What determines your skill level?

This is Dave Young's Forum.
Can you really bridge the gap between reality and training? Between traditional karate and real world encounters? Absolutely, we will address in this forum why this transition is necessary and critical for survival, and provide suggestions on how to do this correctly. So come in and feel welcomed, but leave your egos at the door!

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Postby Stryke » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:25 pm

Hey Mike I do admire you position , and to a large extent agree , I had a similar philosophy at one point .

But the change in mindset to me came with teaching and influencing others .

I could no longer gently nudge others in the direction of what I felt was right , it became a matter of personal ethics and integrity , I could not stand there nod and agree with others when what they were teaching was IMHO fundamentally flawed .

at some point my acceptance became an endorsement (with others trying to emulate) , and while I`m happy they can do what they wish , I could not claim there way was as effective or martially orientated as they would promote .

happy to see anyone do what they wish , but not going to be silent on my part , or enable others by not speaking up in an open discussion .

am always happy to agree to disagree .

so while not intentionally into burning bridges , well got to hold true to my beleifs , even if it`s not the easiest path at times .

No one can ever accuse me of being inconsistant , or saying different in public than what I would in private .

how many really can say that ? , and would we have a problem if they really did ?

Another long winded answer

Postby MikeK » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:00 pm

Hi Marcus,
It's not about nodding my head or acceptance of things I don't agree with. It's also not about debating facts or trying to get others to think like me. I really don't much care about what someone else does though I might enjoy hearing about it. I do what I do, they do what they do. I really don't want to win any arguments because they're generally empty victories at best.
If someone asks me what I think about something I'll give my opinion or my experience, but that's all it is, my opinion, my experience and they're not open to debate. If someone disagrees with me or sees where I'm wrong then make your case or point out where I'm wrong, and I'll look into it myself and check, but I'm not debating it. You present what you know to be true and leave it at that.
There are a lot of important things in my life that deserve my passion, what other karate people do or don't do isn't one of them. If I say something that changes someones mind for the better, that's cool. If someone thinks I'm a crackpot they may be right.
I've derailed this thread enough so this'll be the last I talk about it.
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Postby Stryke » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:15 pm

Hey Mike not a criticisim , respect your position , I dont beleive you do any of these things , just relaying my personal experience .

were each in a unique position , and I do think you handle yourself in a very dignified way . And was probably talking more about real life than posting to be honest .

thats the problem with the interent , someone inspires your train of thought and then your talking about them .

keep on trucking Mike !! 8)

Postby Van Canna » Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:10 am

Thank you Dave for your kind words_ coming from a true world renowned professional as you, they really mean much to me.

Most people in my travels who live in the "IF" then world think they will have time to "DO THIS TECHIQUE RIGHT, correct their own weakness, win that one time encounter, or survive that attack, "IF" the time comes and unfortunately more live in a place where this is not a matter of "IF" but "WHEN" this will happen to us, or around us, or to someone we know and love.

This is where we have seen 'recalcitrant cocooning' _as most people feel the “IF” outscores the “When” by 10,000 miles in their view of life.

And that’s fine with me. I know that you and I don’t spend our lives obsessing about a ‘when’_ and people who do karate without any thought to personal protection [although I have never believed that claim] have my blessings and my respect nonetheless, as long as they don’t step on my toes as a serious student of personal protection because of my life experiences, in particular_ the killing of my little cousin by home invaders.

Your forum and mine are about realities of self defense, and if they have no interest in defense, then they should ‘turn the page’ instead of whining about you or I offending ‘their sensibilities’ as we have seen in the past.

Anyone in the martial arts is aware of a ‘when’ even as they lock it up in the recesses of their minds.

What separates the smart from the obtuse is a willingness to learn as much as possible about the possible ‘when’ _ to safeguard their future from plunging into a nightmare they cannot even imagine, and to live up to their claim of self defense instructors, something that is implied by their teaching of a defensive art.

