Wednesday, May 30, 2012


  I (like to) Believe that the majority of student's don't really care about what level of "rank" they attain, but they are concerned with what they are able to do (while being aware of what they can't do).
  My initial goal with my student's, is to make them qualified to test for Shodan. Once they have that yudansha ranking, it's my hope, that they continue their study and improve upon what was shown to them. The desire for higher rank, is not something that I promote.
Once a student has received their Shodan, they (either) begin training to better understand what they've been shown (and thereby become more proficient at it),... or they quit.
  Surprisingly, the majority quit. At least of those that even stick with it to their Shodan test. The majority of those, will quit at brown (3-1st kyu). Whatever motivated them to begin their study, evidently dissipated.
  At no time in my instructional experience, Have I ever pushed for a student to test (beyond Shodan). It's not that I believe that having that rank makes one any better than any other student, only that it dispels those attitudes that accompany it's acquisition. Once that rank has been attained, a student's eye's are routinely opened (to a lot of the BS that's attached to rank in general). What one will commonly realize, is that much of what they presumed to be correct or accurate,... isn't.
  Soon thereafter, they begin to see that 95% of (so-called) “Black-Belts” aren't even that skilled (if at all). The dispelling of the Rank Illusion is one that every yudansha will have to confront, and come to terms with.
  The (sad) truth is, is that the vast majority of martial arts instructors, are existing solely on only (their own) claims that they have the knowledge (much less having the ability) to teach students (correctly).If one is attending the strip-mall dojo (type of) instruction, they are rarely going to begin teaching (at least outside of their little circle of strip-mall students). For myself, that type of instructor I could care less about (it's not my venue or interest).
  Those that I will comment on (here, on this Blog), are those that promote that they are teaching something beyond the strip-mall dojo curriculum. Having thereby entered my realm of instruction, I feel they are fair game, for commentary/critique.
  Even when reading some of the blogs written by these individuals, I am amazed at their lack of knowledge, about even the history of Te. As well as the (extremely) common misuse of Okinawan and Japanese words. It would serve these people (and their students) much better to not even attempt to use the language (any more than necessary, if at all). 
  Technique wise, most of what is being taught (by those people), is for sparring purposes. That (in turn), means that what's being taught will rarely work against anyone with (either) Strength, or Size (mass). Conversely, what is taught will only work for those who already posses those attributes (as if they needed additional training, LOL). What I teach (and critique), are techniques that disregard those factors as being the primary concerns (as to whether or not the technique will work).
  I have (some) students that still participate in sparring. They're usually injured and/or incapacitated to some degree as well. They pursue this whim on their own (I'm not their freakin' mother). I seem to be pissing into a fan as far as convincing them otherwise, so I don't bother (any more).
  At the very least, they provide the class with examples of what training in stupid practices does to your techniques (and your ability to train in meaningful practice). For every hour of training in that nonsense, it requires 3-5 hours to unlearn it. Nothing was achieved from that practice, yet people believe that it teaches them “something” (and it does, just nothing good).


