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 Post subject: Another Step for IUKF
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:32 pm 
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I sent the following letter to members of IUKF. Currently, there is no component of the Uechi-ryu black belt test that addresses grappling or ground fighting. In this day and age, I believe such an oversight sends a false message of confidence to students and encourages them to believe that ground fighting is not a necessary component in their training. I'm interested in hearing what others feel about this subject, especially Uechi students and teachers who may agree or disagree with my statement. Thanks. GEM

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If you have been following the forums, you may have noticed the revision in the Canadian IUKF test standards regarding Dan Kumite. The revisions have also been added to our IUKF site.

Dave Mott did a great job creating a standard for changing this area of the test. Anyone wishing to make a change will have to follow a pretty strict formula for instituting a new drill. They can't just come up with a substitution simply because they don't like dan kumite.

I'm hoping that other regions will adopt this procedure, since it is both fair and more importantly, give our seniors an opportunity to experiment and possibly improve on a mostly overlooked area of the test.

I would also like everyone to consider adding a segment to our test that would, in my estimation, add to the credibility and goals of our test. Joe Pomfret spent a great deal of time and effort developing the "Reality Self Defense" Two Person B.J.J. Kata". Although Joe called this a "kata", I feel it falls into our dan test's "cooperative drill" segment.

I will be starting a new "thread" on the Forums, dealing with this subject. I would appreciate your visiting and letting me know how you feel. On the 21st of the month, when we have our official dan test, I will request that discuss my suggestion to add it to our test, as an additional category. Our recommendation can be published here and a vote taken.

As always, I am available by phone or email.

Best, George


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:10 pm 
WOW , positive things indeed , Im very impressed by the organisations willingness to let individual groups show there own individual focus in the martial arts and particulalrly Uechi .

not a contribution to the thread but just a statement of how positive it looks from the outside .

Nice work !! :D


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 Post subject: grappling & testing
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 4:06 am 
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I don't think there is anyone out there who can question my desire to see more joint manipulation (i.e. jujitsu) taught in the dojo. For many years, I have held students responsible for knowing different exercises from kumite and bunkai that use jujitsu techniques as rank requirements. I created these as logical and POSSIBLE continuations of the techniques given us already. They are moves which anyone can learn. I recently did this to Kyu kumite which I will be showing students at Stow Martial Arts Academy next Saturday and that I taught at last year's Summer Camp.

With all this in mind, do I want to see the IUKF make a grappling exercise a requirement part of the testing process? No way! I know that sound hypocritical, but let's get serious here. Unless they cross train, what do most Uechi practitioners know about Jujitsu or grappling (two different things here folks)? The same could be said about weapons. What do most Uechi practitioners know about weapons? The answer to both questions are nothing. How then are we supposed to hold them responsible. Do we make them buy videos to learn the technique? Even if effective, I would not substitute a tape for real instruction. Do we count on Summer Camp and regionals to teach people? I hope not, as attendance is too eradict to predict.

And let's talk about the judges? Who is capable to judge this? Although I have trained Jujitsu for 20 years, I don't feel qualified to judge how this plans to mix. Do we bring Joe Pomfret in? Raffi (does Raf grapple?), Mike Aceto, or do we depend on the judgement of people who have been around a long time that eveyone knows. It a not a question of staffing, it's a question of feasibility.

Furthermore, it's a safety issue. How do many dojo start teaching jujitsu or grappling at dojo that are not padded. How do instructors who have no formal training use the right amount of force?

In my opinion, we should continue to urge cross trianing to all our members, but to move toward making it culpable? Too many issues.

mike


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 Post subject: Good points Mike
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:26 pm 
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But the reason I selected Joe's basic drills, was that they could be done without mats.

Your camp demonstration was fantastic and I agree, couldn't be performed without mats and without competent instruction.

However, my suggestion wasn't made because I felt candidates should take extensive courses in grappling or jiujitsu. We know they won't. However, what I'm suggesting is more of a "familiarity" course that could easily be part of any dojo's curriculum.

I'm experiementing with a number of these "familiarity" programs at the "Hut". I simply assign an interested black belt to learn the material and teach it to the rest of us. Justin Testa is in charge of teaching us "Superempi", Vinny Christiano is in charge of teaching us elements of Uechi/Kyusho, as taught by Jim Hulse and Evan Pantazi. Jerry Gross and "Ovi" are in charge of learning and passing on to us, Rick Wilson's drills. Paul Giella has been put in charge of learning and teaching the Pomfret drills.

In the past, we have become "familiar" enough with a number of these offshoots of Uechi, to pass a basic test envisioned for the ground fighting segment of our test. Obviously, candidates from your dojo would excel at the test, since they have expert instruction and spend considerable time practicing.

My goal is to give students a 'taste' of grappling (knife fighting, Okinawan weapons, etc) and hopefully encourage many of them to get more involved with these disciplines.

