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#395504 - 05/14/08 07:33 PM Newbie question
BrianF Offline

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Indiana
I am in the process of selecting a school/discipline. I still do not know the differences between some of them. Also, I do not know whether the skills and levels attained at one school would transfer to another.

I do know the basics, such as Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Karate, etc are different from one another. But what of the differences ib the types or styles of Karate? Here is a specific example: I am looking at joining a Shuri-Ryu class where I live. Assuming I advance over time and attain several belts, but then have to move to a place where this discipline is not offered, would everything transfer?

My questions are based upon my ignorance of the differences in the schools, but I would like any help possible.

Thank you

No Belt

#395505 - 05/14/08 07:52 PM Re: Newbie question [Re: BrianF]
Kimo2007 Offline

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
I guess my first question is DO you plan to move? If so and you want belts/skills to transfer, then you might want to consider styles like Judo or BJJ. The reason I say that is while Karate styles can be quite varied, the grappling arts are more uniform and even if you have to start over in a belt system, your skills will directly apply.

In a Karate style, you can train 10 years walk into another school that has a different philosophy or is of a different branch, and they may want you to start over.

Keep in mind this a over simplification, as there are plenty of exceptions, but you ask a questions that is almost impossible to answer with any exactness.

The other answer is go around to the schools and find one you like, and train. Worry about belts and advancement transfer if and when it comes. A true MA who loves to train has no problem starting over at white belt, IMO.
Undefeated in all of Asia!

#395506 - 05/14/08 08:52 PM Re: Newbie question [Re: BrianF]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
If you are worried about rank transferring as far as Karate goes, you'd wanna find a school who's part of some sort of nationwide organization, I know Goju and Shotokan have a variety of such organizations.

Honestly though, in my experience you need to be ready to "start over" for the most part if you plan on not staying in the same place.

#395507 - 05/15/08 05:09 AM Re: Newbie question [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Tashigae Offline
Mister Bendy

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 690
Loc: Samarobriva, Gallia
Agreed. Brian F., unless your primary objective is to achieve a black belt that will look cute on your CV and impress chicks, don't worry too much about the gradings. I should assume that you consider taking martial arts to improve your skills and not your popularity, right? A black belt might have meant something a long time ago, but pretty much anyone in the trade nowadays knows that those times are long gone. I'll go even farther: I've seen more black belts who couldn't fight decently than black belts who could (yes, that's how bad it is nowadays). And on the other hand, the second best fighter I've ever met is an amazing Japanese guy who's studied a multitude of different arts without ever passing any grading (in other words, he is a multiple white belt). Not being affraid of starting over (credit-wise, not skill-wise) is a good thing, that will help your skills progress faster by keeping the ego in check (ego is one of the major obstacles on any martial artist's progression).

There is a famous Japanese anecdote about a certain master of chado (the art of the tea ceremony) who, for some reason, had been called out to a duel. Having never learnt how to fight, he went to a sword master and asked him for instruction. They first had tea together. Upon seeing how masterful the chado practitioner was in his field, the martial instructor told him that he didn't neen any instruction. He just showed him one attack and told him to put in that move the same spirit he would in performing chado. The fencing master estimated that this way, the chado man would either kill his opponent or end up in an ai-uchi (simultaneous mutual kill), therefore saving face and honour. The chado master went to meet his opponent. When they drew their swords and went en garde, the opponent bowed and announced he renounced fighting the chado master and accepted defeat, having sensed that the tea-serving man's skill was higher than his own.

This is to say that the real base of one's skill lies not in the techniques you learn, but in the spirit underlying them. That spirit is pretty much common to any art, and can make the transfer (with more or less luck depending on how different they are) if necessary.

One of my fellow kungfu practitioners was able to beat any student of a certain judo class where he went to cross-train. The reason lies not in any inherent superiority of kungfu over judo: my friend was using judo techniques, not kungfu ones. The reason is that he had reached a much higher level of mastery in his own art than any of the other students had in theirs, and he was able to transfer his mastery of the base principles from his familiar kungfu techniques to the strange judo ones.

Basic principles are universal. The true aim of learning pre-designed techniques is to forcefully imprint those principles in you. Once they are, you'll no longer need to learn any technique: any move you do WILL obey them and will work because of that.

Oops, sorry for the long post. Got a bit carried away...

#395508 - 05/15/08 12:35 PM Re: Newbie question [Re: BrianF]
BrianF Offline

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Indiana
Thank each of you for your replies. You have each provided usefull insights into MA which I had not previously realized.

No Belt


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