Friday, September 14, 2012
How Basic, Are Your Basics?
When I begin new students with their training, I explain that there will be numerous motions and applications that will be taught in “stages”. This doesn't mean that what I'm showing them isn't (already) applicable, only that they will learn more effective manors of utilizing that motion and/or concept (as their training proceeds).
The motions (initially) shown, are building blocks (for later development). It's these “basics” that Taika had required to be taught to students before they should be allowed to test for Yudansha (Shodan). Frankly, He didn't want to have to mess with (having to) showing students “basics”. His job, was to teach concepts in the application of (his) techniques.
Though it would be nice to provide a new student with all the knowledge and techniques that they would require to protect themselves (before reaching Shodan, LOL), it's a rather grueling task to do so (unless one is willing to wait a great deal longer before receiving a ranking of Shodan).
Personally, I don't see the point. My own opinion of Shodan, is that you've learned all the “basics” of the system. Whether (or not) you can utilize them effectively, is (of course) another matter.
Once a student has received that Yudansha ranking, they tend to be more (able?) likely to concentrate on what's being shown to them (without the stress of additional material being required to be memorized for some irrelevant “belt/rank test”).
Additionally, the concern for one's next “test” is of little consequence to the Yudansha student (“rank” has zero bearing on what one is shown after reaching the Shodan/Yudansha level in RyuTe®).
The basics (IMO) should consist of knowing, and having the ability to perform all of the basic motions of the studied system. A basic ability to apply those motions will taught once the Yudansha ranking is awarded. The average student will often (naturally) be able to utilize the taught material to some extent (for defensive purposes).
The majority of MA students will quit their study, having once achieved the rank of Shodan. It's at this level of learning, that their “real” study should (actually) begin. Everything up to this point in their MA education was only foundational to their continued study.
IMO, students will tend to have the (initial) desire to migrate away from those basics. This being done despite the fact that they are repeatedly told that basics are what they will inevitably resort to using.
Basics, are the initially taught motions that are continually modified as the student progresses in their study. There's usually several different manor's that each motion could be utilized. The first shown manor's of execution are shown for the (physical) property's of their motion. Contrary to what's commonly believed, those motions become more simplistic as the student progresses.
Those initial motions, are taught to begin the student learning the necessary motions that will be required for later techniques. Those motions are not (necessarily) more difficult, but do require particular motions to be performed, in a particular manor (for the techniques to function).
Very often those same motions are pieces of the practiced kata motions. Though most often only being simplistic representations of the applications, the required/important motions are usually what's being represented within the kata motion.
Many of the initially taught “basic” motions, are building blocks to/for the more involved motions (learned later in one's instruction). One should remember that advanced, doesn't necessarily mean complicated. Stating that a technique is involved, (usually) only implies that there are several (often basic) motions in use simultaneously.
It's these principles that are what's being utilized in the Single Motion Defensive Responses. Once the first of these motions has been practiced, we have students practice the second and third (which will be described in blogs that follow).