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#291007 - 10/05/06 12:12 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I see what you mean now. excellent point. I believe Miyagi's quest was to capture as much of his teacher's Art as possible...since K. Higaonna died relatively young, Miyagi seemed to have sought out his teacher's influences.

wrapping it more formally into a 'style' was incidental to what was happening to karate at the time, and Miyagi's focus/path changed.

with any Art...the focus leads to a quest for the 'essence' of it....whatever the person thinks that to be. perfection of movement, perfection of character, perfection of fighting skill, perfection of spirit, or whatever mixture of ideals thereof.

some think they get there by seeking out 1 person on a lineage chart, some by calculating what skills are needed for the ideal and seeking those out, while others might find by not seeking.

#291008 - 10/05/06 12:16 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I have taken some heat,(mostly raised eyebrows and gentle ribbing) from my teacher regarding extracurricular training. Our head guy is known to frown upon the idea but I do not hear from him directly about it.

Outside of my style I have explored Aikido, judo, Oyata Ryu Te, and both Japanese and Brazilian Jui Jitsu. My exploration came after shodan and most after nidan. I have been discretely candid about all of it.

The most recent time that I was chided My reply was that in our founders bio Won kuk Lee was said to have looked into chinese and Okinawan arts after studying with funikoshi. I told the person that had commented that I feel it would be disingenuous of the system to to deny me the freedoms that the founder was himself able to explore.

I know a few folks to whom loyalty is a concept they take seriously. For example if someone provides you a great service (auto repair) a person may go out of their way or pay a bit more to them not just because they are the most convienient now but in part because of the relationship and past service. I think loyalty is a manifestation of enlightened self interest.

Having said that...

One can demand Loyalty but it is unseemly. It can be a beautifull thing when it is given freely. As with marriage loyalty and fidelity have their benefits and probably their limits.

#291009 - 10/05/06 12:23 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
I think one of the biggest differences of 'old' style cross training was that it was often done by direction of one's Sensei, not always but often.

This tends not to happen as many modern 'Sensei' are motivated by power trips, control issues and financial gain.....

I guess the modern world is just different, people expect so much more and if they want it they take it.

I dont have a 'lineage' and taking a general view of many people I know who have (or think they have), thats no bad thing.

It generally only brings poor a attitude of superiority to martial artists, mines better than yours kind of attitude.

Do I cross train, not really but I will happily train with anyone who has something to offer my art, generally thats damn good karate people, ie with good character.
Jim Neeter

#291010 - 10/05/06 12:52 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: shoshinkan]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
The way I look at, being a newbie, I want what my teacher has got. Whatever 'it' is, a skills set, a toolkit of techniques, understanding of principles...'it' was acquired through years of searching, examination and testing. Somebody else has already done all the hard work, the synthesizing, of a body of knowledge that I want. Personally, when everything I want is right in front of me...why would I look elsewhere?

It comes down to a good teacher. A good teacher won't discourage a student from seeking...but finding is up to the student.

#291011 - 10/05/06 01:04 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: harlan]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
It also comes down to expectations and the ultimate understanding that as good a teacher is, we can't be them or have what they have got, all the time.....

im pleased your happy harlan, I am to!
Jim Neeter

#291012 - 10/05/06 01:07 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: harlan]
kensai1 Offline

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Ohio
after nakayama sensei took over shotokan from gichin funakoshi sensei he moved to china to train and study more. it would have been interesting what he incorporated or tried to incorporate then into shotokan.


#291013 - 10/05/06 01:42 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
nahate Offline

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 54
Loc: No VA suburbs of Wash DC
While it is certainly true that the originators of today's systems drew on a variety of sources they probably didn't need to select from such a profusion of hucksters and half-baked systems.

One legitimate reason for an emphasis on purity of style today is that most martial arts instruction is of such poor quality that it will undermine rather than enhance a comprehensive understanding of a life-enhancing and very effective art.

Since the training of Miyagi and others was systemized too many servicemen returned with just a few years training and opened their own dojos, self promoting themselves. Many of these had sincere motives but lacked a solid foundation. Others were charlatans of the worst order.

A long and continuing attachment to an urdoju can insure that one is being exposed to the real thing.
I had the great good fortune to begin training under Kimo Wall in 1973. He has been associated with Higa Seiko Sensei's Shodokan Dojo since 1961.

I have trained in other disciplines, notably Uechi Ryu and some Tae Kwon Do. I found that the similarities reinforced my Goju and the contrasts helped Goju stand out in sharper relief. I have also found little that could compare to the classical training I experienced and continue to enjoy. But I have even discovered a few solid gold nuggets buried among the piles of manure that comprise the mcDojo world.

In summation, cross training and studying other arts is useful and important. But an established lineage to a genuine system helps provides a barometer for all subsequent training.

#291014 - 10/05/06 02:19 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: nahate]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
To a certain point I agree. However, I think there are three things one always has to take into consideration: 1) Why are you training what you are training (what do you want out of it all); 2) Does what being offered encourage further, extraneous knowledge/skill pursuit; and 3) How does it affect the individual student? A secure heritage might offer genuine benefits since curricula have been established and knowledge and skill assured by the organization at large. But lineage may offer considered orthodoxy over student defined utility.

This can occur on two fronts, where one is in the midst of the McDojo empire and commitment to the belt for bucks factory creates its own ecosystem that has to stand apart, or fail for its own insipidness. The other would be where ego in the hierarchy stops those underneath the umbrella organization from attending other instruction, despite the want of the students to do so.

In the end, training elsewhere and in other systems has to be considered an individual choice where a “competent” individual can readily determine what benefits himself. Imposition from above should not be the cause of stopping one from gaining other experience, even if it should prove that what you have is better than what you’re offered.

#291015 - 10/05/06 02:50 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: nahate]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I agree. I don't think extra-curricular training benefits to be haphazzard or random either....but rather as enhancing the understanding of the core study.

for me, it's less of an issue since I only practice part-time and have plenty on my plate just focusing on core instruction as it is. but, I have no doubt that the right Tai Chi class once a month or so would improve my understanding of Goju - if even ever so slightly. I'd think nothing of it to join in on 1 or 2 Aikido classes every six months, just to practice how to fall correctly for Goju training! lol

As oldman mentioned in his case, there are instructors who would even discourage that level of tangental study....which I'm saying is nonsensical and particularly when they use 'tradition' as an argument.

The point is well-taken about the usefulness of 'direct line', and it's true that lineage (to an extent) is the only initial indicator within a minefield of hucksters today.

#291016 - 10/05/06 03:07 PM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Actually there are many sensei that practice classical arts that send their students out to study from other sensei of a wide variety of arts. However, that is after developing a solid base in their core style of okinwan karate as well as a GOOD understanding of the principles it contains. This individual is then able to have a greater and more well rounded understanding of their art and develop into a complete fighter/marital artist. The problem is when someone who is a p_ss poor practioner of their art decides they are the sh_t and goes out seeking more instruction. They change the art, hype up their own credentials, and attempt to pass it on as the original teachings they never really received in the first place. So rather than giving those losers the go ahead to bastardize what the okinawans have created they tell many people not to. However, even Shoshin Nagamine said if you find a better way of doing things then use it as reported by his son Takayoshi Nagmaine. Now the problem is this is meant after truly understanding what he taught. Not after taking an intro to kardio karate class with the kids and the Desperate Housewives. I mean the real deal.

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