The very fact that what they learn in TMA has the potential to be used for self defense should be enough to motivate one to educate in the ways violence can affect them and their families in irrevocable ways. But they sweep this under the rug because it makes them feel inept or uncomfortable.

As an example_ for years I have discussed the importance of buying a personal umbrella policy_ but I bet that a very small percentage of the readers have in fact bought one. When a plaintiff’s lawyer files a lien on their homes, they will run to their insurance agents in tears.

However, the training drills or tactics have not been field proven, only placed in a book or power point and talked about. This adds to this equation.

This causes lots of angst in Uechi as you can imagine. You might recall the past discussions about Uechi drills.
And the discussions were not even about the drills being useless _ just the way they were being taught and what concepts they were embedding.

To wit
You know some people even have a hard time thinking or understanding that maybe, just maybe they are not training in the way that benefits them the most...(Most people only hear the word wrong).
Right on target Dave.

TMA training drills and dojo tactics have their place and serve a purpose, and they are fine to build certain attributes_ but to believe that they will suffice in ‘self preservation’ is sophomoric at best.

As you know, street violence or the kind of the ‘when’ violence that may befall one of us_ rears up so many unforeseen ‘enemies’ that boggles the mind. Thus the most compelling reason for a continuing education beyond the punch/block/kick mentality.

Look at people on these forums who are licensed to carry guns. Ask how many have invested a bit of time and money in attending specialized lethal force schools?
The gun they carry is the viper biding its time for a mortal bite to its owner/carrier.

However they choose to word it, it is WRONG, I have found that they have not progressed through the years, just maintained the same things through the years. This happens MANY times in training especially in the martial arts, military and our field.

They will chide you about ‘having confidence’ and it will all work out. Surely it might for some_ but at what cost? This is what they don’t seem to grasp.

Remember they will throw the ‘mushin word’ at you with anecdotes, refusing to look at the big picture.

VAN - Do you think the way UECHI-Ryu is NOW...Is the same as it was when it first started?...I would think not... even that has changed SOMEWHAT - either through being watered down from being passed from instructor to instructor, or changed through the understanding and or misinterpretations throughout the years, something.

I agree. I also believe that it is about apples and oranges, in that no matter what the changes or interpretations, Uechi is just a tool.

Putting this tool to work in real life, as formidable as it can be, it must follow modern rules of engagement lest practitioners be sucked into a black hole of physical, psychological, emotional, criminal and civil despair. This aspect is very hard to get across.

We have more violence in our streets now, then 30 years ago, more repeat offenders, more people living in the US then 30 years ago and it is growing.

Many readers, as George states, will scoff at this and could really care less. They are in TMA for the fun of it, for the exercise, that is, until the ‘when’ comes for them_ then they might write to you for help as opposed to writing to George now whining about being ‘dissed’ _

"WHEN" the attack comes, "WHEN" we need to survive the violence, "WHEN" this happens to us we will do this....So THIS takes on more of a reality then the "IF", because we know that this is a reality.

The problem I see, Dave, is that the many who complain about the way you and I write, have difficulty in admitting that there is more to self defense that what they have learned in a dojo under a teacher that goes beyond exercises, katas, prearranged drills, bunkai, free style sparring, and conditioning.

Not that there is anything wrong with this but that they refuse to see what’s beyond that simplicity, as effective as it might be.

They refuse to address the nature of the enemy and the definition of street violence with all the ramifications you point out in your posts.

And not that I really care to reach and ‘influence’ those people_ just as long as they stay on their muddy side of the river.

Believe me Dave, the honor is mine to write alongside you on these matters_ you reinforce the concepts I have embraced and facilitated on my forum for a long ten years in this avocation of mine, so I am no longer the ‘lone rebel’ _

What has worked for me in my life and career is; I try to never change a person's thinking; just speak the truth and eventually the truth will prevail, maybe not in our life time but it will prevail.

Well said, Dave_ to each his own.

