Uechi-Ryu.com

Discussion Area
It is currently Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:49 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 4:56 am 
My "fighting days" have been over for almost 20 years. Up until the time I got sick, I still enjoyed sparring in the dojo and teaching my students techniques I had learned over the years. I had a good teacher in Art Rabesa. In tournaments and dojos I gave and probably received more. I liked a good tough fight as most of us do. But this story is not about me. I have a close friend who is from Louisania. He is well past his fighting prime, in his early 40's. He is a fomer Louisania State full contact kick boxing champion and fought twice for the world championship. In his last fight, a world championship fight, he took a very heavy side kick to the head. He continued to fight, a twelve round fight but it was stopped after the 11th round. He told me he would have been stopped in the 12th round anyway. Three days after that fight, they found he had a blood clot on the brain. Fortunitly surgery was not required and medication took care of the clot. He did begin to have an occasional seizure. This happened almost 20 years ago. Now, the scar tissue, left by the blood clot is causing him to have more frequent seizures. They are quite violent and leave him in tough shape for days after. Surgery is not possible and other than medication there is nothing that can be done for him. What is down the road? They will only get worse and more frequent and no one knows what lies ahead. This man is a true warrior with a enormous heart. More than once I have had to talk him out of going back into the ring. At his age now, he does know better. I might add that he is a teriffic guy, a gentleman and a true and loyal friend who is like a brother to me. This story is rather extreme in relation to the question I am asking. After all, Tate fought professionally, both in kick boxing and boxing. He even sparred with such fighters as Michael Moore, former heavyweight champion of the world and others. I have always believed in "heavy" sparring. Art Rabesa believed in conditioning and I can't remember one student who advanced to black belt that wasn't in condition to "take" the punishment. We sparred full contact and for many years we did not wear any equipment, no hands or feet, just skin and bones. We usually had light contact to the head, but, of course many times control went out the window and cuts, bruises and shiners were not uncommon. We loved it. And if one didn't? They simply didn't show up on Tues. and Thurs. nights, those were our sparring nights. Also unsupervised sparring for a select few on Sundays. I think back about some of the injuries I had and I know that age has brought some of those back. I do not regret one single minute of my training, not one single injury, because that's how I wanted to train. I could have walked away as any of us could. Some did. I will forever be grateful to my sensei, my friend, Art Rabesa for teaching me the way he did. We never had any serious injuries in the dojo. I do remember a couple broken legs but I don't call those serious. I still feel that any of these students could handle themselves out on the street. I know that this type training is not for everyone, we all have to work the next day and I also wonder if this way of training is necessary, I always thought so and I taught the same way. Does it make one stronger both mentally and physically? Again, I always thought so. With the threat of lawsuits and the danger of serious injury, I know many teachers, maybe even most teachers, shy away from the heavy contact for the reasons mentioned. I suppose it also keeps more students in the dojo. Does this "softer training" condition and prepare a student for the streets? I have seen some damn good fighters while sitting on the promotion boards and at the Uechi tournaments. I have also seen some poorly trained fighters who wouldn't last 5 secs out on the street. I know we have to protect our students from serious injury. Can we do that and still turn out a student who can really defend themselves? It's a question I really don't know. I would really like some input, what are your ideas here? I have had several discussions with Sensei Mattson and would appreciate any thoughts from you teachers out there. Please help me out and I'm sure others are somewhat confused as well. Where do we draw the line, or, is there one. Thank you.
Bill


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 9:54 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2002 6:01 am
Posts: 1699
Hello Bill.

It's good to read your words again, and I've missed you on these forums. I do hope you are doing well and wish the best of health to you.

... And still thank you for the shopping spree...


Bill, as you know, I've also hung up the towel a number of years ago as well, 21, actually, although I have taken the "big chance" and have come out of the closet occasionally to prove to myself that I can still spar when I feel unjustifiably embarrassed by standing on the sidelines watching everyone else. Maybe, I thinks to myself, they should have "sparring for crips."

I've been on the receiving end of a number of injuries caused by the fist, both in karate and out. Been on the receiving end of a number of head shots which left visible scars as well as those in which discoloration and lumpen malformations were fleeting manifestations. A finger was once severed, although successfully reattached.

So I may be able to offer a little personal insight.

If a person wants to do it he has to take his lumps. Many young males, including myself before youth escaped from the clutches, need to have hard violent contact, at least the contact on someone else. It must be a rite-of-passage, meaning that there must be a primitive inbred signal that tells us we must do it. In doing so, law of averages, as well as Murphy’s law enters into the equation and dictates you will get hit and hurt.

I've attended several "senior-level" dojo in the past where once they know you’ve been hurt it seems that any and every senior blackbelt comes out of the woodwork with their own little secret story of serious and/or permanent injury caused by their years of involvement in their fighting art. There’s no escape from it – you’re going to get hurt badly at least once; if you haven’t yet, it’s just because your number is still in the hat and you will be called.