Friday, May 25, 2012

Tuite Amongst the Masses

  I spent another day made up of video perusing. On this excursion, I choose to only seek out examples of Tuite (more often “torite”) as they are presently being taught by various systems. I was only disappointed in what I found, not how much.
  The majority of what's being taught is often similar (visually) to what we teach, though there are numerous differences in the execution of the techniques.
  The biggest mistake being made, has to do with the dorsal folding of the hand/wrist. This was a common mistake made when Taika first introduced his techniques to westerners. When the technique is applied in this fashion, the uke only bends forward (at their waist). It does nothing to prevent them from retaliating (with counter-strikes), and/or escaping. It's additionally based upon the physical strength of the tori.
  These weaknesses are (obviously) being missed (or are possibly being ignored). I think that when being shown these techniques, people have tended to only view the results (of that techniques application), without consideration of how those results are attained (and preventing all the possible ways it can be countered).
  Additionally, there seems to be a fixation on simply having some form of grappling and wrist/arm manipulation techniques being shown. Most appear to be (unnecessarily) elaborate, usually containing numerous (often confusing) motions that don't really serve any real purpose, other than making the technique's application longer, and more confusing.
  I've viewed those persons performing the techniques who were ejected from the RyuTe association, and I see now why Taika wasn't concerned about their expulsion. They perform these techniques with those same faults that I've listed above. 
  Not surprisingly, these same individuals are promoting themselves as being tuite “experts”, and are conducting seminars to profit from that claim. Oddly, they've offered none of these (at least publicly) in the Kansas City, Mo. Area. Granted, none of the RyuTe schools would have anything to do with them, but there's plenty of non-affiliated schools in the area.
  Both of the other major Okinawan kempo (spin-off) groups are based locally (seeing as how they're lead by people who were kicked-out of the RyuTe association, LOL). They both are lead by individuals who promote themselves as having been Taika's highest student (at the time of their expulsion,LOL), although neither were!
  Interestingly (or not), they've all (self-)promoted themselves (and anyone else who would follow them) to higher (if not the highest) dan ranks that they felt were required for them to sell their wares. They choose to now use the various colored belts for Dan ranks which Taika has forbid to be used in his association because he felt they bred Ego! (guess he got that one right on the mark! LOL).
  I read a blog that was talking about when Taika passes. That author's contention was that if there were no RyuTe instructors/schools local to them, that these individuals may be the best alternative. Having now had student's who came from both of these individuals, I would definitely argue the case against that choice.
  Between the Dillman debacle, and the expulsion of numerous individual's, it's becoming more and more difficult (in many areas) to locate qualified and knowledgeable instructors of RyuTe. There are numerous wanna-be's and an equal amount of flat-out imposter's who are promoting that they are teaching Taika's system (or some equivalent).
  I've felt the most pity, for those who chose to follow Dillman. He had no idea about how/why Tuite worked (much less how to perform it), so his students abilities were crippled from his lack of knowledge. He built his own little empire around the TCM nonsense (which provided plenty of excuses for when the nonsense he taught didn't work). His groups reign of existence lasted only about 15 years. It still exists in small pockets, with even smaller groups of followers. Eventually, those followers will move on (to something that works) and he will become a passing footnote (of no significant importance except as an oddity of the time).
  I've mentioned before the origin of the word Tuite, which is why I find it so amusing that so many systems now offer it (and promote it as having always been a part of their system). I find it especially amusing that various Korean MA schools are now offering it (and of course claiming that it was always a part of what they teach).
  I guess what bothers me the most, is that students/instructors aren't researching what's being taught (as/for Tuite). So many of the inadequacy's that I see in what's being taught, are (pathetically) blatantly obvious, and could be corrected very simply and with minimal effort.
  When I've confronted those instructor's about these technique deficiency’s, the excuses they offer are legion (and prepared). I've watched numerous videos that explained how tuite was only to be used as a softening application, much like a strike would be. They often provided no follow-up motions (to neutralize and/or restrain the opponent), and if/when they did, it was some unnecessarily elaborate (and pointless, IMO) technique. These usually had the look/feel of an MMA type of application (all show, no go, LOL).
  Over all, my recent observance of the industry (as it were, LOL), has only shown (me) that it hasn't changed much since the last time I looked. I still see the same nonsense that's always been there (and no doubt always will be). Not that I'm surprised, only disappointed that people haven't chosen to investigate/research the subject for themselves, they only wait for someone else to do so. 
 The biggest problem that I see (with that philosophy), is how will they know which viewpoint is correct? (if either).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Right Train, But the Wrong Track

