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#183055 - 09/01/05 04:23 PM correct attitude for senior grades
ai-uchi Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 200
Loc: harlow essex
this is the first post in ages, as not really seen much that i had an opinion on or could help the discussion. However i seen something on a website that made me think.

under a dan grades profile it stated that lower grades were wary of sparring with him due to his unsubtle way of fighting and powerful kicks. good for him!.

problem is that if lower grades are wary of sparring with you in a lub environment does that not say something about your lack of skill, as a dan grade is it not your job to educate others whilst ensuring them and you stay safe (CALLED A DUTY OF CARE) as when i started in 1980 i was told if a black belt cannot spar with you without huting you then he is should not really be that grade.
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#183056 - 09/01/05 04:34 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
depends. you didn't give enough info. I've sparred much higher ranks than me and I wasn't exactly thinking "there's nothing to be afraid of, he knows what he's doing and I won't get hurt." ...nope, I was thinking if I would be able to remove the stain I was about to leave in my pants.
someone being afraid to spar their instructor doesn't mean that instructor has lack of control...the person might just be afraid of what the instructor is capable of....I think thats normal.

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#183057 - 09/01/05 04:36 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
ai-uchi Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 200
Loc: harlow essex
is there a difference between respect for what a senior grade can do, and stress caused by the knowing this person's skill level is not appropriate to their grade or worse still they enjoy inflictin harm
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#183058 - 09/01/05 06:00 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
depends on the contact level that the club trains for I suppose.

I think the actual act of kumite is designed to raise fear (wrong word really) and the battle is to try and overcome that fear and deal with the situation, if you are training for a degree of reality anyhow.

Obviously within the realms of reason and applicable to your partner.

I can remember when I was a green belt being absolutly terrified of my Sempai in kumite, it improved my performance and toughened me up until one day he wasnt so scary, then I started dishing things back out a little. all done in the best possible taste with no hard feelings of course.

That situation was proberly the biggest driving force in my younger days karate and certainly raised standard of my kumite, im told other students didnt like sparring with me as well.

interesting point though.
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#183059 - 09/01/05 06:44 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
I understand not harming your student from a modern standpoint, but pain is a part of karate. I have never heard a story of an okinawan master sparring with someone for truly advanced training and going "easy" on them. My most recent teacher said he had respect for the current head of our system because he injured him severely and knows what he can do. I have some students who's ribs I break. I don't do it on purpose, but to fight them and not actually strike them I am not doing my job. I won't break their leg but I will bruise it. I will not break their face but I will black their eye. If there is no fear in a student how will they ever prepare for a real fight in total comfort with no risk or fear of injury?

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#183060 - 09/01/05 06:49 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: shoshinkan]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Funny that wording is exactly the same wording I used to describe on of the Black belts on my website....And in fact I used this under the profiles section on my website. Uncanny. Anyone of intelligence would probably agree that our profiles page is a bit tounge in cheek, and probably not bring into question someone's skill who they hadn't met. Especially when said person, making said comments only is down the road from us.

Paul's skill is unquestionable...those who have bothered to train with him would testify to this.

Lower grades should be scared as hell to spar with their senior grades. This kicks in the adrenaline and develops ability under pressure. I assure you though that no senior grade takes any liberties with our lower grades!


Edited by Gavin (09/01/05 07:13 PM)
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#183061 - 09/01/05 10:34 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Mark Hill Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
Except for exceptional people who could probably fight as pros,, I have no need to fight lower grades or inexperienced fighters at full power or speed. I got a good rolling forearm/bicep bump combo rolling two nights ago, I changed into knees and elbows after that. It was on a blue belt - I WAS GENTLE!

We fight lower grades full contact all of the time. By the time YOU are a BB, you know what people can give and take.

For gradings, we always fight only marginally harder, faster or on a higher level than our junior partners. We want the best out of them, and we do this by giving them a fair challenge.

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#183062 - 09/02/05 01:00 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Mark Hill]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
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Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
I pretty much agree with the general sentiment. If you aren't invoking some sort of anxiety in a freesparring session, then you aren't doing it right. I used to be absolutely terrified of facing my instructor or his son, not because I thought I might get hurt, but because I knew that it was going to be a one sided fight more or less. But that's where anyone will learn the best.

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#183063 - 09/02/05 04:04 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
I really agree 100%. In this liberal feel good world we live in now, people seem to think its wrong to be pushed out of their comfort zones. It breeds a sense that its OK not to push your limitations, and become more than what they are. To me this is the reason why so many lack self confidence, suffer from obseity (sp???) and fail to fulfil their true pontential.

In my club, I'm the number 3. I know that most in the club are concerned about sparring with me. I have not seriously injured anyone, nor to I go in at 100% power. Sometimes I'll up the pace and dig a little harder, but also stick targets that won't cause any serious injury, knocking the wind out of them. However most of what I do to them is to mess with them mentally, the mind can precieve the threat to be alot worse than it actually is. On the street, should they come to be attacked I very much doubt whether they will have be attacked as hard. They will be prepared. And then my job as an instructor and a caring friend has been done.

When I spar with my Sempai James (who's just started posting up here), I get exactly the same thing. Admitedly he's not able mess with me quite as much as he would with the lower grades, but I'm still intimidated as hell by him. His presence and power are awe inspiring. Then I sparr against my Instructor (and Daddy, again just started posting) and I feel like a white belt again. These two still have the ability to almost paralyze me merely through their presence alone.

In November, as most know by now, I'm going out for a training course with Russell Stutey. There are going to be some big hitters out there, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I'm bricking it!

I always doubt that I'm training hard enough, worried that the person down the road is training harder. I've been teaching RBSD class now for a little while and have been doing alot of Adrenaline based training. Yet I still feel woefully unprepared to go and move round with the calibre of Martial Artist I'm going to meet in Cyprus.

To be completely honest I still feel unprepared to deal with the guys on the street, yet in every altercation I've had either personally or through work, has been nothing compared to what I've experienced in the Dojo. This, to me, is a living testiment to my seniors methods!

Sorry to rant on a bit, but I think that the correct attitude of a senior grade is to prepare their less experienced counterparts for the harsh realities of real life combat, not to wrap them in cotton wool and send them out like a lamb to the slaughter.

For me it also gives me a way of understanding my own limitations. A senior grade should recognize the weaknesses and draw attention to them, be they mental or physical. It's my limitations that keep me training, not my success's. It's the desire to break those limitations and become more than who I am. To me, that is true Budo, amd the reason why I train!


Edited by Gavin (09/02/05 04:57 AM)

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#183064 - 09/02/05 10:49 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi Ai-Uchi

I've missed your posts. Welcome back!

When I spar with lower graded students at the club, I adjust my own performance level to just above theirs. This gives them the opportunity to practice what they know, try out new things and do all this in an atmosphere where they are not afraid to do so and can have some success.

Gavin, I'm afraid I disagree with your comments. If your senior grades are fostering a feeling of fear in lower grade students, that does neither them nor you any credit. It will prevent the students from learning and inhibit their progress. This does not help the students in any way and if it gives your senior guys an ego trip then they, and you, are in the wrong business.

Further, I don't believe it matters whether you are doing point sparring, semi contact, or full. The attitude should be the same. When I work with students of my level, we agree on the training that we are going to do. When I work with junior students, I set the tone and maintain it.

On Friday's we have a sparring night that consists of 1 hour of, 3 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks, swapping partners every break.

We had a senior TKD guy visit. He was solid both technically and physically. He adjusted his sparring level to everyone he sparred with so that his opponents gained something from sparring with him. He had nothing to prove and showed himself in a completely positive light.

Instilling fear in students does no-one any credit.
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John L

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#183065 - 09/02/05 11:33 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
I have to say that there is a very real difference between respect and fear.

Certainly advance ranks should be of a mind to instill respect in the lower ranks. NOT fear. The only reason a student has to fear a higher rank in a sparring circumstance is if they know that the higher rank may physically hurt them beyond the expectation of the match, either because the higher rank lacks control, or worse, would intentionally do so.

Advance ranks can absolutely, and have a responsibility, to push their juniors past their perceived limitations. Thats the whole freakin' point! If you are not pushing your students past what they perceive to be their limitations, they will never get better.

Having said that, there is a VERY fine line between instilling respect and instilling fear. One hit, a little too hard and any respect you may have had can immediately be replaced with fear.

Once your student fears you, you may as well hang it up, because you cannot teach them effectively.

Its the opposite with respect. You HAVE to have the respect of your students, or again, you cannot teach effectively.

Its a very fine line and not an easy one to walk. That is why there are precious few really good isntructors out there.

If you are lucky enough to have one, take care of him (or her).

Galen
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#183066 - 09/02/05 11:34 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
I don't believe Gavin was talking 'Cobra-Kai' mentality. and John, I wouldn't believe all of your students have absolutely no fear of sparring you.
A determining factor for setting the tone is the amount of contact allowed. another is the attitude/culture/ego of the dojo. Those two factors are pretty much set by the sensei. people don't like the levels set (too hard/too soft), they change clubs.

