Saturday, December 29, 2012

What Does, and What Does Not

  Maybe I missed the “Memo”, but why has the past few month's been inundated with the “experts” promoting their versions of limb manipulation? (what they're incorrectly referring to as being “Tuite”).
  90% of what's shown (by these individual's) are simplistic (and rarely applicable) finger cranks and Ju-jutsu (finger-types of manipulations) that don't even work on anyone who is under (any) drug/alcohol influence (which is the typical conditions for when the majority of conflicts will occur).
  I believe it be a fair, and accurate statement, to say that Taika was the world's leading expert in the limb-manipulation field, and I never (in 30+ years) heard him refer to the use of “finger-cranks and/or manipulations” as being a serious application in a defensive situation (much less, the belief that these types of techniques would, or even could be considered to be “Tuite”). These are the fodder of parlor-room magician's and entertainer's (not Life-Protection Instructor's).
  Of course, the people promoting this nonsense, are the same people who confuse the definition of Kyusho, with Tuite (on a regular basis). These are 2 (two) separate subjects. They may very well be utilized in conjunction (with one-another) in some instances. But neither is dependent upon the other for utilization. This is just further miss-interpretation/understanding (on their part).
  I recently (please, “pity-Me”) sat through a video of one of these guys doing a ½ hour demonstration of how to (IMO incorrectly) manipulate an uke using (their version of) a Tuite technique (what  is often called a “Palm-Press/Push-Catch”).
  Aside from incorrectly performing the technique, he then proceeded to demonstrate his level of “control”(sic), by bending the finger's rearward, and parading the uke around (which, if done upon a non-compliant uke, they would have clocked this idiot at any given time).
  This particular technique, is (the) one that I have seen being Miss-Applied more than any other (both on the web, and in person). Unfortunately, that would include within Taika's Association as well. Amateur's attempting this technique will inevitably attempt to press the finger's rearward (only). This will cause the uke to bend forward at the waist (ur, BFD?, hardly a debilitating situation for them).
  Those person's who are unfamiliar with the correct application of this technique will commonly seek a pain-compliance response (and will even consider it to of been done correctly when they achieve that response). It can also be clearly demonstrated that the technique can be countered when this manner of application is being attempted and/or applied.
  When a (meaning any that I can think of) Tuite technique is being applied, the uke should be forced into compliance by lowering until their knees are on the ground (which in turn restricts their ability to escape and/or move around).
  Additionally, if/when the uke should attempt to strike/grab the tori with their free hand, motioning to do so, should cause an increase in the pain level of their own wrist (of the hand already being grasped). Even with the delay-factor of alcohol intoxication, their brain will still not allow them to exceed their own physical limitations (at least beyond the first self-induced dislocation).
  This particular technique, though difficult for beginning students to perform (correctly) is utilized within our curriculum as a training/instructional technique. It is one of the easiest (for us, LOL) to demonstrate each one of our 6 Tuite (application) Principles with.
 Unfortunately, the level of application ability being pursued by the majority of practitioner's today, is (actually) fairly low. An ability to attain any response (from a techniques application) is considered to be acceptable (if not the grounds for then being considered to be an "expert"... evidently, LOL).

Friday, December 28, 2012


  I've recently been watching “examples” of some of the top-rated Tuite lecturer's (I refuse to call them experts, because they're clearly Not). Take your pick of the “Big” names that put these on (I've seen videos of/for all of them). The vast majority are the self-promoted lemmings of the Dill-man (and are by far the most sad).


  Though many have cut their ties with him, they still teach the same nonsense (promoting that you must learn all the TCM-B.S.). There are a few (damn few) that don't push the TCM drivel, but the majority of those folks, just do bad technique (thereby giving the impression, that one would need the TCM crap).


  I believe their initial (and possibly greatest) failing, is in over emphasizing a (false) dependency upon (their version of) kyusho relevancy to the application of tuite. First and foremost, tuite is a physical positioning of a body limb. The majority of what's being taught (by these individual's) as/for “kyusho” points, are at best, simplistic atemi (types of) locations (and are rarely relevant to the application of/for a tuite technique).


