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#314303 - 01/11/07 01:05 PM No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts
everyone Offline

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
I have been involved with the martial arts for over 20 years now. During that time I have practiced many different styles at several schools. Some I just practiced a few months, others for several years. Each style of martial arts has its own unique movements and energy to it. I found it very enjoyable to spar using different styles and seeing how my opponent would react.

My question is, why do so many martial artist spar using an improvised kickboxing style when they spend so much time practicing a traditional martial art? It just amazes me when I go to a points tournament or an MMA competition and all the fighters use indistinguishable technique when they come from different traditions. If someone is going to kick box in the ring, why aren’t they training in it, instead of TKD? I have even sparred with instructors of schools who do this. Do they have no confidence in their own teaching? (Personally I prefer to spar using a Crane style of kungfu. Not only is it effective but most people are unfamiliar with the movements so it give me an advantage. Other times I will use TKD or BJJ etc…just to mix things up.)

This is not an issue of self-defense vs. competition technique. I am referring to fundamentals of stance and attack. The traditional ways of fighting that have been handed down for generations are effective and have proven themselves over the years.

#314304 - 01/11/07 01:32 PM Re: No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: everyone]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Kickboxing is often "easier" to do. By easier, I mean there are less techniques and no particular stylistic requirements to adhere to. In the end, does it matter if you win via a particular "style" or not?

*rhetorical question not aimed at you in particular*
"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

#314305 - 01/11/07 01:51 PM Re: No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: everyone]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Reeeeaally? What martial arts have you studied?

#314306 - 01/11/07 06:39 PM Re: No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: everyone]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

Because it would not be to far off the mark to suggest that at least as far as "open" tournaments go their is a "tournament style."

If you want to "win" there is a specific "tournament style" of martial arts.

Its one of the things that I find really boreing about open tournaments--everyone looks the same.

Even in kata--I see folks in "traditional" kata that are dropping into such low overly exagerrated stance that quick effecitve movement is next to impossible.

Yet they do it because somehow people got the idea that "traditiinal" means low stance and the lower the MORE "traditional" you must be.

Another problem is that fighting styles tend to vary widely.

So the only way to have a resonably "fair" match is to set some kind of limits as to what a person does.

The downside of that is that its to make the meets to "cookie cutter" for my taste.

Another problem is liability.

Groin kicks are "legal" in the style that I practice---how ever groin kicks are kinda dangerous---so people won't write paper covering you for certain kinds of blows.

So legal concerns oftan drive the "how" a meet happens.

Don't care for it myself---open tournaments are lots of fun,IF you don't take them too seriously.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#314307 - 01/12/07 02:08 PM Re: No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: MattJ]
everyone Offline

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
I have to disagree with you, it does matter if you win with a particular style or not (except on the street). It is important to fight how you train. Example: There is nothing wrong with kickboxing but don't train for it by doing TKD. It's just not the most effective way to become a good kickboxer.

Tournaments are about (for me anyway) proving martial skill. I would rather lose every competition but show good martial skills then win using "tournament technique".

I understand that there are safety consideration so there are no groin kicks and eye gouges etc.. But, proper structure is important to maintain. I have never seen a Kungfu or Karate practicioner enter the octagon and fight the way he was trained. I attribute this not to the effectiveness of the style, but to the lack of confidence the fighter has in his traditional art. So why would he spend so much time training in it?

Maybe your right MattJ, it's all about winning. If that is the case, maybe we should all just practice "tournament style". We can take the martial out of martial arts for those point tounaments. The MMA tournaments we can call "Ground and Pound" tournaments. Yes, I know I am exagerating a bit but it is very frustrating for me to see such a misrepresentation of the long standing traditions fighters claim as their lineage.

#314308 - 01/12/07 08:07 PM No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: everyone]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States

Perhaps the question is not one lacking confidence in X art-training rather more simply the RULES of the tournament... perhaps?

Sweep, love to... head contact, if open, yes... groin absolutely, again if open....

Forbidden, correct? Also consider the marshmellow equipment and gear protection of this and that... without all the protection, things would certainly change, yes?


