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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$, and expensive ones were 15$...

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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.
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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.
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ThomsonsPier

War. It's fan-tastic!

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#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.
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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!".
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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: 6665
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???
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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: 6665
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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#253618 - 05/12/06 12:11 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: harlan]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Yeah kinda see your point... something to ponder on! Thank you.
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www.SHIKON.COM
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#253619 - 05/12/06 03:33 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
theoldone Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 172
Ed,

It *really* was better in the good 'ol days. Our first proper dojang was on the rooftop on a 4-storey building. When the weather was fine, we trained. When it rained, we have a swim in the instant mini swimming pool (OK, wading pool). No dojo/dojang today can have their own swimming pool.

And kicking paddles? Today's kicking paddles can't hold a candle to ours back then. Our kicking paddles, you can use them as footwear after training. I think the brand was "japanese slippers".

We also had a lot of fun with our "night maneuvers" training. One little miserable fluorescent light that a moth would hardly give a second look. But there were two unexpected benefits. 1) We trained our night-vision, and 2) We looked at a lot of stars and learned some astronomy.

Ahh...those were they days my friend,
We thought they'd never end,
We'll sing and dance forever and a day,
We lived the life we choose
We fight and never lose,
Those were the days,
Oh those were the daaaaaaaayyys!

Sorry, no snow, though.


Edited by theoldone (05/12/06 03:34 PM)

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#253620 - 05/12/06 03:36 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: theoldone]
ShikataGaNai Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Ugh, I was so into what you were saying until you put visions of Archie Bunker in my head

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#253621 - 05/12/06 03:45 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: ShikataGaNai]
theoldone Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 172
LOL! Who, me? How so?
Quote:

Ugh, I was so into what you were saying until you put visions of Archie Bunker in my head


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#253622 - 05/12/06 05:46 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: theoldone]
ShikataGaNai Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Sorry. You were quoting a different song - but my mind uploaded the opening to "all in the family". Yech.

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#253623 - 05/12/06 07:27 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: ShikataGaNai]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

Sorry. You were quoting a different song - but my mind uploaded the opening to "all in the family". Yech.




Meathead.


Here's one.
Quote:

I can promise you that people practicing karate today aren't a pimple on the butt of those I've seen over the years






Edited by BrianS (05/12/06 07:31 PM)
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#253624 - 05/13/06 10:19 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Interesting post, Ed.

I have noticed that a lot as well. Not to be wishy-washy, but I think that martial arts have simply changed. Some for the better (the MMA paradigm has been a good, if very uncomfortable change for MA), and some for the worse (brazen McDojos and crass commercialism have not been good for the MA image).

I think it's important to try to keep in mind the good things done in years past, but be willing to move forward when NEW good things come around.
_________________________
"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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#253625 - 05/14/06 01:26 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: MattJ]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Maybe in "the good old days" people didn't train for television contracts or the WWF. Where I don't watch MMA or WWF on television, it's clear that they have good athletes who can take a lot of punishment. Their technique, however, sucks pond water.

You said
Quote:

Not to be wishy-washy, but I think that martial arts have simply changed. Some for the better (the MMA paradigm has been a good, if very uncomfortable change for MA), and some for the worse (brazen McDojos and crass commercialism have not been good for the MA image).





The difference between cross-training and MMA is that none of the MMA players seldom ever master anything, where cross trainers learn extensions of their technique. Brawling might be good television, but it isn't much in the scheme of training. Two thirds of what I've seen on MMA matches end up with one guy sitting on the other one with his arms pinned, pounding on his head.

Don't think I'm disrepectful of their ability to take a pounding, because that has to be the absolute bottom of the drum in self defense, but it sucks pond water as far as technique goes. A drunk brawler in a bar can sit on somebody's chest and pound on their head... if he has enough tatoos...



Edited by wristtwister (05/14/06 01:28 PM)
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What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#253626 - 05/14/06 02:38 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Ed:

I am too young (unfortunately) to have practiced in the "old days" I regret.... although looking at your dates I could have been training beside you... However having several folks still actively training from "that period" and encountering them at least periodically. Others had gone forward to other things but their grand children are now actively training...

Apparently the head instructor at different points supposedly used a cattle prod . (Obviously set low but even so....) I have major trouble even imagining that kind of (IMO-fwiw) insanity training!

