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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 1998 4:43 am 
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To continue the momentum in mindset theme , I wish to call your attention to some of the works of Geoff Thompson as it focuses with pin point precision on the many issues previously inundating this forum and presently still under active impulse !



He writes of the superiority of the street fighter in his environment …the street …due to their use of techniques tested and proven in many live situations ," nothing left to theory , they can kick , punch and grapple like they were borne to it " Most trained fighters [ karate etc.] are still embryos in the womb of combat v. the street fighter fully matured . Also the experienced street fighter will quickly discover chinks in the mental armor and psyche out the opponent ! He , of course , refers to martial arts and the inferiority of the systems to even recognize the real problems of street fighting ! Any comments ??

Van


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 1998 1:10 pm 
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Van,

As Paul stated in another post, in the dojo we train in a straight forward and, in many way, simple assumption of a "simple fight". We start of facing each other in the correct distance and go in what largely be described as "orderly" fashion.

The streetfighter will not mostly engage in that kind of simple face-off situation. Generally, he will have assessed and weighted everything in order to ensure his superiority over the opponent(sitting duck) before making a move. This superiority can include his physical size, the use of guile to effect a sudden attack, the use of weapons, the prescence of confederates, or all of the above.

In the dojo, most practice with a sequential like quality... strikes 1,2, and three. Everybody moves pretty much the same and expects the same. Anything out of the pattern confuses. Anytime, somebody gets nailed, we stop with appropriate concern. There is, again, a pattern that is ingrained despite the intellect saying that it won't be like this on the street. But the difference between what the intellect thinks and what intellect knows is like the difference between night and day.

The streetfighter is not going to conform to the dojo pattern. He is going to do anything and everything in a full forward moving barrage. If you see his hand retract to waist/hip, he is not a karate guy going for a classic "tsuki". He is likely going to plant something foreign into your body. While you're fighting him, chances are you're going to get it from behind. When you go down, they're not going to stop. If you're lucky, you get a stomping. If you're not lucky, you won't know though your loved ones will.

The streetfighter is always going to make sure the odds are in his favor. If not, he is going to try to neutralize whatever odds you may have in your favor and to get out quick. He will know how to throw the first lightning fast offensive strike whereas the karate guy is still thinking the first "defensive" block and then counter.

In the early 70's, when racial conflict between groups and gang conflict between locals and others were quite common, I could lead you through a tour of Chinatown and pinpoint exactly the stashes of weapons -- sticks, pipes, bricks, etc. -- discretely placed every half a block but readily accessible to the hometown boys. I could also tell you almost exactly within ten seconds from when a fight starts to when the police will arrive. I could tell you the direction the police is coming from and I could tell you which way to go so they won't likely follow. This was about knowing the environment and conforming to it to ensure your survival.

There are many things not taught in the dojo, never mind acknowledged. Yes. One can develop the power, reflex and moves that can help in the street. But, the overall jump from the dojo floor to the street is a very, very long one.

david


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 1998 4:46 pm 
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David,
Here we may have stubled upon the difference between the "do" form of martial arts and the "jiutsu". Greg Postal and Wes Tasker have got me thinking about this alot lately... I see myself as falling squarely into the "do"school of thought, and I assume that anyone who knows me and my style of practice would agree... not that I think that is "better" in some ultimate way, just that it is better for me. I see advantages and disadvantages to both the "do" and the "jiutsu" attitudes. I think we could profit by expanding upon this discussion. I would like to hear what you, and the others, think.


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 1998 7:51 pm 
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Giaella Sensei and All,

The difference between the "Do" and "Jitsu" ways being all a mental difference. In the Dojo we "fight & think" with Karate, in real life the last thing you want to do is think Karate, you should rather be bent on victory and let the training surface as it will. The physical and mental body changes rapidly under stress and will confuse the situation at hand, one should not put more stress into the thought or physical process by trying to deliver that "technique". The training process of a Jitsu based art is training for spontanaity and not prepondered method.

Evan Pantazi


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 1998 8:04 pm 
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Excellent point, Paul.
Forrest Morgan in "Living The Martial Way" posits some very specfic guidelines for the modern warrior in the "ways" of training, honor, and living. Foremost among the training suggestions is "take a "jutsu" approach to training." He states "while real warriors are ever mindful of developing character, they never forget that warriorship involves combat."
My own take (and my business card reads "Uechi-Ryu Karate-Jutsu")is that the virtues of the "Do" are attainable via a training medium that stresses "Jutsu". My dojo doesn't feature "bloodbaths" but on the other hand everyone pushes themselves and most of the non-kata, conditioning, and classic kumite stuff we do is two person combat (kata inspired) realistic drill with full (to the extent of each participant's capacity) contact to everything but the head/neck/groin (and there we employ bogu).
I guess it boils down to feeling like I get two for the price of one in a Jutsu approach whereas I fear a strictly Do approach may leave on wanting on the street.
Regards
David


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 1998 8:05 pm 
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Paul,

Remember I said I had dropped my practice for several years. What brought me back IS the "DO" aspect. I love my aikido practice because of the sheer exuberance of exchanging energies. I love kata in a way I never did before because it challenges me to find where my mind/spirit is at while I move.