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#183067 - 09/02/05 11:41 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
I think fear is not really what I was trying to describe. I'm pretty sure all of the guys trust me, but they do have a healthy appreciation of what the senior grades can do. I think can be taken as egotistical, but it isn't.

We train the guys hard, push them to their limitations and beyond. The guys aren't pushed to the point of being scared out of their witts, but they are most definately pushed outside of their comfort zones. I'm not saying that every sparring session should be a ultra hard, the senior grades should also move round slowly and concerntrate on the movements, strategies and such. However, I strongly believe that there has to be the odd session where people get bounced off the walls. On the street someone won't be pitching their skill level slightly above yours, and I think its healthy to have a skilled senior grade attacking with controlled intestity. It's character building, pushes people beyond their natural limitations.

I'm affraid, I honestly believe that if you want to produce fighters, then they need to be pushed. I understand that not everyone wants to become a fighter, but we have always stressed that we're not a sports orientate club, we're are purely concerned about combat.

As I said, this approach isn't for everyone, but I love our club. The guys all have a really close relationship, theres a real bond and trusting atmosphere. Perhaps I haven't put this across aswell as I could?

Gav
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www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#183068 - 09/02/05 11:53 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Spot on Kin! And I think Galen made the point I was trying to make. Ignore my inane ramblings, listen to Galen and Kintama.
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www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#183069 - 09/02/05 12:34 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I have never had an oppurtunity to spar anyone higher than a 4th degree, myself.

I do agree with JohnL totally about maintaining a skill level appropriate for whoever you are sparring with. Students don't learn well from a hospital room.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#183070 - 09/02/05 01:19 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Galen - Having said that, there is a VERY fine line between instilling respect and instilling fear. One hit, a little too hard and any respect you may have had can immediately be replaced with fear.

I think this just about says it, instilling respect ususally you only have to do it once ever so often. Initally and after each grade promotion. Its is human nature that you don't want to study with a guy you think you can whip. So you can't be too easy on your students and in order to show how effective a technique is sometimes/most times they have to feel it. While sparring not in demo (of how it works) knocking the wind out of them or even knocking them down assures they understand its power & effectiveness.

I think sometimes in order to instill confidence you have to let them score. But right afterwards show them the counter the very next time they try that same/simlar technique. I don't do it like my Head Goju instructor were if he asked you to raise your guard or block your chest once, and U didn't. He'd bust your lip or black your eye or dropped you. If you hit him solid he'd go wild into a 10 technique combination ending with a sweep or throw & stomp.

I take most of my sparring from his assitance he was my Instructor before I met Hachi, he wanted you to hit him, if you could. He stated if you could hit him, you could hit most people. Now he wasn't going to let you hit him, easily and if you did it wasn't too solid. I really respected Sensei Mike.

Hachi Wilson I thought was crazy, I remember Mike Sensei askig to see a Jump Back thrust, Hachi placed him in fornt of him, and knocked him down with the kick, had him stand again 2nds after releasing his hand knocked him down again. Hachi was an Okinawan stylist. Mike back away saying I thnk I got it, Hachi reaching for him saying "I think i can do it better then that".

Mikes Sensei's TSD instructor showed him the near same kick stopping inches form his nose twice, I respected Sabnum Cagel demo skills more. Hachi Wilson was crazy. I resepct his seriousness and skill but not his demo technique skills. Of cousre I never asked to see that kick from Hachi, was I scared I don't know. I never asked.

Respect helps you grow, Fear stunts growth. IMHO,
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#183071 - 09/02/05 02:11 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
I was always #2 in my former dojo but I never had to "blacken an eye" to do this.

I have all my beginner students spar against Brown Belts because BrB's have more control, they have nothing to prove & it allows beginners to overcome their fears to improve. The rule is that the BrB's must spar "1 click" above the level of their kohai (junior). Domination never teaches anything. Just the opposite; it reinforces a bully mentality, creates fear & humiliation among the newbees & can drive away potentially quality students. I've had many students that seemed to be ill-suited for MA who, w/ patient instruction, overcame their inadequacies to become fine karate-ka.

No I don't condone coddling or false promotion to build phony self-esteem. Inflicting pain may not drive away naturally aggressive students but there are many more who would succeed w/o a "hazing" mentality.

The military doesn't only recruit the most aggressive from our society. The jails & prisons are full of those. They mold fighters from everyday citizens.

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#183072 - 09/02/05 04:42 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
ai-uchi Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 200
Loc: harlow essex
Quote:

and probably not bring into question someone's skill who they hadn't met. Especially when said person, making said comments only is down the road from us.







sir i never questioned anybody's ability in my post

i make the point of asking about attitudes in sparring

my main concern is that when training in northern Ireland i was aware of senior grades (one of whom was thrown out of my club by my instructor) who used lower grades as target practiceusing them as a means of testing how their reverse punch had improved.

i think the difference is that a lower grade should never feel they are in danger when sparring a senior grade as this would inhibit learning. Sir why should lower grades be as 'scared as hell' to spar with a senior grade - i would want the reverse in fact in my club - maybe we have ifferent ideas - that is all
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#183073 - 09/02/05 05:03 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: hedkikr]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
The military doesn't only recruit the most aggressive from our society. The jails & prisons are full of those. They mold fighters from everyday citizens.


Did you know Hachi Wilson? Where did you meet him? He was incarserated as a Nidan for a mishap, beyond his control, is the way he described it. After the mental aspect sunk in he was a much better person, listening to his past this is the way he learned. You were a sissy if you complainted about a busted lip and there was no one to complain to but him.

I agree its time for a change.
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#183074 - 09/03/05 12:51 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
Mark Hill Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
Quote:

Hi Ai-Uchi

I've missed your posts. Welcome back!

When I spar with lower graded students at the club, I adjust my own performance level to just above theirs. This gives them the opportunity to practice what they know, try out new things and do all this in an atmosphere where they are not afraid to do so and can have some success.

Gavin, I'm afraid I disagree with your comments. If your senior grades are fostering a feeling of fear in lower grade students, that does neither them nor you any credit. It will prevent the students from learning and inhibit their progress. This does not help the students in any way and if it gives your senior guys an ego trip then they, and you, are in the wrong business.

Further, I don't believe it matters whether you are doing point sparring, semi contact, or full. The attitude should be the same. When I work with students of my level, we agree on the training that we are going to do. When I work with junior students, I set the tone and maintain it.

On Friday's we have a sparring night that consists of 1 hour of, 3 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks, swapping partners every break.

We had a senior TKD guy visit. He was solid both technically and physically. He adjusted his sparring level to everyone he sparred with so that his opponents gained something from sparring with him. He had nothing to prove and showed himself in a completely positive light.

Instilling fear in students does no-one any credit.




John, I think you misunderstand.

I was a young teenager when I started hard sparring. I was afraid of sparring, not because of my lack of ability, nor being hit (it was fair and never excessive, although it did push me - in no way would I call it abusive) but being technically beaten, because it would show me how I would get hurt in a real fight agaisnt someone with a superior ability. Over time this fear changed from this to not doing my best and then to permamently hurting my partners or fighting kids too hard.

I think we do much the same thing - the experience I have gives me a good idea of what people can take, I can adjust it and like you, because the idea is to fight marginally above their ability, we, the Yudansha set the tone.

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#183075 - 09/03/05 12:55 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Mark Hill]
Mark Hill Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
May I add although it doesn't hurt, a well timed, well placed and non or semi contact gyaku zuki can still scare the living daylights out of you.

When they don't hurt you and you are just a kid, even getting points scored all over you can be a little intimidating, and these days a reality check of your abilities!

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#183076 - 09/03/05 03:50 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Quote:

sir i never questioned anybody's ability in my post




I did take this as being you bringing my students skill into question, sorry for the misunderstanding!

When beatings are dished out just because they've been caught by a lower grade, this is purely and simply a apease their own ego's. We have very few (touch wood!) injuries in class. Ofourse there is always going to be the odd black eye and such, so that really is a sign of the skill of the senior grades.

I don't think having a little fear of your instructor and senior grades is an entirely bad thing. IMHO, it is this fear that drives people forward. Geoff Thompson wrote an excellent book called "Fear: The friend of exceptional people". Conquering your fears and limitations is key to be able to learn to defend yourself effectively, and without being confronted by your fears how to you stand a chance of beating them?

The only time most MA's are forced to confront their fear is on the street in actual combat, then it is too late. It is far better to have the fears ironed out in the caring enviroment of the Dojo.

It times gone by, students spent a life time being beaten with sticks, made to suffer hours of endless reps and be pushed beyond what they ever dreamed possible. Many give up, but the rare few who stick through the blast furnence period look back and see the wisdom of the approach. The devotion, respect, and love these types have for their instructors is unquestionable. This is how I see my relationship with my seniors (although they haven't beaten me with sticks!).