 The obviousness of these person's lack of knowledge is exemplified by their insistence on blurring Kyusho and Tuite (they are two completely different subjects), yes, they can be interconnected, but neither is dependent upon the other.

  The subject that created (probably) the greatest "regurgitory" reflex response (upon myself) while listening to these peoples lectures, was their ability to completely walk around how (they insist) to properly apply a (meaning any) tuite technique.


  It isn't that “I/we” are so F'n-”Great”, it's just that what they are teaching, is so F'n-”Useless”. It's as though (ya think?) these guys have never really studied the technique's applications and what it does and/or doesn't require to make or allow them to work.


  What their teaching for “Principles”, are only generality's. And the majority of those, are (mostly) only applicable for striking situations, and not for Tuite applications (WTF?). What we are offering, are (actual, applicable) "Principles" relevant to the application of Tuite.


  If given a lecture audience twice the size (of what was in attendance at theirs), we could easily instruct that (larger) group in half the amount of time (that they utilized). The biggest difference would be, that (if we were to of taught them) they would have been able to correct themselves following the lecture's conclusion (whether for the taught technique, and/or including almost any that they were shown afterwords), via our 6 tuite principles.
  I will say, they have quite the racket going on though. The most prominent of these groups (“Kyusho Intl.” WTF is that supposed to imply?) has convinced a lot of sucker's with their nonsense. Not that they (probably) can't make a fair amount er,...well, some of it, uh, somewhat work (well,... at least create a result).


  Having watched the representatives of these group's (on “U-Tube”) I've come to the conclusion that none of them have ever had to (actually) utilize these techniques, at least upon anyone besides their own uke's. Having watched numerous hours of these joker's lectures, I am amazed that anyone would believe that they know anything.


  One also needs to remember, that these are the same guy's who will (actually, LOL) award some sucker a Yudansha ranking in “Tuite” , ROTFLMFAO (anything for a buck, huh?). What I find the most sad about that, is that none of those individual's (that I've ever seen and/or have met) knew anything (worthwhile) about tuite, and they still couldn't perform technique correctly (if at all).


  Upon first hearing about this, my initial thought was that they must award “ranks” for the learning of every taught aspect of a martial art (ie. A ranking for stances, punches, kata, breathing etc.). But, as yet, I haven't seen any evidence of that, LOL.


  It only further reinforces my personal belief that the arts have become so flooded with awarding of ranks, that anyone's rank means next to nothing (to myself). As within our own classes, I only recognize Yudansha and Mudansha (students). The individual level of either means nothing to me.


 Unfortunately, it also means that the quality level of Tuite (in general) is becoming pretty piss-poor. I'm hoping that over this coming year we're able to rectify that to some degree, LOL (at least within our own association). 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Year End...

