Thursday, August 18, 2011

Describing Technique Applications


  I am repeatedly being asked to describe various technique's applications. For a few, I have given a simplistic description (not including all the tweaks, and variables that are present). If one is really wanting to understand what I describe here, then attend a class and see it, first hand.

  If you live close to our locations (Kansas City, Mo. And/or Excelsior Springs, Mo.), then it's not like it would cost you anything to do so (and no, we don't charge for explanations/demonstrations).

  I've explained (numerous times BTW) that this blog, is not a teaching blog. It's purpose is for comparative discussion and explanation of instructional technique's and methods. I utilize RyuTe for the basis of doing so. I enjoy (friendly, productive) debate, I believe it can expand one's understanding of a subject (and often reveal possible weaknesses in one's understanding of that subject).

  My hesitancy to describe technique's (in detail) stems from the fact that the various systems being taught today, often utilize different names and/or meanings for similar (if not the same) actions. My description/break-down of an outside forearm strike, will (for many) seem overly descriptive, if not down-right boring. Most will think “why not just say outside block?”, well, for numerous reasons. First off, we don't call, nor consider that motion to be an outside block (hence, the name difference). Second, the manner that we teach/perform the motion is is different (though at first glance, it appears to be the same motion). Third, this is the “internet”, which means that any Jack-off can get on-line, and make a blog proclaiming anything they want, with little to no retribution for having done so. Technically, I fall into that category, I could be anybody, who's actually a nobody. I prefer to be confronted/challenged face to face.

  I am more than comfortable, and happy to demonstrate anything that I write about on this blog (technique's, principles and/or theories). If one has read the side-bar, I make no claims of complete knowledge or competency with all that Taika teaches, only a moderate ability with that which I am familiar.

  Some have accused me of being too lazy to describe those subjects here (and I would agree with them, LOL, I am!). It's a whole lot less effort on my part, to demonstrate a motion/principle than it is to write it out (at least well enough for myself to be comfortable with doing so). It was also suggested that I utilize video on here, Why? (who's being lazy now?). Those that have the desire to learn, will seek out an instructor. There are numerous RyuTe instructor's across the country (and/or world). It all comes down to how badly you want to learn RyuTe, and will you compromise with something else. 
 
  Rather than reading what I have to say about teaching RyuTe, ask our student's what they have to say about learning RyuTe. Better yet, come by and ask all those questions that are presented here, but I brush-over because of my reluctance to write it all out, LOL. I will provide full explanations and demonstrations of anything I've written about.

 My #1 passion is teaching, whether it's RyuTe, or Shodo, I enjoy teaching, to anyone who really wants to learn. The problem I see today, is that very few really want to learn, they only want it handed to them. 


 

3 comments:

FossMaNO1 said...

I think this blog might have been directed at me (though that’s probably just my ego talking), especially if you look at one of our recent discussions under the Defensive Study article.

I completely understand not wanting to go into detail on the specifics of techniques (you’re right, there are too many variations/tweaks to account for in writing) however it is sort of frustrating not to get at least a high-level overview of a technique. I started following this blog because I was impressed with what you had to say. I read to learn and I saw this blog as a chance to learn something new, or at least a chance to gather a new perspective on what I am already practicing. When someone refuses to elaborate, however, I become frustrated.

I think maybe it be helpful to keep in mind that a good number of the folks who read this blog have some amount of training themselves—give us a little credit for being able to interpret your intent if you do decide to give a brief description of a technique. No one reputable would expect a full understanding/mastery of any technique described in writing. If I say “perform a high block,” a Japanese karate practitioner will perform said maneuver differently than an Okinawan karate practitioner who will in turn perform it differently than a Kung Fu practitioner or even a Muay Thai practitioner. That’s fine—only in very rare instances is a specific (down to the nitty-gritty detail) execution of the technique required to understand the overall effect being performed. Going back to my high block example, even within an Okinawan style there are several different high blocks depending on the level of training you’re at (e.g., Kyu rank vs. Dan). Still, the overall gist of the high block is to deflect an incoming punch in an upwards direction (the nuances between levels of training can add or alter this overall effect, but I think you understand my point).

