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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:26 pm 
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I've recently had the honour to train with three different and very good teachers, and the differences are interesting.

One is a traditionalist, in both how the training is run and how the forms and training proceed. I find the training grittier and the underlying principles are directly related to impact upon your opponent as well as your intent and will in practice. There was a strong body/spirit component in the training, with a good undercurrent of mind/mental focus. I would opine that this teacher believes in old style fundamentals that may change for an individual, but the roots do not change over time.

One is what I will term a technician/tinkerer, and the training is very detailed on taking things apart and putting them back together again. There was a strong body/mind component in the training. I would hazard a guess that this teacher views the art as something to be rebuilt and to evolve over time, again and again.

The last is what I will term a builder, and the training focused on the joy and application of kata and movements. We did several combinations that encouraged strong movements and an understanding of connecting purpose to action. There was a strong mind/spirit component to the training, with a good undercurrent of body.

Now, I have obviously simplified the overview of each teacher, but I'm using this as an example and somewhat a metaphor....

I've begun to develop a belief- - put into words, in truth, by something read on Van Canna's forum about the Marine training manual - - that Martial Arts is a three legged stool and it is the balance of body, mind, spirit that creates the strong foundation that is our art/style.

I find it interesting that none of these teachers embodies a full balance of these three...but they are all good teachers..with very different things to teach.

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 Post subject: so now the questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:28 pm 
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Should all teachers strive for perfect balance/symmetry, or simply teach to their strengths?

Should students strive for the same?

What are your thoughts on teaching old school/traditional vs Uechi as an evolving art (or any martial art, for that matter)?

I realize this last question can be a hot topic, so please remember we are not discussing what other arts AREN'T, but what your art IS or COULD BE.

Thank you.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:39 pm 
there is a Chinese saying. " Soft beats hard, hard-soft beats soft, hard beats hard-soft"..........now I used to think that this related to all martial arts, but now I see it all in the art that I study Wing -Chun, I train with two Sifu .one is hard and one is very soft......BTW both of them can beat me :lol:
but I realise now just how difficult it is to be soft, and you do have to be taught.it's no good just having folks say Relax :D .Relaxation tends to be hard rather than soft, although it feels soft...soft can look extremly hard when judged on superficial appearances .....and don't forget in Wing-Chun we are supposed to use the wooden dummy to condition our limbs and sandbags to condition our strikes....so Soft means something quite different to what a lot of people think.
So what I find myself seeking for now is what I believe is called a Paradigm shift..................which is I have find a new way of looking at things, a new way of "Feeling"....and I am being taught or rather guided in this endeavour .................Kuroda Tetsuzan summed a lot of this up for me in the links that I posted about him 8) ....so that is what I am seeking....to be soft :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: so now the questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:54 pm 
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Shana Moore wrote:
Should all teachers strive for perfect balance/symmetry, or simply teach to their strengths?

Should students strive for the same?

What are your thoughts on teaching old school/traditional vs Uechi as an evolving art (or any martial art, for that matter)?

I realize this last question can be a hot topic, so please remember we are not discussing what other arts AREN'T, but what your art IS or COULD BE.

Thank you.


Shana ,

I will start with the evolving bit ,such as I was taught something] but these days ,or years later its evolved ,or
its identical to what I was taught ,or its in a steady state of stagnation .

Originally Uechi-ryu started with the Three year Sanchin concept ,of which nobody now carries this out, that I am aware of ,so to be a true old school it would need to be implimenting that unique feature ,so with the original concept involved ,it would be simply a older format of the idea of what traditional may represent ,now I have done this and teach that way so thats were I am coming from on this .

So if I decide to cut the process in half or quarter it ,for the next set of students ,it now starts to lose its Older tradition , I have now created a new tradition provided it lasts long enough to become the new tradition ,now I am a crafsman also and we know full well an apprenticeship cannot be shortened to produce a fully fledged new craftsman in short order , those people who create the shortened time span somehow live within a delusion that things have evolved when anything could be farther from the truth.

Now I don't see teachers who have been down the pike falling for that delusion.

Shana I have given you the bottam line on traditional Uechi Old ,then you get an pyramid effect on things moving from that original starting point on claims to be old school ,for me its more complicated , yet really the true old as a very simple Sanchin start .

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:37 pm 
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Shana ,

I don't these days say Old school etc,its just uechi-ryu ,in fact come to think of it I have never said "Old school" I have said old way .