  I was reading some comments made to a post (obviously not mine, nobody comments on my blog, LOL). This person's comment ended with “that's why I let my student's cross-train, if you don't, then your limiting their learning”.
 I'm not all together sure that's an accurate assessment.
  Though I don't have a problem with higher kyu ranks participating in another systems study, I certainly don't encourage it until after they reach yudansha.
  I'm a firm believer in completing one (major) goal before starting another one (or even heavily participating in one). There are certain endeavors that require one's entire attention. IMO, RyuTe is one of them.
  Though not seeming so (at the time), RyuTe contains many facets that could easily be (and have been before) missed by those student's who have divided their attention of study. The majority of the kyu ranks study, is memorization. When one divides (or more accurately, increases) their attention to two (or more) subjects, it requires greater amounts of time to practice those motions.
  As I have repeatedly encountered, New RyuTe student's will have to unlearn many of the similar motions that are taught by the other systems. Not that it can't be done, only that the only one to blame for their own (self) limited improvement, is themselves (and their cross-training).
  What is usually discovered, is that the other system, has a different approach to how a situation should be resolved. That method may be close, but I can almost guarantee that it will be different. That difference may very well include completely different motions than what are taught in RyuTe.
  For those that don't believe that this would effect themselves, I can provide the numbers to talk to my present students (who have that “previous” experience) and they can tell you if/how much it has effected their ability to learn/perform RyuTe's techniques/motions.
  I think the greatest reason for this cross-training popularity, is that many systems are encountering situations that their present system hasn't really (or at least satisfactorily) addressed. And, to further my personal whining on the subject, I would (in turn) blame the obsession over sparring with creating this void of knowledge.
  For years now, instructors have been pushing the fantasy that sparring was helping you to learn what to do in a fight. Now they (suddenly??) discover that it doesn't. It doesn't even come close. Well No Shit Sherlock!
  I discovered years ago (the hard way, LOL) that what I used to do, didn't work. That's why I changed what I was doing. It also isn't always what your doing that's wrong, sometimes it's just how your doing it. In those instances, it's you that needs to be modified, not the system or the style.
  I've also noticed the latest trend in instructor's seems to be the acquisition of multiple Dan ranks, in numerous systems (I've seen some that had up to 8 different systems with a rank higher than godan in each). If each of the systems sucked so bad that you had to begin the study of another one, then why would you attain any higher of a rank in the previous one(s)?
  Oh yeah! (I forgot) It's because your lying about your abilities to begin with, and your only purpose in teaching is to gyp ignorant students out of their money, because your a low-life piece of shit!
(that's it!, I knew I'd remember given enough time).
(hmmmm, ...too blunt?)

 I Believe that the majority of student's don't really care about what level of "rank" they attain, but they are concerned with what they are able to do (while being aware of what they can't do). 

 My initial goal with my student's, is to make them qualified to test for Shodan. Once they have that yudansha ranking, it's my hope, that they continue their study and improve upon what was shown to them. The desire for higher rank, is not something that I promote.      
 Once a student has received their Shodan, they (either) begin training to better understand what they've been shown (and thereby become more proficient at it), or they quit.   
 Surprisingly, the majority quit. At least of those that even stick with it to their Shodan test. Most will quit at brown (3-1st kyu). Whatever motivated them to begin their study, evidently dissipated. 
 Once that rank has been attained, a student's eye's are commonly opened (to a lot of the BS attached to rank in general).

Friday, May 18, 2012

Clubbing Bat's in the Dark

  Technique wise, most of what is being taught (by the typical Karate school), is for sparring purposes. That (in turn), means that what's being taught will rarely work against anyone with (either) Strength, or Size (mass). What I teach (and critique), are techniques that disregard those factors as being the primary concerns (as to whether or not the technique will work).

  I do have students that choose to participate in sparring. They're usually injured and/or incapacitated to some degree as well. They pursue this whim on their own (I'm not their freakin' mother). I seem to be pissing into a fan as far as convincing them otherwise, so I don't bother (any more).

  At the very least, they provide the class with examples of what training in stupid practices does to your techniques (and your ability to train in meaningful practice). For every hour of training in that nonsense, it requires 3-5 hours to unlearn it. Nothing was achieved from that practice, yet people believe that it teaches them “something” (and it does, just nothing good).

  I tend to believe that the reason that people pursue the sparring (game), is because their (other) techniques that they learn/practice don't work (for whatever reason). I have to presume that they must feel (somewhat) helpless, and believe that by participating in the sparring game, that they will (somehow) gain whatever it is they believe that they're missing (in their regular training).
I don't necessarily believe that it is their system that is (always) lacking. I believe that responsibility falls more so on the individual, and with their instructor.

  When I watch and listen to these instructors talk with their students about sparring, I am (both) amazed and flabbergasted. They tell them (the students) that they must learn how to take a punch. That sparring will teach them about timing. That they must learn to regulate their breathing, so they won't be out of breath (before the fight ends). They're shown to dance around so the aggressor doesn't have a solid target (to hit). This, is their version of what a fight will consist of.

