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#135263 - 09/03/04 05:51 PM Form follows function
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I thought this was a great post by Matt Thornton. Enjoy ---


JKD? Form must follow function.
The word is not the thing and the description is never the described.

If performance in a specific area is indeed your goal, then the simple logic of form following function must be the standard. And everything must be tested.

As such, here is a simple paradigm for JKD following that dictate.

As well written in an article by Mark Stewart:


"Lee felt that a real fight was unpredictable and that most classical styles emphasized “dead patterns” instead of live and spontaneous training. Lee believed that combative sports such as boxing and judo were practiced more realistically than most classical systems. Why? They made real impact and they practiced live training and not dead patterns. Lee also came to the conclusion the MA was Universal and that “unless there is a being with more than two arms and two legs, that there is only one style of fighting, the human style.” So, Lee conceptualized martial art as a whole and embarked upon a scientific course.

Not one that blended styles but one that was born of the idea of non-style, geometry and physics. One as he described as “simple, direct and non-classical” (functional). In a sense Lee’s JKD is a martial art with no rules that is practiced like a combative sport with real impact (full contact) and live training."

This in my opinion is perfect.

Whether or not it's actually what he did is not relevant, unless one wishes to engage in endless, and meaningless conversations about what "Bruce lee" could do, which I find silly.

However, the ideal of it is common sense.

According to this idea that PROCESS is in and of itself the method of JKD. And that method, if one where to actually practice JKD would continue endlessly evolving. With the end goal of that process being summed up as PERFORMANCE. Performance in whatever theater of operations one is engaging in, self defense, law enforcement training, sports, health, enjoyment, etc.

As such, anything left in the curriculum from Bruce Lee's time, the "original" JKD material, would need to stand up under pressure testing against other approaches. It would need to be shown that that material, and its methods, serves as a better vehicles for people in the various theaters of operations.

If it does not show to be a better method, in a specific field of operations, and yet one insists on leaving it in instead of replacing it with a more efficient method, then yes you have created another traditional Martial arts "style". Fixed in time, ceasing to evolve, and therefore no longer "cutting edge".

"This approach was very revolutionary during the time of its creation"
Yes and no. Yes it was in the America of the 60's. No it was not within the history of the USA and the world.

There are no new thoughts.

I own a book called "The New Science of Weaponless Defense" By a man named Prof. F.S. Lewis. In that book he talks about strong side forward, using a strong lead vertical power jab. A lead leg kick to the shin, the ideal of interception, simultaneous parry and hit, the importance of knowing all ranges, the need for physical conditioning, etc. It also contains pictures of the mount, guard position, etc. This book was written in the United States and published in 1906.

As King Solomon says in the good book, there is nothing new under the sun.

"and is still quite rare today."

Yes and no. Quite rare in what field of operations? In Law Enforcement training? No, there are programs now for LE training, such as Luis's ISRMatrix which are cutting edge and leading the way for a new, safer, more functional paradigm of training for Police.

Quite rare for Martial Arts? Negative, every good MMA Gym in this country cross trains and comes up with new and cutting edge methods of 'beating people up'.

Quite rare for self defense schools? No, I think Tony Blauer and others have made headway way beyond what Bruce Lee was doing in his time.

Quite rare for traditional Martial Arts and the majority of "JKD" schools? YES, absolutely. I would agree with that 100%. Sadly most JKD schools around the world are using an abundance of dead patterns, and training methods that will by design develop habits in athletes that may likely cause them to get hurt when trying their stuff against the pressure of a real attacker.

What is especialy ironic in this case is that the above stated description of JKD is indeed very rare within the JKD community itself.

If you do not label MMA as a form of JKD, at least within the theater of operations we call "sport" then for that view to be logical, and reconciled with the above stated description, one would have to do one of two things.

You either have to say that the "JKD" you are now speaking of is no longer:

"Not one that blended styles but one that was born of the idea of non-style, geometry and physics. One as he described as “simple, direct and non-classical” (functional). In a sense Lee’s JKD is a martial art with no rules that is practiced like a combative sport with real impact (full contact) and live training."

