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Thread: Realistic about martial arts or fighting skills?

  1. #31
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    And, while some don't use it as such, MMA is still an excellent fitness regime and can be used for self development just as any other fighting style.
    It's the student rather than the style that determines the result.

    Incidentally, I'm coming to this thread as one who is just beginning my study of the arts, mainly Karate (Shoto Shorinji Kempo Ryu Aidokan Zen Budo Karate Do, normally shortened to Shoto-Kempo-Ryu) and Kinbaku2 (mainly Osada Ryu).
    BTW, note that the karate style explicitly names itself a -do style, following the distinction mentioned by Inclusa, i.e. it's explicitly about reflection and self-development. My teacher just passed his shodan1 test (it's a mainly German style and as he's a PhD student here in Denmark so even when Ikkyū he was the primary representative of the style in Denmark), and I saw the list of requirements for it, which included a written essay on four technique combinations explaining their use and reason.
    We had a session where I was the only student and half the time was spent talking about the art rather than doing physical training and I haven't even had the first grading examination (I'm really Mukyū, aka not yet graded) (again, different country and low number of students. Getting another instructor to travel here for the examination hasn't been high priority. And frankly, getting a specific belt isn't important anyway).
    Oh, and something that I find slightly amusing but still understand why it's significant: because I'm the only one of the local students to not only have a gi but to also color it in the style's colors (maize yellow jacket, black trousers), by showing dedication to the style I'm ranked second highest of the local students even though I'm well aware that it's not really deserved.

    1) black belt
    2) ETA: Oops, forgot to mention. The latter Art may be considered NSW by some repressed cultures, so if you don't know what it is and you're from one of them, don't Google it at work (or the family dinner).
    Last edited by HenrikOlsen; 2013-Dec-29 at 08:22 PM.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDevo View Post
    Sadly this principle has been simplified over the years; since American servicemen occupying Okinawa in 1945 began learning the Art. Americans didn't have the same focus and attention span as Asian students; Okinawan instructors were forced to include what amounts to a point system based on small achievements to keep their interest: the Kohai belt system. Everyone knows it - Students proceed from white belt to yellow, orange, green, brown...the darker the belt, the higher the rank.
    Historically the whole kyu/dan grading system was developed in the 17th century for the game go1 and was incorporated into the martial arts in the 1880's when the founder of Judo incorporated it in his system and then in the 1890's when the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai introduced it in the other Japanese Martial Arts.

    1) it's been a while since I played, but I was 12 kyu back then, with the nasty advantage for social gaming that most of it was from intuitively feeling the shapes rather than from tactical analysis, so when playing it drunk against a drunk tactical player, I've gain something like 4 grades relative to him (aka I'd only lose one rank, while he'd lose five). And yes, the University's student bar has a couple of go boards to borrow, so drunken go isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. Anecdote time: Something incredibly impressive for someone watching go who hasn't played game: see two players at a game with about 150 pieces scattered apparently randomly on a 19x19 board, one of them (yes, I'll admit it was me) drunkenly knocks over his glass of beer which flushes half the pieces to the floor, and after picking up the pieces and wiping off the board we just placed them where they'd been and played on once I'd gotten myself a replacement beer.
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    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  3. 2013-Dec-31, 07:04 AM
    Reason
    Unsure if my post was valid or not. I'm quite willing to argue, bt I want to study the issue first.

  4. #33
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    The entire beer thing was about playing go, not about practicing budo.

    Consider it unrelated nostalgic ramblings.
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    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    The entire beer thing was about playing go, not about practicing budo.

    Consider it unrelated nostalgic ramblings.
    I suspect that was in answer to a post I deleted. Due to my rather controversial history here, I'm trying to avoid argument; thus I deleted the post. I'm trying to be good. Thus I'll step back, review your claims - which I have great suspicions of - and properly prepare an argument. For now, nothing you have said bears an even casual comparison with what I have learned in 30 years studying and teaching the Martial Arts. But I'll look into your claims, get my ducks in order, and develop a response. Finding the correlations between go and the Japanese Arts should be easy, if they exist. I'll get back to you.

  6. #35
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    Here's a link to one of my references for it.
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    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
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  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Here's a link to one of my references for it.
    Thank you. I'll review it as a potential information source.

  8. #37
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    Media displays of fighting isn't as unrealistic as some might think... at least the fighting that isn't all super powers...

    1 vs many is thought to be unrealistic and the whole 1 at a time thing is fake. The reality is that there is only so much space to attack and there is risk of friendly attacks... So even though it's not 1 vs 1, it's often no more than 1 vs 3 even if there are something like 1 vs 20. Given your fighting ability, environment, and several other factors can make a hand to hand fight essentially 1 vs 1. Even with guns you can cause a situation where it is 1 vs whatever to become 1 vs 1 due to bottle necks, crossfire, the need to aim, etc.