In our previous discussion, I was little perturbed that you refused to answer my question regarding countering a left vs. right hook punch. By not answering my question in even a general way I walked away from that conversation thinking that you either were an elitist who refused to share his “secrets,” or you thought my own experience was so shallow that I couldn’t possibly understand what you were talking about. Between the two I’m not sure which one is more annoying.

When all is said and done, however, I still enjoy this blog and have found myself intrigued by your thoughts. Many times I find myself thinking, “I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought that!” while at other times I’ll sit back and examine your point of view and find it not to be so contrary to what I’ve already been taught after all—it’s just presented in a different way. I haven’t found anything I disagree with yet (except perhaps for a portion of your article on sparring, though I haven’t thought it through enough to form my thoughts into anything coherent).

So, thank you! Keep up the thought-provoking efforts!

openhand said...

“I think this blog might have been directed at me (though that’s probably just my ego talking), especially if you look at one of our recent discussions under the Defensive Study article.”

Actually, not at all (I receive many “off-line” requests) yours was but one of many. Additionally, the technique which I referred to was more fully described in a previous blog, so I saw no need to re-hash that subject.

“In our previous discussion, I was little perturbed that you refused to answer my question regarding countering a left vs. right hook punch. By not answering my question in even a general way I walked away from that conversation thinking that you either were an elitist who refused to share his “secrets,” or you thought my own experience was so shallow that I couldn’t possibly understand what you were talking about. Between the two I’m not sure which one is more annoying.”

LOL (“elitist”, and “secrets”), actually I thought I mentioned that the technique mentioned was posted in an earlier blog (maybe not?). Regardless, the technique mentioned is one which is designed to defend against in the opening motions in a confrontation. The “hook-punch” is a popular technique used (aggressively) in those situations. Though not nearly as effective as a straight (type of) punch, people are often more comfortable utilizing it (my guess, is that it provides a “feeling” of power in it's use?).
Regardless, the technique I referred to is composed of (what most people would call) a Left-inward parry used simultaneously with a Right outside “block”, followed by the tori applying a Right hand/arm strike (that's the simplistic description). The motion also includes (what we call) a “straight-kick”, which additionally changes the dynamics of the aggressor's actions/motions. When instructing our student's or during a seminar, this explanation/description/demonstration entails (approx.) 2-2½ hour's. When put in writing, it constitutes a chapter in a book (10-20 pages?, I haven't finished writing it all out, LOL).
Understand, I am in no way attempting to “blow you off” or belittle you, by not fully answering your question (and I certainly haven't done so with the above explanation). I am to some degree, a perfectionist (or just “anal”, LOL). I don't like providing half-ass answers that can be misconstrued.
Though many system's do use similar motions, that utilize similar names, it is those minor differences that can decide whether a technique work's, or fails. I also find that student's/observer's, tend to focus on the tori's motions (for providing all the answers to a techniques application). This is an incorrect methodology, the uke's motions/reactions have to be considered in any technique's application.

FossMaNO1 said...

"This is an incorrect methodology, the uke's motions/reactions have to be considered in any technique's application."

I totally agree with you. It's a major failing of many who believe they are teaching application of technique. On the same note, I think it is very important for the Uke to "react" appropriately. In practicing the technique, I (the Tori) may not actually hit you (the Uke) hard enough to do damage, inflict pain, or otherwise make you react, however you should know this and respect my control enough to respect our training together and “react” as if I had hit you hard enough to make you react.

The same goes for practicing any technique. If I’m practicing a high block, as my Uke please do not punch to the side of my head – punch me in the nose!

Thanks for the reply. Again, I’m really enjoying this blog.