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.

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