  As we enter the final week of the year, I was reviewing the events that have transpired in that time period (in regards to my involvement in/with the instruction of “Te”). The month of December ends my instructional commitments at the other school/dojo (though I'm sure we'll have intermittent interactions with them there, LOL). This should allow my associate and myself to (re)focus upon our own pursuits (our Tuite training manual, the pursuit of seminar opportunities, etc.).
  The passing of Taika was of course a heavy blow to all of us who knew him. Although his funeral was tainted by the appearance of ex-members (who had all been “kicked-out” of the association by Taika, and were told that they were not welcome there), and were subsequently "escorted" out of the church. Upon their eviction, his (actual) students were allowed to mutually mourn his passing, and recount their acquaintances with him.
  Taika's Association is now being overseen by a “Board” of 7 higher ranked members. 4 of those positions are permanent, and 3 are rotating positions (of varying time periods). They have been (IMO) rather slow to get the Association Membership and Dojo Rules Manual squared away, but are (supposedly) going to have them (finally, LOL) ready by the next summer conference.
  The first of the year, is when all Association “dues” are scheduled to be paid (end of January). The “first” of those who will quit the Association will (no doubt) become apparent at that time. It was mentioned at the last summer conference, that the Association would /could (?) be thinned-out over the coming year. If that's still the inclination, then it may be after the first of the year that it begins to take place (we'll have to see).
  I'm aware that for the larger (commercial) schools, it's become imperative to have a multi-interest curriculum available. I have no general problem with that (it's a “financial” thing, LOL). What I Do have a problem with, is a school teaching anything that is in direct contradiction to what Taika taught to us (his students), and claiming to be an Association” school/Dojo.
  I believe anyone who's ever read this blog knows exactly what I'm talking about. There are (at present) several schools (within the association) that either (directly) teach, or are associated with (one of several) groups that emphasize the TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) hog-wash, regarding kyusho and/or atemi jitsu application. Taika never, at any time, ever endorsed that Crap.
 Aside from the schools that are teaching this nonsense, there are those members in the association that have been wearing the old (and banned by Taika) Yudansha "colored" belts (red/white). Taika had banned their use over 15 years ago (WTF, people?). Those belts have no significance within this organization (as Yudansha don't wear any belts anyway) and aren't even recognized within the association, so what do you think your doing? (other than making yourself look like an ASS). The only people that are using them (regularly), are people who were "kicked-out" of the association,...(Hmmm,, is somebody letting somebody else know what's ahead?).
  In regards to our own Dojo, we have several new students who have recently began their training with us. My associate and myself continue our own research into application and controlling techniques. We are dividing our Law Enforcement Training Courses into smaller, individual subject courses as well (officers/departments rarely have the “time” available for the more encompassing courses).
  I'm hoping to be able to stock-up on calligraphy supplies (again, LOL) and begin offering more group and individual instruction courses (over the coming year). I've recently been approached by several individual's, and we have had some of our own student's (who've reached the level of kyu ranks that have Shuji as a requirement) who have expressed a greater interest in that subject beyond that which we require in our kyu-rank requirements.
  Of course (and as always,LOL), we never know exactly what the upcoming year will offer (or deny) us. We make our plans with eager and hopeful anticipation, but reality doesn't always allow those plans to unfurl. Regardless, “I” plan on viewing the upcoming year in a positive manner. 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Isolating the Defender's Actions

  Training student's to perform effective defensive responses is dependent upon first understanding what aggressive actions are possible (that could be utilized upon them).
  I've stated (repeatedly) that the defensive techniques that we teach to our students, can be adapted to be utilized against any of the 4 (most common) basic manors of arm/hand strikes (through the use of the same basic motion).
  I was recently asked why I (as an instructor) don't teach student's how to perform the “attacking” methods that we're training to defend against? My initial response, was a question, … why?
  The motions that we train student's to defend against, are the most commonly utilized aggressive methods that someone would be likely to have used upon them.
  Somehow, training to implement those actions seems...counter-productive? I'm aware that many systems teach their student's all of the “attack” methods that can be commonly encountered, but I have a difficult time emphasizing or even justifying that pursuit.
  The dynamics involved with choreographing various (effective) methods of attacking someone, require different priority's for the performer (than learning the defenses against them, which is our main emphasis).
  The biggest weakness that a new student has (when they begin their training), is unfamiliarity (with the motions). A student's initial (2-person) practice routines are designed to expose them to seeing these aggressive techniques application, as much as the defensive motions that are being shown and practiced.
  Just as importantly (in our view), student's are learning to identify and recognize the minute motions (that are the clues) to an aggressor beginning their attack.
  The most common (detrimental) habit that a beginning student will have (and need to overcome), is chasing the aggressor's striking hand. The new student will tend to focus (solely) upon the aggressor's fist (that is racing towards their face). By doing so (and because of the reactive delay), any attempted parry/diversion will be made when the aggressor's hand/fist is already within inches of their face (meaning that they're practically slapping their own face in the attempt).
  One of a student's first defensive exercises, is learning to extend their own arm towards the aggressor (to avoid the habit of chasing the aggressor's hand). Student's will initially reach their own hand upward, and towards the aggressor's (striking arm, on the same side) shoulder.
  By motioning towards that shoulder, they will place their own (entire) arm between themselves, and the aggressor's striking arm. That extended arm can be motioned outward, or inward (as needed) easily, and quickly.
  Initially, student's will focus on preventing an aggressor's opening strike(s). It is these initial strikes that will often determine how (or even if) they will be able to proceed with their attack.
  Once a student's ability allows them to prevent that initial strike from landing on it's intended target, then they can begin learning how to immobilize that aggressor (to prevent further attempts).
  Students are shown particular motions to perform when an aggressor attempts to strike them. These motions are performed in one manor (regardless of the aggressor's specific action). As most person's are aware, Oyata emphasizes the use of both hand's used in conjunction with a kick in (most) all of their defensive actions.
  Though numerous singular (one-sided) defensive actions are often (also) taught, the mainstay of techniques taught are intended to be ambidextrous in their ability to respond to any attempted aggression.
  All of these taught methods of defense are based around the basic premiss, that there are only so many ways that an aggressor is able to strike the defender. The defender's task, is to perform a motion that will protect them from any of those (aggressive) motions, with as little variation as possible.
  This is the task laid upon every instructor, to teach to their student's. In attempting this feat, there are numerous schools of thought as to the most efficient manor of doing so.
  Most are based around reactive responses to aggressive attempts. Oyata's methodology is based around a more assertive response to those attempts. When Taika's defensive motions/techniques are implemented, they are designed to cause damage to the aggressor, as well as prevent any further attempts (on the part of the aggressor).
  Initially, that damage is focused upon the aggressor's limb's (that are striking the defender). By causing injury to those limb's, the defender is attempting to make the aggressor choose not to continue their attack (upon the defender).
  If/when those attempts fail, and/or prove insufficient, the defender then escalates their defense through the application and the location of their techniques implementation. This will very often include the utilization of atemi, and kyusho (vital point) locations. These are locations that are more easily susceptible and/or cause more serious reactions from being their being struck or manipulated.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


