Friday, February 19, 2010

“Tuite” (The “word”)

 When I watch (the majority of) what's being taught as (supposedly) being tuite, I see techniques that are essentially ju-jitsu (or modified forms of it). Tuite has become the “catch-phrase" of anyone who teaches any form of grappling techniques (regardless of the system).
 Taika was the First to even use the word. Anyone studying a Japanese system/style (or the language), would use the Japanese (pronunciation) word of “Torite”. An Okinawan system, (usually) referred to it as “Tui ti” (or "tui- di", which is the Okinawan pronunciation of the kanji).
 Taika, (from his own experience of teaching American soldiers) changed the pronunciation to “Twee-Tay” (tuite), because many of his students at the time were American service men.
 The pronunciation of Tuite (“Twee-Tay”) is a slurring (combination?) of Okinawan/Japanese (and in most respects could be considered a “slang” term). This pronunciation of tuite was never utilized before Taika began using it (uh, why would they? Your either Japanese, or your Okinawan).
 Taika's reasoning, was (only) because of his American students, they would giggle during class when he said “Twee-Dee” during his instruction (relating it to the Warner Brother's cartoon bird, whom Taika was not familiar with at the time). The simple solution (to him) was simply to maintain the Okinawan pronunciation for Grab or “Tui” (Tori in Japanese), and use the Japanese pronunciation for “Hand” or “Te” (“Di” in Okinawan).
 This way, he maintained the Okinawan (heritage?) of the art, and made it more palatable to/for his American students. The modification of verbiage would be pointless for (either) Japanese or Okinawan instructors to bother with. Only because Taika was beginning to teach Americans (at that time), did this (re-phrasing?), make any sense. By maintaining that (at least) part of it utilized the Okinawan pronunciation, the heritage (aspect) could be maintained (and would still differentiate it from the Japanese versions of “grappling” techniques, ie “Torite”).
 Being aware of this change (and hearing it from his own lips), I just find it amusing when I'm reading something (from anyone who isn't studying Taika Oyata's Te) that (insists, LOL) that they are teaching “tuite”, and yet have never studied from/with Taika (or even in the art of Taika Oyata).
 The techniques (despite what many seem to proclaim) are being performed differently (from the manner that a student of Taika's would perform them). These differences, though often minor, do change the level of effectiveness of the techniques.
 In truth, Taika does refer to (many of) the “grabbing” types of techniques (wrist-grabs, pushes, arm-grabs) as being stupid people techniques (meaning people who do these types of actions are stupid people). If/when someone grabs or pushes you (with obviously dubious intent) they're being “stupid” (one hand is occupied, hence it's easiest to just “hit” them with your other hand, when they do,.... duh?). Very often, Tuite is utilized to prevent the necessity of causing (serious) injury to the aggressor. Considering that the vast majority of physical confrontations are with individuals that we know (and/or may be related to), it only makes sense to be able to prevent causing any serious injury (to them), while still being able to keep from getting injured ourselves (isn't that the idea behind being an artist of this supposedly “martial” stuff we practice? 
Note: Break-down the kanji for “martial” sometime, the individual parts of the kanji are more about “talking” and “avoiding” conflict than anything else).
 When utilized properly, Taika Oyata's (version of) tuite techniques, do not have “counters” (to either their application or their effectiveness). When working with a student who possesses experience with training in another system's “counters” (to their version of the techniques), they find that they're not able to execute them (when the technique is being done in the manner Taika Oyata performs them).
 We utilize a similar standard if/when a student is experimenting with “Bunkai” (breaking-down of Kata motions). When anyone (ourselves included) believes they may have “figured out” a tuite technique (from the kata motions), it is put through the “counter-gauntlet” (or “check”, if you will). If a counter can be performed (to the technique's application) that technique is determined to be (only) a  conditionally-functional technique (though something to be aware of). 
 Because of this, there are a number of the tuite technique's (that we do teach) that are awkward to apply. Not that they can't be, they just require (a great deal) more practice to do so. There are other system's that may teach a similar version to what we teach (and we usually demonstrate that version, for familiarity purposes), but we teach, and train in/with Taika Oyata's version.
  From my experience, and from what I've observed being promoted (from other system's instructor's) it has just become “hip” to proclaim that your teaching “tuite” (too). As stated previously, I just find it amusing, but I do understand how/why (many of) Taika's students can get very agitated (if not down-right Offended) by it.

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