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#128881 - 03/19/02 12:28 PM Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Black Dragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 12
Loc: Carlisle, PA, USA
I'm very interested in getting opinions on this book. I thought it was very well written and consisted of great insight. The thing that puzzle me was how critical he was of Bruce Lee and others.

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#128882 - 03/20/02 07:59 AM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Jukido Self-Defense Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Palm Coast, FL, USA
I thought the book was great. Robert W. Smith is defintely one of the few martial arts authors who isn't afriad to tell it like it is. For example the cricitizing of Bruce Lee. What he said was actual and complete fact. Many claim Bruce Lee to be the best....simply because everyone else does. If Van Damme or Seagal was the first big MA movie star they would be held in the same esteem. In my opinion how can someone compare someone like Lee and Funakoshi (or Kano, or Ueshiba, etc) and call Lee the greatest. Mr. Smith is absolutely correct in his writing and I strongly agree with his remarks on Lee.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Black Dragon:
I'm very interested in getting opinions on this book. I thought it was very well written and consisted of great insight. The thing that puzzle me was how critical he was of Bruce Lee and others.[/QUOTE]

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#128883 - 03/20/02 08:01 AM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Jukido Self-Defense Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Palm Coast, FL, USA
Forgot to mention in last post....the only one I was slightly puzzled by was his accounts of Mas Oyama. He wasn't critical of Oyama, but he "questioned" his accomplishments at times. However, like mentioned before, he is more right then wrong in most of his critisms.

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#128884 - 03/20/02 08:15 AM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Black Dragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 12
Loc: Carlisle, PA, USA
I've talked with a few instructors that were struck by his assessment of Smith's thoughts of Lee. On one hand, it's very hard to dispute a man(Smith) that has such close ties to so many great people. On the other hand, it's equally hard to not acknowledge all the intense training that Lee has done in his training years. If I'm not mistaken, Smith beat up on Lee's teacher.

Would you honestly put Van Damme in the same category with Seagal? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Seagal a 7th dan in Aikido? And I also read that he's taught in Japan which is consider an honor for any Westerner.

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#128885 - 03/21/02 11:29 AM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Jukido Self-Defense Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Palm Coast, FL, USA
Black Dragon,

As far as comparing someone like Van Damme to Steven Seagal. I believe you missed my point. I'm not saying they are compariable, or that one is better then the other. I was not even considering debateable skill level in that post. What I was trying to show is that NO MATTER WHO IT WAS (van damme, seagal, jackie chan, me or you)...if they were the first one to make MA movies big, they would have the same esteem as Lee did. It just happens that Lee came first.

My post is not to say that Lee was a complete fraud. My point is that Lee was not the "greatest" as he is made out to be by many...he isn't even close, no where near the league of the those great masters I mentioned in previous posts. He was quick, good with the chucks, cocky, and people liked it...so he got popular.

So know I wouldn't compare "skill level" between the actors, but I would consider there position and time in the industry. Robert Smith had many valid and REAL points in his commentary on Bruce Lee. Lee is just "everywhere" and he's popular....he was the face that came to mind when 'martial art' were mentioned because he was the the original, big time, MA actor with widespread publicity.

Just because there McDonalds is everywhere and is popular doesn't make it the best to have a quality meal.

Thats my take on it Black Dragon. I'm sure many, who have been brought up in the MA to see Lee as a demi god will disagree. Thats what forums are for though, right? haha. Look forward to your next post.

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#128886 - 03/21/02 12:20 PM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Black Dragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 12
Loc: Carlisle, PA, USA
I thoroughly get your point. I believe Bruce Lee followers(movie fanatics) made him the icon to disect. The question is, did he claim to be so great or did the movie goers make that claim for him? Personally, I have never seen any of the masters to determine their greatness. I haven't seen Bruce Lee outside of a scripted fight scene to determine how good her truly was. I approach topics of this nature from a very objective standpoint. Facts speak louder than words. And being that I lack many facts in this area, I won't begin to assume. I believe somethings are painfully obvious, such as, Van Damme's skills... but I still try to be objective. What martial arts are you presently studying?

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#128887 - 03/21/02 01:19 PM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Jukido Self-Defense Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Palm Coast, FL, USA
Black Dragon,

Point well taken, and point well made. Considering your comments regarding Lee and not knowing all the facts, that is why I take Mr. Smiths word very creditablly. Mr. Smith DOES know the facts and from my reading and knowledge, he doesn't usually comment unless he does know the facts.

Mr. Bruce Lee (from my knowledge) did not claim to be the best. But anyone who has done considerable objective research will see he was offely cocky (some would say arrogant) and made many many many critisms of traditional systems, that anyone with any amount of experience in legit karate would strongly disagree with. It wasn't so much what he said, but how he said it. Almost as if he was "the greatest."

-G.Rego www.FloridaJukido.com

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#128888 - 03/21/02 01:44 PM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Black Dragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 12
Loc: Carlisle, PA, USA
I plan to pass the book to many friends because I believe they will learn from it as I have. Your style if very interesting to me. I plan to look at the site in great length to learn more from it. Here is my style of jujitsu. http://www.danzan.com/

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#128889 - 03/21/02 02:09 PM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Jukido Self-Defense Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Palm Coast, FL, USA
Black Dragon,

Thank you for visiting my dojos website. I'd love to hear any and all feedback you have regarding it, once you take a look at the website and its content in depth.

I have a wide variety of books on Danzan and respect the style and its founder a great deal.

I like you, will be recommonding Martial Musings to friends and students of mine. Many good lessons.

G.Rego www.FloridaJukido.com

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#128890 - 03/23/02 08:50 PM Re: Martial Musings by Robert W. Smith
Black Dragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 12
Loc: Carlisle, PA, USA
Your dojo website is quite informative. I enjoyed visiting and I would love to visit your dojo someday. Do you have a list of books that you recommend highly? I'm always in the market for good martial arts reading.

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