  When I first began studying a martial art, the odds of becoming a Yudansha (Black Belt) were (only) about 40%. On average it required about 4-6 years of (consistent) practice and class attendance. “Black-Belts” were not nearly as prominent (as they are today). The claim of being one, would usually be met with moderate admiration, if not reverence (envy?).
  It was not uncommon for individual's (meaning the “instructors”) to make claims of having had “Kung/Gung Fu” (Chinese martial art) experience. At the time (early mid 70's) that was what was “hot”. The average “ranking” (of a martial artist/instructor) was commonly 2nd Dan, on rare occasion you would come across a 4th Dan but rarely any higher.
  Now, it would appear that every instructor is (at minimum) a 6th Dan or higher. Because of that, I've gotten to the point that anyone (and I do mean anyone) that tells me they're rank is over 4th Dan, my opinion is one of doubt.
  What was once a position obtained by diligence and hard work, is now one of expectation, and often the disdain of an instructor(?) if that rank is not awarded in (what the student feels to be) an acceptable time frame.
  Knowledge, is no longer an acceptable standard for having received a rank of Yudansha. Now it is commonly presumed that one will have equivalent ability's simply from having been bestowed a “rank” (of Yudansha).
  It would also appear that for a (any) school, to have credibility (?), they must have a flock of “Black-Belts” that have been awarded to their student body. The fact that those students are woefully lacking (in either ability or knowledge) would seem to be irrelevant.
  I have one of the “Big Chain” karate schools located near my home. Whenever I'm driving by that school, I see a herd of their students (commonly small children) through the pane glass front of the building. On occasion I see (actual, LOL) adults as students, doing their prescribed motions, kata etc. through the windows.
  They're usually performing some manner of 2 or 3 step practice sets with one another, and the whole scene is reminiscent of one of the local dance studio's. If the students were wearing the little Tu-tu's or ballerina outfits, it would look exactly the same.
  Beyond the humorous aspects (he sadness sets in), when I observe that most of these students are wearing Black-Belts around their waists. From ages 8 – 50 (?), these students are supposedly Yudansha grade students.
  One would at first suppose that the instructor must have been around for awhile, and/or that these students must (surely) be exceptional (in some way). But with further observation, I can see that they are barely (if at all), able to perform these simplistic defense sequences. And yet, they wear a Black-Belt.
  At what point in time, was it decided that everybody “deserved” to get a Black-Belt? I know of numerous individual's that are very knowledgeable, and/or talented and yet, don't have (nor do they deserve) a Yudansha grading. I don't believe that an individual must (necessarily) be proficient in every aspect of their chosen martial art to obtain a Black-Belt, but I do believe that there should exist minimal levels of ability and knowledge in each aspect of that art that are required.
  When I see these kinds of a “belt factory's”, I understand why people (generally) view martial arts with disdain and repugnance. These types of Schools (and their instructor's) are why the martial arts have become filled with the charlatans and snake-oil salesmen that it has.
  I do realize that not everyone practices a martial art for the same reasons (or purpose) that I do. I imagine that is also a contributing factor as to why our classes are not as large as we would care to have them (in addition to the recent economy, LOL).
 For those that only want someplace to do a physical "workout", they wouldn't be pleased with our class curriculum. We require our student's to engage their brains (and think). There's more involved with learning a martial art than "punchy-kicky". 

