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#253638 - 12/19/06 06:46 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: wristtwister]
Katana83 Offline
Foreign Exchange Pimp

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 71
Quote:

Quote:

"Teach your students so that they are better than you 'were'.That's how it should be."





I think that any teacher or sensei worth his salt is training with that goal in mind. My teachers over the years have all told me to "extend yourself", and go that one step further than you think you can. Working toward improvement is the only way to work toward "perfection".

I suppose that most of us loved "the good old days" because we were young, could go wide open and then go again the next morning. Now, we have to rest up to go again...
We DID fight full contact a lot of times... I guess our lack of technique was what kept us from getting killed in a lot of cases. It WAS fun to kick somebody and have them slam into the wall and then come back and do the same thing to you. Our bruises were badges of courage.

Unfortunately, we can't take you back to "the good old days"... there is only today, and possibly tomorrow. For those of you who have just started training, these ARE "the good old days". I just hope you enjoy them as much as those of us did before martial arts was so commercialized and "organizationalized". We didn't have websites to do virtual martial arts, and we respected people because they shared knowledge with us, took our abuse, passed out their own, and we both trained with the bruises we left on each other and were good friends.

Our dojos were sometimes an open space in the back yard, or in a garage... not the big McDojos of today with loud music, walls of mirrors, and six year old black belts. Respect wasn't something taken lightly, and argument wasn't something tolerated. Even today, I wouldn't say to any sensei some of the things I've seen said here... and protesters were people who got locked out of the training session.

It was good; it was wholesome; and it was personal to everyone who took part. It was more than "something to do", it was a mission. We didn't work out just while the classes were in session... they took up most of our time away from school, work, or family. When we got a chance to see somebody doing another style, everybody dropped what they were doing and went to learn something...

There were no contracts... teachers taught because they loved the martial arts and were eager to "pass it on" to others. Tournaments didn't give trophies, they gave bruises, and being the best one there that day was more than enough.

You're right... we can't take you back there.
Do us "old timers" miss them... Hell yes...
It defined a lot of things in life that you guys growing up in the virtual world will never know.

I've still got "Black Belt" magazines that don't have website addresses or 800 numbers in any of the advertisements... and kata was for sale... on 8mm movies.






I really like this post, there is a lot of truth in it. I have talked with martial artists from that period and they told me how things worked back then. You showed up to train, period. The instructor offered you his brand of instruction and if you didn't like it, he'd simply say don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out. Of course, society was very different back then and the general mindset of the people was different back then, too. There wasn't all of this excess and people were nowhere near as spoiled as they are today. They didn't go around complaining about this or that because it didn't match what 'they' thought was the correct thing in a martial art, they humbled themselves within their art and they trained hard. I believe someone said it best when they said martial arts a la carte, or something. There was 'a' martial arts school, if that much (a lot of teachers didn't own or rent a building as a school, some of them simply trained where there was space). That school taught a single style in a single way. If you wanted to study martial arts, you went to that school and busted your butt. There was full contact and the teachers were strict. It wasn't abuse, the people who were there attended because they loved doing it. It was a labor of love and it built true character. Everything, not just martial arts, was much harsher back then because there were not all of these laws, pc, and overdone liberalism; society as a whole actually believed in hard work and dedication, and society as a whole actually believed in letting people 'learn the hard way', unlike in today's litigation happy society. The teacher was in charge and anyone who wanted to be a brat about what was going on was simply dismissed. Oversized egos were also put in their place - the old fashioned way . I haven't trained back then, but I have talked with many martial artists that have, and I have a lot of respect for what they did. Just because they weren't pampered doesn't mean that they were any less intelligent or skilled than we are. Are you seriously going to call bill wallace, chuck norris, or any of the other greats from the last generation insane? Look at the type of greats that that brand of training has produced, it was definitely a martial arts golden age. People who were good because they actually worked hard and they could 'back it up', not a bunch of people who had easy training and then ran around talking about how they know so much more about everything and are so much better at doing everything than everybody else. We can learn a lot from that generation.
_________________________
Train hard and the answers will reveal themselves in a way that you can truly understand.