I know Van sensei disagree about the "price" involved in developing and going through experiences that mold the mindset. But I know what I went through. I know what some of my training partners are going through. The price is real for us.

I am still concerned about about "jutsu". That's obvious in many of my posts. Since I work with urban kids, violence is a very real in their lives and thus my life. But I think my actual practice is going more and more towards the "DO". There is more joy there and less anger and fear. This is the primary reason why I don't want to do martial arts with youth. I think the environment will lead their practice towards the "jutsu" and not the "DO", and this would be natural unfortunately...

The problem, if there is one, is when the dojo practitioners mix up what they do in the dojo with what they think is going to go down on the street. And, truth be told, I don't even bother clarifying it for most of them. There are those I have developed a relationship with through some years of practice together. If they are concerned about self-defense, I may choose to discuss what I see as the diferences between the dojo and the street. The others... Well, most don't know me and would not want to entertain the reality check of someone trying to bust their fantasy. This has been my experience.

I wonder even about the worth of posting here. I do it mostly because George sensei has taken the time and effort to create these forums for the "Uechi-ryu" and broader martial arts "community" to share. Do I think I've changed anybody's beliefs about their training purposes and approaches. Hardly...

david

[This message has been edited by david (edited 10-11-98).]


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 1998 3:18 am 
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David:
I for one have benefitted from these forums. My classes reflect this expanded understanding of street realities and the study of the martial arts. The mixture of Do and Jutsu is much like Yin and Yang in my classes, not defined with straight lines, rather each containing elements of the other These discussions help me understand my fears, doubts, strenths and weaknesses. Most importantly, I realize that my feelings are not unique and are shared by others.


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 1998 5:39 am 
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As most of the people posting seem to have more then a little experience in the arts it is obvious that they understand the diffirences as to the "DO" and the "JUTSU" aspects ,or at least what is believed to be the diffirences. I would like to direct this post for the most part to the instructors and teachers.
EXCLUDING CHILDREN, 99% of individuals undertaking instruction are looking to learn how to fight. You might expose to them this "DO" concept about developing their mind and bodies, and they will go along with you 100%. This is only because they feel you will not show them these arts if you feel they are an aggressive or a "bad" individual. They figure once they pass this test of moral character,and get in the door, they will be taught the "real thing". I can not believe that in your heart you do not know this.
As sometimes happens in real life our "DO" student ends up in a real situation and calls upon his "DO" skills. If they are lucky they do not end up in a pine box. Maybe you get to bring them some candy and visit them in the intensive care ward.
If their really is a legimitate "DO" aspect of the martial arts I fail to see it. Maybe the better term would be sport karate, punching and kicking tag, or something like that,but not martial art. Maybe this "DO" aspect is just a smart business move to broaden the customer base (as in children),or to hide the warrior training aspects from certain segments of the population or residing forces.
A few questions please:
1- If there is a "DO" aspect can it exist in the student before he has some grasp of the JUTSU aspects.
2- Should an attempt at the "DO" even be made before the student has some realistic "street skills".
3- As in the "DO" way is there a moral responsibility here not to take advantage of the uninitiated even if they are niave or foolih enough to let you.




















[This message has been edited by Tom J Paglia Jr (edited 10-12-98).]


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 1998 8:40 am 
Hello Tom,

1- If there is a "DO" aspect can it exist in the student before he has some grasp of the JUTSU aspects.

The DO aspect as you define it seems to be a natural personality trait in many even if a person has never seen the inside of a dojo.

2- Should an attempt at the "DO" even be made before the student has some realistic "street skills".
What are street skills? Most dojo don’t teach them. You don’t know how to fight until you do it. You also have to know how to fight before you can teach else you are just counting to ten around an empty shell. I’d venture a wild guess that as few as 10% of dojo instructors know fighting savvy from experience.

3- As in the "DO" way is there a moral responsibility here not to take advantage of the uninitiated even if they are niave or foolih enough to let you.

Moral responsibility? What’s that? What are morals these days anyways? I don’t teach for the money aspect although I charge over $100.00 per month and won’t train anyone who falls a month or more behind, so the money has to enter this equation somehow. Maybe it is the instructor who is naïve and foolish -- and stupid -- if he lets his students take advantage of him, financially or otherwise. Two-way street, right?