 When I was awarded my first Yudansha grading, I felt that I didn't (really) deserve it (at the time). Now (a few gradings later, LOL), I still feel a little questionable about anybody's ranking, and/or "Rank" in general. 
  I remember when Taika got rid of (and banned) any of the RyuTe® (Yudansha) members from wearing any belts (especially the one's which would denote the individual as being anything "different" from the rest of the association Yudansha members).
 He felt that anyone doing otherwise (ie. wearing those belts/gi) were only "showboating" and/or feeding their own egos. Those that continued to wear them, eventually got kicked-out (though for more serious offenses), and continue to wear them even today.
 I now see that a new group of (association member) individual's have begun wearing them as well (I presume to make themselves appear "superior" to the rest of the membership?). Whether the "Board" will address that subject (or not) will have to be seen.

 Although it might appear to be easy to lay blame for the numerous (faults/weaknesses) problems within the RyuTe® assoc. The truth is, that this association is no more (or less, LOL) "F'-d-up", than any other M.A. organization is, and I would argue that we (still) have the potential to make it a superior organization.

 At the moment, all of that hinges on what the "Board" decides to do over the next few months. I also feel it might be nice, to provide the membership with a "head's-up" on those plans as well,... uh we do have a "private" forum/board (you know? LOL).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Controlled Chaos

  I was recently reading a blog who's author tends to lean towards the anti-traditional methodology's of training. I have no rudimentary disagreement with this attitude, but I do have to take exception with the notion that “traditional” training methods are useless (and/or don't work or serve a purpose).
  Usually, my opinions of his articles are that they are just short sighted. Sometimes the points they make are hypocritical when compared to previous statements/positions that the author has made. Most often they are just entertaining. Yet, the reason that I return (to this authors page), is because some of the articles contain information, or a viewpoint which I hadn't previously considered.
  This recent one, happened to be one of those that I disagreed with his view. The article stated that in a combative situation, chaotic action was more the norm (than anything that is practiced in the common defensive arts class).
  To only a limited degree would I agree with his assessment. The point of disagreement on my part, was that chaos was the expected norm (a counter-logical argument IMO). His reasoning was (evidently) based on the fact that rarely (if ever) does a confrontation occur in any manor close to what's being practiced.
My agreement with his evaluation ends at this point.
  To begin with, if that were true then everything that is being practiced at any class would be worthless, as none of the circumstances being practiced would ever occur (which isn't the case).
  The reason those circumstances (techniques) are practiced, is because they do occur (with fairly regular frequency). What I disagree with, is that you can't practice to defend against them. It's this line of thinking, that convinced me to study under Taika.
  What he (Taika Oyata) instructed, were defensive actions that protected the user regardless of what the aggressor utilized for an attack. Those defensive motions would perform their intended purpose (preventing the aggressor's strike from completing it's intended action) regardless of whether the aggressor utilizes their Right or Left hand for the attempted aggression.
  In order to accomplish this feat, the defender's singular motion must be able to be easily, and quickly modified to function against any/all/each of the 8 possible hand strikes (Right or Left) that could be utilized by an aggressor.
  The mistake that is commonly made, is practicing to defend against any (singular) particular type of strike. The student's practice should be in regards to the motion of the (tori's) defensive action (not the aggressive action that the technique is being used to defend against).
  Too often defensive system's will require the user/student to learn a myriad of different defensive motions to defend against the various possible manor's of assault that could be utilized against/upon them.
  By understanding the body's R.O.M., the defender can more easily be able to defend against (and/or predict any eminent actions of) any of the possible attempts of aggression made by an uke.
  It's an obvious fact, that one cannot predict (exactly) how an aggressor will perform any particular aggressive action (Right, or Left). For that reason, a systems primary defensive motion performance must be able to (easily) adapt (with minimal variation) to deal with any manner of assault that an aggressor may choose to utilize. 
 Oyata's methodology does this through it's (combined) defensive actions. These motions are performed in one manor, regardless of what/how an aggressor chooses to perform their assaulting action.   
 Chaos, is only a contributing factor in the overall scheme of things. At the level of application and/or response, there are preordained expectations and limits (that can be accounted for). They may not always be anticipated in time (or even correctly, LOL) but in hind-sight, one will commonly see that the tori was usually provided with the clues that should have forewarned them.
 Though Chaos (by it's nature) can't be controlled, the circumstances which it will/can occur, are able to be anticipated (and in some situations avoided). It is through rehearsed practice of generalized responses, that this can be done. Many of these responses are the "old-school" practice routines that are performed by numerous systems in their (individual) standard classes. Again, it isn't what they're doing that's wrong, it's how they're doing it that is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Fakes and Flakes"

