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).


Lee E. Richards said...

Part I (apparently blogger only lets me use 4096 characters per post and I far exceeded that)

With over two decades in RyuTe® I look back at what else I studied and why. I had my original taste (barely) of Bushidokan, or was that Bulshidokan.... But that was prior to RyuTe® and my instructor poofed before I could even wipe my own........

After training with Waddell and Tony for quite some time, but yet still a Kyu I had got an interest in Judo. Both Tony and Waddell had some Judo in their lineage so for me, I thought it looked interesting. I had such a thirst back then and was not much of a ladies man (meaning I had more free time than the other fellas) that with my instructors approval I set out to find a Judo school. Closest one was in Raytown. I called and made an appointment. This was one of those 'Jack(off) of all trade' schools that had Judo, Hapkido and something else that fails my weary head. I went and talked to the 'Master' who was probably in his late 30's at the time. Watched a class where they did pretty much Hapkido for an hour. In retrospect it boggles my mind that they allegedly did Judo (Japanese) and showed me Hapkido (Watered down version of Japanese Aikido) when I had expressed interest in Judo. Then the instructor takes me back to his office and gets out a big contract. You all know, sign here and agree to give me money monthly or I sue you later for it. And then tells me I have to give up training in (then) Ryukyu Kempo to train with his Masterfullness. So I somewhat politely turned a little red in the face, thanked him for his time and left. My original goal was to help my 'foundation' with some added training in Judo and instead of helping my foundation I learned that not all schools are created equal, not all instructors are humble, and a few other tidbits I took away from my meeting with that 'Master'. I then stayed away from other 'arts' for many years.

Sometime after attaining shodan, I trained for two whole classes with Fred Weaver who taught an art he called Tri-Palm-fist which was a mix of three arts, one of which was Ryukyu Kempo, having been himself one of Taika's early blackbelts. But alas, marital strife blocked that further endeavor. My goal there was to get a taste of the Chinese martial arts as the other two parts of Weaver's web was Chinese in origin. I just wanted to see what 'they did'. But alas it wasn't to be and I didn't have enough exposure to expose the taste buds to much.

Lee E. Richards said...

Part II: The Wrath of Dan

Much much later I had a student loose his job but he was (so he said) a judoka. He was quite young but apparently (so he professed) taught judo with the other group he trained with. So I agreed to give him free RyuTe® lessons for some basic Judo lessons for me and one other student. My first thought was that, after 20 years or so, this would give me a little variety and perhaps my other student and I could learn some 'foundation' enhancements. Well, these lessons didn't last very long but what I did get most from these exchanges was that the exposure gave me a new list of 'tuite openings' that just had never crossed my mind before. We would get into situations that slide effortlessly from Judo throw into a Tuite pin. So what started as an exercise in one thought turned into something else for me. So it opened my eyes to a whole new vein Tuite nuggets. That was slightly unexpected but if you don't know my I'm slightly Tuite obsessed. I would see students raise their hands to ask a question when I taught at the academy and the first thing popping in my head was 'catch'. But, I have TDD, Tuite Deficit Disorder.

Over the years I've trained briefly with other artist in the Law Enforcement training arena, predominately at this point Jew Jitsu influenced. OK, really, the main guy I've trained with there is Jewish so we actually call it that..... Again, with my self-diagnosed TDD, each training session with that would end up with me morphing what they were doing into a more RyuTe® style hold or adding Kyusho and Atemi into thier techniques (for the Jiu Jitsu challenged they can't strike because of some obscure thing called 'rules') and again has enhanced my set of possible positions I can get in.

So as I sum up, I didn't attempt (as Tony recommends) any other training until probably about green belt or so and didn't actually take part in any training until quite past Shodan. At no point to I attain or seek any rank, nor was that my intent. My intent initially in any of them was not what I ended with, what I ended with in each situation was a list of more RyuTe® uses or jacked up positions that I might find my self in need of countering.

And wow, that is probably Tony's longest response on his blog ever....