Allen


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 1998 1:14 pm 
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Tom,

You asked some very pointed questions. They point to the "quandry" that a lot of dojos are faced with.

1- If there is a "DO" aspect can it exist in the student before he has some grasp of the JUTSU aspects.

Yes. I find there are students, especially in aikido, Tai Chi and other so-call "internal martial arts", who are there for reasons other than learning to fight. It would take way too long to be profcient in those arts to make it worthwhile. I respect these students for their clairity and sincerity of purpose, "DO". But then I have some instructors saying cockamanie things like, "Oh, if you do the technique just this way, your opponent is completely off balanced and helpless." Perhaps, I have an insurgent mentality in me. I would then work with a few training partners who I trust and are interested in more "realistic" perspectives on the very same technique. I'll show then how I CAN get my balance back before they can effect the throw and BLAST his/her head with a good punch or launch a strong low kick.

2- Should an attempt at the "DO" even be made before the student has some realistic "street skills".

Okay, I'll quote Marc "Animal" MacYoung, one of my favorite "street-wise" authors, and then ask you some questions.

"You know, there is much to be said about the evolution of a word or term. Many terms originally meant one thing but over the years have come to mean something entirely different. Such is, my opinion, what happened to the term 'martial arts.' Sun Tzu was a martial artist. Genghas Khan and his generals Subatai and Jebei Noyon were martial artists. Napoleon was a martial artist. Gen. George Patton was a martial artist. Bruce Lee, however, was not. He (and thousands like him) was a specialist.

The literal translation of 'martial art' is the 'art of war.' That's a mighty big topic that finer minds than you and I have pondered for more than a few millenia. The art of war is something that goes light years beyond just standing in the ring. It means studying and understanding the myriad aspects of conflict and warfar, including the reality of hw to retreat safely. To become a true martial artist, you must master all aspects of warfare, including when and how not to fight. Lao Tzu, in the Tao Te Ching, said it best: 'A good soldier is not violent. A good figher is not angry. A good winner is not vengeful.' This goes beyond the testosterone-crazed aggression and misplaced machismo we call 'martial arts.' It instead leads into something very special -- professionalism. Very few American martial artists are professionals, and listening to them can get you killed." (MacYoung, Street E&E, p. 172-3)

Here are my questions. How many of us have really gone through the "street situations" we purport to teach our students to defend against? How many have bashed a head with a 2x4, stabbed and slashed, popped a couple? How many have been bashed, stabbed and shot and live to tell about the reactions to that? How many know about the repercussions from cops and, worse, determined avengers? If not, how would one propose to teach these. Sort of like Columbus (today is Columbus Day) sailing straight west to find Asia. He was lucky and is now celebrated. How many others attempted the same but were lost at sea, or swallowed by the "dragons?"

Let say there are instructors out there with these experiences. Do these instructors really want to teach such skills to "civilians?" Okay, if the answer is "yes", imagine the type of students you will be getting.

What most martial arts schools offer today is really a confused specialty -- be it "DO", sports karate, or the ego gratifying BLACK BELT.

There are "koryu" (old tradition) schools that teach the multifaceted skills needed in FEUDAL warfare. In that they are teaching warfare, their mindset is definitely more "martial". But even then, they are a bit outdated without teaching the specifics of the gun and ordinance. The same applies to Filipino/Indonesian arts. I know I'll get crap for this, but I think Koryu, Filipino and Indonesian arts teach what would be more appropriately described today as "self-defense" arts. The only martial arts left is in the "special forces" of the military.

3- As in the "DO" way is there a moral responsibility here not to take advantage of the uninitiated even if they are niave or foolih enough to let you.

Let us each Look deeply into your own hearts and answer this question.

david


P.S. George sensei, indeed your classes have been more opened to new ideas and experimentation than most dojos I've been to. This approach can help in a "simple fist fight" or even, perhaps, against an opponent with a knife/club type weapon. I truly do enjoy the classes. But, no, there is still a quantum leap to the streets. The mentality and the tuition needed for "mean streets" are not taught. To be fair, these probably cannot be taught. People pick it up by going through and surviving those situations. A soldier is not really a soldier until he has gone through his first "firefight".

david


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 1998 2:38 pm 
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Whew... lots of fascinating topics here:

1. Getting ready for a real fight!

What is the best preparation for a "real" battle? This is a question I would often pose to Sensei Tomoyose. "How will I know my training will work in a real fight?"

His response has been much repeated by me over the years. Whether right or wrong, he gave me the confidence I desperately needed back then. "The real power of Sanchin lies beneath the surface of your mind; No-mind!" When asked to clarify this statement, he would simply explain that performing the kata will ingrain the movements into subconscious and instinct-like reactions. . . that would emerge when the conscious mind no longer controlled the person!

