Sunday, November 2, 2014
Practice is Research
When learning a particular skill set, it's usually necessary to be shown the individual pieces of that skill slowly (at least in the beginning of the learning process). When attempting to reproduce that motion, a greatly reduced speed of execution is necessary. To do so otherwise, amounts to having a “sink or swim” attitude about the instructional process. It would appear to me that this is the very attitude being put forth for the learning, and the instruction of Tuite (regardless of who's version one is attempting to learn).
Oyata repeatedly emphasized that Tuite should be practiced slowly. Despite that fact, the vast majority of practitioner's attempt to perform Tuite motions with speed. Most often (from my own experience) this comes from a lack of ability to do so otherwise (and/or achieve any positive results without doing so).
When I first began my studies with Oyata's method of Tuite, it was commonly being done with speed (and power). This was not a mandate presented by Oyata (himself), but was being promoted by (supposed) “students” of Oyata (or at least by numerous “seminar attendee's”).
Once I began working with Oyata (himself), the preferred (ie. “his”) manner of Tuite practice, was to do so slowly and incrementally. This meant that you would take (any) particular Tuite application, and divide it into “pieces”. Each piece would then be studied, understood and then practiced. Once that piece could be performed correctly, you would work on the “next” piece. This continued until the entire technique was (actually) understood (which is reminiscent of his “kata” training method). When the (basic) application of the technique was understood, potential weaknesses would be identified, and the prevention of those flaws from being exploited would be practiced.
This was a fairly long (involved) process. There are numerous factors that could cause/create certain weaknesses in an applications ability to create the desired results. This could involve a great amount of time (per technique), and there are numerous variables that could be included in determining those factors as well.
Any (if not All) of Oyata's Tuite applications can be applied slowly (and continue to achieve the desired results). When they are applied quickly (even if/when done so "sloppily") they will produce those results faster (obviously). The "difference" is in whether the student is intending their study to provide them with Knowledge (regarding the technique), or the more simplistic "results". Either, can provide the student with information on "basic" defensive motions.
Oyata didn't teach "generic" applications, He taught his techniques. His instruction was intended to produce knowledgeable students (and instructors). Oyata would (often) describe some schools as teaching "Monkey see, Monkey do" techniques (and thereby, students). When something didn't occur (exactly) as those students had learned them, they didn't know what to do (to fix their technique).
Numerous systems have attempted to alleviate their student's concerns (regarding those factors) by having them attempt to utilize the (sophomoric) “10 Principles” that are being peddled by numerous groups. The problem with that list, is that it doesn't address the “main” problem (that the student hasn't learned the required individual segments of how/why the technique will or won't work). It attempts to make “additions” to something that isn't understood by the student to begin with (something about "no matter how much paint you put on a turd, it's still just shit").
The most commonly (recommended) “corrections” (by these individual's) are to go faster, and/or more powerfully. Neither of which address the (real) problem, nor are they relevant to the techniques ability to work (as desired). I have to blame that belief on the fact that the majority of “instructors” are male. Males are (commonly) raised to believe that strength and/or speed are "the" answers, or that they are the means to accomplishing the desired result (to most anything). This is not an accurate belief, especially in regards to the application of Oyata's style of Tuite.
There's also a (completely False) belief that the inclusion of a "Kyusho" (type of) strike is required to "allow" the shown Tuite technique to work. This Fallacy is being promoted by individuals who have no idea how the techniques (should) work to begin with, nor how to (correctly) apply them to begin with.
It would seem that the “Training” aspect of attending a seminar, doesn't necessarily always include the concept of “Mutual Understanding” for what was shown (much less individual understanding). But to be fair, the majority of the individual's attending seminars have had little to no experience with the application of Tuite during an (actual) defensive situation. The attendee's are instructed to apply the shown motions slowly, but the majority are unable to understand how that concept would or even could work. Training isn't (initially) intended to duplicate actual usage. Students (regardless of their experience level) too often focus on the (end) “results” that are/aren't achieved when applying the shown technique (as opposed to understanding how the technique should be applied to achieve those desired results).
It's also become “popular” for the (designated) “uke” to attempt to counter the other students training motions(?) before either of them actually understands the technique. Because of this all too common trend, students (both uke and tori) are more often beginning to speed-up their training motions (thereby nullifying any of the “training/research” that could have been achieved through the original/intended manner of the practice). Those students who don't understand why the motions should be performed slowly, are the one's who are in greatest need of that (slow) training.
"Training” is (only) the familiarization of specific motions and reactions that are intended to produce (equally) specific responses to those actions made by an aggressor. Once those motions are learned and understood, the practiced motions are then expanded upon, to understand the possible variables to/from the initially practiced motion.
The ability to "counter" those applications (if even possible) is usually only possible when the tori has applied the technique incorrectly. When performed correctly, the ability of the uke to apply those "counters", is practically non-existent.