I have done a lot of research into Adrenaline conditioning, and have trained and coached people through it. Fear is a very healthy part of this training people. The fear, intensity and power need to be delivered in a slow fashion, but it still needs to be there. Again, IMVHO, a vast majority of MA's DO NOT prepare realistically for real world combat.

As I said, this is not the way for everyone, some people want the excercise, some want to enter into competitions, some just simple want to feel that they can defend themselves, but whichever of these reasons you don't need to be pushed to the limits. For me, as a Doorman, my life can depend upon my training. I have to be able to deal with the fear, the agression, and intensity of real world attacks, and someone trying to get ippon on me then pulling off will not help one bit on the street!

I hope this didn't come across as offensive to those who don't train for the same reasons I do, I do accept that there are more reasons to train.
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#183077 - 09/03/05 05:41 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
ai-uchi Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 200
Loc: harlow essex
Quote:



It times gone by, students spent a life time being beaten with sticks, made to suffer hours of endless reps and be pushed beyond what they ever dreamed possible. Many give up, but the rare few who stick through the blast furnence period look back and see the wisdom of the approach. The devotion, respect, and love these types have for their instructors is unquestionable.




Gavin
i do not criticis your approach but what about those timid souls who are put off by this approach, but who have the potential to make excellent instructors through their communication skills and might be better than the rogh and ready instructors who excel in the physicality of the sport.

Now i am all for hard training and have received and given ough times from other students, but they were all of equal standing to myself i.e. they all fought for northern ireland. When club sparring i always tried something new which i knew i had not perfected i.e throwing a left leg reverse roundhouse which gave lower grades an opportunity to surprise me by countering.
i take pride that i never injured a lower grade ever when i sparred full time (too old now - too many injuries).

just to confirm gavinit was never meant to be an attack on you, your assoc. or your instuctors.
_________________________
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#183078 - 09/03/05 06:03 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
KiDoHae Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 06/29/04
Posts: 999
I agree with John on this one.

Virtually all of my sparring is done with lower belts. Some of them are quite good, others need some work, which is the point of sparring. I am very clear about what it is I would like them to try to do to me and what I will proably do to them. As the senior I am the one who is responsible for BOTH of us. This is all based on respect , not fear.

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#183079 - 09/03/05 09:00 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
I think the difference of opinions may be due to the fact that people teach different types of 'karate'.

some for fun, some for sport and some for self defense. this would of course mean that different 'attitudes' and methods are needed to train for the aims of the dojo.

Personally I dont train for sport (done that) so im happy being pushed a little, I train because I love training and aim to do karate in the classical manner.

As I said I was fearful of my Sempai and it did me no harm at all, in fact it pushed me to a new level within my karate at the time. would i teach in this manner now, proberly not but I dont train for the same reasons I used to anymore - gettin golder does strange things to ones karate!
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#183080 - 09/03/05 09:19 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
Gavin Offline
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Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
No offence was intended, so there's none to be taken.

The timid students are a problem for us, and to be honest we're not really the sort of club for timid people. Its a very raw and honest class, that takes the stark realities of combat very seriously. Alot of our students are doorman, so this an essential approach.

Ofcourse a new guy isn't put straight into the meat grinder from day dot, but gradually eased in them in to it. But, if you're truely practicing a fighting system, then eventually some reality has to be introduced. As I said, the dojo is the place for this reality to be learnt, not the street.

Competing at the level you did, I'm sure this isn't new news to you. Alot of Karateka though are walking around in a state of ignorant bliss believing that they're training is going to be of use on the streets, when truth be told, most couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bags. I have no problems with those that want to practice the art for other reasons other than fighting, I do have problems with people telling me that they teach self defence and also tell me that I should use kid gloves when sparring with my lower grades. These inviduals are usually Armchair Hobby Combatants, who the last altercation they had was in the lunch line at school.

EDIT - ai-uchi, I'm not implying that your an Armchair Hobby Combantant. Being 6 times NI champion means means that you ain't been sitting in your armchair!!!!

An analogy is that you can't expect to be ready to play in the NFL if you've only ever played touch football! (Hows that analogy for a Brit??? )

Horses for courses, and all that!


Edited by Gavin (09/03/05 09:52 AM)
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#183081 - 09/04/05 08:18 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: KiDoHae]
je8ki9 Offline
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Registered: 08/04/05
Posts: 32
Loc: UK
HI everybody gavins dad here. its interesting how easily it is to tell where a persons focus is pointed in their training by the range of comments.there are many attributes that come with MA but where does the buck stop.for me it has to work! if i want to become a nicer person i can go to church if i want to get more flexible theres yoga ,fitter ,aerobics ect ect.SO if i want really want to learn to defend my self it has to be a hard street wise system of MAs. question i would ask whats wrong with being afraid? people treat it as something wrong. it helps keep you alive what doesnt kill you makes you stronger:f nietzche:I believe that the dojo is the anvil the teacher the hammer the student the work ongoing!and without a HEALTHY dose of fear, discomfort,uneasiness you cant get the job done john king
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#183082 - 09/04/05 08:57 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: je8ki9]
Gavin Offline
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Registered: 05/11/05
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Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Now you all why I am the way I am? My Dad thinks his a hammer! What chance did I have????

Typings getting better father!
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#183083 - 09/04/05 12:07 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: je8ki9]
Kintama Offline
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Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
I applaud those who stand by their methods of training and admire the ones who adjust it when something else works better for them. I'm not there yet, I'm still figuring out the things that have worked for ones before.

hard/soft light/heavy/no contact. whatever. if it feels right, then do it baby! others will do whats best for themselves.

BUT
I firmly believe that if a student is getting hurt alot during training then that person isn't being trained or training effectively.

having said that,
respect out of fear doesn't work.
respect with a bit of fear of the unknown is healthy.

I think I'm hearing us agree to the same things, but just expressed differently...

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#183084 - 09/04/05 02:05 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
je8ki9 Offline
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Registered: 08/04/05
Posts: 32
Loc: UK
Never judge a man by how strong he is but by how he uses that strength!!!! in todays society you couldnt train a student the way they did 30or50years ago students now would vote with their feet!and go elsewhere and the correct attitude starts at the top and filters down.a dojo is a benign and loving dictatorship but that doesnt give instructors or senior grades the right to beat the crap out of anybody but there is awealth of difference between working someone and beating them !!!James passed his third dan earlier on this year and it was eighteen months of hard pressurised blood sweat and tears and that was me!!but at the end of it was an individual who was more than when he started did he always like it? idoubt it but can he appreciate it i think so. the bruises are long gone but experience is for life . anyway enough said on this subject by me thanks
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#183085 - 09/05/05 08:57 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
heikeshogun Offline
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Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 23
I'm really on the other side as most of you are. I'm a high green belt and in my opinion, it really depends on the student, I have a purple belt friend Kim who can beat the living daylights out of most of the black belts in our school, I think you really need to judge the individual student, just because they're an orange belt doesn't mean they can't spar, it takes a bit of your time and patience to judge how fast you should kick or how advanced your techniques should be, in my opinion.

In my rather limited experience, sparring students that are alot better than you teaches you how to spar better, by taking it from the person who beat you on how to spar, and on what tchniques will ave you better off. I don't believe in cruelt, but I do believe in improving your fellow students, even if it means going a little hard on them, I really think it's a personal decision.

As a senpai in my school, I would say that the students who do best are the ones that work with the tougher people, I really think a good analogy would be walking on glass, in truth, it hurts when you're doing it, but when you've finished, your feet are all the stronger and your mind is all the more discipline, I don't pretend to know much, but that's just my opinion.
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#183086 - 09/06/05 02:33 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: je8ki9]
JohnL Offline
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Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi Gavins Dad!

I had a couple of thoughts on the points you raised.

Fundamentally I agree with you but have difficulty with your approach to them.

As an instructor, if you spar with your students an instill fear in them due to how you act they will not learn as effectively as they might. If when faults occur you apply an immediate physical response that causes pain for the student, the only thing he will learn is that it hurts when you hit him. He will be too scared to try different things to find out what works for him.

If he is scared when facing you you have failed as his instructor. An instructor is to teach and fear of you will merely inhibit this.

As such I believe your teaching methodology needs refining.
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#183087 - 09/06/05 05:58 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
jamesd Offline
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Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 145
Loc: Essex,England
Hi Everyone,

I've been reading some of the post's and i can only comment from what i've gained by my own personal experience, for me fear in the dojo is a good thing, we all experience fear at some point in our lives and by confronting this fear head on, we can learn to overcome it and become stronger people, when i first started my training with John (Gavin's Dad) i must admit i was scared! I was only 17 and i was entering a dojo that was full of big strong men that were intimidating (and smelly!) when we sparred they instilled fear in me just by their physical presence alone, but with the guidance of my Instructor (John King) he taught me that it was normal to feel this way and i was helped to overcome this barrier, without a certain aspect of fear being in the dojo how can you teach someone to confront and conquer it, also how can you prepare yourself for a real situation if you've never been exposed to fear and how to deal with it!

