Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Being aware that “Google” is a flawed search medium, I still get frustrated when I chose to “google” the subject of “Tuite”. If/when I do so, I am inundated with video and articles about “kyusho”(?). Though I can hardly blame the search engine for being unable to distinguish the difference between the two subjects, that misunderstanding is perpetuated by the very web sites that “claim” to be presenting information in regards to Tuite.
This misinterpretation has been perpetuated by (mostly) schools/systems/people who are pushing their theories about “kyusho”. They (almost all of them) push the belief that the two are synonymous. I'm not exactly sure how they came to believe this (or if they really do), but my suspicions are that they weren't that good at either of them to begin with.
(My theory) If you can't do/explain (either) one, then include the other (to “muddy” the water). It's then easier to confuse anyone who questions your theories. It also provides them with a plethora of “excuses” for when it doesn't work.
The #1 reason that they use (for when something doesn't work, namely “Tuite”) is the “Anomaly” excuse. This excuse is based on the premiss that a certain percentage of the population is immune to the effects of a (their) Tuite applications. They claim that this figure is somewhere between 25-35% of the population. This figure allows them a common “failure” rate of ¼ of their seminar attendees!
Aside from (actually) being a good reason not to learn (much less teach) their techniques, it's a very good reason not to attend one of their seminars. Would you have any reason to learn something that only worked 25% of the time?
In the past 20 years of teaching/performing tuite techniques, I have never failed to have a Tuite technique work (as expected). It might be presumed that I have just managed to “never” of encountered one of these “anomalies”. Except, for the fact that I have performed Tuite applications upon persons who have attended those seminars (as well as others) and have been “deemed” (as being) Anomalies. It isn't that “I'm” special, or exceedingly skilled. Only that those individual's aren't doing their techniques correctly.
Having looked at their “10 rules of application”, it's no wonder (that they regularly fail). I can understand why one would want to have a set of rules to follow (we do as well), but all of theirs are based on vague theories that imply additional knowledge in unrelated subjects (IE. “TCM”).
By combining the two subjects (kyusho and Tuite) they are allowing themselves to “switch” to the use of striking applications when their version of Tuite fails (several of their videos point out this very “fix”).
They also require that the techniques be applied quickly (and usually with force). When requested to perform them slowly, they inevitably fail to make their version of the techniques work.
Both of these subjects (according to them) are tied to the whole TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory. Aside from that subject being based on (proven) false concepts, it adds enough vagueness to the subject that one can inject various excuses for technique failure (in regards to either subject). If the instructors of these methods would learn how/why the techniques did/didn't work (to begin with) instead of wasting time with these ridiculous concepts, then maybe they could learn how to eliminate “their” anomalies.
Though Tuite is an integral part of the Okinawan arts, it is often being taught as a separate (sub) art. Yes, it can be taught as such (as we have done numerous seminars in regards to it's performance), but it is an integral part of the entire defensive system. We teach Oyata's Tuite methodology, that implies that it will function best (most easily) when utilized within that system. When it has been integrated into “other” methods, it can prove to be (somewhat) cumbersome (often due to the premiss utilized in the implementation of those systems defensive methodology).
Many of the presently instructed systems are focused upon impact (striking) methods (in regard to their defensive methodology). I presume this is why many of these seminar sensei are including Kyusho as being (so) necessary to it's implementation. Of course their interpretation of Kyusho is (somewhat) questionable in our opinion as well.
Kyusho, means (is translated as) “vital point”. This implies that the use of those locations will often cause/create serious (permanent) physical injury. What's being shown (at these “seminars”) are more accurately only atemi (body blow) strikes. “Pain” is not the indicator of a strike achieving “Kyusho” status. The fact that I stomp on your toe (possibly breaking it), does not equating it to being a Kyusho (type of) strike. If I impact a location and your unable to stand, breathe or retaliate in any way, that is (closer) to being a Kyusho type of strike, than what is presently being taught as such.
This shouldn't imply that pain is (necessarily) the only validation for a location qualifying for Kyusho status. This is where I believe that many of these people are justifying their definition of/for Kyusho. Kyusho is only the latest “catch phrase” being used in the martial arts community. Because it's a relatively unknown (foreign) word/phrase, it's interpretation is (somewhat) vague to the average student/instructor.
