Monday, December 22, 2014
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 be 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 during their practice of it. 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 “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.
Numerous systems have attempted to alleviate their student's concerns (regarding those factors) when 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.
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 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.
One of our students recently attended a seminar that included a “Tuite learning/practice session”. That student was amazed (or horrified, depending on your perspective) at what was being emphasized/believed as being “correct” by the majority of the participants that were practicing the shown applications. These were not (all) “new” students, but included numerous Yudansha as well, who were (supposedly) “experienced” with the application of these types of techniques. That student now understands why we have stated that the majority of tuite practitioner's/styles haven't attempted to understand the techniques (meaning how/why those techniques do/don't work, or what results should be expected from their application).
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 that seminar had little to no experience with the application of Tuite. The attendee's were instructed to apply the shown motions slowly, but the majority were unable to understand how that concept would or even could work. Students (regardless of their experience level) too often focus on the “results” that are/aren't achieved when applying the shown technique (as opposed to understanding how the technique should be applied to achieve the desired results).
It's also become “popular” for the (designated) “uke” to counter the other students training motions(?) before either of them actually understands the practiced 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 form of the exercise). 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 initially (only) for the familiarization of specific motions and reactions that are intended to produce (equally) specific responses to specific actions made by an aggressor.
(Commonly) 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 (recent?) "Live" (practice) myth is based upon an individual's imagination. Nothing about this practice is similar to a physical confrontation, nor is it an applicable training method when initially learning a (new) technique. This tendency, along with the “Learning to take a hit” mantra are bogus beliefs as well. Wearing a full complement of protective equipment is the modern equivalent to signing a waiver. Neither actually prevent injury or teach (sic) someone to "take" a strike, but they pacify the unknowing. The only “hit” that will matter, is going to be the one you never see coming.
Students should remember that "class/practice" time, is for understanding the instructed motions. Only once that is accomplished, can practical "use" be worked on.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I'm seeing a number of instructors pushing the idea that being “fluid” in one's application of multiple techniques and/or motions, means to (rapidly) apply them in a continuous barrage. Though (possibly?) “looking” very impressive (to the average on looker), more often these examples are totally impractical to apply (in an actual defensive situation). The majority that I've seen, have been exampled by the aggressor beginning an attack, then (once the “exampled” motion begins) they will “freeze” usually without any manor of counter or response to the attempted defense.
These “defenses” will often include numerous (IMO) irrelevant “strikes” and motions after the aggressor's attempted strike has been neutralized. Perfectly valid (and effective) neutralization techniques are by-passed (or ignored) in order to include numerous (additional) unnecessary strikes. In the examples I observed, perfectly good (effective) neutralization applications were by-passed in favor of being able to continue the confrontation (through the use of repeated strikes being applied).
The only (valid) reasoning that I can see, is that these individuals don't have adequate applications to effectively neutralize an aggressor (when being in an “obvious” position to do so). What “appears” to be the (their) most utilized method for doing so, is beating the aggressor into submission. For the physically large student, this could (might) suffice as a plausible tactic, for the average student though...not so much. It is rare that a (random) aggressor will attack a Larger opponent. The average (criminal) aggressor will more often choose to attack an “easy” and smaller target/victim.
It is this “larger” opponent/aggressor that (most) defensive systems train to defend against. The purpose of one's training is not to be able to (physically) “beat” an aggressor into ceasing their behavior. It is only to negate their ability to continue that behavior. That can be accomplished via several avenues of response, the most legally defensible choice, being to immobilize the aggressor (while either suffering and/or inflicting the least amount of physical injury).
Oyata taught that when delivering a strike (to an opponent) we provide the opportunity to be struck (ourselves). This is why (arguably) the majority of what is taught, is in response to an aggressor's actions. Every motion performed (whether a “strike” or a manipulation) is done in response to an aggressor's motion(s) and/or reaction.