Older methods do not necessarily mean better, nor smarter I agree completely. I am certain this has been the lament since the beginning of martial practice at the dawn of time, once things became organized training anyway.
I appreciate borrowing/hearing-of an ~old method~ try and reverse engineer what they were attempting...see in time what might be improved for the better? As with anything martial we must understand the tool before we haphazardly change too too much. Caution as always governs...

Jeff

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#253627 - 05/14/06 03:19 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: wristtwister]
ShikataGaNai Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Quote:

Their technique, however, sucks pond water.

Two thirds of what I've seen on MMA matches end up with one guy sitting on the other one with his arms pinned, pounding on his head.






Uh, oh.. here it comes

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#253628 - 05/14/06 05:10 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: wristtwister]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
how about a TMAist who crosstrains MMA?

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#253629 - 05/14/06 07:43 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ronin1966]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Ronin,
what you describe is something that fits into the "stupid comes in all sizes" category. I can't believe anybody is stupid enough to be hit with a cattle prod during training, even if it was their parents teaching them... That's not "training", just abuse... and by the way, not one of the "old ways". It was an idiot that was teaching another group of idiots who were too dumb to protect themselves.

Since you didn't train "the old way", I find it interesting that you said "Older methods do not necessarily mean better, nor smarter". That would be based on what? Older training was structured, clearly defined, and designed to create martial artists that had particular skills from their art. It wasn't today's "a la carte" study, but an in-depth training program that taught clearly defined structures of training.

Ever heard of a particular "type" of karate? The four major styles in Japan were structured to teach their styles in the manner that developed certain distinguishable characteristics of their training. Shotokan is different from Goju ryu. Goju is different from Wado ryu, etc. Each style had a structure and a methodology of teaching... and I don't remember ever seeing any cattle prods used anywhere. That one comes from the eccentric uncle people keep locked in the basement.

Oh yes, the Okinawan styles were just as clearly defined, just in a different manner.

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

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#253630 - 05/14/06 07:51 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
That's a good question, Ed.

The ones that I've seen "cross training in MMA" around here have all come from the "contemporary" Kempo school, and I haven't really seen any from traditional martial arts schools getting into that. The MMA guys in this area train right across the mats from us, and I can't remember ever seeing any TMA people training there. There are some in the OKU that are doing MMA, but they also come from the "contemporary" schools, not the traditional ones.



Edited by wristtwister (05/14/06 07:52 PM)
_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#253631 - 05/14/06 07:52 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: wristtwister]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote by Wristtwister -

Quote:

Older training was structured, clearly defined, and designed to create martial artists that had particular skills from their art.




While I don't disagree with that assessment, that does not disprove Ronin1966's observation, either. Particular skills do not equal better fighter or even better method.
_________________________
"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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#253632 - 05/14/06 08:12 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: MattJ]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Quote:

Particular skills do not equal better fighter or even better method.





That was never part of the argument he made, but since you bring it up, the changes in styles were done in many cases because fighters doing one style of karate couldn't beat fighters of the same style, so they went "technique shopping" and developed other methods. While they were "different", they were still traditional methods found in the schools of Japan and Okinawa (and often, China) that were adopted and ingrained into the school's training. That's why there were so many different types of the same style of karate, where one teacher might stress kicking techniques, another might stress punching, etc.

The best analogy is weightlifting... while we all don't lift the same amount, some lift more using different techniques, but they still pick up the weight from their grip on the bar. They move their feet, use their backs, legs, and arms to lift. Some lift without stopping, others stop at their shoulders and then press the weight up.

Did the changes make them better fighters? I would assume they thought so...

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

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#253633 - 05/15/06 07:13 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ed_Morris]
jliu Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 66
Loc: Montville, NJ, USA
My sensei used to reminisce about the "good old days" when you could go full contact sparring and bounce people off walls and stuff. Too bad lawsuits and insurance costs put an end to that.

To be honest though, I do sort of long for those "good old days." In my opinion, lots of the martial arts have been sporterized and some dojos that I've visited lack enthusiasm and intensity.