So i'm sorry JohnL but i have to disagree with you regarding my Instructors teaching methodology needing refinement, Kind regards,

James
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#183088 - 09/06/05 11:53 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: jamesd]
SANCHIN31 Offline
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Registered: 12/26/04
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Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
Depends on the type of fear. I didn't ever fear that my instructor would hurt me,but I had respect for his abilities,which did make me a little gun shy. You shouldn't have to be afraid of your teacher. Who would you rather be like? Myagi in the karate kid or the Cobra Kai sensei?
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#183089 - 09/07/05 03:47 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: SANCHIN31]
Mark Hill Offline
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Registered: 08/12/04
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Loc: Australia
I have to agree with others John, people have a fear of experienced martial artists anyway.

Having them confront their fears of better skilled opponents is the best way to resolve them.

When I spar, I always knew it was going to hurt, only a little, since my goal was to train as a better fighter, every hit made on me was a wake up call that I couldn't simply acknowledge with a nod of the head in self defense. If I was assaulted, they were going to be real, hard, often and repeated. Some of the fear is like that of losing, or not doing your best. Or not having the abilities in the "real" world.

If you can find me person off the street who has no previous martial arts experience and has no fear in sparring more skilled and experienced opponents, I'd say you've found me a man who fears too little.

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#183090 - 09/07/05 06:06 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: jamesd]
Gavin Offline
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Registered: 05/11/05
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Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Brilliant post mate! You summed up everything I would like to have said!

I think what this debate has highlighted is the reasons why people train. I think Kintama summed it up very well with his comments on the "-do" part of the art. I have the distinct pleasure of training with some like minded MA's who are dedicated to learning the true meaning behind the fighting arts. Most of these guys don't come to become better people, they come because they have a desire to learn to defend themselves in an environmet with ever increasing levels of violence.

As I have already stated, most MA's like to think they are learning MA's to defend themselves, but their training doesn't teach them the stark realities of combat. Realities such as the adrenaline response and the utter terror that you feel. This terror is paralyzing for most, and unless you are accustomed for it, every technique, theory and post on the internet is going to me absolute nothing to you. So while I believe that you don't need to handle fear to practice MA's forms, for them to function in the real world, the student MUST be forced to confront their fears. A loving and caring instructor can do this far more safely than a drunk thug on the street!

John, my Dad has been teaching for atleast 20 years. In this time I know of atleast 7 BB's who have gone on to have long Doorwork careers, he also has trained many other grades who have gone onto Doorwork too. In 20 years, not one of his students has been seriously injured nor have any been convicted of violence. He doesn't produce mindless thugs (well maybe me! ), just street effective MA's. I know both myself and James are biased, but I really don't think that he needs to alter his approach one inch (in fact I think it could actually be made harder!)!

But, like I said previously, there are many reasons to practice the arts, and not everybody wants what we want, which is cool by us!
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#183091 - 09/08/05 11:55 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Galen Offline
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Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
Quote:

John, my Dad has been teaching for atleast 20 years. In this time I know of atleast 7 BB's who have gone on to have long Doorwork careers, he also has trained many other grades who have gone onto Doorwork too. In 20 years, not one of his students has been seriously injured nor have any been convicted of violence.




No offense Gavin, but is this really the criteria that we want to use to judge successful teaching methods??

Its easy for instructors to look at their successes (however we all may define success) and say that we are good instructors.

I personally think that our failures are every bit as telling with regards to how good an instructor is.

I have been teaching for just over 20 years as well. I have had NONE of my students go to work as bouncers (a fact of which I am very pround, by the way). Does this mean I am a less successful instructor?

I do see your point in that these bouncers are of a skill level that they are not inujred, and have enough control to not seriously injure others.

Then again, you and I historically have a parting of the ways on reasons for taining anyway...

Galen
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#183092 - 09/08/05 12:12 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: je8ki9]
Galen Offline
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Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
Quote:

if i want to become a nicer person i can go to church if i want to get more flexible theres yoga ,fitter ,aerobics ect ect.SO if i want really want to learn to defend my self it has to be a hard street wise system of MAs.




Granted, however this statement presupposes that learning to defend yourself is the only reason to take a martial art. I think that there are higher purposes. As I have stated before, I consider defending myself as a by-product of training, not the reason for it. Dont get me wrong - there are as many reasons for training as there are people who train. I have to take issue when I see someone invalidating the other reasons for training besides street-wise self defense.

Quote:

question i would ask whats wrong with being afraid? people treat it as something wrong. it helps keep you alive




Agreed, however, that fear should not come from your instructor!! An instructor who teaches in such a way as to make his students afraid is a bully, plain and simple. Now respect - that is another thing altogether. And fear has NO place in respect. They are mutually exclusive. If your students are afraid of you, then they are not learning from you as effectively as they could be.

Quote:

what doesnt kill you makes you stronger




ah, the great justification for extreme teaching methods. Besides that, its a load of crap. There are PLENTY of things out there that wont kill you, but I promise they wont make you any stronger. Take this posture with a shy, inexperienced beginner and I promise you that you will do more harm than good.

Quote:

I believe that the dojo is the anvil the teacher the hammer the student the work ongoing!and without a HEALTHY dose of fear, discomfort,uneasiness you cant get the job done john king




Here you and I part ways completely. In my estimation, a matrial arts instructor is nothing more than a sign post on a very long road. It is the intructors job to point; to guide; to suggest. Period. 99 percent of the learning a student does in their martial arts career is self taught. They get the ideas; the general direction from their instructors. The rest they do on their own.

Any instructor who looks at their student and says "I am responsible for that students ability" is kidding themselves. Students are NOT slabs of rock, to be formed and chiseled into an ideal that the instructor has. Students are living, breathing people, who deserve ALL the credit for their achievements. Instructors who look at students as their own personal painting canvas are doing their students a huge disservice, not to mention inflating their own egos at the expense of their students well being.

Please understand, I am not speaking to anyone person in particular here. My post sorta went on a bit of a tangent.

No personal offense intended.

Galen


Edited by Galen (09/08/05 12:23 PM)
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#183093 - 09/08/05 12:44 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
MattJ Offline
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Quote by Galen -

Quote:

99 percent of the learning a student does in their martial arts career is self taught. They get the ideas; the general direction from their instructors. The rest they do on their own.




BEST. POST. EVER.

The people with the best understanding of anything, really, are the ones that have done their own research and practice. Figuring something out for yourself is much more meaningful than having someone show you, for the most part.

I hope everyone here - especially the beginners - pays very close attention to this statement. Truer words have not been spoken here.
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#183094 - 09/08/05 12:55 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Gavin Offline
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Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Hi Galen,

I wasn't going to post anymore on this topic, but as it's you and as we've got history I've just gotta!

Quote:

I have been teaching for just over 20 years as well. I have had NONE of my students go to work as bouncers (a fact of which I am very pround, by the way). Does this mean I am a less successful instructor?





Haven't really got much more to say on this subject, just wanted to assure you that I don't consider you to be any less of an instructor, but our successes can only be judged by the goals that we set.

Our goal is to produce competent street effective MA's, we teach a fighting art not philosophy. Students come to us specifically to learn to defend themselves, we don't get those looking for enlightement through our door. There are other schools we'd rather send that business too. To be honest, we get alot more return trade. People come to us, think "sod that for a game of soldiers" and go down the road. Once they get a bit further down the road, they start thinking, "If I actually done this on the street, I have my a$$ handed to me"....then they come back.

It's horses for courses mate, pure and simple. If you want to really learn to defend yourself, there's no other way of doing it. Its got to be hard, pressure testing is essential, and confrontation of fear sits right up there next to pressure testing.

We do not claim to be monks nor do we want to. I'm very heavily into my philosophy (in fact I'm probably more passionate about that than I am about MA's), and although it influences my MA's its not exclusive to it. I can see how those who want to incorparate it into their art can do so, and fully respect them for it. Just not for me, I want my fighting art to be exactly that, a fighting art. Others don't want that, and fair play to them!
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#183095 - 09/08/05 01:25 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Gavin Offline
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Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Galen, I didn't read this post before I replied to your response to my comment. I actually take this to be quite offensive, and directed solely at my instructor. This isn't the kind of open minded post I would have expected from you.

Quote:

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

what doesnt kill you makes you stronger


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



ah, the great justification for extreme teaching methods. Besides that, its a load of crap. There are PLENTY of things out there that wont kill you, but I promise they wont make you any stronger. Take this posture with a shy, inexperienced beginner and I promise you that you will do more harm than good.





We've already stated that we train for different reasons, striking someones view point off as crap is ignorant. MA's not being about self defence is garbage in my personal opinion. If your not learning to defend yourself, what the hell point is there for spending 20+ spending plus learning to punch and kick???????

Sorry if that's come across as offensive, but from someone who has acknowledged that there are different reasons for training, its irrated me!
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#183096 - 09/08/05 01:55 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
Quote:

Haven't really got much more to say on this subject, just wanted to assure you that I don't consider you to be any less of an instructor, but our successes can only be judged by the goals that we set.




Fair enough, my friend, and God love ya for it! Sincerely!