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 Post subject: grappling
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 8:16 pm 
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Sensei,

I don't disagree with your intentions. Give them a "taste" of grappling or jujitsu, or whatever, but to make it a requirement is something all together different. Just because Justin is learning the moves to Bill Glasheen's Superempie, does that mean he "knows" it well enough to teach it? And does that then begin to be a requirement for rank? How about the Kyushu? There are many people out there who do not prescribe to the aspects of kyushu for one. For two, no offense to Vinny, how long has he been training it and how much does he actually know?

My point is that on a test we should be testing the candidates expertise in (in this case) Uechi-ryu. They have been training and learning for 3,4,5, 10, 20, 30, etc. years at this one art, and if they are like me, yet to feel competent in it. Do we then throw another art, or an aspect of another art at them and say "learn this" without explanation or direction other than this is what Bill showed me or it was on the Joe's tape.

I think we should continue to add outside activities to our own training and experiment with it for as long as we like it, but let's not start testing it for rank, as it can't really be learned, with good explanation, and it certainly would be very difficult to judge.

mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 3:40 am 
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I agree with Mike.
My grappling training is a full time art in itself and dabbling in it is more dangerous than good.
I discontinued teaching it after injuring a student who didn't know how to fall right. I may teach it full time at a later date as an independent art.
I have many students with bad backs and injuries which prevent them from grappling training. Mike also teaches it separate from his Uechi program.
At the local schools they have an expert teaching self defense to kids after a 20 hour training course with no prior martial arts experience.
I would hate to see the same mistake made by others.
I have been spinning nunchuks for 25 years, but am self taught, should I profess to be an expert in Okinawan weapons?

In respect to Uechi needing grappling, lets consider who would like to take down some of our seniors such as Sensei Bethoney or Campbell or Van. Not me thanks.

Uechi can stand alone.

Fred

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:34 pm 
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I'll take being familiar with some aspects of a skill.

I've attended five or six seminars on grappling and participated in most of them. Prior to this I had absolutely no knowledge of grappling (forgot all of my high school wrestling) and hadn't a clue what to do on the ground.

My question is: Am I better off now than before taking the seminars?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:03 pm 
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Mike and Fred bring up good points, especially as to the safety issue.

I have also participated in Joe Pomfret's seminars and the proper and safe learning of grappling moves became obvious.

But I understand that most students will not cross train as Mike suggests, in fact , for many this would be an impossibility.

Yet I agree with Gem that "familiarity" with the basics of ground work will make one better off in a street fight.

Just learning the basic chokes and, most important, having an idea of what one can do when "mounted" in order to "stop the rain of punches" from killing you, is an invaluable skill.

This could be handled very easily by having Joe Pomfret visit dojos on a rotation basis over time to provide this familiarization and to "certify" instructors who could eventually pass this on.

There will be people who will balk at a small mat fee of about twenty 8ucks or so, every so often, but it is all about priorities.

The "showing" of these basic skills, in Dan testing, could be made to be very safe and non competitive...only to show familiarity, as Gem puts it.

Let's give it some thought.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 5:57 pm 
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Hello all. I had to learn some basic ground fighting skills as a part of the USMC program, and am thrilled with the results. Knowing the basics, and some advanced techniques, has opened up a whole new world to me.

If I was seriously overmatched in a one on one stand up encounter, I would at this point go to the ground with the opponent. If that person is untrained in groundfighting he/she will likely flail themselves right into a choke hold or pain compliance technique. Knowing just a few moves is a real game changer on the ground.

Injuries are a legitimate concern. If a dojo does not have a good wresting mat shoulder throws and hip throws are just too dangerous. I have watched (and participated) how the Marines deal with this, and quite frankly they start from the ground. They have programmed in safeties along the way to minimize damaging their most precious resources - Marines. However, at the instructor/trainer schools, attrition over the 7 week period has ranged from zero to almost 50%! Nowadays they are closer to zero but early on they had a lot to learn.

So, I'd say do what they do now. Teach a few techniques at each belt level and add complexity and effort as the student progresses. By black belt the student needs to be proficient in the simple techniques and able to execute the more difficult ones. To be an instructor though, there needs to be a 100% proficiency.

So, get some mats and go for it. Teach the mount, guard, a few arm bars and escapes, and you will create karateka that can defend themselves on the ground.

Regards, Rich

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 Post subject: grappling skills
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 6:23 pm 
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Sensei(s),

Personally speaking, I could make an arguement for either some or no knowledge of ground skills and how dangerous it could be. The same could be said about sparring. A little knowledge could be enough to get you really hurt. Let's be honest, we wouldn't ask someone to know a little about some part of the Uechi curriculum, why do it to something that is from another art?

As for Joe coming around to teach some of this stuff, I say all the power to it. However, there are people out there who have knowledge that is different than Joe's about fighting on the floor that is just as good. How do we judge it the same.

Once again, I would have to say since there is no standard to it, then it shouldn't be done on a test basis.

mike


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 Post subject: Re: grappling skills
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:39 pm 
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mikemurphy wrote:
However, there are people out there who have knowledge that is different than Joe's about fighting on the floor that is just as good. How do we judge it the same.