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#253639 - 12/20/06 07:42 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Ed, great post & right on the money. I didn't read anyones post yet since I didn'y want my opinion to sway. The only thing I can add as an "old head" as my kids call me is that IMHO the old way of training gave the trainee a better MA foundation. Diffficult to expalain unless you were there but many know what I'm talking about. Oh.... and by the way one of my old Korean instructors did make us run after class on occassion in the snow and rain....extreme? yes and we loved it when he did crazy stuff like that... try it now and you will be sued for abuse!
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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#253640 - 12/20/06 07:59 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: wristtwister]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
your post sparked another thought/observation: attention spans.

there is a certain wisdom in 'just do this thousands of times, then I'll tell you why' ...but that wisodm is counter-intuitive to the current 'want in now' student. The 'want it now' mindset is a reflection of the times. in one regard it's good, in that it prompts a student to always be self-questioning their training. the negative effect is the danger of passing by some subtle and very good stuff that can ONLY be aquired by actually doing it thousands of times...but if they don't see the 'value' after a 100 times, they might 'get bored' with it and move on.
That could either be an attention span deficit in our 'want in now' culture...or it could be simple impatience and intolerance to doing what it takes in order to find out.

it's a tricky minefield nowadays with so many unqualified instructors out there: does the student trust and follow? or is it wiser to always question? and whats the balance for them?

one thing is for certain...if a student joined a random place in the 70's or prior: they had a much better chance of not wasting their time by blindly accepting with heart what was being taught. today, thats not the reality of the landscape - maybe THAT is a contributing reason for the shift in current attitude/culture?

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#253641 - 12/20/06 04:55 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Katana83 Offline
Foreign Exchange Pimp

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 71
Quote:

The 'want it now' mindset is a reflection of the times.




Yes indeed! We live in an era where you can go shopping without even leaving the house, and your stuff will be on your doorstep the very next day. Everything is instant - slimfast, instant whatever - just add water. There was a greater chance of recieving better instruction back then because there was more integrity back then, people weren't only in it for the bucks, it was a passion. Martial arts were also not a ligitimate business back then, so you honestly couldn't make a lot bucks in it. There weren't a million (insert tiger name here) dojangs in every city throwing birthday parties for their 7 year old senior black belts, either . Students are questioning more, but given the current climate of things, that isn't all bad, it's only bad when students are questioning to the point that they are not willing to actually train and find their own answers. Some students literally want to be spoon fed an entire martial art. We also don't have the good teachers that the last generation had - thanks a lot mcdojo. I prefer the ways of the last generation, it just seemed more fun. The ironic thing is that the next generation will probably say the same thing about my generation.
_________________________
Train hard and the answers will reveal themselves in a way that you can truly understand.

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#253642 - 12/21/06 02:10 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Katana83]
Jeff_G Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 222
Loc: Midwest
Some, these many, bunch of years ago, one of my students was teaching a class at the Army War College. He started to apologize for making a few changes in the program as I taught it. I had to cut him off because I was happy that what I taught is still being passed on. But what we teach is like a living thing in that it constantly evolves and grows. How could I possibly complain about that?

I am happy that the "Good ole' days" are still there in the teachings of my students right alongside the "Good new days".

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#253643 - 12/24/06 07:11 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Jeff_G]
Katana83 Offline
Foreign Exchange Pimp

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 71
The good new days will be quite a thing to behold. There is a lot of negativity, but that just comes with the territory. There are a lot of positives, too. Look at the in-depth study of bunkai that is happening. It is making martial arts much more interesting, and it is like a neat game that a practitioner can play within his/her training. There are also more people practicing martial arts than at probably any other time in recent history. There are a lot of mcdojos, but this negative is also a positive in that it shows that martial arts are becoming more mainstream nowadays. I love the good ole days very much and I train very 'old school', but much like you said, there will be good new days, too. There will be many more martial arts golden ages to come. It is cool to know that we will all make an important impact on generations to come. Long live the martial arts!
_________________________
Train hard and the answers will reveal themselves in a way that you can truly understand.

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#253644 - 12/25/06 01:49 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Katana83]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
The problem with this new "good old days" is that you have to know something before you can filter out the B-S. It took hard training to get where we were at brown belt... not just "sweating", but combat, contact, and bruising. I see people with black belts today that have never been hit in an actual fight or kumite, unless they were padded up to the hilt and couldn't get hurt if a truck hit them.

You have to have a level of skill to watch videos or DVD's and know if what they're teaching is useful or pure B-S... and that takes some actual training "the old way" to develop. I have to admit that I like being able to find DVD's etc. to review and study, but if I hadn't been training since Moses, I wouldn't be able to filter out the stuff that's pure B-S from the "real information".

I have mixed emotions about whether or not there will be "new good old days" or not, because without that B-S filter, just about anything can slip through...

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#253645 - 12/25/06 10:58 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: wristtwister]
Katana83 Offline
Foreign Exchange Pimp

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 71
Quote:

The problem with this new "good old days" is that you have to know something before you can filter out the B-S. It took hard training to get where we were at brown belt... not just "sweating", but combat, contact, and bruising.




