Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Kyusho is not Tuite
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.