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.