Thursday, October 27, 2011
What are the main principles used for determining relevency of application
I was recently “updating” my class kyu-rank Requirements, which is something I do on a semi-annual basis (and sometimes more often than that, LOL). I'm occasionally queried as to why I believe I should (or even would need to) do so, and I have to explain that I am still learning myself, so how could I not include modifying what I am teaching, as my own knowledge level changes?
It's always been my opinion, that when you reach the level that you believe that you have nothing left to learn in your martial art, it's time to quit (because you ain't going to learn anything else).
What spurred this most recent update, was an inquiry made to me, as to what was being taught in (one of my) classes (by a prospective student). Being one of the more honest inquiry's (they usually consist of loaded if not stupid questions, being made by individual's who've already decided what they're looking for), I explained the kyu ranking and what was involved with progressing in the teaching methodology that I utilize.
Unlike the majority of inquiries that I'm presented with and answer, this individual didn't care about (individual) technique's, they (actually) wanted to know about RyuTe (combatant) strategy (as opposed to the applied tactics). It's rare that I encounter prospective student's that have a (knowledgeable) awareness of technique application, yet don't have any (real) experience (without having learned any actual technique's).
The ensuing discussion centered around (philosophical) debates regarding the necessity of/for the amount of physical disability resulting from application of the technique's (which are taught in my classes). This may (initially) sound as if the individual was arguing with me, but they were actually posing legitimate questions (as well as concerns).
I spoke with this individual for about an hour, and I (still) have no idea whether they will show-up to observe a class, LOL. I only know that the discussion we had, spurred me to (re)evaluate my current syllabus of instruction (to new/inquiring student's).
What the discussion became, was a determination of what was actually required (from an instructional and/or student perspective) to effectively teach and learn a system of Self-Protection that is being presented in a graduated (“stepped”) requirement curriculum.
Disregarding individual technique as being the (most) relevant factor to effectiveness, changes the manner which the system will be judged (as the majority of systems often attempt to make this factor the main reason for a system's superiority).
The difference between individual system's technique's are rarely that great. How those technique's are being applied/utilized and presented though, is where the real difference lies. I've previously described the RyuTe milking Punch. Though not (necessarily) emphasizing impact force (as it's main goal) when used correctly, the strike will provide more than sufficient reactionary movement from the recipient.
Beyond the physical aspect, a movement has to also meet the legal aspect of it's use/utilization. The fact that some technique might work (in a given situation), doesn't mean that it is legal to use it in that situation. This aspect should be addressed during each and every technique's introduction (to the student). More often than not, those more injurious applications are situationally mandated.
Though not necessarily addressed in a classes curriculum, the moral aspect of a technique's application can often be a relevant factor to a technique's use (at least for the individual student). Each student will have to determine their own levels of morality to attach to any provided technique and/or to what level of application that technique may be utilized.
I personally don't feel that morality is something that should be taught in a martial art's class. Morality, is completely subjective, and therefore equates to an individual perspective (having more in common with an opinion, than with anything substantial or even legal).
What I've confirmed (if not reaffirmed) to be most relevant, is the situational application of the required motion (being used for defending from a presented set of circumstances). Though the previously mentioned factors all have some amount of bearing on the technique's application, the situation (being present) to actually perform the action will have the greatest relevance to it's over-all effectiveness. Not exactly rocket science, but none-the-less, an important (instructional) determination.
Rather than focusing on the student's ability to (only) physically reproduce an action, that student (instead) focuses on recognizing and/or creating the situation(s) that allow for that technique's application. This (in turn) makes the student's motions preemptive (rather than only being reactive) to an aggressor's hostile actions (which is a previously discussed/taught RyuTe tactic).
Over-all, this doesn't really mean that I have to retrain any of my present student's, LOL. Only that further instruction will take a slightly different perspective on technique's application/instruction. For many of my present student's, this shouldn't be a great variance from what's been previously shown. For new student's, they haven't seen any of this (yet) anyhow, LOL.