe,

Who is the main man in Brazil these days and does he sanction all the "changing?"
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Postby RA Miller » Fri May 03, 2002 9:23 am

Mike-
Is you sensei changing things or have you reached a level in his eyes where it is time for the other stuff?

Basically, is he actually changing the curriculum of the school or is passing changes in teaching style or subject matter on to you as you grow as a jujutsuka and teacher?

Rory
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