90% of the strikes that Oyata taught, were of the atemi category. He believed that the use of Kyusho (types of) strikes were rarely required, much less necessary. This also met his personal and system's belief that a defensive method should protect both the defender and the aggressor. Anatomical locations that are (only) leverage points (when utilized during the application of certain techniques) can qualify as being “Kyusho” points (although no “pain” is necessarily experienced at those locations). Those locations are none the less, vital to the techniques ability to function. This is what qualifies their identification as being “Kyusho”. But, because they're not as “dramatic”, they are rarely identified as being such.
The practice of Tuite requires hours of repeated application, on numerous different body types and sizes. Working with (only) a singular, or (at best) only a few different students is insufficient to gain an accurate understanding of it's utilization. Validation of a techniques use must be verified on each of those varying (aggressor) body types/sizes by a student. This requires numerous training sessions and hours of practice with the instructed techniques. What we've encountered (through visiting students and through our own presence at different schools) is that (only) a limited amount of time is being spent on their practice.
This has amounted to (attending) students to claim that they “know” a particular (Tuite) technique, and then discover that they are only familiar with it's use. Even with students/schools that have practiced the applications slowly, they often haven't (actually) researched the existing variables that are inherent in the techniques application (in regards to size variance and counter application possibilities). This requires a more intimate understanding of the techniques application than what is commonly being taught/shown.
Unfortunately, Oyata's methodology (system) of Life-Protection was popularized via his examples of “knock-out” (neck) strikes (presumably because the recipients were often temporarily made unconscious when receiving those strikes). Those “strikes” were only examples of application (of his methodology). They were not the training emphasis of his system (which is why he quit doing those “knock-out” strikes at seminars). Those (types of) strikes, were only intended as potential application methods, not as being the main emphasis of his methodology.
The majority of defensive situations that people will find themselves in, can often be settled without the use of (trading) strikes between the involved individual's. This requires a higher level of training being practiced by the Life-Protection student. This entails training that avoids the “trading” of (implied) impacting blows between the participants.
Believing, and training to (only) apply (any “so-called”) Kyusho strikes, is not the method that Oyata taught in his system. His methodology is intended to protect both individual's during a confrontation (at least from the reception of any serious injury). This is what made the training of Tuite applications such an important part of his methodology.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
I was recently queried as to why I don't “acknowledge” (numerous) proponents for whatever(?) it is that they are teaching, in regards to their own versions of Tuite. Well, first off, what the majority of them are teaching is poorly executed finger/arm manipulations that wouldn't work (as advertised) on the majority of aggressive individuals.
Second, they are emphasizing a belief in a methodology that is fraught with inconsistencies (IE. “TCM”) and serves no beneficial aspects to the art (nor the performance of these techniques).
Third, the “rules/principles”(sic) that they promote only serve to distract their students from any productive practice and (in fact) lead them in a non-productive direction of training (it's blatantly obvious that they haven't researched any of those, meaning “their” instructed “principles”).
Fourth, I just don't like the idea of someone misleading students for the purposes of monetary gain, or in an attempt to elevate (only) their own personal/social status.
All of these people additionally add their own “caveats” as to when their techniques will fail. The most common of which, is the “Anomaly” (excuse). This argument praports that an (unspecific?) number of the population, is unaffected by the application of these techniques (or at the very least, some of them). Those same persons experience 1 or 2 (at least) of these anomaly (individuals) at nearly every one of their seminars (which kind of discredits their concept of “anomaly”, doesn't it?).
Looking over their proposed “10 Principles”, only a couple of them even resemble an applicable practice. The majority are generalized concepts that are so general, that they have numerous possible definitions. Hardly a way that “principles” should be presented IMO.
They've also posted video of their “instructional” seminars regarding these (their) “principles” and their application of/for them. They would have been better served, to have not done so.
The purpose of an “instructional” seminar, is to instruct. What was presented, was more of a “Look at Me, and what I (supposedly) can do”, recruitment fest. They (meaning I've watched several versions of them, put on by various individuals) perform examples of their techniques, upon their people, and elicit the (kind of) “reactions” that they claim to be “correct”.
As I stated previously, some of what they promote are valid methods (just not in the manner that they are presenting them). For the majority of what they're selling, if you remove the “TCM” nonsense from their curriculum, they are left with nothing (to validate their applications/principles or the manner which they are presenting them).
When I was approached about this subject, I was also “informed” that no one is really that familiar with what (and how) Oyata taught Tuite (outside of his students). I would have to agree with that summation (though I would say that only some were familiar, rather than no one). I would be inclined to also include many of the members of Oyata's own organization (in that category) as well. Not because he didn't demonstrate how to do so, only that student's didn't learn (“study”) how his examples actually worked. Though clearly having been shown Oyata's methodology by him (we have the video to demonstrate that fact), and having witnessed him explain the principles of how to apply it (correctly). The average student will still (commonly) muscle their application of a Tuite technique to produce a response.