  First off, just the statement “learning to take a punch” goes against everything that I believe in (as far as training goes). This is the equivalent of saying “learning to take being shot”. What moron believes that they can learn to accept a debilitating blow? (and no, don't point me to the idiots that have people kick them in the groin and the throat, that's just stupid. And isn't even applicable despite their claims).

  From the practice of sparring, you aren't learning to “take” any blows (that are serious) anyway, because any truly serious shots aren't allowed. When they talk about timing, I really start laughing. What kind of timing are they looking at/for? They have both persons begin their little “match” in stances, and somebody says “go”. Timing is long past when these matches begin! They're training you to wait.

  They're always concerned about student's having sufficient breath to sustain them in a long conflict. Granted, I don't get into a fight every day, and I'm not big on running away if/when I do, not because I'm macho, but because I'm lazy/old (take your pick), nor do I chase after an aggressor that's leaving (for the same reasons).

  What baffles me (in regards to breathing), is how long do they believe that a fight lasts? Of any serious conflict that I've ever been involved with/in, the longest, has been 30-45 seconds (which is a very long time).

  As far as the footwork (dancing) that these people are pushing, they can keep it. Anytime you mandate a moving footwork, you'll develop a pattern. And again, we're talking about a 3-5 second time span (how you gonna waltz in 3-5 seconds?).

  I find it funny, that they claim to be learning to take a punch, but they're wearing protective padding (and headgear)? By using gloves (regardless of which type), you limit both the striking options/abilities, and the types of strikes that can be performed (as well as the effects resultant from their use). The only hope of inflicting a debilitating strike, is to attempt to perform a “knock-out” (through blunt trauma, against the head). Do these same instructors tell any small, frail, female students, that they will never be able to defend themselves? Maybe they don't directly, but by making them participate in the completely unrelated sport, of sparring, that's exactly what they're telling them.

  If/when I have a female student who wants to participate in sparring, I explain to her that it has nothing to do with being in a confrontation. It is a sport. It's for entertainment only. If she wants to continue, that's fine, but she'll have to spend twice the amount of time training on the techniques that actually work (instead of the one's used for sparring). That's being done (not to be mean, LOL) because the BAD habits/tendency's that sparring will train you to do, will get you seriously hurt in an actual confrontation.

  I can't quite understand why people would choose to participate in a activity that trains you, to do the opposite of everything else that you've studied/learned to do in a real situation (that won't include either of you having “protective padding”).

  Again, for the strip-mall dojo, who's main goal is to occupy 4-14 yr. Old's (while mom and dad go have a beer without them, LOL), I have no problem with what they teach. For anyone that wants to learn to protect themselves from serious threats, they will learn nothing at these places. If anyone touts the “sparring” angle as being beneficial (to/for that purpose), Run, do not Walk, away from them, they are idiots (and not what your looking for anyway). You would be far better served, by attending a dance class (at least what you learned could be utilized without embarrassment in public).
 Before he died, my father got to observe one of my classes. Upon seeing the difference between the beginners and the more advanced students practicing kata, he pointed out that watching the beginners performing kata, looked like somebody trying to club bat's in the dark. He also got to watch a video that featured some sparring on it. Watching that made him laugh, he said it looked like two people falling down a set of stairs. I had to agree with him, did.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blood Makes the Grass Grow!

