Monday, January 2, 2012
I was listening (OK, eavesdropping, LOL) to another individual “pimp” their MA school to a prospective student the other day, and the whole thing just struck me as being equivalent to a prostitute bargaining on the price for their “services to be rendered” (which IMO, amounted to the same thing happening to the client/John).
They had set rates for their regular MA classes, and optional prices for if you wanted something special. These could include personal (1 on 1) classes, or specialty courses (a weapon, a kata, sparring etc.). they even offered (separate?) self-defense classes (WTF?). If you felt that you were a slovenly out-of-shape couch potato, they even offered “kick-aerobics”, all of which were available (individually) for a nominal fee(s) Golly-Gee!
I have nothing against anyone running a store-front Dojo. I do have (more than a bit of) a problem with someone doing it as their only means of income though. Those whom I've known (who have done so) have inevitably turned into total douche-bags.
The situation I'm in now (where I additionally teach) is one of the only (feasible) situations that I can agree with. The school owner has a REAL job, and he runs the school as a “side-venture/interest”. He has mentioned to me on several occasions, that the school (and the kid-friendly system that's also taught there) helps pay for his RyuTe habit.
His school's survival is not based upon “selling” RyuTe to keep the door's open (good thing too, LOL). RyuTe is not the public friendly system that everyone flocks to for fun and family entertainment. When I began teaching there, we had approximately 14 student's, we're presently at 8 (which is actually closer to what I would consider a standard class to be for this market).
For all the Talk about how much everybody wants to learn this system, very few ever continue beyond a month or two's training. Is it too violent, or does it cause too much injury to the student's?
No, it doesn't. I honestly believe that if it did, it would have a greater following. Not that I would care for the individual's who would choose to follow that sort of instruction (or the instructor).
RyuTe requires that the student use their brain. It points out the obvious. It demonstrates what constitutes a natural motion. In it's simplicity, it's confusing as hell, LOL. With time, all of these become easier to deal with, and to understand how they are applied. But the majority of student's, don't think that they have the time.
They do (of course) have time to waste working on “sparring” (because it teaches them how to take a punch/kick, LOL) rather than learning how to negate that same strike to begin with. It teaches them how to maintain their breathing for 5-6 minutes (because that's how long a “sparring” match can be), rather than how to end a confrontation in 5-6 seconds, because that's how long you'll have in reality if your attacked by someone who wants to seriously hurt you. It will teach you how to win awards, because those are important when your laying in a hospital after your face has been maimed by someone who chose you to prove that they are a bad-ass to their buddies.
Sparring just has so much to offer. (drip, drip, drip, ...so goes the sarcasm)
When one studies RyuTe, they can expect to experience frustration, a general feeling of humility, and the occasional sense of stupidity. Along with these emotional responses, the probable physical reactions will include soreness experienced in the hands, wrists, arms, chest, thigh, legs and feet. The possibility of an occasional soreness in the neck region has also been reported.
Over-all, these final reasons are more than enough to dissuade the average student from even wanting to start (much less continue) a study of RyuTe. You would obviously be better served if you went to a school that offered all that other stuff separately (that way, you can pick and choose, since your already an expert, now get to your sparring class! LOL).
How many times on blog's, or in conversations have we (as martial artist's) been subjected to the promise of instruction of Secret/Unknown/Private/Underground/Mystical Technique's? I've been around for a while, and I've seen and had those revelation’s attempted to be placed upon me, so I know most others have also.
The majority of these education sessions commonly consist of a handful of mediocre technique's, being performed in conjunction with some variance in approach to application (hardly enlightening).
I've watched hours of presenter's (I hesitate to use the term Instructor's, as I don't feel these individual's really qualify for that title) performing what are usually a very showy application, of a commonplace technique, that they are presenting as being an enlightening event.
Of course those are the best-case scenario’s, the rest are just pathetic attempts at minor fame/recognition (generally hoping to catch the attention of someone who hasn't seen/heard their spiel before). As I'm also sure that there's a few of them that are simply too oblivious to the rest of the world to believe that everyone else has already heard whatever it is that their puking out.
The most popular subject matter is commonly “Kyusho”, I presume because it's the easiest to present as being involved and/or complicated. I've seen so many completely misleading, deceitful and (downright) fabricated presentations, that I detest having to sit through anybody's anymore.
I would have to rate Kyusho, as being the MOST whored-out/exploited MA subject matter available to the general public today. I would further suggest, that 90% of it, is being (purposefully/intentionally) taught incorrectly, and is done so in order to further exploit the individual's paying for that instruction.
IMO, the second most popular subject/trend being taught (by any/everyone) would be Tuite.
