Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Though it depends on the context, and the perspective one has concerning it, physical size can effect how one will need to deal with a possible aggressor. If we're debating the advantages/disadvantages of confronting those (muscular) attributes during a physical confrontation, then it's a relevant concern (depending on which end of that spectrum you fall into).
Though believed (by the ignorant) that possessing greater strength (at least in comparison to your opponent) will assure a victorious outcome (when becoming involved in a physical confrontation), it is not a “guarantee” by any means.
It should be accepted that there are exceptions to every rule, the following generalization is no different. “Above” normal (strength level) individual's are rarely involved with martial art's. That doesn't mean that they are/would be or aren't/can't be any good at martial arts, it just means they rarely become involved with them (they are rarely interested in them).
Our original dojo, was located close to a high school (with a fairly prominent athletic curriculum). On (only) “2” occasions did we have any of those (very large, and very muscular) student athlete's come to our school to consider attending classes (a small group of about 8, very large, “kid's”). These guy's were (presumably) around 17-19 year's old.
I was instructed to demonstrate (upon “them”, individually) some (very) “light” and slow, tuite (so they could understand what we were attempting to teach to our students. Every one of them (which is common, and was expected as well) attempted to out-muscle me (in order to resist the technique's application).
During that demonstration (upon them) they seemed to be in disbelief (of the effects that were created).
It was hard to say what their purpose in coming to the school (actually) was, but none came back to attend classes (which was too bad, we were looking forward to having some large, muscular individual's available for practice.
All that having been said, I/We have had some (2, “male”) student's who were of (actually far) above normal strength/pain tolerance levels. The technique's that we taught would work on them, though not identically to the manner that everyone else would experience them.
Where as “most” student's would experience a “high” level of pain/discomfort (when these technique's were being applied), these two didn't (experience the level of pain/discomfort that everyone else did). They still “dropped” when the technique's were applied, but there was no pain involved with eliciting that response (the reaction was only experienced on a nerve/reflex level for them).
They would then immediately get back up, and begin questioning “how” that response/reaction was accomplished. Their “draw-back” (for learning), was that they had no “reference-base” to draw on themselves (for when they were attempting to apply the technique's upon others).
They were (eventually) able to learn how to apply those technique's, but it required a (much) greater period of time before they were able to do so.
For our school (and our own training) those students natural attributes helped us to (both) affirm, and dispute many of the application methods that are commonly being utilized (by other systems, as well as by some members within our own association).
In part, having access to those student's helped us to develop our “6 Basic Principles of Tuite”. Without having those individual's to utilize, we would (likely) have never known of the possible (or probable) inaccuracy's of our technique's application methods.
As of yet (and we're always re-confirming, LOL), we have not encountered any individual's that these technique's will not function upon (and as required/expected to). Does that mean that they are always the correct response for every situation?...of course not.
But simply because someone possesses a high level of physical strength, is not a reason for properly utilized technique's to not “work” upon that individual.
Larger muscles are viewed (by us) as larger opportunity.
Understanding the physical (consequences) “effects” of having those larger muscles, is what we instruct our students in how to take advantage of them.
In conjunction with increasing the size of the muscle, one will increase the definition of the tendons as well. This tends to make them easier to locate (for our own strikes and manipulations upon them).
Preferred striking locations are often located between many of those muscles, as well as directly upon many of those muscles/tendons. When taught the direction and angles of how/where to direct those strikes, the student can have an easier time with performing their strikes upon those preferred locations.
The obvious question, then becomes are larger individual's easier to defeat in a physical altercation? Not necessarily (at all), it only means that the available opportunities are (often) more readily apparent.
Learning how, where and when to strike these locations is what a large portion of a student's practice time is spent doing. Conveying that information is what a large portion of understanding what the kata are demonstrating (in the practice of them) that the student is being guided in by the instructors.