Thursday, August 9, 2012
Our school, like most any other, will have a number of student's who only attend for a short period of time. They come and go, like the sun and the moon.
Many, are a type of martial artist (to some degree) that attend numerous classes, for numerous system's/styles. They (usually) like to claim that they're only “looking to learn what works”, which can also be translated as, “I don't want to work any harder than I have to”.
To a small degree, I can understand that, but having experienced it (the jumping around between systems), I understand (now) that you can't really learn anything of value by doing so.
The ability (?) to pick and choose techniques (much less understanding how they're being performed) can only be determined by/from experience. The acquisition of that experience (to any level of value) is only valid if one understands what's really necessary/needed to accomplish the task that one is needing to be completed.
For the average student, that translates to “what keeps me from getting my ass handed to me”. (and isn't that the initial goal of the majority of student's who attend a “martial art's” class?). Unfortunately, the majority of new student's can/will get sold a bill of goods that doesn't (really) address that very issue.
If you've read any of my posts, you've (no doubt) picked up on the fact that I don't care for sparring (at least as it's commonly done). When compared with what we teach (in RyuTe®), what's being done in (at least typical) sparring, is teaching the student to perform motions/tasks that go against what is being taught in class.
If your not doing, what you (need to) do in an actual defensive situation, then your not really practicing. A confrontation is not a (sport) competition. There should be no need to keep a “score”. You either accomplished the motion, or you didn't. To avoid injury (during practice), we have the uke utilize protective gear. When the student is tori (in a class) practicing, why do they need to wear the gear? They won't be wearing it when they're actually in a confrontation.
It's understandable that the uke should be wearing gear (to prevent their being injured), All that the uke (initially) needs to do, is provide the “target” (arm, leg, head or body) for the particular exercise. They have no need to be (seriously) attempting to impact the tori. As the student progresses/improves, the uke can speed-up their strike (and should be able to avoid seriously striking the tori, it's called Control, I know, most people apparently haven't heard of it yet).
With the latest trends in martial arts (along with “no kata training”and “ground-fighting”), has developed this “who needs control, your trying to stop the guy, not scare 'em”. Which I'm sure sells a lot of the Young Turk’s, that are paying for the macho trip that comes from rolling around on the ground (with another guy) that's trying to punch you, as much as your trying to punch him... repeatedly.
I understand ground-work, but I don't agree with it. That's not to say that we don't work with it as well, but it's done with the understanding that you've done something really, Really Wrong, to of ended up in that positioning.
We (occasionally) get these types that come to our class, they are commonly, the fore mentioned “transient interloper's” going from class to class, school to school and (actually) believing, that they're building a usable knowledge base (and they're not). They're building a reference collection. It's one thing to identify an F-18 jet, it's another, to be able to fly it.
In some schools, these interloper's are ostracized (if allowed to participate at all in classes). We've (usually) allowed them to participate in our classes. The vast majority can't handle the slow-speed of practice that we utilize with the practice of tuite (which demonstrates how much the methodology has become corrupted).
The prominent practice methods today, stress the aggression aspects of the action being performed. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as it's utilized after the student has (previously) established a slow-speed ability to utilize the particular technique.
We've found that those that “Poo-Poo” the (slow-speed) practice idea, are usually incapable of doing so (applying the technique slowly) themselves (and, they're far less knowledgeable of the techniques as well). We presently have 2 kyu-ranked students (1 male, and 1 female) that I feel completely confident with having them explain tuite techniques to any visiting Yudansha.
By performing the taught techniques slowly, the students are also building a mental recognition/catalog of techniques and responses. If /when one of their applications isn't done correctly, they're already familiar with where/how to correct it.
This ability can only come about from time, and repeated practice (you know, the boring stuff, LOL). That type of practice can not be developed when you are “hopping” from one style to another, with different techniques to practice every week.
I used to have (some) concerns over these interloper's attending our classes (for their typical “short-time”, LOL). From watching them, it soon became apparent that these individual's will never (really) be proficient at the techniques we teach. If they choose to share (their versions of these) techniques with other practitioners, it will only reflect poorly on them (and not upon us, LOL). And that fact, has already been proven to be the case.