We may part ways on why we train, but the reason I respect you so much is that you are very clear on why you train, dont pretend to train for other reasons, and most of still respect those who do train for other reasons.

You humble me. (but I'll still show up now and again, just to toss the pascifist ball into court... )

Galen
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#183097 - 09/08/05 02:07 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Galen Offline
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Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
Quote:

We've already stated that we train for different reasons, striking someones view point off as crap is ignorant. MA's not being about self defence is garbage in my personal opinion. If your not learning to defend yourself, what the hell point is there for spending 20+ spending plus learning to punch and kick???????




Gavin

I meant no offense, and I knew that poking holes in not only your instructor's, but your father's perspective might raise your ire. I was not striking his point of view off as crap. I was stating that that comment in particular was crap. And it is.

I respect you a lot, but I personally feel that such a perpective in teaching is wrong thinking. I wont apologize for the comment, but I will try and clarify.

We differ in perspective, granted, but I do respect your position. Where I get off the respect train is when I see instrutors taking a perspective on training that I feel is dangerous and will do more harm than good to their students.

I am sorry if this ticks you off, but from what I have seen, I see some fatal flaws in your instructors methods.

If we can discuss them rationally and without anger, I am more than willing to do so.

If you are not willing to accept that your isntructor may be flawed in his treaching; if you cannot accept that by his posting here, he opens himself up for such critisism (as do we all), and if you cannot discuss the issue without my comments making you angry, so be it.

However, I do concede that the use of the word crap might be overstating it, but I do want to be clear. I was referring the the statement that 'if it does not kill you it makes you stronger', not the entire system of teaching. That is why I isolated that comment in my response.

Galen


Edited by Galen (09/08/05 02:09 PM)
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#183098 - 09/08/05 02:28 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Kintama Offline
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Registered: 04/17/05
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Loc: Massachusetts
This is an interesting thread...if only it was renamed in the form of a question instead of using that troublesome word, 'correct'.

heres what I see: I think all agree fear is a part of self defense. There are varying teaching styles for addressing fear, but for the purpose of the discussion I'm hearing two major camps of thought which I've exaggurated into two categories... A) promoting confidence. or B) de-sensetizing.

For LONG-TERM training (life), (A) has been shown to produce better results. (which is why parents/teachers don't hit kids anymore for disciplining) There are two pifalls to method (A):
1> encouraging overconfidence. (technique works in the dojo, but it's crap outside)
2> encouraging false-confidence. (telling them it's SD, when it's not)

for SHORT-TERM training (student goes in for SD only to learn a skill) method (B) is best...this is the method the military and police use...why? because they have X amount of time to teach as much as possible...de-sensetising fear is just one of the many services they offer.
The reason people might think this is a rediculous atmosphere for a neighborhood dojo is perhaps the threat isn't as great for a 12-yearold fighting on the playground compared to someone coming at you with a broken beer bottle. The 12-yearold has time to understand fear and overcome it thru encouraged confidence...the police cadet doesn't have that luxury.
pitfalls for this are:
1> 'defender' and 'agressor' become indistinguishable thru moral indifference (ie: thug)
2> inflated sense of confidence OUTSIDE of the dojo (ie arrogant)

now Gavin and his Dad's place have bouncers to train...maybe they don't advertise it as such, but thats the way it is. If people don't want bouncer training, they can walk down the steet and go somewhere else. bouncers would not be trained properly if they didn't know what it felt like to have the wind knocked out of them. the way they get their bags deflated from time to time is by allowing the higher ranks to step it up a notch at their discretion. (Gavin, I'm curious, ever see any Women bouncers?)

Personally, my day-to-day threat level is pretty low...I have a much greater chance of getting hurt forgetting to wear my seatbelt...and the scars on my face to prove it. I've taken the path (A) and self-defense training is the byproduct of the Art. kneeding the 'doe' is just as important to me as eating the bread.

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#183099 - 09/08/05 02:48 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
Interesting post Kintama, but from my rather isolated perspective, there is one flaw in your thinking.

Your post pre-supposes that all training is geared with self-defense as its ultimate goal.

For myself (and I know, I am beginning to sound like a broken record) self defense is a secondary by-product. I dont train to be able to defend myself. It is the means, not the end.

I use matrial training as a stepping stone to another goal. What that goal is, is irrelavent to the thread so I wont wast band width going into it now.

The fear factor, to coin a phrase, is irrelavent, as I dont train (myself or my students) to fight in a realistic (street) setting. I dont expect them to fight. I dont pretend to be able to fight, so how I would react to the fear that happens in a fight doesnt matter.

I agree that if you are teaching and training to be able to fight well, then absolutely that fear has to be addressed. The whole psychological program involved in fighting would have to be covered, since so much of winning (or losing) a fight is grounded in psychological perspectives.

For myself, my training goals and my purposes, fear should play no part in my teaching, except when a student has a fear that is blocking his / her training. Then it becomes a part of the teaching by default, as they need to get over it in order to progress.

I still maintain that, no matter what your training goals are, there is no reason, practical or philisophical, for an instructor to expect, want or condone their students 'fearing' them.

Galen
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#183100 - 09/08/05 03:32 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Kintama Offline
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Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:

Your post pre-supposes that all training is geared with self-defense as its ultimate goal.



ummm...no it doesn't. but you are right, I didn't make that clear.
Sport and/or competition MA could fall into either category. The 'fear' could be fear of losing as oppossed to dying.

as different and diverse as dojo and training methods are, so too are people's motivation for training at them. you had choices when you first joined a dojo...what did you base your choices on? most people say 'to learn how to defend myself and stay in shape.' Some people don't get what they pay for and find it easier to change their reasons instead of changing dojos.

For the life of me, I can't understand how someone would bother to study MA if they didn't have at least the attempt of self-defense at it's core. build an MA the other way around and you've created a paper tiger. Now if origami is your thing and identify it as such, then no one can fault you, ...but you are far from having the right to say someone elses methods are 'wrong'.

[addition]BTW your words "no matter what your training goals are, there is no reason, practical or philisophical, for an instructor to expect, want or condone their students 'fearing' them."

I agree. Fear is not the focus...but it is sometimes a byproduct. If that happens, the sensei has to work with the student to overcome that fear in order to progress.

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#183101 - 09/08/05 03:39 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Gavin Offline
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Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Galen, I'll admit to being a little peeved by your comments, but as a MA I do have a lot of respect for the calibre of your posts and our past discussions.....I'll even accept the fact that you're a bit of a wet blanket! *cheeky grin*

I'd love to give a proper reply to this, but my girlfriend won't let me! NOW THAT IS FEAR! So, I'd love to continue this tomorrow. Getting down the core of why we train is a bit like touching on religion...but we can all keep it civil!

So hugs 'n kisses, and I'll continue this post tomorrow when the missus ain't around!
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#183102 - 09/09/05 11:50 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
je8ki9 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/04/05
Posts: 32
Loc: UK
Hi Galen,

John King just replying to your post. Wow man it did come across as a bit hostile, but I don't mind I'd sooner be cyberbashed rather than for real!

I think Kintamas latest post really puts things into a us and them perspective, that withstanding I'd like to address some of your comments as in my original post. As thats where the buck stops for me in self defence which is my emphasis of MA.

I've studied Zen and yoga for many years and the benefits are huge, but it didn't need MA's to get there as their profound in the own right.

Fear and Respect

I can truly say that over 32 years I have meet Sensei who I've both feared and respected. I have met Sensei whom I've respected their abilities but not liked them that much. When we use the word fear its not a bowl opening, feel of dread, this is the end of my life type of fear, but more a yikes this is a person capable of kicking a$$ if he wanted to type concern. Galen, I'm a qualified Counsellor and one of the ways we help people to reduce their fears and phobia's is by exposure, albeit limited exposure to those very fears, but as always it changes with the individual as to what is Ok and what isn't!

What doesn't kill you

I do think you have missed the point of this quote. Ofcourse there are loads of things that won't kill you or make you stronger (beer comes to mind!). but the quote means that what is capable of killing you, if you survive it makes you stronger from the experience. This has nothing to do with brutalizing anybody and at no point in the any of het kempo posts has it been stated, if anything I think the opposite has been expressed if the read without a particular bias.

Dojo Anvil Sensei Hammer

I am not by any means the first MA to use this quote and is meant to be about the process of forging. Yet again with no ego involved, a being as the teacher went throguh a similar process.

Do you not take pleasure in your students achievements? Guiding them through the pitfalls, stand back when they make progress and mentally, emotionally, spiritually and yes even physicallly charge them to push and extend themselves. Not brutalizing them, not terrifying them, but help them to push and extend themselves, that is what is mean by the quote!

99% of learning is self taught

I love it when people quote percentages about. Assuming you wen to school when you were 5 and left at 17, you're saying that out of 12 years only 1% was under tutorship, and the other 99% was self taught? You either an exceptionally gifted individual or the percentages are wrong!

