Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Progression, Regression or Only Stagnation?
When I first began my study with Taika, everything that he taught was a new experience. Though having studied a (so-called) “traditional” system prior to studying with Taika, everything that had been shown to me before, had to be relearned (according to Taika, correctly).
Having worked with numerous individual's who had done like myself (transferred from a different Japanese/Okinawan system), it was interesting to observe what was embraced, and what was discarded, if not ignored (by those individual's).
There were a number of them that used to (and still do) teach the “Ki” energy/flowing B.S. I admit that I've used the water/flowing analogy to describe motion and momentum transfer on numerous occasions, but never as a premiss for explaining an application's effectiveness.
It took myself a few years to completely abandon what I taught (and did) before, but until I made that conversion, my progress (in RyuTe) was excruciatingly slow. There were too many opposing principles that couldn't be resolved until I did. Until I embraced the system (as a whole) I didn't really experience (much of) any progress (beyond the basics).
Often the simplest things, like learning to kick the uke's legs (only) required a great deal of effort (on my part), after having that be a “banned” practice for those numerous years prior to beginning RyuTe (in my previous system).
Even the practice of kata was vastly different when I began my study. In my prior system, kata practice amounted to (only) being a requirement (for the next belt test). There was no (legitimate) bunkai that was being shown (or even hinted at).
The biggest (weight, IMO) practice to abandon (at least in methodology), is that of sparring (or at least, in how it's being done). I have no problem with “1” student donning safety gear while another is allowed to pummel them using medium/full power strikes (in response to an aggression attempt). My problems with how the practice is commonly being done, begins when both person's have the gear on.
In my prior system, 1 and 2-step (practice) was considered to be basic and/or practice. Sparring was what was supposed to be (considered) real (OK, I was young, and ignorant of the ways of the world, LOL). When I began RyuTe, those two subjects (step practice and sparring) were reversed in their practical priority status (and sparring, was actually demoted to a lower level than 1 and 2-step had been at previously and is now considered to be detrimental).
What had been practiced for grabs, pushes and such (grappling), was a collection of Jujutsu and Aikido techniques (very poor substitutes for Tuite BTW, LOL). These techniques were actually the easiest to abandon (seeing as how what was being shown didn't posses the inherent weaknesses that the previous techniques did).
Possibly what these other person's studied didn't contain the (IMO) serious flaws that I experienced, or maybe they found some use for their old sparring techniques (that I had dismissed, and completely abandoned, deeming them a useless waste of my student's time).
For myself, I view what has been learned, and what has been abandoned as being a progression (in what I am teaching). My present concern is that of stagnation. In those regards, we are continuing with our research. I believe that if that stops, then what has been gained, will surely be abandoned, and then lost.