  When I was in my late teens, early twenty's, I used to go to the Renaissance festival. They had the society for creative anachronism which did their little “reenactments” of knights doing various forms of swordplay. They were all dressed up in their little armor outfits, and had their replica swords (covered with foam and such) and would offer the public the chance to give it a try.
  It reminded me a great deal of how a martial arts “match” would be done. Both participants would face one another (swords at ready) and the “ref” would signal a start. I (of course) just had to give this a try (as it looked like fun, and I was considering joining their group).
  When the signal to begin was given, I immediately cut downward at my opponents leg. This caused him to block the blow (low) with his sword and I shuffled in and punched him in his face shield (we had to wear helmets). When he staggered backward, I kneed the inside of his right leg (which spun his sword arm away) and I forearmed his chest (which put him on his ass). I was then able to bring my sword down (point first) under his helmet skirt.
  (Foolishly) Believing that I had “won” the match, I found myself escorted out of the arena, stripped of the “armor”, and told that I was UN-chivalrous and not to attempt to participate again,...well SHIT!
  This early experience obviously tainted me in regards to competitive matches (LOL), but it illustrated one of the mistakes that are made with these types of training methods. Not that the exercise needs to be more realistic, but that the consequences of making mistakes be realized by the student (as opposed to ignoring the problem, by not allowing it to occur because of “rules”).
  On this subject, I was reading an article (on another blog), that was discussing training simulators used by the military (often for pilots).
 They discovered that instead of allowing the student to crash the vehicle (plane, tank, boat), it was more beneficial (for training) to reinforce the correct actions being made initially (that would prevent the occurrence of the failure).
  Having read what was presented in the article (which was done in more complete detail than I have done here) I was surprised to read the comment left (by another reader of the article).
The Scenario must be authentic to the actual event being prepared for. Even though I was inducted into the Black belt Hall of Fame, and I sincerely do have the greatest respect for the arts, I do not consider classical martial arts training as true self-defense training. It does not simulate the actual event of a real fight or all that comes before a physical fight when there is the opportunity for de-escalation and avoidance. Nor does it educate the student about the thinking and MO of the human predator which will allow him to avoid being selected as a victim”
  I had several problems with this persons comment. First off, what does whether they've been added to some hokey list make any difference at all (to what their about to say) ? And then, before saying something sucks, saying that you have the greatest respect for it ?
  I don't necessarily believe that it is the purpose of the martial art (itself) to provide training in the other listed aspects. Many of those subjects are dictated by circumstance and situation. The establishment of the mental attributes of a predator can vary by geographical region as well as the psychological condition of the perpetrator.
  Though those subjects Do fall into the realm of “self-defense”, I don't think it's the responsibility of the individual “martial-art/system” and/or instructor, to dictate the establishment of those conditions.
  A martial art (as I understand it) should provide the methodology for training a student in the physical aspect of dealing with a physical aggression when (or just before) it begins. It should also provide the means to end that confrontation (if/when necessary). Training beyond that level is something that the instructor can/should provide the option of learning if/when needed.
  This is a (generally) moot point if/when I'm training Law Enforcement. Those officers would find it rather presumptuous (of me, as the instructor) to attempt to instruct/inform them of legal precedence for the use of what was taught (much less a moral justification/restriction for the use of what was being shown).
  It's this “show of force” attitude that spurs the whole sparring BS. Practice of this wanna-be dueling stuff serves no purpose for Life-protection or for the practice of the defensive motions/techniques that are being taught.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


"Chaos is the law of nature;
                              Order was the dream of man."
  Over the years it has always confounded me, that students feel that every motion must be performed in a symmetrical manner (whether Left or Right). I repeatedly see the same theme/idea being presented (in their training methods) when done by a (and really, any) martial art system.
  With these ideal's in mind, Symmetry is not always a preferred manner of practice. In truth, every person has a dominate side. They are (usually) either Right/Left Handed. A very few may be (somewhat) ambidextrous, but even they will have preferred “sides” for doing various motions/actions.
  Although it would (obviously) be beneficial for the student to practice using both sides (arms/hands/legs) of their body, we stress that they (initially) emphasize the use of only 1-side, when beginning their training with us (that being their dominant-side).
  For our transitional students (that have experience in other systems) this seems to be a huge task to overcome. The majority of RyuTe's reasoning for doing so, comes from the fact that the defensive motion is performed the same regardless of the aggressor's choice of side (whether they use their Right or Left hand).
  It's always (entertaining?) interesting watching transitional student's begin to implement RyuTe techniques with (simple) striking assaults. It requires a lot of practice to un-learn the habits of their prior instruction.
  This is also the most difficult for people with other training to understand (without being shown/demonstrated in person). In RyuTe, we don't have separate responses for Left/Right punches. It's (usually) the exact same motion (performed by the one side) regardless. Symmetry, is not a relevant issue. The focus, is on the defensive motion (not the aggressor's action), the response will function regardless of the aggressor's choice of Left/Right.
  I believe that a lot of this symmetry of motion nonsense, has been reinforced by the meridian-line crap that's been pushed over the last few years. These meridian theory's are ridicules when being applied to the martial arts, if you want to disprove them, all you have to do is look at an anatomy diagram. The human body is NOT (internally) symmetrical (yet, the meridian lines are?). There are numerous (Western) medical fields that have FAR more relation to what we're doing in RyuTe (or any martial art for that matter), than these idiots that are pushing the TCM Crap.
  Symmetry, is not natural. Look at Japanese gardening (how's that for appearing to change subjects!, LOL). They are never constructed symmetrical, this is done to emulate nature (which also, is never symmetrical). Many actions often appear to be symmetrical, but aren't (really).
  Take walking (for example), although it appears that each foot/leg performs an equal motion, it's (well) known, that when lost in a desert/forest, if one takes off walking, they will inevitably wind-up walking in a (often large) circle. This is because both legs do not make equal lengths of step. They are not making symmetrical motions.
  These differences throughout the entire body, come about for numerous reasons, some simple, and some require reams of documentation to explain. RyuTe only utilizes the most simplistic of those reasons for determining the application of the techniques being taught.
  What is usually emphasized (for equating symmetry), is an equality (of motion) between either of the two sides (by the defender). What would be more accurate, would be a singular motion (performed by only one side), that will create an equivalent response, regardless of which side is being utilized by the aggressor.
  To add further confusion to one's training, Taika is constantly frustrated by our inability to motion either arm in the (exact) same manner. It was because of this inability, that Taika began to teach his “single-side” defensive methodology . This single-side manner is the initially taught practice method (before having students, Taika believed that everyone should/could/would be able to do equivalent motions with either side). Once one has become proficient in it's implementation, the student can then begin developing their non-dominant side.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why is Traditional Considered to be B.S.?