    The problems that a lot of people have is they think the moves on tv are martial arts...which is true to some extent, but real martial arts tend to be quicker and not as "flashy" with their moves not as pronounced. Likewise there isn't follow through in media so doing it like that is really low power highly predictable fighting. Another problem is that the people that think this way have generally never been in a fight and so don't know that punching someone hurts you as much as it hurts the other person which causes fear and surprise in the puncher and in the punched the first time their hit...and they generally aren't going to follow the principle that once you have decided to fight you end it as quick as possible. They think "oh wow I'm fighting!" rather than drop them and keep moving. This dropping someone quickly is another way of creating that 1 vs 1 thing so even if you're fight 20 vs 1, if you're dropping them in a hit or 2 it might as well be 1 vs 1.

    So while the Media Martial Arts don't "work" like real martial arts, they do end up having similar results in terms of 1 vs many situations.

    Also...the martial arts that many western schools teach isn't martial arts v.v You can tell because many of them do the exact same things as you see on tv where it's all to look good, but very little actual power and use.

  9. #38
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    I'm sure that the unarmed fighting methods taught to, for example, US Special Forces, South Korean soldiers, the Israeli military, etc are all about technique and have very little philosophy. Modern "martial" arts are, in my view, as far or farther from their origins (at least according to the origin stories I've heard) as modern fencing is from its.

    Incidentally, Solfe, because professional MMA fights may be illegal, that doesn't mean that MMA, itself, is illegal. If I recall, professional boxing was illegal for decades in Connecticut, but activities like the Golden Gloves were legal.
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  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I don't think most media displays fighting in a realistic manner. It just wouldn't be entertainment. I guess historical movies or books are more realistic, but even then do have few liberties taken.

    Turning to more realistic examples, anyone I know who is trained to fight doesn't seem to want to use the skill in actual "for real" fights. I have a couple of interesting friends who are soldiers, a couple of black belts and even an MMA fighter. They don't want things to "get real" even though they are trained well. The MMA fighter I know would never use his skill outside of the cage, he is surprisingly mellow.
    The only MMA-related story I've heard is that one of my daughter's friends, who is an amateur MMA fighter, had somebody take a swing at him in a bar (the provocation was the person who swung on the MMA fighter was told not to urinate in the middle of the bar's dance floor). It ended about a second later, with the person who started swinging laying on the ground.
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  11. #40
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    Umm...Can I apologize?

    As many might know here; I am a dual personality. I have become proficient in knowing when the 'other' is in control and won't post when he is. But when the ratio is 90% or so I have difficulty knowing which of our personalities are speaking - he can be a sneaky bugger. As I read this thread over; I feel I am guilty of making several insulting statements. I would like to apologize for them, if you will allow me.

    For what its worth; I am a skilled hand-fighter, but I do not hold that fact in any honour. If anything, it is a demonstration of my inability to resolve a situation peacefully. But I do believe I have a closer understanding and knowledge of the Arts than some rubbery kid who's never seen anything worse than an irate pedestrian crossing the street.

    Aikido speaks to me like religion never did. I have tried kicking and grappling arts - I have torn though all instructors with casual ease. It is only in the Traditional Japanese and Chinese Arts I have found anything resembling a challenge.

    (Shrug) I suppose I'm still looking for a teacher years beyond the point when I should. By rights I should be looking for students and indeed have three; but I cannot esape the thought that there is a fundamental principle I have not yet learned. I'll think on it more.

  12. #41
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    It's a shame the focus of my first and only training in martial arts was on deadly attacks. I was so concerned that the moves to strike the throat would become learned muscle memory that I dropped it. (The teacher was good at fighting, but no follower of any mental discipline. This was with core group of overseas Hong Kong migrants stopping in Madrid on their way to the US in the early 70's.)

    Sure wish it had been Tai-chi simply or something I could use nowadays to stretch and meditate.

  13. #42
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    My wife and I started out with tai-chi, my wife moved on to other stuff but both of us dropped out after a few years. I have promised myself that I would get back into it.
    Solfe

  14. #43
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    It has been my understanding that the orthodox practice of the martial arts such as tae kwon do tempers the fighting skills with the achievement of mental discipline and restraint such that an expert avoids a fight except as a last resort. Is this a good description?

