Sunday, July 22, 2012
la Femme Fatale (Via RyuTe)
When I first began my study of RyuTe, what drew me to it and to a great degree, made me concerned over what was being taught, was the level of violence associated to it. Over time, I learned that the level of damage that was clearly possible, could be controlled and limited (depending upon the skill level of the practitioner).
Having instructed numerous Female Self-defense classes/courses, I've always paid particular attention to anything that's been promoted as being designed specifically for female self-defense.
I have no doubt's about the fact that Te, was originally, conceived, designed and intended to be performed by (only) “male” students. That's in no way intended to be taken as a chauvinistic statement, only as a statement of fact (prove me wrong? And Wing Chun doesn't count, it's Chinese, LOL).
Now being aware of this (and to myself obvious) fact, the majority of system's that I've had interactions with, have (basically) attempted to turn their female students into (wanna-be?) butch-like martial art hermaphrodite's.
This approach (aside from just being asinine) is ignoring the numerous advantageous and natural tendency's of females, that have to be taught to their male counterpart (student's).
If any instructor has ever had a student who is or used to be a dance student (for which more female, than male students have tended to of been), they have probably seen the ease (if not boredom) of that student's learning of the required kata. A typical dance routine will contain 4 times the number of motions that the longest “kata” will have.
The only difficulty that I've experienced with training a female student, has been the development of (transferable) power in a given technique (by that female student). The average male will instinctively know if/when a strike is weak (though will commonly perform it incorrectly, in their attempt to develop what they believe to be “power”). Most often, the male will (attempt to) muscle it.
My experience with female student's, has been that they will often quit in frustration, before having been able to develop (what they believe to be) an acceptable level of power in their technique (and commonly, this can be attributed to their lower level of available mass ).
It would seem (at least to myself, LOL) that (more so) with the female student, there is a physical((...mental?), disconnect between force and strength. In this case, power constitutes focused momentum of a mass, to a specific location. One's individual Strength, is not the relevant factor here, nor is their physical mass.
If I were to drop a 95# weight on your arm, it will (tend to) hurt. If I form that weight into a 3/4” round rod, and stab your arm with it, it will (tend to) hurt more. If I form the end of that rod into a point, then shove it into your throat (basically anywhere, LOL), I doubt that you'll be up for doing much of anything for a while afterwords.
Understanding (and believing) this example, is imperative for many of my (smaller) female student's to understand. It isn't necessary that those female student's strike (any) harder than what they are capable of. Only that they can effectively utilize all of their (body)weight when doing so, and are applying it properly (i.e. effectively).
My experience with female student's has been such that when they honestly apply themselves, they (tend to) advance much faster than their male counterparts. Their Achilles heel (IMO), is understanding how to transfer their (natural) available power (body weight + momentum) into their technique.
I believe (as an instructor) it's necessary to have several different methods of conveying this idea of “Power/Body Weight” transfer into a technique. Depending on which techniques are being worked on, there will also be different ways of transferring this power into a target.
Equally important to this subject, is accuracy. The higher the level of accuracy, the lower the level of (required) power (mass + momentum). Though (obviously) the greater those amounts are, the more beneficial to the implementer. But higher accuracy can (certainly) offset a significant portion of any mass and/or momentum deficiency's.