  I've read three separate Blogs recently, that (apparently) believe that practicing a martial arts “traditional” teachings are out-dated (or at least of limited value). They inferred that what was being taught and/or practiced was often impractical or even inapplicable.
  I read the articles with the presumption that they would justify their position,... I was disappointed. Not that their viewpoint is unusual (of late), but I have a difficult time understanding it (much less agreeing with it).
  Trends come and go, of late it's MMA, Ju-jitsu and ground-fighting (in general). I believe that I've complained about MMA sufficiently, so I don't feel it necessary to rehash it here (again). I've never encountered anything associated with Ju-jitsu that I found to be unusually worthwhile (beyond the commonly taught techniques).
  The ground-fighting aspect, I don't feel warrants the attention that's being put on it. I don't disagree with the idea of ground-work (per-say), but I don't agree with the training that directs one to take a fight to the ground. Obviously for Law Enforcement, this is a planned event, but for a civilian life-protection situation, it is one that should be avoided.
  Conversely, I read one site that insisted upon believing that traditional martial art techniques were developed on battlefields and such (by warriors, no less). This is ludicrous, despite the claims to the contrary, moderately trained unarmed fighters are poor substitutes for moderately trained armed ones (regardless of what they are armed with).
  What I find additionally confusing is systems that are calling themselves Reality Based, WTF? Is that supposed to imply that everything else is Fantasy Based ? And what are these reality's based around? What I see being practiced are closer to being fantasy than any traditional martial art's practice that I've observed.
  In our classes we attempt to keep any practiced motions (defenses) as close to reality as is possible (or at least can be, in a class environment). Commonly, in order to do so we have to slow-down the execution of the practiced techniques. As students progress in their study, we allow the use of protective equipment (for 1, 2 and 3 step routines) to prevent injury during full-speed practice.
  That shouldn't be construed to mean that both the tori and uke will have protective gear on, usually only one will. These practice sessions are only to highlight a single aspect of a confrontation (and how the instructed motion will be utilized, as well as the effects that result).
  We allow only one (tori or uke) to utilize protective gear, only to prevent injury. IMO, to use protective gear on a regular basis (as is done in sparring) creates a false sense of ability (and infallibility).
  I believe that the greatest farce/falsehood/lie that's being lain on martial arts student's today, is the belief that you must be able to sustain an altercation for (up to) 5-10 minutes. That is a blatant LIE. Over the past 45 years, I have NEVER seen a confrontation last over 3 minutes (and that's a long, LONG time).
  The only relevant time factor that any student should be concerned with, is the first 3 seconds of a confrontation. When the confrontation goes beyond that time, YOU have fucked-up (or at least have made it more difficult to get out of the situation unharmed).
  I've read a lot of material that makes excuses for not responding correctly during those first 3 seconds, but it always amounts to poor training habits/instruction. I make that statement, not because I've been able to avoid doing the wrong thing, but because I have done the wrong thing! The only way to correct this, is through further training.
  I believe much of the (disappointment?) disillusion with the more traditional systems, is that greater amounts of practice are required for it's successful implementation (ie. We're too freakin' lazy). The more recently developed systems (and I feel that I'm using that term completely out-of-context) are faster (to learn), but don't posses near the amount of flexibility in their implementation and/or their responses to differing circumstances.
  It's in that context that the more traditional systems hold the true advantage. If your interest is in contest (sport) type matches, you will gain little (if any) value from training in a traditional system. If your seeking to learn to defend yourself in varying situations, you would (most likely) be better off training in a traditional system.
  For those who claim that the traditional systems don't train student's for “such and such” situation(s), I can only say that maybe their system of choice didn't, but the system that I chose did. It may also be that the situation that they're concerned with, is an unrealistic one.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Learning Doesn't Stop