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    It has been my understanding that the orthodox practice of the martial arts such as tae kwon do tempers the fighting skills with the achievement of mental discipline and restraint such that an expert avoids a fight except as a last resort. Is this a good description?
    I joke with a friend who is a black belt that I rather fight with a professionally trained person because they don't think jumping up and down on your head is a good practice in a civil society. Trained people are more measured in my opinion.

    I am trying to think of a funny fight story... Usually, they aren't funny. I do have a couple stories where I was incredibly dumb and survived, but most of those are lessons in stupidity. Strangely, I usually end up on the upside of any situation, but it isn't because of my fighting prowess.

    (edit - My avatar is a picture of me, I intimidate no one.)
    Last edited by Solfe; 2014-Jan-08 at 09:52 PM.
    Solfe

  16. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I joke with a friend who is a black belt that I rather fight with a professionally trained person because they don't think jumping up and down on your head is a good practice in a civil society. Trained people are more measured in my opinion.

    I am trying to think of a funny fight story... Usually, they aren't funny. I do have a couple stories where I was incredibly dumb and survived, but most of those are lessons in stupidity. Strangely, I usually end up on the upside of any situation, but it isn't because of my fighting prowess.

    (edit - My avatar is a picture of me, I intimidate no one.)
    The high school (American) football player who tried to beat up my brother (also in high school) thought my brother, at 5 ft 7 in and 135 lb would be easy pickings. This did not work well for the football player, who ended up horizontal. Later, my brother was at a recruitment fair, and one of the USAF people manning their both said "you were one of them? But you're so little!" (my brother was a combat controller for the air force, which means he jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, and hung around with army guys to help them get air support.)
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  17. #46
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    My former sensei used to tell a story about a sweet little old lady (late 60s I believe) who had some young punk try to mug her in a parking lot. When the police arrived 15 minutes later she still had him on the ground in an arm lock. He begged for her not to press charges because he found the circumstances humiliating.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  18. #47
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    When my uncle arrived in Washington at age 12 a local bully tried to push him around. He grabbed the bully by the thumbs and gave a hard twist and had the poor bloke on his knees in agony. This meek-looking little boy had spent six years doing man-sized chores on the family farm, including milking two cows by hand twice a day for the last two or three years. He had tremendously strong hands as a result. Even now at age 88 his grip is still remarkably strong.

  19. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I joke with a friend who is a black belt that I rather fight with a professionally trained person because they don't think jumping up and down on your head is a good practice in a civil society. Trained people are more measured in my opinion.
    Oh, absolutely. I take Taekwondo and do sparring a couple times a month. I am much more comfortable sparring against the black belts than I am against other lower-level students. I'm fairly confident the black belts aren't going to accidentally hurt me. The others, not so much.

  20. #49
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    I've been purposely avoiding this thread.

    I'm not sure why. Shoot, I've done this enough I'm all seizury and twitchy from brain damage. You would think I would have something to say. Give me a minute.

    Hmmmm, okay.

    I had a Samuel L. Jackson/Pulp Fiction moment about two weeks ago. I was talking to my philosopher friend, (as in a doctorate on the subject), about how weird in was that I feel bad about every person I ever beat up, no matter how outrageous their behavior prior, with the exception of people who got in the ring with me.

    Philosopher: "Oh, that's because in the ring, it's consensual!"

    Me. "Oh yeah, you're right. It's consens... Shut the *truck* up!"

  21. #50
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    It took me a while, but I thought of a pair of funny stories:

    I was at a concert with about two dozen people, many of whom I just met that night. On the way home, I lit up a cigarette and a few other smokers gravitated towards me, to bum one. Someone croaked something about money, which was vaguely like the other dozen or so times money had been swapped around between us drunk idiots. Except this time ,the guy snatched my wallet. I shouted something and grabbed it back. At that point, I noticed I didn't know him and he had a knife. He simultaneously realized he was standing in a pack of people who were all my best buds that night. There was a 5 beat before he took off running.

    When other people tell this story, I totally stared that guy down.

    The other one was exactly the opposite of the story above. My wife and I were freshly married and found a little pool place down the street. We really felt like we owned the place, because we were in there all hours of the day and night. We were very wrong.

    One evening, my wife bumped a guy at an adjacent table and he hurled off a string of insults that took away all of my reasoning. I turned on this guy only to find that I was facing down any number of people standing behind him. I was about to get a beat down and everyone in the place knew it, but I belted out a big, manly "HEY!" anyway. That got all eyes in the place on me and my opponent. He knew what was going to happen next and it was going to involve the pool queue he was holding.

    He leaned forward on the stick and slipped, neatly poking himself in the eye. With the laughter, reason came back to me, and my wife and I exited the place immediately. We have never been back.
    Solfe

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