Saturday, July 7, 2012
The Pleasure and the Pain
Either because of acclimation, or from a passive acceptance, the fact that the practice of RyuTe contains an agreed upon level of pain, has (to some degree) numbed me to the fact that RyuTe is a violent art.
When I was first exposed to RyuTe (then, still in it's Ryukyu kempo beginnings) 30+ years ago, I was stunned by the level of physical pain/damage that was inflicted upon the recipient/uke. Tuite practice (at that time) was an extremely painful process, which made learning it even more difficult.
After a number of years of practicing the various aspects of it (namely tuite) in the originally shown manner, we decided to modify our instructional method. Taika had always said to practice tuite slow, and to understand what was (actually) being done (to the uke).
When Taika demonstrated his Tuite techniques, they were always performed quickly (which guarantees a positive result, LOL). But when discussing the practice of tuite, he was adamant about going slowly (in order to understand what was being done, and the reactions created from doing so) when practicing.
Virtually all of the performed examples seen on U-tube are done quickly, and with a moderate amount of power (the better to guarantee that they work, LOL). The fact that many times their being performed incorrectly, only illustrates their effectiveness (we often ask persons to perform a tuite technique slowly, not surprisingly, they're often incapable of making the technique work).
When our student's are practicing (any of) RyuTe's techniques (because we're doing so slowly), it's easy to disregard the amount of damage (actually) being done to the recipient of the techniques. Every Tuite technique has the capability to be performed in a slow and controlled manor. Some may require an amount of speed for a particular part of the technique (often because of a momentum requirement), but once it is at it's position of “lock”, it can be (effectively) slowed down.
As I stated previously, RyuTe is a Violent art. This is especially true for beginning students. They (rarely) have the control (ability) to not cause/create (sometimes serious) damage to an uke (if/when performed at even moderate speeds).
There have been numerous occasions when I have nonchalantly described the expected result(s) from a particular technique, to have several student's visibly wince. In the early years, we often had new student's quit because of the potential level of violence and the resultant damage created from the use of the taught techniques.
We have since modified our teaching methods, and now delay our description of the detailed results of a successfully applied technique. When done correctly (and controlled), any of the shown techniques can be performed to cause only superficial/moderate (and often only temporary) injury.
In the early years of Taika's instruction here (in the U.S.A.), he was not exactly forthcoming with detailed information (which accounts for the vast differences in techniques and applications from person's who only studied with him in those early years). At that time, he hadn't yet decided to remain here.
It was only after time, that he accepted, then fully embraced America as being his own. Once he did, we became treated as if we were (his) children (only providing tid-bit's of detailed information at a time). Which (as he described it) was so that we would understand what was being shown before showing us any more.
Though often frustrating, it beat the hell out of his (original) Slam Bam Tuite instruction method, LOL. Those that didn't stick around (or were Kicked-Out) were never exposed to this manner of tuite training. For them and their student's, it's still the same ol' Slam em to the floor (instruction method). Which means your good for maybe 2 or 3 (if your lucky) chances of practicing a technique (till your too sore to continue).
There may still be a few of the association schools that (still) teach tuite in this manner, but from those whom I've spoken to, they're ready for a change (to a different method of practicing those techniques). This often accounts for a few of the schools only having a limited amount of practice experience with the tuite techniques.
Tuite is a major piece of RyuTe instruction. That doesn't mean it's all of it, only that it's a large portion (and to many, a major portion). Person's can often get caught up in the whole "Pressure Point" debacle. It needs to be remembered (by both students and instructor's), that RyuTe has multiple faucets of application. No one any more (or less) important than the others. They are to be used in conjunction with one another. It should always be remembered, that RyuTe, is a system, consisting of many facets.