#314309 - 01/13/07 05:01 PM Re: No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: Ronin1966]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Tournaments aren't designed to test martial arts. They are designed to make money, and today, with people being sued for breaking a nail, they try to "powderpuff" them as much as possible.

Since most schools think control is an instruction rather than a skill, so they don't teach people how long their arms and legs are, they just "pad them up" and throw them out there to touch the other player... then, they give you the list of all the places you can't hit, which defeats the purpose of fighting arts.

Traditional tournaments have higher standards than just "tournaments", and the skill level involved is much higher, and requires better judges as well... that's why the promoters all want the "Bud Light" X-games tournaments where anything passes for martial arts if you have the music loud enough.

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

#314310 - 01/15/07 10:39 PM Re: No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: wristtwister]
Zanaffar Offline
The Iron Curtain

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 33
Is it possible that tournament martial arts looks like kickboxing because it is a more effective way of scoring a point or a knockout or plain old hurting the other person (in as safe a manner as possible). If there were absolutely no rules in tournaments, I predict that "tournament style" will look exactly like current MMA but with eye gouges, groin kicks, biting... all that nasty stuff. Why? Because that's what works.

#314311 - 01/16/07 12:05 AM Re: No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: everyone]
IRKguy Offline

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
If you look at McCarthy's translation of the Bubushi, it seems that the traditional unarmed fighting arts were not designed for a martial artist to fight a martial artist. The assumption was that there were certain habitual acts of agression you could escape and overcome.

If you want to talk about MMA, most BJJ people would lose in a point sparring competition to someone they could easily take in another situation. A good boxer would lose to a McDojang fighter because a punch slipped or shedded is still considered a point because it touches. I've even jammed kicks and had the other person fall back and had a point called against me. It's stupid, but it's the way it is.

Tournament sparring is a game of timing and distance. It has little to do with being a good fighter. You might compare it to dueling in the Western tradition. Originally, you dueled with broadswords and shields to death or submission. During the Renaissance, upper class people started dueling with rapiers because they were quicker and fashionable. (There was a battle weapon called a rapier, but it was very different from these court weapons.) They weren't good battle weapons, but they were better for dueling. In England, these rapiers were adopted during Elizabeth I's reign because she had a court full of nobles who had never seen battle. (The Italian fencing instructors in England were on many occasions humiliated by middle-class Masters of Defense armed with quarterstaves and other traditional English weapons, according to Mendelbaum and Oakeshott.) Over time, people stopped dueling to the death but to first blood, so the rapiers got lighter and more flexible, since the cut did not have to penetrate. Some of them didn't have sharp edges anymore. Some didn't even have points anymore, just a triangular piece at the end that could scratch quicker than a point could thrust so the judges could call first blood. Then people dueled with foils and smallswords, nearly useless in the battlefield swords supposed to fight in, but better for first-blood dueling. Eventually, the smallswords became a kind of jewelry worn at the hip. If you want to compare combat to tournament sparring, find a local fencing school and walk in with a wooden shield and a sharpened broadsword looking for a match. That's the analogy I'm trying to make, but even that analogy is not enough.

Traditional martial arts are not about squaring off with someone and deciding to fight. That's dueling. It's not combat. When schools teach tournament sparring so their students can win tournaments, they are contributing to the degredation of the art. The tournament system was designed based on the assumption that the scoring technique would be a dehabilitating technique, but the honor system kind of slid off along the way. I would prefer to lose fighting the way I really fight than to win by dancing around and playing patty cake.

#314312 - 01/18/07 03:33 PM Re: No Confidence in Traditional Martial Arts [Re: everyone]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
cxt & wrist both made good points but you need to realize that fighting & competition are 2 completely different animals. All the effective SD techniques found in karate are illegal tournament techniques. What does that tell you?

In the beginning, styles developed based on the originator's skill, region, access to weapons (improvised or established), body type, temperment & even socio-economic status. If you're expecting a Goju-ryu fighter (in cat-stance) to face a Shotokan fighter (in long front stance), you've been watching too many movies & cartoons. When I started in '77, we all used a longer stance w/ hands held low. Not any more. A boxer's stance seems to work for the majority of competitors & says nothing about the practitioners loyalty to or faith in his style.

Don't all swimmers, track runners & baseball players look pretty similar? What's the difference w/ MA?


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