Unfortunately (IMO), Oyata was very “big” on demonstrating a technique, then saying “Now you go work on it” (implying that the students, meaning “us” were to research the correct way to implement them). Strength, was never a prerequisite to proper application of any of his Tuite methodology.
This is how the myriad of weekend “seminar” attendee's, became “Tuite Experts” (and now offer their own seminars for their versions of Tuite). Some of those “experts” had even studied with Oyata for some period of time, yet still didn't learn how to perform the techniques correctly. The ability to achieve “a” response, is not the same as producing a correct response (Oyata also taught his instructor's what that entailed as well).
Tuite is not a “sub” art, of his methodology. It is an integral piece of that methodology. It isn't based on any form of “Chinese Medicine” (nonsense), nor is it dependent upon any manner of “Kyusho” (point) manipulation to elicit a correct reaction. It's based on natural body motion/reaction, and how the body does, and doesn't work.
Kyusho is a (completely) separate field of study/application. They can (each) be applied separately, or in conjunction with one another. That should not imply that either, is dependent upon the other. Yet, if one does a “Google” search for “Tuite”, it will produce a (90%) result for their version of “kyusho” applications (which only demonstrates how badly these guys have distorted the field of study for Tuite). What the majority of these people consider to be Kyusho, is (more often) simple “atemi” (distraction) locations.
If one wishes to “test” someones (anyone's) “Tuite” abilities/knowledge, have them perform their application of tuite technique slowly. If they can't produce an (obviously) equivalent response from the uke, they don't know what the hell they're teaching (much less talking about). If they attempt to include any “TCM” (in their application and/or explanation), again, they don't know what they are talking about.
Oyata (repeatedly) emphasized that tuite should be practiced slowly. Not because it was so dangerous, but because you couldn't learn anything if/when you did so with speed. Any idiot can make a Fast application produce a result. Doing so slowly, requires that the performer understand how, and why the technique works. With that understanding, a student can elicit the (or any) response that they, or the situation requires. Achieving this level of ability, can provide the student with a far wider range of responses to utilize against an aggressor. One's ability to do so, requires practice (of all of the shown Tuite applications). More often than not, it is the “simple”(if not “simplistic”) applications that are the most commonly utilized in a confrontation. They are also the most often ignored applications (by students).
I've been informed that some of those instructors/systems (which I am referring to) teach their applications in “stages” (IE. “basic” to “advanced”). #1, I don't believe that "excuse" (having been subjected to students of those methods attempting their applications upon me), and #2, I've seen their “advanced” applications, which are anything but “advanced”.
Even if it were true (this “staged” learning process), what real (training) purpose would it serve? (other than the continuation of the receipt of the students money). In the case of these types of techniques, “staged” instruction only creates confusion for the student (why should they be required to learn some “basic” version, only to be shown the “actual” technique later?).
This is different than being shown “additional” tweaks to an application, what I was shown (by these individual's) were (completely) different applications for which (their) students were informed as being (either) “basic” and/or “advanced” forms of the same technique/application. Besides being confusing, this instruction method makes no sense.
A (legitimate) Tuite application, should be able to be performed successfully on only it's own merit. It should not require the inclusion of any (additional) “atemi” strike(s) to produce the required reaction. What most are “claiming” to be kyusho strikes, are more accurately (only) atemi strikes (these guys should actually learn the difference).
Oyata only taught “1” manner of performing his Tuite applications. There were often “additions” to an individual application, but the technique (itself) was only taught to be performed in 1 manner. In turn, His students (or at least the “seminar attendees”) have performed them in various ways (not exactly the same thing). And many of those persons are providing their own “seminars” on (their manner) of performing Tuite (which is not the same thing as what Oyata taught).
The most popular reaction to receiving an example of Oyata's (correct) method of (Tuite) technique application, has been “Oh! That's how it's supposed to be done! Though students will commonly focus on the “pain” aspect of a technique, The more important part, is the reaction. If the uke is (only) bending forward (at the waist) in reaction to the technique application, it's being done WRONG (simply view the internet for NUMEROUS examples of this incorrect technique application).
This isn't something that's learned in “stages” (IE. “basic” to “advanced”), it's either being done correctly, or incorrectly.