Friday, December 11, 2015
I was recently at a social gathering and was introduced to a couple of guys (friends of someone I know). They were friends of the person who introduced us, and the introduction was made on the assumption that we could relate on the subject of “Krotty”. Each had several visible abrasions (upon their lips and cheeks) and They informed me that they “took” (?) a “traditional” system, that emphasized “reality” training (?). They were more than happy to explain the system they were "taking"(studied?) and what was involved in that training.
They had been “doing” their training for (a whole) 8 months, and informed me that they were getting “pretty good” (while sporting all knowing "smiles"). I then received a list of all the reasons why “All the other systems” were designed for little kids, as well as people who were afraid to learn how to “really fight”. Their “Senshi” (using the "Okinawan" term, that even Oyata never used,...and he was Okinawan) couldn't start/open a (public) “school”, because he wouldn't be able to afford the “required”(?) insurance (if he did).
After providing a list of names (none of whom I recognized) of people who also “studied” the system (I can't remember the name, it was some miss-match of Japanese/Chinese that equated to something akin to “Dragon Fist”, ?). It was supposed to be a (only) “practical combat” system (which struck me as a contradictory definition).
After a 20 minute explanation of what their classes included, they asked me what style I “took”(?), and I told them that I studied Oyata's system. They had never heard of Oyata (and showed no interest of him, nor how long I had done so), and proceeded to tell me about how many tournaments, and “fights” their instructor had participated in (with the implication being that he had been victorious in each). They invited me to go to a local “MMA” match and watch him “fight”, I declined, claiming that I was “busy”(at any of the times provided). “They” (of course) would be required to (compete) once they had advanced far enough (in their training).
And Of course their instructor had “trained(?)/studied and therefor taught “TCM” (I almost walked away, but curiosity kept me there) and “would be teaching that subject” (to them) when they were further along in their training. Though not (directly) stated, it was obvious that instruction was through one of of “Dill-dumb's” follower's (and thus, as ridiculous as one would assume). I recognized many of the common misconceptions that were promoted by that persons teachings.
“They” (actually) brought up the subject of “Tuite” (or “Too-E-Tay” as they pronounced it). They stated that it was taught for ONLY when a “fight” was with someone who didn't really know how to fight, and tried to get “physical”. According to them, it wasn't practical for a “real fight”, and that it didn't work on everybody anyhow (thus their dismissal of it having any effective use). They even provided “stats” on how many people it wouldn't work on (70% of people??, Really?). Of course (once they received it?) “TCM” (training) would “fix” that. They stated that Tuite was mainly for use upon “females”(?) as “they” were smaller/weaker (thus couldn't resist the techniques application). Those (male, only) people whom the techniques couldn't work on, were referred to as being “anomalies” (sic). One of them even claimed to be one of those anomalies, stating that none of it (ie. “Tuite”) would work upon him (and no, I was not provided the opportunity to prove him wrong, we were at a “social” gathering).
Because I showed (faked) interest (in what they were saying), they continued their description of Why the method they were learning, was so effective. They described the instructed “body mechanics” (not the term they used, but something presumably equivalent). Most of it was superficial, as well as incorrect. This included performance of the “hip shimmy” (with their punches), and the (screaming) “Kiai” (with everything).
“Kata” (of course) were a waste of time, “real” technique could only be learned when doing “full speed/power” sparring (they stated that was how the “old masters” learned/taught,..?). The use of protective padding was only for people not “tough enough” to learn what was being taught (as evidenced by the various abrasions on their hands and faces).
They even did the “conditioning” (training?), including the use of the “makiwara”, as well as “punching” into varying consistency's of loose material (sand, pebbles, rocks ...”ball-bearings”??). They had the (damaged) knuckles to prove it.
The entire conversation (aside from the amusement factor) was a reinforcement of my belief of how the majority of people think that (any) “martial art” is supposed to be taught. If these individual's hadn't been so (brain-washed),... misguided in their beliefs, I might have invited them to see what “we” practiced (and why). But frankly they weren't the type of individual's that we would want (as students), nor would they even have an interest in what we teach.
I would like to believe that these individual's were “anomalies” themselves. I don't believe that they represent the vast majority of people that choose to learn a defensive system, though I do believe that they represent a (depressingly) large percentage of that group. Fortunately (?), I believe that this “type” of person is (only) drawn to the “Macho” (types) of systems that have gained recent popularity. They tend to be young, in physically good shape, and have zero “life” experience. I'd wager that half of those type of people wind up in jail at some point in their life (if their “mind-set” doesn't change).
IMO, these are the typical (types of) people who fall for the “TCM” nonsense. They view it as a “quick-fix” to whatever their training/practice “lacks”. Having mainly visited (and only “observed”) “martial arts schools” (close to my location, at least over the past 10 years or so), the topics that these individual's discussed in our “conversation”, have popular support (in varying amounts) among most of them.
Those schools (that I have observed) have their students do 10 minutes of “warm-up”(?)/calisthenics. Then perform 15 to 20 minutes of “line/formation” training, where students “line-up” and perform various “stances”, arm/hand (“blocks” and “strikes”) motions, Leg motions (kicks) and (sometimes) “kata” review. This is followed by students learning “new” techniques (15 min.), and then (sometimes) “sparring” or “new” techniques/motions. The class is then over.
Though “I” don't feel this is an effective way to learn, it's what many people are able to “fit” into their schedules. It's also how/why the previously described person's can be convinced that when compared with what was described above, those training (sic) methods could possibly be productive.
The majority of “martial arts” students are male. They are also (commonly) “young” and in moderately decent shape (usually because of their age). Young males are inclined to gravitate towards those defensive systems that are (mainly) “physical”. What most of that group consider to be “powerful”, amounts to the physical transfer of force (commonly through the placement of “impactive” strikes upon one another). IMO, they equate (applied) “Power” with being “Effective”. Though moderately accurate, “I” prefer to equate “results” with application (“power” is only a possible variable to achieve that result).
Their view amounts to the “Might makes Right” philosophy of “self-defense”. I acknowledge this as being “1” way of viewing defensive practice. I also consider it to be extremely limited in both practicality and longevity (which is why it's appealing to “young”, “strong” males). Unless you are in that category of physical shape/gender, it has limited (if any) value as a practical system to base one's defensive training upon. As one advances (in both “age” and experience) the limitations of that perspective become more and more obvious.