Sunday, November 6, 2011
I was reading through a blog's recent “series” of postings (as they were theoretically related). The author does a good job of stating his position (and is a far better writer than I am, LOL), but I've decided that I disagree with damn near every position this guy takes. Not all, but almost all. Those few that I do agree with, I disagree with his reasoning and conclusions (as to their value).
In one of his blogs, he makes (passing) mention of reaction-time. He states that one's reactions decline after a certain age (early 20's I believe). According to him, after that you only get slower. On the surface, a true statement. In reality though, it's a misleading one. One's reactions can be improved (up to a limited point) from repeated practice of a specific motion. What can be improved, is one's perception of a given situation. Meaning that although you can't (necessarily) move faster, you may perceive an action/situation faster/sooner than when you were younger (thus, making you faster to respond to the situation).
Although I personally detest the commonly taught practice/manner of “sparring”, that doesn't mean that I don't have student's partake in (different) forms of technique exchange. We occasionally have student's do a form of technique application that we call “complementary” sparring.
This is a slow-speed standing exchange of aggressive and defensive motions between 2 individual's. It's done without “gear”(as there's no need), and it's done at ½ speed (or less). Participant's are allowed to punch, kick, and grab their opponent (anywhere upon the body/head/legs and/or arms). The practice is not so much to learn to use the technique, as it is to recognize the techniques potential and it's limitations. It's during this type of practice, that the stupid people techniques (arm grab's and such) become more obviously applicable.
This individual additionally bemoaned his displeasure with standing-start drills, in that they didn't ingrain an ability to develop a pattern recognition trait, well no shit Sherlock....they're not supposed to. Standing start exercises are to develop the aforementioned timing reflex/reaction. They also (when done correctly) train student's in perception/recognition of telegraphed actions.
His argument being, that in a standing start drill, the defender knows exactly what attack is coming. This is obviously true when the student is first learning the motion, after having done so, the uke should be able to use whatever attack method they choose to. If the technique is unable to respond to different attack types/manner's then it shouldn't be being practiced anyway (meaning it's a worthless technique if it's only good for one manner of attack). My contention being, that if the tori is (always) aware of the uke's intended attack, then the practice is less than productive (and could be argued as being pointless).
His (so-called) Test, was to have the uke perform one of three types of assaults (randomly) and see if the tori would be able to stop the attack. (His claim) was it couldn't be done, (my claim) is that if it wasn't able to work for all three, then his technique sucked, that doesn't discount the practice, only the (responsive) technique.
He further made the claim that since practiced attacks, most usually (only) consisted of singular attacks (by the uke), then they failed to emulate reality (meaning multiple strike attacks)? Uh, (is it just me?) but couldn't that be rectified by having the uke perform multiple strike attempts?
When presented with this query from student's, demonstration would usually illustrate the fact that “multiple” strikes were irrelevant, in that they were either impossible to perform, or that the initially thrown technique (the “first one”) was insufficient to cause/create enough damage to be relevant.
He further refuted their value, stating that one couldn't develop timing because there existed no “dynamic” to learn the subsequent patterns (WTF?). That the student (also) needed the “rhythm” developed from,... (wait for it)......sparring (?).
The general implication being that a student (for some reason) needed to be able to develop pattern recognition which would lead to a matching of situational reflex (a separate, but acceptable concept, that I'm not entirely sure has much relevancy to the presented situation). At the end of the articles (within the footnotes... yes, he had to include footnotes..LOL) he mentions including the 5 elements into training methods. As if I really needed to have a completely irrelevant subject interjected into any methodology of training. The mere fact that he even mentioned that nonsense, is enough to convince me that this guy has limited knowledge anyway.
This same blog had previously touted that deflections were superior to strikes (performed upon an aggressor”s striking limbs). Again, the bias being towards the deflections being the superior option. This subject was also biased by the writer's manner of practicing each, so it became obvious why they would believe this to be true (including the author's additional claim that “he” had never received a strike upon the arm that could incapacitate “Him”. Again, his lack of experience, is not an acceptable excuse for improper practice).
The author states that he has experience in law enforcement (though I believe he states that he is only a lawyer, which isn't exactly law enforcement), which I have to presume is where he is deriving this experience from. He states that he works with other martial artists (he obviously has the extra money to go to China to study with these guy's that he likes). It's with these other martial artists that he has these theories reinforced (at least to himself).
From what little I've read from him, his experience (with using what he teaches) would appear to be limited to the “sporting” and class-time arena, which is fine, but he could stand some “real” reality included in his application (theories).
I hadn't (actually) intended this to turn into a hammer this guy's blog (it just turned out that way, LOL). It's just that many of the theories he's putting forth, have been proven wrong, or are at least being misinterpreted (by him). It isn't my place to correct him, and having read some of the replies to individual's who have contested him, he seems unlikely to care what anyone has to say (“he's” right, and your not).
Oh well, maybe at some point “I'll” come up with something to write about, but for now I'm just seeing what's out there.