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#253608 - 05/12/06 10:02 AM The 'good ol days' ?
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I've noticed there is a certain psychology shift in perspective as we get to be older MAists...we start thinking that what we learned and studied when we were younger, is somehow much better than what the young are now doing. although I was training as a kid, I often peeked in on adult classes. I was both facinated and frightened by the intensity. I transferred from the kids class to adult class when I was 13 in '79. The mood starting changing in the mid 80's ...we started asking 'why'....and guess what...overall technique improved. training was smarter instead of simply doing something harder.

so sure, there is crap now...but there was a different kind of crap in the 70's too. but crap is still crap. and ...I also remember hearing older folk then complaining about how 'people dont train right nowadays...' etc. I bet the next generation will be saying the same thing.

I think today, there are more MAists in touch with classical? MA (pre-WWII) since MA hit the world shores in volume. awareness and information sharing is certainly much better now than the 70's. back then, what were a students contemporary sources? your sensei and BB magazine.

some people lucked out and happened to get in the knowledgable circles ...most others just accepted what was being offered and assumed it must be the same everywhere.

Today, there is opportunity to much more easily research backup to what you hear/see someone teach, and call them on it for explaination...dont like the explaination? train elsewhere. There seems to have been more 'blind dojo loyalty' than now. 'blind loyalty' being not necessarily a good thing....but like I said, some lucked out by giving blind loyalty to a place that happened to be quite good.

Of course, today there is more info, which means there is also tons of bad info out there...but just the fact a student is questioning their training is a step forward from the dark ages of 'just do this 10,000 times, then I'll tell you why'.

people trained like that in the 70's..."hit the makiwara till your first 2 knuckles bleed", "practice Sanchin kata with so much strain it leaves blood in your stool", full contact no pads... then tomorrow do it again....you'll see why later. right. People questioning it then were silently regarded as 'soft' and 'couldnt hack it' or 'werent willing to pay the price', etc. Today, I call healthier practice as being informed and smarter training.

So before waxing people with stories from 'the good ol days', (which are often conveinently unverifiable), think honestly to yourself....was training really better then? I say overall, no. doing something 10,000 times and not knowing why is NOT better than doing something 10 times and knowing exactly why....or at least sorta know why.

no doubt some MAists who were training 25+ years ago will chime in here and let everyone know they were one of the lucky ones to have had 'proper' training...uh huh. I'm the ONLY one who observed semi-harmful training practices that was prevalent in commercial dojos 25+ years ago... right.

I'd be able to tell by looking at your first two knuckles. mine are the size of grapes....and since I was young, I wasn't even hard-core compared to most adults training then.

just some memories that were jogged when reading posts from people bathing in their past training.

oh yeah, and did you young people know that back then, we all had to walk to class in the snow...uphill, both ways...

for me, the best memories of those days were the friendships and satisfaction of getting thru something which was hard....just happened to be Karate, but it could have been doing anything. I suspect that aspect hasn't changed all that much.

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#253609 - 05/12/06 10:07 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
pepto_bismol Offline
infinite kudos

Registered: 03/04/06
Posts: 480
Quote:

I've noticed there is a certain psychology shift in perspective as we get to be older MAists...we start thinking that what we learned and studied when we were younger, is somehow much better than what the young are now doing. although I was training as a kid, I often peeked in on adult classes. I was both facinated and frightened by the intensity. I transferred from the kids class to adult class when I was 13 in '79. The mood starting changing in the mid 80's ...we started asking 'why'....and guess what...overall technique improved. training was smarter instead of simply doing something harder.

so sure, there is crap now...but there was a different kind of crap in the 70's too. but crap is still crap. and guess what...I remember hearing older folk then complaining about how 'people dont train right nowadays...' etc. I bet the next generation will be saying the same thing.

I think today, there are more MAists in touch with classical? MA (pre-WWII) since MA hit the world shores in volume. awareness and information sharing is certainly much better now than the 70's. back then, what were a students contemporary sources? your sensei and BB magazine.

some people lucked out and happened to get in the knowledgable circles ...most others just accepted what was being offered and assumed it must be the same everywhere.

Today, there is opportunity to much more easily research backup to what you hear/see someone teach, and call them on it for explaination...dont like the explaination? train elsewhere. There seems to have been more 'blind dojo loyalty' than now. 'blind loyalty' being not necessarily a good thing....but like I said, some lucked out by giving blind loyalty to a place that happened to be quite good.

Of course, today there is more info, which means there is also tons of bad info out there...but just the fact a student is questioning their training is a step forward from the dark ages of 'just do this 10,000 times, then I'll tell you why'.

people trained like that in the 70's..."hit the makiwara till your first 2 knuckles bleed", "practice Sanchin kata with so much strain it leaves blood in your stool", full contact no pads... then tomorrow do it again....you'll see why later. right. People questioning it then were silently regarded as 'soft' and 'couldnt hack it' or 'werent willing to pay the price', etc. Today, I call healthier practice as being informed and smarter training.