In conclusion Galen, I believe sometimes people get very defensive of other peoples viewpoints and attitudes because they think that we don't value them. This isn't my thinking, and I am very glad that MA's can be so many different things for different people.

Yours in the arts,

Gavin's Dad!
_________________________
John King www.gosokempo.com

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#183103 - 09/09/05 02:30 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: je8ki9]
Gavin Offline
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Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
I've been thinking about this a hell of a lot, and to be honest, I think Galen is right in saying that there is more to the MA's than just learning to fight. However I disagree completely that SD is a by product of the MA's and philosphical aspects are the main reason for training, in fact I see it as completely the opposite. Again as Galen was kind enough to clarify his position I will also.

When learning the art of tea making, then the purpose of my art is to make tea. If I learnt the art of archery, then the purpose of my art is to shot arrows. If I learn a fighting art, the purpose of my art is to fight. In order to be true to the original purpose of the art, one has to practice that art to its original purpose to its fullest.

I very rarely discuss the philosphical aspects of my training publicly, as they are intensely private to me and also come across as being a bit corny. However I'll try and touch upon them a little.

Since my early teens I've been raised reading books on the samurai, zen and the karate masters of old. Tales of noble warriors and fighters who push themselves beyond the limits of ordinary people. Obviously I've always liked the idea of whooping butt, but I was always drawn to the pureness and exactness of the logic and clarity behind their actions.

My first Zen book was bought for me by my Dad and was the wonderful, "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones". This book has had such a profound affect on my development and is a treasure that I carry with me pratically every where I go. It is full of tales of tough masters, who to the uninitated would appear to torture their disciples. I never saw that, I see loving masters, pushing their students beyond all limitations and boundries. Since my early years in the Dojo I've been pushed, the amount of times I heard the word spirit as a kid in the lines is uncountable.

Marcus Garvey said that "Black man will not know himself until his back is against the wall!". I think that this quote has a special message for peole of all colours and creed. Not being pushed and tested does not breed the need to adapt, with out the need to adapt we will never grow. I seek to put myself through hardship at most points of my life, to help me grow as a person.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I see a wisdom inthose who have gone before us, the enlightend souls who truely understood the ways of fighting and the warrior. I will probably never ever go into battle, but that doesn't mean that my fighting spirit will be any less. Every day of my life I spend trying to push myself that inch further.

Being a firm believer in Yin and Yang, I believe the more we develop and appreciate the ways of violence, the greater our appreciation of the ways of peace becomes. You cannot understand violence unless you have an acquaintance with it. The dojo is a place, under a loving instructor, where you can be introduced gently and caringly into the ways of violence. With an understanding of violence you can than have an understanding of the virtues of peace. This is what I see as being the way of the warrior, and a path that I strive to walk down.

I hope that didn't come across as corny, but I wanted to illustrate that we are not just mindless thugs! Thugs yes, but not mindless!
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
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#183104 - 09/09/05 04:06 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
jamesd Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 145
Loc: Essex,England
Hi Everyone,

Really enjoyed reading the post's on this thread , i'm new to all this forum stuff and i've found that this particular thread really provoked my thought! i've posted my views previously and can't really add to that, but it's quite clear that we all train for different purposes, some maybe harsher than others! i think that the most important thing is, we have to be true to ourselves and chose a practice that suits us best individually, that way we can all grow and improve under the conditions that suit us best! Cheers!

James
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#183105 - 09/09/05 08:08 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: je8ki9]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
OK...I'm wading in again.

The issue of fear keeps coming up but it hasn't really been disected. For simplicity's sake, I'll break it down to 2 forms:

A) Fear created by the Instructor/Seniors (External)
B) Fear brought in/created by the student (Internal)

If the Instructors/Seniors create an atmosphere of fear that only the toughest can conquer, what have you really produced - tougher tough guys. That's OK but as I mentioned before, there are a lot more "regular" people out there who could become exceptional.

Supportive (NOT to be interpreted as pampering) instruction addressing the intrinsic fears of a "regular" person will cause that person to overcome more & more of his own fears.

I think most of us had some of this kind of fear the minute we stepped on the floor/mat. I "knew" I'd be hurt (but I wasn't - @ least that day). I don't fight much any more because of the very real possibility I might lose sight in my L eye. Am I afraid because of my opponents? No. I'm afraid of an accident.

Internal fear vs. External fear. Both must be addressed.

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#183106 - 09/09/05 09:24 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: hedkikr]
je8ki9 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/04/05
Posts: 32
Loc: UK
HI HEDKIR
I do at times think the word FEAR is overused it seems to set alarm bells of in everyones head. Stress ,uneasiness ,uncomfortability , things that we would sooner not do but know we need to !which we could walk away from but dont!!! you tell me why??? My thought would be we want to be more than we are, So we put ourselves under the cosh to achieve and hopefully get our goals both short term and long!!. There many routes up the mountain, hope to see you there!!It takes longer as you get older
_________________________
John King www.gosokempo.com

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#183107 - 09/10/05 09:44 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: je8ki9]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi John

I didn't post further on this thread because I thought people were begining to talk at cros purposes and as the posts have progressed this has I believe been the case.

Your last post clarifies a lot and I think represents your thoughts more accurately.

There is nothing wrong with having an "edge" to the training, indeed I believe it is essential. It allows people to stress test what they are learning without the inherent dangers on street or door work. This is a part of the learning curve for martial artists. I further believe that there are far too many Martial Artists that train without this "edge" (What I have decribed previously as pit-a-pat karate) and what they are learning is fundamentally flawed.

For me, the Martial Arts are primarily about self defense. There are other by-products but that is exactly what they are.

If you had said that when you are training students they sometimes feel apprehensive, nervous, or uneasy, then I wouldn't have a poblem. However, I do not believe an instructor should instill fear in a student and it was there that we parted ways. I think you have now clarified that.

As for Martial Artists doing door work. There are benfits such as getting used to an adrenalyne dump, finding out what works in an uncontrolled confrontation etc. There are also down sides. You are putting yourself at risk, the pay's crap, the hours are bad, etc.

In addition, door work does not necessarilly equate to self defence. With door work a lot of the time you deal with minor scuffles, restraint etc. and you are held legally accountable for your actions.

My definition of self defense is as a last resort, my life is in immediate danger and the consequences don't matter any more. That's very different from door work.
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#183108 - 09/11/05 05:53 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
CVV Offline
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Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
I believe that the endproduct of training in the MA is respect. Having respect and giving respect. Our dojo works with youth and adults. The youth kumite (usually up till +-18) is based on WKF point fighting but continous. Depending on their level and the purpose and adversary (technical sparring or free sparring under elevated pressure) contact and concentration varies. The purpose, in my opinion, is to build up confidence eventually overcome fear and ending in respect (having and expecting). The level of fighting and all other training should adjust towards that goal. The going to the edge should come natuarally with alike-minded to give the chance to individual development.
A second category is the +16/18 - 30/35. Primeraly, for me, is the guidance towards shodan. The fighting aspect can go either towards sport karate or towards 'confidence' fighting. (=building confidance in their ability but stay critical by testing it sometimes in free sparring towards the edge) but most of the time it is training to master techniques. Once reaching shodan, self exploration and individual preference (kata - vital points - bunkai - ...) should be encouraged. Sharing their investigations returns value and gives oppertunities for senior grades to be self critical in their teachings.
Another category is +35/40 - .... Here individual development at whatever level is important. The key point again is confidence in oneself.
I believe MA are character builders and ideal teaching starts around 12 years. At the end it is what will one do with fear. Fear in confrontation is good, adequatly assessed it will lead to correct decision making. Also instictive decisions will not lead to panic due to confidence.
But all of this can lead towards a negative side too. An ex-member is convicted for cold blooded murder(not in defence). He was involved into drugs traficing (hard stuff heroin) and did a jail break in Sweden (where sentenced for 10 years imprisonment for smuggling 3kilo of heroin). When he first started training at age 14 he had no confidence. After 5 - 6 years of training he ended a confident young man working with top horses as a trainer/jockey. 5 years later he became was a top gangster.

I train for pleasure. I have fun with it with friends and like-minded. I consider respect the most important product of MA training. SD is not my focus but to understand the several aspects of a technique to be effective is the focus of my training and this goes into the spiritual side as well (the correct mindset to deliver a technique as well as correct attitude towards society). But fighting to test your ability is also fun. I never force these ideas onto others and seldomly talk with students regarding, makes you look like a moral preacher.


Edited by CVV (09/11/05 05:54 AM)

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#183109 - 09/12/05 12:25 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: je8ki9]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
Quote:

Hi Galen,

John King just replying to your post. Wow man it did come across as a bit hostile, but I don't mind I'd sooner be cyberbashed rather than for real!




My sincerest apologies. If I have a failing in my posting habits, it is that I donít take enough time to make sure I put my point across without hostility, so to you and Gavin both, I am most humbly apologetic.