Now my short answer to your question, Bill, is that hevy sparring is absolutely necessary, even if it's for only a few years because if you take the fierceness out of the fight you can never put the fierceness of the fight into the student. Guaranteed there are thosw who can fight and fight good without the karate, I know I could, but the mainstream of people can't even punch without pugilistic practice. Hard sparring, even if only for a limited time, will put people on the doorstep of being able to defend himself by helping to develop the ability to do the right thing under the pressure of the scare of getting hurt.

I remember the very first time I karate-sparred. It was my luck [what luck?"] I was matched up with a particularly aggressive brown belt. The word "Hajime!" pressed my osh!t button and I remember thinking "what do I do now to keep this guy from nailing me?" If nothing more I my fist sparring session was a great confidence builder although I already had no problem in that area outside the dojo.

So from the paths I have taken, what you are asking should be mandatory. It's up to the student, himself, how much of it he should immerse himself in unless you want a fighters-only dojo. It's also up to the student to decide when he wants no more breaking, cracking, bruising, etc. because we all have our limits and we all, sooner or later, get tired of the head banging, for one reason or another. If forced to , compelled to, coerced into, extorted to do so, exploited into, etc. after our own time to personally throw in the towel has passed, we simply quit.

_________________
Always with an even keel.
-- Allen


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 1:36 am 
Hi Allen,
And great to hear from you too buddy. Thanks for your input, I know you have been there and done that. I think I agree with you about the need to have a couple years of hard sparring. Not just for the physical part but to toughen up mentally. There are many people who go through life and never have a confrontation out on the street. I think that is why there are often black belts who have dojo trained for years, go out on the street and get their asses kicked. It's different out in the real world. You have to be mentally tough to survive out there. I think that can only come from good hard contact sparring in the dojo. One's confidence in their ability comes from getting hit, and hit hard. Those who are not use to contact might get hit with a light punch and go down. It also trains one to be cool and under control rather than in that OH ##### panic mode. I do understand the problem with the liability today. Instructors are afraid of lawsuits and are forced to "dial" it back to protect their own interest. For good reason I might add. This is why I thought this would be an interesting discussion. Since you are the only response to present, I guess it's not an issue with most. I was hoping for input from other teachers. Thanks again for your input. BTW, I am heading for Fla. next Sat. Will be gone a month or so. Maybe we can get together for lunch when I get back. Or better yet. later on when the weather warms, the pool is in, you can bring your trunks and we can sit in the sun and tell some of those old man war stories. lol. Take care.
Bill


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Hi Bill...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 12:43 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 6004
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Great topic that people will find after awhile. Remember, people go to the forums that are active and this one hasn't had much activity. So. . . Get on that computer and keep this forum active! :idea:

Now to your topic: My experience is that few people want their brains scrambled. . . even for a short period of time. However, my latest experiment with contact training seems to be very popular and the injuries have been minimum.

You are absolutely correct in saying that a black belt, who hasn't done some kind of realistic training, isn't prepared for a real fight. The question becomes what is the best training for preparing the student.

Full contact fighting and your students won't stay with you long enough to become proficient at fighting. (We've learned that lesson, haven't we?)

No full contact fighting and you retain your students, but most will not be able to deal with any real battle.

Somewhere in the middle there is a reasonable compromise. That is what today's teachers are trying to resolve.

_________________
GEM
"Do or do not. there is no try!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 9:11 pm 
Hi George,
I do hope there is some middle of the road, preparing the student for the "street" but at the same time protecting him/her from serious injury while training for same. Also, of course, the liability thing is important. I think there is much more danger of lawsuits now, was there ever any real threat from a possible lawsuit in the past? :lol: I can't remember ever hearing of it. It was only in more recent years that we even carried insurance.
I will not be posting for a while, sorry. I am waiting for the final results of some test and an MRI, with the OK we are leaving for Florida Saturday morning. I am regretably just missing the Winterfest again. Will be back somewhere around the 17th of March. I'll give you a call before leaving and before you are on your way down. My clubs are all cleaned and ready to go.
YES!!!! Take care all.
Bill :)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 9:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2002 6:01 am
Posts: 1699
Florida?

L00k what Bill's missing, George...

Quote:
Somewhere in the middle there is a reasonable compromise. That is what today's teachers are trying to resolve.
On this issue, George, I say require everyone to spar. From my TKD years, I've observed that dropouts due to unavoidable nightly sparring was negligle, maybe even non-existent. Dropouts do to the overzealous pairing with the meek had some effect. How one trains his students to work with and coexist with the others in a friendly atmosphere of comraderie is far more important, and produces desired results. In following training attitudes such as teaching the yin and yang how to find middle ground is best. Water seeks its own level most of the time and sparring concerns occupy a low noise level under those conditions. But then again, George, nothing's perfect.

_________________
Always with an even keel.
-- Allen


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group