I agree with you on the issue of smarter vs. harder...Hard work will get you far, but using your head will get you much farther. e.g: walking through a wall and walking AROUND a wall lol
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#253634 - 05/16/06 12:35 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: wristtwister]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Wristtwister:

Crazy, insane, moronic... those labels could describe any of us likely at any time depending upon ones particular mind set & perspective? The ancient past or today. As I was not "there", I too can only be agape (regardless of what they did or did not do with the thing). I would not partake in that myself...

And yet consider some do stupid, insane things to their hands in order to "toughen them". Others receive powerful blows, beatings in truth to toughen themselves for some personal "reality" rarely ellaborated. There is a decent list of "classical" practices which might easily be explored carefully and find modern expressions perhaps.

<<"Older methods do not necessarily mean better, nor smarter". That would be based on what?

Please permit me to clarify... Merely because something is a "tradition" does not automatically mean it is/was a good idea. Merely because something might indeed be ~old~ doesn't retroactively mean it was then or now a great way to achieve "X" goal.... Better?

<<Older training was structured, clearly defined, and designed to create martial artists that had particular skills from their art.

I've hopefully clarified my meanings to some degree I hope, care to take a shot at yours?

<<I don't remember ever seeing any cattle prods used anywhere.

Well I could show you a documentary of a fellow hitting a turn of the century iron choo-choo train with spooky power repeatedly (Someone get the fellow a ticket, pretty please....). I could produce written stories of now famous practitioners going off into the mountains, virtually naked, and with little food to practice and explore their skills. Forgive me if I find the ~cattleprod bizarreness~ not entirely without some decent precidents...

<<Oh yes, the Okinawan styles were just as clearly defined, just in a different manner.

There are hundreds of assorted arts. All of us have assorted receipes for eggs, bread (ie power, etc.)... its always a question of the presentation at the end of the day. Who can pass along their understanding of this proverbial cooking process. Once I have delicious simple receipes what do I do with that knowledge, understanding?
I do not deny many arts may indeed (then or now) provide wonderful answers in terms of "clear definitions". Yet it appears many flavors of them indeed exist and have for a time... what happens if these new receipes were not "shopping" simply a different preference of flavoring?

Please find no offense at my response, none were intended as such...

Jeff

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#253635 - 05/16/06 12:49 AM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: Ronin1966]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Good post Ronin!!

Quote:

Crazy, insane, moronic




You rang?

If we want to live in the past so be it,but I prefer to live the now and look to the future hopefully improving along the way.

Teach your students so that they are better than you 'were'.That's how it should be.
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#253636 - 05/16/06 06:58 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: BrianS]
McSensei Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
"Teach your students so that they are better than you 'were'.That's how it should be."

Best thing I've read so far.

The worst thing about comparing "now and then" is that it can never be decided.
Having said that, in virtually every endeavour you can think of mankind have improved over time. (I use the word improved in a sense of faster, stronger etc.)
So we must be doing something right.
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#253637 - 05/16/06 10:55 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: McSensei]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
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.

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

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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
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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…
_________________________
-- -JBC-

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#253648 - 12/28/06 02:41 PM Re: The 'good ol days' ? [Re: jonnyboxcutter]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Maybe it would be better explained if I said it this way...
Teach your students so that what took you years to learn, they learn "quicker" or without all the "searching" you might have to do to learn particular techniques. The longer you have a technique in your arsenal, the better you can use it comfortably.

To answer your second point, I've always taught my students so that they would excel, even beyond what they "know" currently. My senior student told me this weekend that things I taught him 10 years ago were part of his technique, but he was just now being able to explain them...
I think that's making him better... it was certainly my goal while training him... but he still comes back to the well for a drink once in a while... He's learned a lot on his own, and when he does, he applies what I taught him to it, and he himself has told me it's made him much better. He's now 44 and I'm 62, so I might be a bit behind him physically, but he's gaining on me in martial arts mentality and understanding. He knows that I still have things to teach him, so he'll never admit to being on my level or "equal" to me, but I wouldn't be proud of him if he wasn't the way he is. I'm still "junior" to my teacher, even though I outrank him and am in better shape. He likes me because that I took what he taught me and expanded it... just like he taught me to do...

I think our attitudes make all of us "worth our salt" if we're teaching, training, and extending ourselves in the effort to improve martial arts understanding. My teacher said "pass it on"... so that's what I do...

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

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