What is (commonly) being displayed as “Fluidity”, are a continuous (“flurry” IMO) of repeated actions (most often being “strikes”) that depend upon the Blitz theory of over-powering an aggressor. Though legitimate in certain (limited) circumstances (ie. When the defender is large/strong enough to accomplish the action), unless those requirements are preexisting, they are most often pointless, and accomplish nothing.
The goal of one's training should be in regards to circumventing any (obvious) physical discrepancy's, and become proficient in the application of those ability's that the defender can effectively utilize. In the aforementioned examples, I watched the person apply an “arm-bar”, then (promptly) discard it, only so they could “strike” the aggressor several times (using what I felt were completely pointless/ineffective strikes). In any of those videos, I observed no use of a “simple” immobilization of the aggressor. There were numerous examples of (bizarre, IMO) rolling around on the ground, and elaborate applications that left (both) participants vulnerable to attacks (from 3rd parties). This manor of “submission” is both pointless, and dangerous.
What Oyata taught as being fluid, was having the ability to react to an aggressor's actions, as they occurred. Though being possible to predict many of those responses, through correct application of the instructed defensive motions those “responses” would be limited in their (available/required) variance.
There were also provided examples of “drills” (in the video montage). These routines had either/both parties (tori/uke) going “back and forth” with identical motions. I understood the intent was to practice the motion, but if/when either would “break” order/routine the motion would collapse(? Thus calling into question the purpose of the exercise).
Continuous motion is a valid concept, the intent is (or should be) the “efficiency” (of motion). Efficiency implies productive results from the performed actions. If/when there is no productive result, then the motion was wasted. “Fluidity”, is the continuous transition between multiple motions, that produce an efficient result. In the case of defensive applications, that equates to the neutralization of an aggressor's actions. This can be (either) from their “choice” to desist, or because of an inability to continue that aggression (whether by submission or physical inability/injury).
Oyata taught that his methodology was for “Life Protection”. This implies the life of both the practitioner and that of the aggressor.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
The Wait is Over!
I am happy to announce that our 6 Principles of Tuite book is now (finally) available to any/all interested party's. This book is designed for use and reference by both the beginning and experienced practitioner of Tuite Jutsu (as taught by Taika Seiyu Oyata). The authors have been students of Taika Seiyu Oyata over the past 30+ years (directly, until his death in 2012).
This book lists, illustrates and explains the 6 (primary) Principles for the application of Oyata's foundational Tuite Jutsu techniques as well as illustrates and explains those beginning Tuite applications as taught to our students. These principles can be applied to any type of Tuite "like" application as well (whether it is one taught within Oyata's system or not). They can also be used to validate the usability and weaknesses of any newly learned/developed techniques (when researching technique validity/practicality).
This clearly written manual explains each of the 6 basic principles in an easy to understand format so the reader can readily understand how to utilize each of them regardless of the technique to which it is being applied. The included techniques are divided into easy to understand category's, including some that would be considered “non”-standard technique's. These can aid practitioner's in both new technique development and with that technique's validation.
This text discounts the pointless inclusion of "Traditional Chinese Medicine" (TCM) in regards to the use or application of these techniques. Oyata never taught, endorsed or condoned the ridiculous practice of "TCM" or acupuncture "meridians" in regards to anything that he taught. Those pointless studies have never had any relationship to any of Oyata's Life Protection teachings.
To acquire a copy of this book for your own study/class, go to the following url (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/tuite ) and click the “Add to cart” button/link. It's available in both hardback and paperback. Interested parties can also contact me here if you have any questions regarding the books or in regards to acquiring a copy for yourself.
Also available is our “Pocket Reference” book, which lists pictures of all of the technique's illustrated and described in the 6 Principles Manual. This text is designed to be used for quick referral in/during a practice/research class.
If your school/dojo is interested in hosting a Tuite seminar (explaining and demonstrating the included information in detail), contact us at this e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) for availability, scheduling and prices.