Once again, I would have to say since there is no standard to it, then it shouldn't be done on a test basis.

mike


Experience under conditions Joe has had, are about as much experience as anyone will get. Im not saying Joe is the best guy around, but I think for what you want and need in a instructor for the limited grappling you want to incorporate, he is perfect. He ws a member of the Uechi community beforehand, its not like you are bringing someone totally foreign in.

There is no standard to grappling, but there is not really a standard to fighting on your feet either. Uechi has a skill set standing, Boxing has a skill set standing. I dont think any type of fighting has any type of standard. You just have a certain mindset and style. Joe has a great background in his style of Jiu-Jitsu, isnt that what you are looking for?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:56 pm 
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I had Joey and a Judo expert graciously teach grappling at the fall regional.
Where was the Uechi interest that day?

The only Uechi guy downstairs ran for his life when they slapped a choke on him.

It's just my thoughts that a pursuit of grappling skills should be a personnal one and not part of the curriculum.
I'm not saying that grappling isn't important to know.
I don't think Judo or Jujitsu schools should be teaching Uechi either because they go to a few seminars and think they know sanchin.

I've been training and competing in Judo, sambo, jujitsu for over 5 years now and don't feel confident enough to teach grappling yet.

But when Joey teaches another seminar, I'll be there. He's fantastic on the mat.

Fred

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:15 pm 
“Familiarity vs Total Absense of knowledge??

I'll take being familiar with some aspects of a skill.”

I think George is making an excellent move to open some minds here. If you are familiar with something then you will not be surprised by it. How many strikers in the first few UFCs turned on their stomachs the moment they went to the ground only to be choked out? All because they were ignorant of what could be done.

Knowing how to fall is vital if takedowns are going to be used and they are just good to know. Once when working on a paving crew I was accidentally knocked from a moving dump truck. Only knowing how to tuck and roll saved me from serious injury. All that good old Judo and Jiu-Jitsu training came right back.

Over the past few years I have been incorporating the Chinese aspect of Qinna (Chi’ na) or the art of seizing, locking and throwing. This has many similarities with the Japanese grappling arts but it also has distinct differences in its approach as well. I use mostly the works of Tim Cartmell for this basis and some of John Painter’s.

Pretty much all Chinese arts have Qinna as just part and parcel of what they do. It is often said that the Okinawan arts also always had grappling as simply part of what they did, but that this has been some how lost.
Seems to me that George is trying to bring this aspect back rather than add something that should not be there.

I think that these things should be an option and a recommendation.

My personal take on ground fighting is to ground fight not just grapple. This is similar to looking at the difference between BJJ tournament vs. a MMA contest. You must be familiar with ground grappling to survive on the ground.

So are we being asked to learn something different from Uechi or take a step back and learn what should be part of Uechi? Be it the Japanese grappling approach or the Chinese Qinna approach it seems to me that these should be things every Uechika should know.

I am not one for having a dictated preset drill but perhaps some requirement that a demonstration of this aspect is an idea.
The old tests used to have hold escapes and “tricks” or self defence moves, now these may well have required some familiarity with grappling.

IMHO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:38 pm 
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From Rick's post:
“Familiarity vs Total Absense of knowledge??

I'll take being familiar with some aspects of a skill.”

"If you are familiar with something then you will not be surprised by it."

I believe that Rick hit the nail on the head. If nothing else, a little knowledge of groundfighting can be very helpful. At my level of experience a good groundfighter would eat me alive. However, against someone with no knowledge I have somewhat of an edge. One thing I see is the old high school wrestlers are programmed to keep their backs off of the mat. Wow... They turn face down when compromised and even I can recognize an invite to apply a choke in that instance. Two years ago I'd have likely done the same thing. Now I know better.

Rich

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:40 am 
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Rick
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I think George is making an excellent move to open some minds here. If you are familiar with something then you will not be surprised by it. How many strikers in the first few UFCs turned on their stomachs the moment they went to the ground only to be choked out? All because they were ignorant of what could be done.


I agree. Even a little knowledge may be enough in a street fight to allow an escape or avoid a hopeless “pinning down” __ all the bull about the “pointy thingies” bailing you out, just doesn’t work when you have a behemoth making a pizza dish out of you on the ground.

Quote:
Pretty much all-Chinese arts have Qinna as just part and parcel of what they do. It is often said that the Okinawan arts also always had grappling as simply part of what they did, but that this has been some how lost.


Here we are going to hear “ it is there, but you must go deep” Okay show us! And also show us that your “going deep” works better than what someone, with Joe Pomfret’s experience, can teach.

Quote:
I am not one for having a dictated preset drill but perhaps some requirement that a demonstration of this aspect is an idea.


Agreed. A number of preset techniques could be demonstrated against several random attacks designed to trigger those techniques.

Rich
Quote:
I believe that Rick hit the nail on the head. If nothing else, a little knowledge of ground fighting can be very helpful. At my level of experience a good ground fighter would eat me alive. However, against someone with no knowledge I have somewhat of an edge.


True. At times, knowing how to apply a good choke, for example, may save your life even as you are engaged in a stand up fight…

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