Or you have to show how the "JKD" you are speaking of IS the most logical and FUNCTIONAL method within a specific theater of operation.
Because if one where to stand by the above stated description the PERFORMANCE would be the simple proof of the pudding. Not the performance of ONE athlete or fighter of course. That is not "scientific". But the performance of multiple athletes, over a period of time, which clearly shows one specific technique, strategy, training method, or "ideal", to be more FUNCTIONAL then others.

Which is back to the point of what we have done at SBGi, and what Burton Richardson has also done. We have based our training, methods, and curriculum on what has shown to work best under the pressure of an aggressive resisting attacker in a specific field of operations. Be it self defense scenarios', MMA fights, Law Enforcement training, etc.

As an example, both Burton and I use the boxing blast instead of the vertical fist rolling punch blast. Why? Because it has proven itself to be far safer, more powerful, and more FUNCTIONAL.

In addition, all the SBGi Gyms have now switched to the CM boxing method taught developed by Rodney King. As for myself, I started boxing at 11 Years old, and have been around traditional western boxing for decades. Other Gym coaches such as Adam and Rory Singer also have deep rooted boxing experience. We ALL switched to CM boxing because it has shown itself to work ten times better for the students walking through my door when the spar full contact, as compared to the more traditional boxing methods of defense which are more attribute based.

As for "trapping" we threw almost all of it out, and replaced it with clinch material. I had thrown most of it out Years ago, as it clearly does not function. But when I first met Randy Couture when he first began his MMA journey I realized what the missing link in the chain was, and what we had to ad in there. PROPER clinch.

There was of course some clinch before, but to understand what a PROPER clinch is like one needs to really feel what a great Greco athlete can do. Just as one needs to experience life on the ground with a seasoned BJJ player or black belt to understand just how dangerous they can be on the mat. There were no questions as to what needed to be added.

The same holds true for the weapons curriculum. The typical 'Kali' drills taught can often be more harm to the user. But Karl Tanswell developed a method that actually works, and is FUNCTIONAL when it comes to defending against a blade. It's not speculation, as we have tested it thousands of times now in a completely Alive environment.
So as you can see the basic rule for one interested in training for PERFORMANCE is rather simple. . . .

FORM MUST FOLLOW FUNCTION
Not the other way around.

So according to that rule, the root delivery systems of stand up, clinch, and ground, need to be taught and learned. These delivery systems have already been created by experts in their respective fields.

Which is not to say that they no longer EVOLVE.
However, as an example. If one where a white belt SKILL LEVEL (the belt being only a sign post of skill in this sense) in BJJ, and then believe you are ready to start creating your own delivery system on the ground would be silly, and a lesson in futility. One would need to learn guard, mount, crossides, headlock escapes, etc. Why re invent the wheel?

Likewise, if you have little to no experience in the real clinch skills of a seasoned Greco player, then one needs to become familiar with those positions of underhooks, overhooks, bodylocks, 2 on 1's, and neck ties.

This is simply because it IS true what was stated above; a human being only has two arms and two legs, and every conceivable position you can find yourself in when it comes to the clinch has already been researched and trained by those experts. Likewise, those experts have researched every position you will find the human body in on the ground.

Those positions and ROOT SKILLS are the DELIVERY SYSTEM.

Now as each athlete/fighter develops his/her skills in those DELIVERY SYSTEMS they will discover what aspects of those DS's work for their individual BODY, MIND, and EMOTIONAL make up. And they will begin developing their own sense of timing, and "STYLE".

And EVERY athlete will indeed develop his or her own "Style" as they acquire skill in the delivery systems of stand up, clinch, and ground, through ALIVE training, and testing themselves against thousands of training partners and opponents over time.

If you stick to the idea of a scientific method based solely on PERFORMANCE, then that process IS JKD.

As simple as that really is, it seems lost on the majority within JKD. Outsiders to the community see it more easily, but find no need for the label of "jkd".

And they are absolutely correct, as Krishnamurti stated, the word is never the thing itself. But oh how humans love to argue over labels and names. It's the attachment of the ego itself to a perceived outside source, which finds such labels meaningful.