  We named our school/Dojo KenShuKai, this translates as study/training club. Taika (additionally, and after 15 years of operation, LOL) named it RyuShinkan (which roughly means Place of the Heart of Okinawa).
  Our primary concern, has always been focused towards increasing our own knowledge/understanding of what Taika has/is showing to us. As that information is being assimilated into our curriculum, it doesn't (always) have to be totally understood (as to why it works) by our students (during it's initial instruction). In numerous ways, that knowledge should become apparent through further instruction/practice.
  Though Taika doesn't always provide (detailed) explanations as to why/how many of his techniques work, we find it to be worth investigating (even if for no other reason than our own curiosity). Those investigations (more often than not) provide us with additional training/instructional information for teaching those techniques to our students.
  It was through this research (on our part), that we developed our “Basic Tuite Principles” (Theory). These principles have proven very productive for conveying the necessary understanding of technique (Tuite) application. They are by no means the end-all of instructional methodology, but from the Feed-Back received from other association members who have been utilizing them, they would appear to provide an (additionally) effective method of conveying application principles.
  When attempting to research an application, we initially attempt to determine the reason that the motion/technique works. This is (usually) began by confirming the validity of our application principles (the Basic Tuite Principles). This is our starting Theory.
  A theory tells us the what and the why but not necessarily the how. A good deal of our research is into that how. A knowledge of the theory or system helps us to make accurate predictions of what will happen in the future or as a result of a specific experiment. There will be some generalizations and assumptions, but these are made using the best, most complete knowledge to date. The theory or results acquired through our own experience will help guide our research. Further experimentation is conducted based upon conjectural statements and propositions--the Hypothesis. Rigorous experimentation and independent research (by others) helps to validate (or disprove) the theory, or will help define and/or further refine explanations.
  At the present time, our Basic Tuite Principles are still in this (experimentation and independent research) stage of testing, being done by both ourselves, and by others within the association. So far, the feed-back that we have received has been very positive.
There have been some minor clarifications required, but over all, most of the principles have been easily understood and applied. Not realizing the level of interest that would result, we have additionally decided to record a higher quality video (to help clarify any misunderstood concepts) to put on the RyuTe Forum (accessible only to RyuTe association members). 
  Our Research into Kyusho is being done similarly. Unlike a simple limb/joint manipulation (Tuite), Kyusho creates a plethora of reactions/responses from it's implementation. The number of (application) variables, are numerous for each instance/example.
  We have only discovered a few, that are limited in their response/effect from different methods of application. Our student's generally begin with those locations that are on the arm's, followed by the legs, the neck and the body (front and back). The generally (mis)understood belief, is that every location creates some kind of horrific response. Many of these locations will only create a retraction/retreat of the limb being stricken (with, or without additional pain influencing that response).
  Not every location being struck (including those strikes being performed upon the neck) will cause/create a loss of consciousness. This seems to be the biggest fallacy that the charlatans are promoting. Knowledge of these locations does by no means, makes one invincible. Without the knowledge and ability to perform the execution of the systems fundamental techniques, any of this knowledge is (basically) worthless.
  One blog that I read (and usually enjoy) has recently posted a blog about the validity of these kyusho points. Their implication is that they are (all) false. I can only assume (from reading that post) that they are attempting to base their belief from the various BS/Blow-hard's that promote various ridicules beliefs about ki/chi and mental powers/beliefs that have no basis in fact or reality. That same blog asserts that all of it, is (somehow?) linked to mass hypnosis (of some sort).
  I suppose that in some cases that might be considered a legitimate reason, but if/when confronted with complete skepticism, I'm afraid “mass-hypnosis” is an invalid argument. I myself was a complete skeptic/disbeliever. I gave Taika the opportunity to prove it to me (the first time). That was all I needed. His strike was neither hard, nor violent. There was a slight disorientation, and I awoke on the floor. After a few moments I could again stand up (not that I felt 100%, by any means). I was only out for (maybe) a “5-count”, but it was plenty to prove the potential for learning his methods.
  I've stated before that Kyusho is not our main area of study (only another piece of it). Tuite, and the Atemi striking and defenses are where the majority of our study/practice is done. Like the Tuite, we are working towards developing a “list” for Kyusho principles as well. This (of course, LOL) is much more difficult to do than the Tuite. Given the numerous variables, and individual differences (between people), it's proving interesting to formulate common “standards”. Oh well,...what else have we got to do? LOL.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hyperbole-Martial Arts