That being said ,everyone in uechi is doing something handed down etc thats old in a sense ,whats new ? okay a new spin on a old set of concepts ,thats for starters ,tell um more ,what nine out of ten can't be digested because normally there is already too much on the plate ,and one could end up with intellectual indigestion ,trying to cram a mountain through the eye of a needle ,same with techniques too many on board ,and a good street fighter with a handfull could destroy in simple brutal fashion ,thats on the down side for us all .

Lets take movements apart the ,so called "Old " have been doing this for a millenium ,its a very old concept .

Here's a very old wise statement etc, " The beginning is the end ,the end is the beginning ".

Its at the end of the statement when real new things emerge that push both the practioner and the system onwards .

This is why the old used Sanchin as its beginning and end training its a very old concept ,a lot older than uechi ryu and its the basis for Uechi-Ryu practice ,if you understand this ,for now you are all doing something old , that moves towards something new ,the technical problem and ridding onesself of delusions is just were one is right now on this cyclical mannerism of training .

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 Post subject: Re: so now the questions
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:02 am 
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Interesting post, Shana. ;)
Shana Moore wrote:

Should all teachers strive for perfect balance/symmetry, or simply teach to their strengths?

You are looking at a snapshot in time of three different individuals, Shana. Do you think each of these teachers were the same way from the first day they started teaching to present day?

Here's something else to consider. If any of these schools evolved to be larger entities, would the assistant instructors be clones of the head instructor, or would the head instructor tolerate (or perhaps even encourage) individual expression, emphasis, and approaches? (FWIW, I've seen both.)
Shana Moore wrote:

Should students strive for the same?

Every student comes to a group with a personal agenda. A good instructor takes note of the individual's agenda while also seeking to broaden that student's horizons. If it works out, everyone wins.

As for balance in general, there can be good synergy from it. But people are people. We wouldn't have Meyers-Briggs personality testing if everyone was "balanced" on all their personality tendencies.
Shana Moore wrote:

What are your thoughts on teaching old school/traditional vs Uechi as an evolving art (or any martial art, for that matter)?


I'll leave you with a quote that parallels my personal feelings on the matter.

Quote:
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.
- Matsuo Basho

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: so now the questions
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:28 pm 
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"maxwell ainley wrote:
Here's a very old wise statement etc, " The beginning is the end ,the end is the beginning ".

Its at the end of the statement when real new things emerge that push both the practioner and the system onwards .

Good thoughts Max. I can see that "purity" in tradition is a self delusion, and I like the concept of continual renewal. I think it is the understanding of principles behind what we are learning that help us develop true skill, but that certainly will change over time, for each confrontation, and through individual interpretation. We are not the same people as our teachers, so we cannot learn exactly as they did....at least not until cloning happens. :wink:

Bill Glasheen wrote:
You are looking at a snapshot in time of three different individuals, Shana. Do you think each of these teachers were the same way from the first day they started teaching to present day?

an excellent point! I don't think any of them are the same as they were when they started teaching, and I also don' think they are what they will be in a year or so. What I will say is that all are excellent teachers with thier own value to add, and I find thier diffrences interesting and exciting.

Bill Glasheen wrote:
Here's something else to consider. If any of these schools evolved to be larger entities, would the assistant instructors be clones of the head instructor, or would the head instructor tolerate (or perhaps even encourage) individual expression, emphasis, and approaches? (FWIW, I've seen both.)

I would hope the latter. As you've said in class, you learn a great deal from the experience of teaching and from the students. It's that constant challenge and interchange that keeps it interesting for the teacher as well as fresh for all.

I think there is a point where you need to be true to your art or accept that what you have is something new and different...with it's origins in art A, but it is no longer the same.

Now, where that line is...... 8O I couldn't say.

Bill Glasheen wrote:
We wouldn't have Meyers-Briggs personality testing if everyone was "balanced" on all their personality tendencies.

agreed, but just becuase balance as an ideal is unlikely...does that mean we shouldn't strive for it? I'm not being flip, I'm truly curious. Should a teacher and a student focus on working to thier strengths, and just be aware of the ideal of balance. Or ...should they continually strive to reach that ideal...and challenge thier boundaries?

Bill Glasheen wrote:
Quote:
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.
- Matsuo Basho


I like this. Very much.