We at SBGi are ALWAYS willing to change, adapt, throw out, or add, anything we find more FUNCTIONAL, or useful. But it does have to be SHOWN to be more functional and useful for us to do that.

Otherwise, it's just theory. And nothing we do is based on theory; it's all based on performance.
Every change, every step of evolution each of our coaches has put the curriculum through, has been based SOLEY on PERFORMANCE within a specific field of operations.

JKD should not be Bruce Lee's method, JKD should be YOUR method.

The fact that it is still BL's method may indeed be the baggage. After all, it should be each individual's own method, if it is truly JKD

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#135264 - 09/03/04 07:09 PM Re: Form follows function
Anonymous
Unregistered


I don't get how you can call training cutting edge and then argue we all have two arms, two legs, so nothing is new.

A cutting edge delivery method then? Sounds like the six million dollar man is getting ready for a title fight.

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#135265 - 09/03/04 08:06 PM Re: Form follows function
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Why can't it be cutting edge? Sure there are only two arms/legs, etc, but there are a lot of different methods for training those two arms and legs. Some are more efficient than others.

Drunken Monkey kung fu vs. western boxing or western wrestling for example.


-John

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#135266 - 09/14/04 11:17 AM Re: Form follows function
MuayThai Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 2242
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by JKogas:
and testing themselves against thousands of training partners and opponents over time.[/QUOTE]


holy cow!!! fighting 1000's of people, damn thats a wild one indeed. Does Matt believe in reincarnation?

joking of course, I couldnt resist.

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#135267 - 09/16/04 12:20 PM Re: Form follows function
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by JKogas:
Why can't it be cutting edge? Sure there are only two arms/legs, etc, but there are a lot of different methods for training those two arms and legs. Some are more efficient than others.

Drunken Monkey kung fu vs. western boxing or western wrestling for example.


-John

[/QUOTE]

Which are you suggesting are the more efficient methods.

JohnL

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#135268 - 09/16/04 04:37 PM Re: Form follows function
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Western boxing, by all means.


-John

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#135269 - 09/17/04 03:19 AM Re: Form follows function
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
JohnK,

Why do you say western boxing bbetter than DM Kung Fu? Is it because boxing is more "alive" or are ther other reasons?

I am not arguing, I do not know enough about either to do so, just interested in your reasononing.
Sharon

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#135270 - 09/17/04 04:32 PM Re: Form follows function
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Boxing is something that people tend to have a kneejerk reaction about, crying that "It's a SPORT", and all that other nonsense. We know that boxing is COMPETED in a sportive manner, but the delivery system that is boxing can be used in a self defense scenario with deadly effective results.

This isn't to say that boxing is complete, but that it's delivery system fills certain needs.

With that said, ANY art that trains alive is going to resemble boxing to some degree. If not, it doesn't train alive. If it doesn't train alive, it won't be as beneficial for fighting as the art that does.

Drunken Monkey if it's trained alive, will be as efficient as boxing (and will resemble boxing). But if it IS trained alive, why do we have yet another style (in an endless number of styles)?

And yes, styles are bullshit. No one needs limitations. If there are no limitations, then there are no styles.

Thus, Drunken Monkey being a "style" is bullshit. Boxing is based upon satifying performance needs. Styles are largely based on aesthetic cofigurations (they are based on form and, how something must LOOK)

Boxing and other performance centered delivery systems are based on "being in combat", whereas styles are based on "doing something about combat".

That's a subtle but huge difference.

-John

[This message has been edited by JKogas (edited 09-18-2004).]

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#135271 - 02/23/05 11:53 AM Re: Form follows function
Anonymous
Unregistered


Excellent thread and posts, JKogas.

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#135272 - 02/23/05 01:14 PM Re: Form follows function
Anonymous
Unregistered


Johns points are well taken. I can't remember wher the heck I saw this, martial arts documentary somehwere, but a teenaged desciple at the Shoalin Monestary was observed doing western style shadow boxing. They asked what he was doing - as he was obviously training daily in King Fu at the monestary - and he replied that it (western boxing) was good. It was easy to learn and very effective.

- KiDoHae

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