  I've spent the better part of my day combing the internet for articles and blogs that I might find of interest to read. All I can say is wow,.... there is an incredible amount of misinformed, if not generally stupid individual's out there presenting their opinions about martial arts in general, that have no business proclaiming themselves to be the experts that their supposed rank would attest to.

  I read (2) articles that were written by an “ex”(?) police officer who was decrying that martial arts (in general) had no business being taught to, or studied by police officer's (in general). Although,....He was teaching wing chun (and owns the school) that was offering discounts to officer's (??, because “he” knew how/what to teach officers),....what-ever.

  I read numerous articles about Krav Magah, Macah, Macaw,...what-ever. All of which substantiated my prior beliefs about it being a quasi-wanna-be military half-ass pummeling method for similarly minded people (despite that numerous proponents are attempting to organize more main stream “kiddie” training programs for it).

  The Mixed-up Martial Arts Meatheads are (still) intent on making that crap publicly accepted(able). I found numerous adverts for schools offering MMA training for preschoolers? (WTF?). It's bad enough that their attempting to teach that trash as being for “Self-defense”, but to preschooler's?

  There would appear to be plenty of articles about how “traditional” martial arts are out-dated, ineffective and don't teach students to defend against the “modern criminal” (and just what that is, they never seem to explain). I think these guys (and gals) have seen too many reruns of Bladerunner (for establishing their “bad-guy” model).

  It would appear “Home invasions” are the latest (Scary) thing to be afraid of. I've received 4 (independent) E-mails, that are all geared towards training me to defend against this rising scourge! According to (their) statistics, the odds of it occurring to me (or my family!, as they've pointed out) are 1 in 8! (? uh, huh?). 1 in 8 what ? Years that in might happen? It was then that I noticed that all of these adverts were from British Huckster's,...Ohhhhhhhhh, that explains it (I think?).

  I did read one site that wanted to change “Mixed” martial arts to “Blended” martial arts. I thought that was a much more descriptive phrasing. Stating that you teach a “BM” art is much more (accurate) appropriate (I know my medical profession readers will relate).

  I had restricted my search to only the previous year, so the “which martial art is the best” articles were limited to only 2 pages of found searches (after reading 2 of these, I skipped the whole category).

  Considering that I had limited my search to only include Instruction of martial arts, I still only had about 15 “hits”, that were for Paid-programs (on how to teach martial arts). I actually expected more (and maybe I just didn't open any more that were).

  After milking that subject for (far) more than it was worth, I did some searches for tuite, kyusho and finally, RyuTe. Being somewhat familiar with the registered RyuTe membership and Dojo's, I found it odd that there are so many RyuTe Dojo's in Europe and their being ran by unknown “RyuTe” Yudansha (of substantial Rank level, that I wasn't even aware of, Hmmm).

  Judging by the accompanying photos (on those sites), they would appear to have an equally substantial student base! (not to mention the numerous video posts made of/for seminars being offered by them).