Quote:

Fear and Respect

I can truly say that over 32 years I have meet Sensei who I've both feared and respected. I have met Sensei whom I've respected their abilities but not liked them that much. When we use the word fear its not a bowl opening, feel of dread, this is the end of my life type of fear, but more a yikes this is a person capable of kicking a$$ if he wanted to type concern. Galen, I'm a qualified Counsellor and one of the ways we help people to reduce their fears and phobia's is by exposure, albeit limited exposure to those very fears, but as always it changes with the individual as to what is Ok and what isn't!




Granted, and happily. Just so you are aware, I have met more than my share of instructors who got off on the fact that their students feared them. They never understood the difference between fear and respect. I had (and have) instructors and peers both whom I respect. Even the one's I know could kick my name out of the phone book I do not fear. Their skill and perspective earns my respect. Fear is a non-issue. I think we are saying pretty much the same thing here, though dancing to a different drummer.

Quote:

What doesn't kill you

I do think you have missed the point of this quote. Ofcourse there are loads of things that won't kill you or make you stronger (beer comes to mind!). but the quote means that what is capable of killing you, if you survive it makes you stronger from the experience. This has nothing to do with brutalizing anybody




mmm...beer...actually for me it would:

mmm....smirnoff's ice....but thats another therapy session :P

Anyway, I do see the point, however the parallel is still valid. You say that if something is capable of killing you, and you survive it, it makes you stronger for the experience. This is not an absolute by any means, and as I stated, this is often used by intimidating instructors who want nothing more than to prove how taught they to justify flagrantly brutal teaching methods. When used judiciously, this maxim is wonderful. When taken literally, it is an invitation for a whole world of poor and harmful teaching practices. I just think its a dangerous quote to take at face value.


Quote:

Dojo Anvil Sensei Hammer

I am not by any means the first MA to use this quote and is meant to be about the process of forging. Yet again with no ego involved, a being as the teacher went throguh a similar process.




Again, we differ a little here. I donít see the instructorís role as forging anything. (By the way, a billion people could say it and it doesnít make it any more correct). I see an instructor as nothing more than someone who points the way; a sign post. When an instructor starts looking at themselves as more than that, the most dangerous disease an instructor can get beings to take growth. Ego.


Quote:

Do you not take pleasure in your students achievements?




I absolutely do. I just donít take credit for them. As I stated in my post, my students are responsible for their own learning. I am just someone who offers a direction.

Quote:

Guiding them through the pitfalls, stand back when they make progress and mentally, emotionally, spiritually and yes even physicallly charge them to push and extend themselves. Not brutalizing them, not terrifying them, but help them to push and extend themselves, that is what is mean by the quote!




I am on board with all of this, but in my estimation, this isnít forging them. This is guiding. This is offering direction. It is all too east for an instructor to over-blow their own sense of import in a students development. No matter what you say or do, you can only affect your students to the degree that they will allow you to. Therefore, there is only one person who can define the role an instructor has on a student's development, and that is the student. For my own piece of mind, I choose to view my role as nothing more than a sign post on their martial arts road. If they choose to perceive me as more than that, that is their call to make, not mine.

Quote:

99% of learning is self taught

I love it when people quote percentages about. Assuming you wen to school when you were 5 and left at 17, you're saying that out of 12 years only 1% was under tutorship, and the other 99% was self taught? You either an exceptionally gifted individual or the percentages are wrong!




My bad, and you are right, percentages are not accurate. I have no empirical data to back up my comments, but let me say this...

Take any one technique. A punch, for the sake of argument. I can show a student to technically deliver that punch. I can explain speed, power and how to generate them. I can explain and teach the concepts of distance and timing and all the things they need to be able to deliver that punch as it should be delivered. I can lecture on technical mumbo jumbo until I am blue in the face, but its the student who has to take that talk and turn it into something practical. I am not throwing the 1000's of punches - the student is. I am not feeling the pain of missing my target, or the joy of hitting it. I am not suffering the thousands of frustrations along the path to learning that technique - the student is. In all of that, do you really think that an instructor does the lion's share of the work? I surely donít. I show. I demonstrate. I correct. The student does the work, and the student deserves the credit. I will not take credit for anything that my studentís achieve. Yes of course when they succeed, I feel a sense of satisfaction that I might have had some effect on them, but in the end, its their achievement, not mine.

Excellent discussion! And I must again apologize for my earlier post. It was far more adversarial than I had intended it to be. I hope this one is a little more reasonable.

G
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#183110 - 09/12/05 12:44 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
Quote:

When learning the art of tea making, then the purpose of my art is to make tea. If I learnt the art of archery, then the purpose of my art is to shot arrows. If I learn a fighting art, the purpose of my art is to fight. In order to be true to the original purpose of the art, one has to practice that art to its original purpose to its fullest.




Well said, however, who said that we have to be true to the original purpose? To take a reason for training and make is absolute seemed a wee touch limited to me. Staying true to the original purpose means limited growth; limited evolution.

Let me ask you this, my friend. You say later in your post that you will likely never have to go into battle, so why learn to fight? So many people claim that practicality is the be all and end of the martial arts, but it seems a waste of time to me to learn how to do something that you will likely never have to actually do.

Quote:

Marcus Garvey said that "Black man will not know himself until his back is against the wall!". I think that this quote has a special message for peole of all colours and creed. Not being pushed and tested does not breed the need to adapt, with out the need to adapt we will never grow. I seek to put myself through hardship at most points of my life, to help me grow as a person.




Absolutely no argument.

Quote:

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I see a wisdom inthose who have gone before us, the enlightend souls who truely understood the ways of fighting and the warrior.




I see wisdom there as well. Just not absolute wisdom.

As much as we like to idolize those who went before us, they were no better, no worse, no smarter, no dumber than we. Poor foolish hopeful we. They achieved. They created. And so can we.

Yes, they understood the ways of fighting and the warrior. Is that to say that this is the limit, the extent, the be all and end all of training? When I say the fighting is a by-product of my training, I can hear the snickers and giggles ringing out across the internet. However, I see this perspective as the evolution of the art, not a gap in it. I see this as the higher purpose; the end. To fight is a violent, penetrative act. To understand oneís self, no matter the context; to better yourself as a person; that is the goal. I see fighting as the lowest form of the martial arts. To learn the most efficient way to injure; to harm; to kill another human beingÖis this what you are defending?

Quote:

Being a firm believer in Yin and Yang, I believe the more we develop and appreciate the ways of violence, the greater our appreciation of the ways of peace becomes. You cannot understand violence unless you have an acquaintance with it. The dojo is a place, under a loving instructor, where you can be introduced gently and caringly into the ways of violence. With an understanding of violence you can than have an understanding of the virtues of peace. This is what I see as being the way of the warrior, and a path that I strive to walk down.




To be perfectly honest my friend, I cannot see how you can utter such philosophical insight (damn, that was good, by the way!!) and still claim fighting as the main goal of your training. They seem contradictory. You speak in your post of learning the ways of violence to better understand peace. This statement alone contradicts your stand that fighting is your main learning objective! Here you state that you only learn to fight so you can know peace! In this, fighting is the means to the end, not the end in itself! Sounds like you are making my argument for me, and donít think I donít appreciate it!!

Gavin, I have apologize to your father and I will to you as well. I re-read my previous post and it did sound adversarial. For that, and for any offense offered, I am sorry.

G
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Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#183111 - 09/12/05 01:03 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Ok, now I'm confused as hell! What side of the fence am I on? Erm, err, arrgh, head hurts, Artist, fighter, Warrior, butcher, baker, soldier, salior!

So we're all barking up the same tree? I'm a tree hugging hippy? Daddy help!

Cheers Galen, thats gonna take some digesting!

BTW, no offence taken, my response wasn't exactly the Gandhi route either, so apologies all round!
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#183112 - 09/12/05 02:00 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
More questions:
Can an Art be based on an abstract? or does an Art need to be based on something tangible? doesn't 'Fighting Art' imply the Art is found thru the study of fighting?

if learning how to fight/defend is not central to your Art, couldn't you use ANY movement to accomplish your central goal of making a better citizen?

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#183113 - 09/12/05 02:42 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 379
Quote:

More questions:
Can an Art be based on an abstract? or does an Art need to be based on something tangible? doesn't 'Fighting Art' imply the Art is found thru the study of fighting?




Absolutely does. And you made my point for meÖthe art is found through the study of fighting. Fighting is the venue through which the Ďartí is achieved. Fighting is the tool. Not the end goal.

Quote:

if learning how to fight/defend is not central to your Art, couldn't you use ANY movement to accomplish your central goal of making a better citizen?




First off, I never said that fighting isnít central to my artistic goals. Fighting is absolutely central. It is the means through which I achieve (or attempt to achieve) my ends. It just isnít the main goal.

My central goal is not becoming a better citizen. My goal is not being able to interact with and enhance societal structures and progressions for the betterment of all. My goals are far more selfish, and not nearly as community minded. Now, as to what my goals are, I wont waste space going over that again, especially seeing as that isnít your question.

Yes, any movement could be used to accomplish those goals. The 'art' can be facilitated through any activity. Hockey, football, javelin throwing...