The question then becomes "When and what kind of conflict brings out this 'inner' fighter?" My Uncle Ed found it on the battlefield, with no martial art's experience. Tales of tiny women lifting a car to free a trapped baby gives life to this "enhanced" fighting belief, that emerges at momements of extreme danger.

Does a black belt's failure to call-on this inner strength in a street brawl mean that it does not exist? No more, I would submit, than my uncle's experience offer proof positive.

As individuals, each of us has different potential for survival in a life or death struggle, no matter what form that struggle might take. What gives one person the strength, passion and determination to survive in a prison of war camp under the most terrible conditions possible while another person simple curles up in a fetal position and peacefully dies?

If there is a DO in the martial arts, I believe it has to do with the cultivation, nurturing and development of this inner strength, calmness and focus under extreme stress. Coupled with the Jutsu aspect of the martial arts provide the individual with his/her full potential for survival in a real battle.

Further, I submit that this balanced training will help many people realize their potential as human beings. Call it developing confidence in people lacking confidence; discipline in people lacking discipline and ever developing self defense skills in people lacking these skills.

Finally, as teachers, we have a responsibility to our students to help them achieve their goals involving self defense. We will not be 100% successful in making every student a fighting machine with a heart and spirit of a Samurai. Nor should we put weapons in the hands of bullies in our society. The tradition of teaching martial arts has always relied on withholding the "secrets" of the art until the student proved himself worthy of the knowledge. In the process of learning, the bully becomes impatient and drops out, while the "good guys" stay.

Its easy to look at the traditional arts and with minds full of science and evidence, point out the flaws of the old methods. While learning the new and emerging science of self defense I hope we will continue to preserve and try to understand the old methods. , , on the chance that like the bully, we might give up to soon, before the "secrets" have been revealed.


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 1998 3:59 pm 
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George sensei,

I don't do too much mental/emotional gymnastics about the purposes about my training. There is a flow from "do" to "jutsu" and back again. I try to maintain the perspective that, yes, I know something but I don't know a lot about most things. I don't worry too much about it. My usual motto in the dojo is "just train."

david


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 1998 4:51 am 
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Fascinating subject , isn't it ! The problem is that the "Do" and "Jutsu" aspects of the "martial arts " will forever be awash in the sea of semantic debate !

Here is a good description of the "DO" >>>>> " Most fighting arts , certainly the martial arts , are designed to unify body and spirit , teach you humility and respect and help you to suppress the ego , the teaching of violence , so as to ultimately draw you away from fighting , except in extreme cases where you need to defend yourself and others " [ Geoff Thompson ] !

Most of us are dreamers when it comes to the efficacy of martial arts in the grip of the mind numbing violence of a ferocious predatory attack ! I can't keep a straight face when listening to some strutting 'sensei' expounding on the terminal properties of "the system" …Yes , it can be effective in the hands of the few ..but not everyone is created equal !

The one thing that a good instructor should learn , after many years of training , is that , in spite of all the hype , which initially sold him to the embrace of the "Do" , his prowess and chances of survival in explosive street confrontations , is severely limited ! Martial arts are very limited means of self defense in today's world of violence ! Once we can accept this canon we can finally be at peace with ourselves and make the choice between full commitment to the "Do" without delusions of grandeur or the crossing into more specialized stratagems of dealing in violence with karate only a component part ! And even then you will need a ton of luck !

Here is more food for thought : " If a ten stone Japanese Karateka should ever be matched against a fourteen stone Irish welder , always bet your money on the welder " " [John f. Gilby ]

Van


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 Post subject: On the firing line
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 1998 5:18 am 
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Thank you David,Van Canna and Mr Mattson for your intelligent and candid responses. Although my post might have projected a somewhat unbending mind set I would like to say this is not really the case. I do feel however that the name "martial art " makes a statement specifically as to the purpose of the arts and the training there in. I have no problem with those people who choose to pratice the arts for other purposes,but I do have a problem with decieving the public for money. I just feel that a clear distinction should be made between sporting or arts taught for fitness and those taught for martial purposes.
I do believe that there is a "Do" aspect and a "JUTSU" aspect. I do not believe they exist exclusively from one another. I see the JUTSU aspect as the physical and technical vehicle and the DO aspect as the individual mindset.
I feel that dojo training can prepare someone with the tools needed for STREET FIGHTING and I guess the fact that I am writting this post is as much proof as I will ever need. Of course experience is a great teacher but is it not the preperation that helps you survive the experience.

[This message has been edited by Tom J Paglia Jr (edited 10-13-98).]

[This message has been edited by Tom J Paglia Jr (edited 10-13-98).]


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