So before waxing people with stories from 'the good ol days', (which are often conveinently unverifiable), think honestly to yourself....was training really better then? I say overall, no. doing something 10,000 times and not knowing why is NOT better than doing something 10 times and knowing exactly why....or at least sorta know why.

no doubt some MAists who were training 25+ years ago will chime in here and let everyone know they were one of the lucky ones to have had 'proper' training...uh huh. I'm the ONLY one who observed semi-harmful training practices that was prevalent in commercial dojos 25+ years ago... right.

I'd be able to tell by looking at your first two knuckles. mine are the size of grapes....and since I was young, I wasn't even hard-core compared to most adults training then.

just some memories that were jogged when reading posts from people bathing in their past training.




lol, back when cheap lessons in Japan were 2$, and expensive ones were 15$...

_________________________
YAY pepto bismol! No... not... kryptonite

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#253610 - 05/12/06 10:45 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
ThomsonsPier Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 475
Loc: Reading, UK
I think you're probably right. I'm in no real position to comment on the changes in MA training (having been doing this for only a short while), but it does seem to typify what I've seen in fields I do know.

Maybe times past seem better in restrospect just because, as you say, we (the societal 'we', not me personally) know so much more now. Ignorance is bliss.

There's an older chap working in my office who states clearly and often that the 'good old days' were, in fact, rubbish.
_________________________
ThomsonsPier

War. It's fan-tastic!

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#253611 - 05/12/06 10:46 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
ThomsonsPier Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 475
Loc: Reading, UK
And we couldn't afford snow. We had ash, thrown at us by passing trolls.
_________________________
ThomsonsPier

War. It's fan-tastic!

Top
#253612 - 05/12/06 10:50 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Some very good points Ed. I think the one thing that is lacking in todays MA's is the more hardy mindset of harder training, the spirit if you will. The mindset to push yourself through the barriers and arrive at the other side, stronger and more determined. Nowadays some MA's seem to think its Ok to drop out of the lesson for simply being in danger of breaking sweat. The Sensei of yester year I think saw the self abuse (I can't think of any other way of putting it) as an end in itself, as opposed to the forging process for the spirit. Now thatnks the information we now have, we know that there is a difference between hard training and dangerous training. We know how to forge the spirit without breaking the body.
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#253613 - 05/12/06 11:17 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Gavin]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Quote:

Nowadays some MA's seem to think its Ok to drop out of the lesson for simply being in danger of breaking sweat.



how is that a problem? ...frees up more floor/mat space for the ones continuing. let 'em drop out. That hasn't changed either...people still come and go. some train more than others, etc.

being 'tolerant' of someone not giving 100%, is not the same as being indifferent to them.

mcdojo's 'tolerate' minimalists.
good dojos are indifferent to them.

both ways of dealing with it have the same outcome: the student drops out.

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#253614 - 05/12/06 11:34 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

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

how is that a problem?




Persnoally I see it as a big problem. I see your point about that student would drop out, but I think tolerating it breeds the mentality that its OK to quit at the slightest hardship. Although I believe there are times when we need to quit, I think todays liberal society has incouraged this free loading something for nothing attitude. Real MA study is a hard and long journey. Staying forever it the comfort zone doesn't breed growth. As the old saying goes, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got!".
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#253615 - 05/12/06 11:41 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Gavin]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Who cares about those that drop out? Life's lessons are not just learned in a dojo.

Quote:

I see your point about that student would drop out, but I think tolerating it breeds the mentality that its OK to quit at the slightest hardship.





For those that persist, this is the role of the teacher...to push at the appropriate time.

Quote:

Staying forever it the comfort zone doesn't breed growth.



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#253616 - 05/12/06 12:01 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: harlan]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

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


Who cares about those that drop out? Life's lessons are not just learned in a dojo.




True, but life habits can also be broken in the dojo too.

Quote:

For those that persist, this is the role of the teacher...to push at the appropriate time.




The teacher is only the proverbal carrot. Only the student can push themselves. I train as hard if not harder when I don't have my instructor around. If I'm training simply for my teacher then surely something is very wrong???
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#253617 - 05/12/06 12:07 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Gavin]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I don't agree. Tenacity/persistance does not equate to always pushing one's boundaries. Some may argue that a teacher only leads and it is up to the student to stretch themself (a carrot). But I think that dynamics are...dynamic. It is a funny thing that 'pushing' a student actually provides an opportunity for them to stretch their boundaries to meet a challenge. Just a matter of POV in how one describes it.

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