 I was reading through the various "Kyusho" and "Tuite" wanna-be websites and find myself amazed that people are that desperate to believe in what their selling.
 I'm fully aware that one of RyuTe®'s highest ranking members (at the time) was conducting seminars with some of these individual's. Having seen what they went away with (knowledge wise), I'm not impressed (at least with their abilities to pay attention, LOL).
 Not having attended those seminars (though I have watched video's of some of them), I can't say whether what was taught was wrong, or whether what they understood from the instruction was wrong (but somebody's understanding was definitily incorrect).
 Seeing that a large number of the attendee's (and many of their instructor's) were down the linage "Dillmanites" (aka "Kyusho International" members), it's easy to see why they got things wrong.
 These groups started out with bad information (aka "Dillweed"), and continued to build upon that fantasy base. I've encountered numerous members and (supposed), student's of this idiot's nonsense.
  Having watched (literally) hour's of these peoples examples of (their versions of) Tuite, I've decided that these people must have only watched some old video's of Taika (actually) performing the techniques that they have attempted to duplicate. The (even basic) mistakes being made, are pathetic in their occurrence.

 Obviously, there are numerous individual's who are paying these joker's to teach them these (supposed) "techniques". From everything that I've seen, and read (from these individual's), there's obviously no incentive for these (presumed) "instructor's" to (even) learn how to perform the techniques correctly, much less progress in their performance.

  Student's who have attended these "seminars" have my heart felt sympathy. They've been given misleading information, and poor application methodology. I've written before of their (IMO, worthless) "principles". 
 Knowing that the vast majority of what they're teaching is based upon GD's books, their methodology is destined to fail. The (very) few techniques that they get some-what correct, they treat as if some (unknown) level of mastery is required to perform them.  

 When GD attended his first (and only) "summer-camp" of Taika's (at the time, we were still "Ryukyu Kempo"), the only thing he did, was have his flunkies run around camp with video camera's taping anything Taika did (including knock "him/GD" out).

 Everything in his (GD's) first video's (technique-wise), was what was taught at that summer camp (which was why he didn't have that much in his first video series).
 All the other nonsense, was his (GD's). Because he never actually practiced any of the techniques while he was there, he never learned how to perform them. The instructions in his books (later), are all his, which accounts for their not working (as he is teaching them).

 Taika never trusted the man, his claims of "private instruction" are nonsense (Taika informed numerous students not to elaborate on any instruction that had been provided to him). That concern was (obviously) well founded, within a few years he (GD) released his video tapes, then his first book on Tuite (all of which, consisted of the techniques that were taught at that one, and only summer-camp that he ever attended).
 At some point, his student's chose to go out on their own, teaching various forms of GD's methodology, (while denying any affiliation). Though denying his teachings, they only varied it (slightly). It was still being based on the mythology of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), something that Taika never taught (and disputed regularly)
 I see that (any of) these groups provide seminars to whomever. Though I'm not familiar with what they charge, I'd love to do a comparative seminar (just to illustrate how wrong they are, LOL), as well as teach them how to perform the techniques correctly, LOL