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.

1 comment:

Lee E. Richards said...

But but but but.......

I do think that the very first time they put the massive Darth Vader mask on and jump around for 5 minutes (yes, that's an uber long fight) they learn that holding their breath is not a wise thing. :)

Oh, and they learn to familiarize themselves with the smell of the previous helmet wearer. That can be an important life lesson. It at least gives them a greater appreciation for Febreeze.