The “stuff” I see being presented as being Tuite are (to me), some of the most ridicules technique's I've ever seen. The majority are (old) Ju-jutsu technique's, that haven't been utilized since I was a kid (40yrs. Ago, now that's sad!). They sucked as technique's then, why would they think they'd be any better now? (there was a reason why they quit teaching them, they sucked).
As usual, the trend is that you don't admit that you don't know WTF your doing or talking about (much less, god forbid that you decide to learn it). Just rename (the old shit) to Tuite, and keep on going (that way you can say you always taught it).
Aside from teaching the same-ol, same-ol, these people are attempting to reverse-engineer with the applications that they presently use, as being the bunkai (that they never learned to begin with). Is this simply an attempt at (further) justification of what they already teach? Uh, what happened to learning what the “real” bunkai of the kata might be?
These are the same people that tell everyone that there are no technique's within the kata motions (other than the “sparring” technique's that they teach). These people are idiot's (and/or any other derogatory terminology that you can come up with, LOL).
What irritates me the most (with the Tuite technique's), are when someone was shown the correct method of execution, then trashes their own performance of it (all the while contending it's being done correctly, LOL) and proceeds to explain how what-ever it is (that they're doing) is so-much greater because “*”. These people deserve to be pummeled about the head and shoulder's repeatedly.
Usually, I would chastise American's (exclusively), and mainly because it's embarrassing to be one and have to be associated with those idiots as being one (an American that is, LOL), and have to witness these moron's do this S#@ on a regular basis. But I'm afraid the “Brit's” have got their own congregation of these joker's as well.
Their (actually) no better, or worse than the American's doing it, but I don't think they have near the networking of exposure ability there (as we have here). Not that it's made anything any better (here), LOL. Just that the word goes out faster here. Most of what I see come out of that region is just as slanted (in it's perspective of either of these subjects).
It's occasionally bantered about that there are "secret" kata/technique in most every system, including in RyuTe. These mostly amount to the isolated meetings of chosen member's of the association. Though hardly "secret", they are subject to restrictions. Participants are not allowed to discuss the subject matter that is conducted in this groups meetings. Though unknown for certain, it's generally speculated that the general business of the association is being documented for future contingencies.
As far as techniques, I doubt it (no real need). Taika is usually complaining about how nobody ever works on the shown techniques, much less anything new/different.
As is usual, I've most likely managed to upset somebody, LOL. There's an individual on “U-Tube” that posts numerous video's about (“his”) bunkai of various kata. He also posts numerous copies of footage from seminar's put-on by Taika (back when he still let outsider's in, LOL). I've mentioned before that what was shown then, and what is taught now, has changed. That doesn't make what was shown then as (now) being invalid, but only incomplete.
My teaching associate and I occasionally watch these (older) videos and laugh at what Taika's doing. Very often he is misleading those who aren't paying attention to what he is saying (instead of what he is doing). This U-tuber attended these seminars (at least I presume he did, he has the video's at any rate, LOL) and evidently focused on the actions being made, and not the principle's being taught/conveyed.
I was very cordial, I didn't slam his interpretations (as I had nothing major against them), but I only pointed out an alternative approach to the one which was being taken (by him). His reply, gave the impression of an openness (to other interpretations), but he quickly returned to his restricting viewpoint mid-way through the reply (along with a self-justification for that viewpoint).
I attempted another clarification (of my statement), but was dismissed in the usual manner done by most of these individual's (“well, if you want to post a video of what you feel is a better bunkai, I'd love to take a look. I'm always trying to learn and improve”).
Fuck that, as for trying? Not very hard in my opinion. I'm sure you'd love me to post some stuff. You don't have anything else, and your not willing to consider that there may very well be other interpretations. I only attempted to suggest an alternative approach, and was (basically) told to “go piss-up a rope”. If you don't have the mental capacity to understand what was stated, then say so, and I will (usually) clarify it.
There's a number of these “internet” experts/student's who may or may-not have attended a few of Taika's seminars (kind of like the “dillmanite's”) and who now consider themselves experts since their doing something different than 90% of the rest of the world (and are hoping to make a buck off of it, whether it's right, or wrong).
Student's (whether they are also instructor's or not) who are attempting to expand their knowledge/understanding base, should learn to consider any alternatives to what they are presently utilizing. This doesn't mean accept what-ever is presented, but know enough about the approach to be able to (legitimately) dispute it and be able to explain why you do so (if/when asked). Only through intellectual debate, can illegitimate theories be neutralized.
As with the individual/situation I mentioned above, I wasn't disputing his interpretation (I couldn't care less), I was attempting to expand his view of the situation (because he is basing his conclusions upon an incorrect, or at least limited analysis of the presented motions). I don't really care if he figures out what I was talking about or not. It's his view of the situation that's limited, not the situation itself. If he requires a video to see that, then he needs far more practice than what he's claiming that he has already.