Friday, May 15, 2015
What to learn at a Seminar
I've written extensively on my opinion of how “other” person's have been attempting to make the claim that they are teaching techniques that are the same as what Taika taught to his students. That opinion is not based on arbitrary bias, but through having students of those individuals perform (or usually attempt) those methods upon myself.
I don't state that these variations don't work (somewhat), just that they aren't being done in the same manner, nor producing the same responses that Oyata taught (as being optimal). The majority of those individual's are basing their opinions (of how to perform the techniques) on (usually) their own limited experience with the applications (commonly, a few “seminars”).
Taika's instructional method wasn't done in the same manner that is commonly experienced here (in the West). His instructor's based their only student's (Oyata's) training on an established trust that had (first) been developed between them. Taika was similar with his own instruction. The (numerous) fly-by-night attendees that frequented his seminars were rarely (if ever) provided with technique insight beyond that of foundational pointers.
During a seminar or even within his own classes, Oyata didn't provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform the techniques he had developed. He would demonstrate (on a Yudansha) as an “example”, and we would be told to “work on it”. He wanted to see what/how you would perform the motion. Unless you were WAY off track, he would rarely provide much of any specific correction. He was very big on students developing an attentive eye (to learn his methodology) and understanding how a technique worked.
What was shown at “open” seminars was very general instruction. It was all valid, just without many, if any specifics (to his methodology). His own classes could seem to be very similar (if you were unfamiliar with his teaching method), the major difference would be that he demonstrated those techniques more often (as examples) in his classes. Oyata believed in students figuring out technique and application on their own (no “spoon-feeding”).
Oyata usually taught Concepts and Principles (believing these to be far superior to simplistic individual techniques) at his seminars. We have video that encompasses over 30 years of seminars and summer camps. Yes, there's a lot of techniques being shown, but those that paid attention, understood that he didn't care whether you learned the individual “technique” being shown at the time or not (necessarily). His purpose was to teach a Concept and/or a Principle that was being conveyed in the particular technique(s) shown. That principle and/or concept could then be utilized for a multitude of technique applications.
He also recognized that there would be individual's that would take what was shown to them and begin to claim that they came up with those methods (once they had left). Of course, he was (obviously) correct in that assumption.
In every example of this, I have only seen incorrectly performed techniques (by any of those individuals). None (ever) remained with Oyata long enough to actually learn the techniques that they had been shown (and Oyata didn't bother to correct them...they were already sure that they were correct, so didn't ask for further instruction/correction).
Of course there are others who claim to have learned their techniques from Oyata, but in truth, only attended demonstrations (of Oyata doing the techniques, while they watched, then practiced what had been shown upon one another), rarely if ever actually being able to perform the techniques in the required manner. The majority of those individual's are inclined to include (what they are calling) “Kyusho/Atemi” strikes to their technique (usually, because their technique's tend to fail without those inclusions).
I've received criticism for demonstrating that those (their versions of what Oyata taught) are inclined to fail. I've heard numerous excuses as to why that is. Usually, it's because I have them attempt their applications slowly (I'm not stupid, I'm fully aware that there are individuals that would love to cause me physical injury, LOL). Forcing them to perform the technique slowly, requires that it be done correctly. Numerous techniques will cause a “reaction” if/when done quickly, but only when done correctly will achieve those same responses when done slowly (and nobody suffers serious injury).
To many of these faux Tuite “experts” depend upon physical speed and power for their applications to work. Oyata's depended upon neither. This is what differentiated his technique's from that of others.
In the upcoming seminars (that we will be instructing and/or hosting), we are going to (hopefully?) change the manner that people learn, practice and perform those techniques. Virtually all of the Clone methods being shown (I hesitate to use the word “taught”) lack in any real methodology to their techniques application. Many have based their (own) methodology upon vague rules and beliefs, that we (almost always) disagree with.
Oyata NEVER based any of his applications upon any “mystical” guidelines, and we have continued with that practice. I have experienced/caused the failure of those other methods repeatedly. I don't make that statement to claim any “superiority” of personal ability, but to point out that those methods are generally flawed (especially) when performed under controlled conditions (commonly, meaning Slow). The vast majority are based upon size (of the tori) and strength (again, of the tori) for their success. Many of these “other” individual's will (out-right) state, that what they're teaching, has to be performed quickly (for it to even work). This is not true with Oyata's Tuite Techniques (IF, they're being done correctly).
The “Purpose” of a training session, is to Learn (something). NOT to try to hurt one another (as I've seen happen at numerous similar events). Maintaining a slow practice of these techniques allows students to practice longer, and learn more about the technique's application. Numerous techniques can be performed quickly, and will achieve some manner of reaction (whether done completely correct or not). That shouldn't dictate a “standard” for one's practice of those techniques.
When both participants are familiar with a technique's application, both can discover intricacy's about the technique's strengths and weaknesses. I have (easily) learned as much, if not more about how an application should be applied, by being on the receiving end (uke) of that technique's application. When I observe students having problems with the performance of a technique, I (usually) will have them perform the technique upon myself (this is evidently “Taboo” in the seminar world). This usually provides me with the information I need to correct them (if I can't immediately see what's being done incorrectly).
Over the years, I've received numerous questions and comments about “what I meant” by some of my statements/writings. Well, if your wanting to know, then attend some of our seminars and ask me, I'll be more than happy to talk to you regarding that inquiry and explain what I meant when I made a statement/point (though I might have to look up a particular post to see exactly what it was that I said, LOL).