Monday, May 9, 2011
Kyusho (once again) Revisited
Rummaging through the Internet, I repeatedly see the term kyusho being bantered about, as if it had been in use for decades. My own first exposure to it (the term) was when I first met Taika (late 1970's). I had been involved with martial arts for 7 or 8 year's prior, and had heard the term only once or twice (and never in anyone's teaching curriculum). Even then, the term was utilized in limited context, and only occasionally in regards to training/practice.
When one now looks, every school/system pimp's the term to mean anything that remotely looks like it (or not), and that whatever they teach relates to/is kyusho. It seems to be very common to intermix (any form of) limb manipulation to also represent (or be) kyusho. The two may be related, but they are two separate subject's. Tuite, may (on occasion) also contain a kyusho application, but the two are separate subjects.
It would be simple enough to let it go, and let these individual's display their own ignorance, but for the unknowing reader, it is misleading. It appears that (many) student's (or at least perspective students) have gotten the idea, that kyusho is the god-send, end-all, equalizer, that eliminates the need for (any) repetitive practice of defensive technique's.
Kyusho is nothing more, than a supplemental piece, of one's defensive repertoire. The use of these location's, are commonly contained within various technique application's (and rarely utilized independently). The majority of sites that are promoting kyusho as being their main focus, lack any (viable) technique training (IMO) for the beginning student (and/or limit it's instruction to those who have been with them for an extended period, $$).
Kyusho instruction should begin early in one's training. The word Kyusho, means vital point. Vital, is a relative term, though commonly associated with great pain/damage, vital can also represent necessary (to a technique's execution). I can easily identify numerous kyusho points that elicit no pain (or damage) yet are (obviously) vital to a technique's (effective) execution.
I feel that there is no (real) need, or concern to restricting the learning of these points (and it is often necessary for the student to learn/recognize them). There exists a great fear of possible repercussions for instructor's (from teaching these points to minor's). Though I don't teach minor's anyway, I certainly wouldn't be that concerned. Even without any training, does a minor not know that jamming one's finger's into the eye's of an adversary could (possibly) cause permanent damage? Does a minor not know that crushing a larynx could possibly kill someone? These are more blatant (and obvious/universally understood examples of) kyusho (type) strike locations. If an instructor is so incompetent, that they don't point out these possibility's, the student (or their parent's!) should be seeking another instructor anyhow.
We've had (prospective) student's come to our school, specifically seeking instruction in kyusho (points/striking). First off, they're immediately identified (fair, or not, LOL) as “wanna-be's” (with no real prior training). We then (attempt to) explain that kyusho is (only) a supplemental piece of one's over-all training. For those that have an honest desire to learn the system (RyuTe), this is an acceptable explanation. For the others, they move on (to find someone to fulfill their fantasy's of becoming ninja killer's).
Does this come across as belittling? (God, I hope so!). I've always had a problem with wanna-be's (that don't want to learn anything, yet want to be known as being a bad-ass). Learning any martial art requires time, and work. If your not willing to put forth the effort required, your not going to be any good at any of them. Regardless of whether your studying RyuTe, or any other martial art, your going to have to work at it. I don't believe that learning a martial art should be (necessarily) complicated (and I don't believe RyuTe to be so). But each system has (it's own) challenges. RyuTe's (IMO) is the myriad of minor technical detail's. Determining which challenges a student feels most comfortable with taking on, is what will determine whether a perspective student chooses one style over another. This is why I've quit trying to sell RyuTe. I only offer it's instruction. Our student's choose to study with us.
What should be obvious, LOL, is that we don't emphasize kyusho (as being the main instruction) being offered in our student's training of/in RyuTe. It is recognized, and taught, as only being a supplemental part of an over-all instruction methodology. There are far to many other aspects of self-protection, to do it any other way.
Labels: Kyusho (once again) Revisited