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Postby MikeK » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:19 pm

Hey All,
I just want to say that if my little manifesto above sounds curt towards Marcus or anybody else, that is not what I was shooting at. I was just laying out my personal approach to the forums and to people who lurk rather than post.

So this is a formal apology to Marcus if my rant came across as a slap at him. It wasn't meant to be and shouldn't be read that way.
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Postby Stryke » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:49 pm

Hey no need Mike , your a class act , and as always have some very good points that we can all learn from .


No problem

Postby Dave Young » Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:53 pm

MikeK, - I didn't take it like that!
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Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:05 pm

Then Rick wrote this on his forum that it is very appropriate here for the moment...just to clear the air once and for all if possible... then we can resume regular programming...
The Forums and Learning

The forums bring a diverse group of people together for discussion.

The only commonality is that we all feel so passionate about our art that after the dojo workout we still haven’t got enough of it so we go on-line to train some more.

I remember many years ago there were some ticked off folks on the other forum because people did not just bow down to their knowledge and the big comeback was that the forum people should get out from behind their computers and train.

Well, news to those folks was that we only get behind out computers AFTER we have trained. That they seemed to be unable to do both was not our issue.

Guess they disappeared to train only at the dojo.

Now certainly there will be the cyber warrior or two and in the wild open popular non style specific forums I sometimes suspect more than those who train but there you go.

Passion: Strong emotion, outburst or anger, strong enthusiasm.

When something is your passion, as the martial arts are ours, then we feel strongly about what we do. And it has been my experience that many martial artists feel strongly about many things.

For instance, while this is not the politically correct thing to say, we all feel we are doing Uechi the right way -- for what we know at that moment.

And while there are different ways to do Uechi, those who do it differently than us are simply wrong.

I know one person posted that they know 1,000 different ways to do one move in a Kata so they could have done it a number of different ways.

While that sounds good it really means you don’t know the best way to do that move because in reality there is only the best way.

I mean why would you do something the second best way or the 955th best way?

That would be dumb.

Yeah there may be a few things where a couple of approaches express the same principles but in reality we should be doing things only one way – the best way we know how for right now.

Now most of us are here on the forums because while we are doing it the best we can we also think we might be able to do it better so we want to discuss and learn.

BUT you had better be able to present what it is you are doing and how you do it or no learning is possible, and because we are all passionate and think we are doing it right at the moment so we will also expect to get questioned and pressed.

And the thing we can most expect is that what we post will not just be accepted at face value.

So let us add two and two here and come up with four.

We have:

Passionate people + people who think they are doing it right = Make it clear why your way is better than mine.

Now the great part of the forums comes in when we talk and learn from each other.

But people may or may not listen.

I do not expect anyone to agree with me but that would be their issue not mine (kidding.)

And not so kidding, because I do expect them to come back with a discussion of the points in question not just that I am wrong.

Ever since I have taken part in these forums (and it has been years) heated debate and heated arguments and heated fights break out because we are passionate.

We take whatever is said to heart.

How many read ever word on a thread you are taking part in as if they were written only to you?

Yeah come on admit it.

But most of the time the universe does not have us at its centre and they are more than likely posted something they have thought on for a while.

So let’s talk and discuss and accept that while we have the only right way and everyone else is doing it wrong, they still get to disagree and do it wrong.

“Watch the water. Not the fish. See the road he is on and you will know which way he must turn.” Peter Ralston
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Postby hoshin » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:22 am

i would like to add a small thought on what constitutes skill,, in any art there is a point of "freedom" when one has enough "skill"
playing a musical instument is so difficult because you cant get your body to always do what you want it to do. playing guitar, your fingers rebel and dont obey your mind. i am sure Eric Clapton can play out what ever he hears in his head. same with martial arts. after so much time trianing there comes a point when you can do anything your mind asks of it ( with the exception of age restictions and pyhsical liabilities) you can react freely ,
i am not sure if i can convey this accurately but having this level of skill can allow you to focus on other things during a confrontation. i know this is not the whole picture but i thought it interesting.

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