Thank you all for your comments and thoughts!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:29 pm 
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jorvik wrote:
So what I find myself seeking for now is what I believe is called a Paradigm shift..................which is I have find a new way of looking at things, a new way of "Feeling"....so that is what I am seeking....to be soft :wink:


Ray,
Can you clarify this a bit? When you speak of soft, are you talking about all three aspects or a specific aspect, such as body?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:11 pm 
Hi Shana
A lot of the stuff that I have done in the past is described as "Soft" I have done Hao style, Yang style and Chen style Tai-Chi.I have also done Aikido......now I do Wing Chun. Wing-Chun is a half hard half soft style ( like Uechi).
All of these styles are tactile i.e. you rely on touch and sensitivity.this shows in the drills that they do Sticking hands and pushing hands........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-232DNU8_TI

this is the kind of thing, now what I used to do was relax my arms so that all the weight in my arms was bearing down on my opponents arms..and my arms were relaxed and heavy....but this was wrong because against a skilled opponent he will make use of this heaviness or lack of sensitivity :oops: ....so you have to be delicate rather than soft, like you are touching a butterfly's wings :D ..............also I've become a bit of a chi-ster lately, I've just started Zhan Zhuang .........and I've been told a lot about power, some of it seems really Chi ster stuff but if you think of it it is really only common sense......sometimes when you hit lightly you hit with tremendous power because you are relaxed and all your energy goes into the strike.it's like when you see a person doing a kata and you here lots of banging as their feet hit the floor, it looks very powerful.but in truth a lot of the power is lost to the ground..in the forms that I do now you can't tell how good a person is by just watching their form, it's hard to see real power because sometimes it is hardly noticeable......my sifu is a very relaxed looking guy who doesn't look like he has any power....last week in a private lesson he let me open up on him..throwing really hard chain punches and I couldn't touch him :oops: ..so I've emptied my cup and I am a beginner once more :lol:
And I'm looking to learn the stuff that he does.which is soft


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:11 pm 
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Soft is another one of those terms that fails to express the real nature of the thing...

More like water... Always ready to flow, always seeking the path of no resistance, substantial yet never solid or stiff..

And in the case of what Ray's doing very much focused or vectored into the center.

The whole purpose being to learn to deal in close against superior strength; an inevitability of combat especially for the smaller person.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:50 am 
That's right Jim..it is a very hard concept to understand, and even harder to put into practise.nowadays so much knowledge has been lost and then re invented or reverse engineered that when you talk about a classical system people get very confused.a lot of the stuff practised now is little better than kickboxing.just physical movements with now real strategic knowledge.......TMA took sometimes hundreds of years to develop, they were practised in temples and among clans ..and people used them in real fights....I was told a tale recently about the fights in Hong Kong.apparantly you had to sign a waiver before you could participate, accepting that you may die :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:12 pm 
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http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2005/10/10/shu-ha-ri-karate-diverging-to-independence/

This was posted on another thread (Thanks Mike!) about training without a belt system. I thought the article also addresses the question here regarding tradition vs evolution.

Interesting article..any thoughts?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:46 pm 
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I posted this same idea on another forum, and thought this particular viewpoint was very interesting...any thoughts?

Quote:
I think that if you are going to teach an established ryu, it should be kept as traditional as reasonably possible while also adapting to fit the era that it is being taught in.

Traditionalist: The art was designed around a specific paradigm. Until one has stuck with the art long enough, they may not see how everything fits together, and as certain principles build on others, the traditional method is well honed to teach them in a logical progression.

Technician: If the student does not understand what they are doing or learning, they will get frustrated and quit or they will stick around but never be the practitioner that they could be.

Builder: Principles of the art should be made applicable in a modern era. New training techniques that will enhance one's practice of the art should be looked at. We understand the human body far better today than we did even thirty years ago. Modern training methods can maximize a person's physical potential to a much greater degree. Also, we face threats of a different nature; it is unlikely that I will be attacked by a bo staff wielding opponent or a swordsman. And catching arrows will not help me against firearms. A teacher who can apply the art to the environment in which the student lives can benefit the student greatly.

I think that all three aspects can and should be incorporated into any teaching style.


--Daniel Sullivan (Martial talk forum)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:43 pm 
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Shana,

The three types are in tradition ,plus more types.

By the time you get to say fifty , you will look back at changes within traditions ,good or bad .Take the belt system thats been tagged on to a older tradition ,as it been a good thing ,take the watering down of existing older traditions ,or the improvement of them ,these types of things are always going on ,nothing really new ,or original, borrow from this adapt from that.
Over dose on conditioning or underdose ,a balance is always a problem ,focus for to long on the system without ever being involved in a real fight ,one were you arn't getting it all ones own way ,all this is in traditions ,and sooner or later a new inovative system ends up in a similar rut .

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:17 am 
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bump.

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