Sunday, September 2, 2012
Practice What You Preach!,...er,uh,. Teach!
I was discussing the (general) material that is being taught at numerous (popular) schools/dojo with another individual recently. That person was adamant that what was being shown was “Better than Nothing”.
The more I considered it, the less I agreed with that belief (or statement). The majority of martial art (types of) techniques, are taught through a repetitive motion format (by repeatedly performing a motion/technique, the student will more readily react to the practiced scenario, using that motion).
It's been established that any (triggering) action that is similar (to the one being practiced) will also generate that same (if not) similar response. That (successful) reaction ability , is directly linked to the amount of practice that the individual has done in regards to that technique/motion.
It has always been my contention, that what the majority of schools/dojo are actually doing, is training their students (techniques) to fail. Not intentionally (I would hope, LOL), but the result of their most often utilized training method, will often (directly) cause those methods to fail and/or at the very least, not provide/create the intended response/reaction.
That (intended) response is supposed to be the neutralization (and/or abatement) of an aggressor's attacking motions. RyuTe's® initially taught techniques will (most often) attempt to neutralize the aggressor's limb (arm/leg) that was used to implement the aggressive technique(s) upon the student.
Barring that result, the consolatory result should be that the defender (still) doesn't get struck, because of the deflection of the aggressor's strike created through their (albeit attempted) defensive response.
This aspect of (any) training, is to be expected within any practiced methodology. The detrimental training method that I'm referring to, is that of sparring. Yes, I'm beating that dead-horse into a throw rug.
The (only) reason that I do so, is because I DAILY have to contend with arguments to the contrary. The (so-called) “reasoning” that these arguments are presented with, are (in fact) denials (of reality).
The techniques that are taught in RyuTe® (like most arts frankly) require a great deal of practice. When you suppress what was learned in that practice, you (basically) nullify and replace it with whatever else your doing. In this instance, your replacing technique's, with “taps and slaps”.
The very motions/techniques that we practice, you aren't allowed to use in sparring. Your being forced (by those sparring rules) to allow the opponent to strike you. Because of the protective sparring gear, 75% of the taught techniques can't be (fully) utilized.
What your practicing, isn't a “fight”, or a “confrontation”, it's a dual. And worse yet, it's a dual with obscure, vague rules, that are irrelevant to the reality of an actual confrontation. Being successful at one, bears no relevance to possessing any ability at the other. What these “matches” amount to being, are confidence builder's (though I would argue, is that they are false confidence builder's).
Despite my arguments against them, there are methods of participating in a practice that is similar (in nature and intent) to those types of sparring situations (that I actually Do advocate, LOL). The Problem, is that it isn't nearly as glamorous (or as fun, LOL). More importantly, it does provide exactly what the “sparring” advocates claim to be seeking, but fail in their attempts. Their problem with it (evidently), is that it isn't spectator friendly (it's boring for someone who doesn't know what's going on).
It's (generally) considered to be boring, because there's no (actual) winner or loser (it isn't a competition). In most of these situations, only one participant will have protective gloves on, and body/head gear will be dependent upon what's being practiced (as to who's using them).
Initially this (type of) practice is used for Realization/Awareness Acclimatization. Though besides having a long-winded title, it's also being used as more of a reality check as much as anything.
By restricting only one student to having protective gear on, a more realistic strike can then be performed by the other student. The scenario's that the student's are allowed to conduct this type of practice with, are limited in their scope as well. One can only perform a limited portion of a given defensive application (protective gear or not, the risk of injury is ever present).
The first (few) exercises of this nature, are for defending against head strikes (the most commonly encountered first-strike in a confrontation). This can be simulated via an upper-cut, a straight punch or a roundhouse (hay-maker). There may be minor variations to these, but they are the most commonly performed methods of this type of strike.
The majority of the population is Right-Handed, so we begin with defending against a Right Hand (delivered) Head strike. We then work with an Uppercut, and finally, a Hay-maker. These are followed by similar strikes being performed with the aggressor's Left Hand.
I've (somewhat) described the beginning techniques that our student's perform this practice with (in prior blogs), but the methodology utilized could be applied to any technique's practice. Additionally, these motions are not necessarily for beginning students (as they require a modest level of control to prevent injury).
Most importantly, these methods don't permit (or even allow for) any manor of false confidence to be instilled. The student either can, or can't perform the actions/techniques successfully. Either instance will provide the instructor with guidance on which manner of training that student needs to focus.
As with most training (and more often than not), what's needed is more repetition. The adage, “You will Do (in Reality), Whatever you Do in Training ” is accurate more often than not. Don't be training to do something that doesn't work, or doesn't even apply to what your training to Do.
So What does Your Training need to be Better than? Better than Whatever your Opponent's Training is, that's what. Having an abundance of Incorrect/Bad training is not “Better than Nothing”.