Yes, so true. I thought that it was good that martial arts in general are becoming more mainstream, however, there is a lot of bs being spread because of the mcdojo. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of teachers who do it the old way, which is a shame because the students never develop that understanding and appreciation for their style that your generation has. There is so much schlock being thrown around nowadays that it is distorting our arts, too. I am beginning to think that 'mainstream-ness' is not as much of a good thing as I originally thought it to be . More isn't necessarily better. I guess the increased interest and study into kata bunkai may be my generation's main contribution to the martial arts, but heaven knows how long that has been going on before now.

Quote:

I see people with black belts today that have never been hit in an actual fight or kumite, unless they were padded up to the hilt and couldn't get hurt if a truck hit them.




sad but true. Especially the belt racers who pay lots of $$$ to fly through the belts and think that they are superior just because of their rank. It seems that mcdojo inflation is turning a milestone into a mockery. I think that this coupled with the boatload of unqualified teachers is the obstacle in the martial arts for my generation to overcome.

Quote:

You have to have a level of skill to watch videos or DVD's and know if what they're teaching is useful or pure B-S... and that takes some actual training "the old way" to develop. I have to admit that I like being able to find DVD's etc. to review and study, but if I hadn't been training since Moses, I wouldn't be able to filter out the stuff that's pure B-S from the "real information".




Yes, I agree. I was lucky to begin my training with a teacher who trained during your generation. We burrowed the dance room on tuesdays and thursdays and trained barefoot on the rough floors. He would work us and work us until our tongues were on the floor, then he would make a joke about it in broken english and work us even harder. I learned heian shodan by doing it over and over again for hours with no breaks in between. Now I can do it in my sleep . I loved training with him and he was the best sensei that I have ever had thus far, but I graduated from uni. I haven't recieved near as good training from the dojos/dojangs that I have tried out. It is so watered down and standards are so low that I just get bored and seek out another school to see if it actually has some substance. I can only imagine how much that the black belts have missed out on. The DVD's seem like an attempt to show off one's abilities rather than to impart good information, I am very skeptical of them unless they are reissues of the old videos from your generation - at least we know that they have some legitimacy and are not just being put out to show off and make money. fa.com has some good classics available.

Quote:

I have mixed emotions about whether or not there will be "new good old days" or not, because without that B-S filter, just about anything can slip through...I:2*




I think that there will be new 'good old days' because there are still people around like you and my original sensei that will pass on the old ways to students who actually are serious about the martial arts. I thought that the 'mainstream-ness' of martial arts was a good thing from an exposure standpoint, but the more that I think about it, the more that I realize that I was wrong. The more accessible that something is, the easier it is for the lowest common denominator to ruin it - in this case the mcdojos and their mcteachers who willingly mislead new students just to make a buck. I guess that we can take solace in the possibility that the mainstream interest will run its course and the mainstreamers will move on to the next big thing - leaving it to the truly passionate martial artists. Then martial arts will return to the old way of doing things, experience a renaissance and usher in a new 'good old days'. I sure hope that is what happens because I prefer the way that your generation did things, and I am still searching for another teacher from your generation to this day .
_________________________
Train hard and the answers will reveal themselves in a way that you can truly understand.

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#253646 - 12/26/06 12:19 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Katana83]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
The difference is that if you can't filter out the B-S, then when you have 15 years' experience, it's really only one year's experience 15 times... You don't make progress just going through motions, and unless you're guided by the principles of what's being taught, you'll never know the difference between the McBurger and the real thing...

Glad to hear you're looking for the right stuff, however.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#253647 - 12/27/06 01:21 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: wristtwister]
jonnyboxcutter Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 320
Quote:

you have to know something before you can filter out the B-S




So true, wrist and I have to say, I like your logic and the way you explain things.

I do have one issue with your posts on this thread though, specifically relating to this point.

Quote:

"Teach your students so that they are better than you 'were'.That's how it should be."




Your reply was
Quote:

I think that any teacher or sensei worth his salt is training with that goal in mind.



Then later followed it with
Quote:

I have mixed emotions about whether or not there will be "new good old days" or not…




Sorry, but it seems to me that the two points are contrary to each other.

I am looking at it from this angle
Do you consider yourself “worth your salt” as an instructor?
Do you have instructors - which you have trained - that you would consider worth it?
Do you have any students that you think may have the potential to be worth it?

If you can say yes to these questions then sure there will be more “good old days” and instructors such as yourself will be the instructors of legend when they wax poetically over those crazy days from way back in early 2K. The people that study MA will always have “good old days”. The people who just practice, well, they’ll always have McDojo’s.

So now I’m back to McSensei’s original point, teach your students so that they are better than you 'were' - the future good old days will take care of themselves.

-JBC-

Here is one final sick thought – what if MMA is the new good old days…
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-- -JBC-

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