So why do I choose martial arts?

- it is as intellectually challenging as it is physical
- I can function in a non-competitive framework while still working out with others
- its fun

Hope that helps clarify...

Galen
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#183114 - 09/12/05 03:11 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
that does clear up where you are coming from...we are talking about the same thing, but looking at it from a different angle 'is all.

this thread was good, and some friends were made...now can we get back to the hurting, so we can learn something?

lol...

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#183115 - 09/12/05 06:04 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Hokay, I've had a few beers and now and have a glass of wine in hand with Bob Marley playing....I feel lubricated enough to tackle the subject!

I don't think ai-uchi could have ever seen this thread taking this course, so firstly I'd like to thank him for opening one big can of worms!

Galen asked the question ask the question as to why I still practice with the spirit of fighting in a battle, when the chances are that I'd never fight in one? I always tend to go into anything I approach with 110% of myself, this has yielded some almighty stuff ups, but also a few notable sucesses. My choosen art, a fighting one, involves the learning of the art of fighting (broken record!). It requires me to learn how to punch, kick, elbow, and strike and fight with my entire body. There is no other reason to learn these things other than to hurt. I'm afraid which ever way you look at it, a punch is violent! Spending "x" ammount of years throwing punches, is going to increase my capacity for violence. As I said, the flipside of learning about violence is the understanding of peace. So, by increasing my knowledge of the capabilities of violence, I also learn the capabilities of peace. The more intense my understanding of violence, the more intense my understanding of peace. So the harder my training, the greater the understanding.

Artistic matters aside The MA's has also instilled a deep sense of loyalty and duty. I also see my MA's training as an insurance policy. Insurance is something we take out for the likelyhood of something happen. Many go through life, without ever making a claim, but some who need to claim are stuffed when they don't have the cover. Despite Johnl's trivalisation of Doorwork, I have seen some horrific random acts of violence in my short time on the door. I want to be able to defend myself and loved ones to the highest level humanly possible. This requires me to push myself to the limits and increase my abilities to deal with the unknown, to take it to whatever level is needed to assure my loved ones safety.

Now it's very easy to take the stance that statistically it will never happen to me, but while the odd's are there that it could happen, I'll still prepare for it. A year or two back I had a guy try to break into my home, my girlfriend spotted him at the window and screamed. I yelled at him, and he just stood there. I actually went through the window to try and grab the guy. Luckily for him, he managed to jump back as I went through the window. I still managed to chase the guy down the road with a baseball bat (I was wearing South Park boxer shorts at the time, which puts a smile on my face now! Funny how the most terrifying momment of my life, now makes me laugh!) with my hands pouring with blood from the cuts. I can honestly say, without a shadow of doubt, if I had managed to grab the guy I would have probably killed him that night.

That night, I managed to defend my home and loved ones from an unknown threat. That night I cashed in my insurance policy, and it paid up. That's why I still train as if I'd fight as if I'd go to battle.

I hope that didn't sound VTG, the consquence of pushing myself to that limit had an intense side effect. It absolutely crushed me to know that I was capable of killing. To be honest this is the first time I've talked about this experience online and publicly, but I'm proud of both the fact the I could have killed the guy if nessecary to defend my loved ones and the fact that it affected me to the level that I really never want to feel like that again. To me, that was a pure moment of art and understanding in my path through life and the MA's.

I hope that answers your question Galen. Again, no disrespect to anyones motives for training, just trying to be completely honest!


Edited by Gavin (09/12/05 06:57 PM)
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#183116 - 09/12/05 11:33 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
...well here we go again. I disagree with the general feel of your previous post. I'm going to pick on you, ready?

here's where the hair splits: it's hard to articulate, but lets just say for the sake of argument that I've never been in that exact situation and wouldn't know how I would have reacted...fair so far? ok given that, what I DO absolutely know about myself is that if something like that happened, I don't talk about it unless I'm giving a police report...I think hearing people tell such events in the way you just did almost makes it sound like you are bragging and proud of the way it went down.
It's this 'vibe' you sometimes give off that puts yourself in a less than complimentary light, and is the dividing hard-to-define distinction of the other ways people view the Fighting Arts.

other things to note...these are red-flag warning keywords and their meaning/misuse:

"battle" - technically, a fight during war...this is when you actually seek out and destroy the enemy by battling to the death. now, did you really mean to say 'battle'?

110% - At least 10% is illusion since you can only physically give 100% at any given moment.

"to hurt" - I meant it as a joke. I don't learn to 'hurt' people...thats tourture. I disable in order to get away, if they happen to get hurt in the process, it's not my concern as much as me getting out of danger.

"instilled" - such a dramatic and absolute...like brainwashing.

I'm just pointing out with all of this, that at times, you sound a bit high-strung, action hero and gung-ho for my taste...maybe thats where the friction came from until you decided to tone it down. Acceptance is a powerful thing, it can get people to say what they think they should and not what they really feel.

If you got killed chasing the robber (how? simple, he stops, turns and shoots), how would that be protecting your family?

Still, the most important thing is to hear your family was ok...you did mention they were ok, didn't you...?

tied into original topic...the attitude you diplayed in that post perhaps carries over into the dojo...maybe, maybe not...maybe that was the concern I was hearing from others being expressed in previous posts...or maybe I'm being too hard on you since you wrote it when a little tipsy.

listen, fear and anger is not the way....but nobody is perfect.

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#183117 - 09/13/05 03:37 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
High Strung, I prefer passionate!

Quote:

listen, fear and anger is not the way....but nobody is perfect.




Round and round the mulberry bush.....I've articulated in every way possible my beliefs and reasons for training.

To be honest, I wasn't tipsy, two beers and a sip of wine, was just trying to lighten the tone for what was going to be a serious mail.

But with regards to the post, when talking about and discussing situations that involve intense and disturbing emotions, my use of language is going to be so. The reason for the VTG apology was really an obligated one, rather than heart felt. There are a few people here who have had very relevant real world experiences that would probably benefit the forum members, but when discussed they are almost branded charlatans. To be honest, the proof is in the pudding, I've stated that I'd never discuss anything I hadn't actually done or would do. Perhaps I'm a little too gung-hu for you, sure we can both live with that! Interesting analysis of the use of language. But sometimes for a forum dedicated to fighting arts, people seem sometimes reluctant to talk about actual fighting, which brings us neatly back to the conversation at hand....fighting arts, do they need fighting?

The offshoot of my training was the events that were described in my previous post, which part did it switch from defence to offence? The laying of chase on the guy, ofcourse. This was done completely and utterly out of anger, someone had invaded my property, ignored a warning shout (in hindsight, this could have been due to being startled). Did I want retribution for his actions, hell yeah, did I need it...ofcourse not. Was I thinking clearly at the time, no. Adrenaline flowing and fear mixed into the equation leads to irrational responses.

The same ethos that had allowed me to defend my family (they were fine, BTW) had also been manifested in a negative way. The desire for revenge. This was very short lived and replaced with a major bout of remorse and contemplation on my actions. To me this shows that me that I'm not ready to leave the temple yet. MA's has given me the tools not only to defend myself, but also appreciate the deeper, non-violent results of my actions. Had the intruder shot me, would I still be defending my family? Ofcourse not, and that's an issue to take back into the Dojo and iron out. I think I'm beginning to understand Galens perspective of fighting being the vechile.

I think this whole debate has been fuelled by our different ways of expressing the same thing, merely using different words. Some people are reserved, some aren't. On my profile on my website, I described myself as being fiery and opinionated...this isn't to everybody's liking, but I have kicked off a few corker debates now though...so although I'm a little annoying at times, I do atleast hope I've given some entertainment value!


Edited by Gavin (09/13/05 03:41 AM)
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
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#183118 - 09/13/05 07:26 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
I was instigating in an already dried up thread...my bad. train well.
-Ed

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#183119 - 09/13/05 05:26 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
ai-uchi Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 200
Loc: harlow essex
i hope galen and gavin enjoyed the debate - i found i quite interesting reading all the replies.

made a nice change from who would win - 'bruce lee or the ninja turtle'type questions however is 4 on 1 a bit unfair?
_________________________
streakers - your end is in sight

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#183120 - 10/11/05 08:40 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
Isatheprophet Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 17
I have to say that there is a very real difference between respect and fear.

Certainly advance ranks should be of a mind to instill respect in the lower ranks. NOT fear.

what an utter load of tosh, crap and [censored] who are you to install respect to anyone in the dojo. SSsh this attidue really make me nuts, install respect indeed. Most peopel to Karate for the execerise not to get beaten up. If I wanted that I go to the local bar and have a go.

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#183121 - 10/11/05 08:59 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Isatheprophet]
Mark Hill Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
Join a gym, if you want to get some excercise. Walk the dog. Go for a run - you should train for fitness outside of "normal" training!

Most people have respect. Some people don't.

When an adult brown belt fights kids too hard, and he won't listen to black belts with better fighting ability, what is wrong with going too hard (with control) on him until he learns?

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