Tradition v Progress

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Silver_no2, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    I'm a little sick of this 'you quote me, I quote you' with interest posting, but I didn't start it, and I'm not ready to finish it yet. So!

    Posted by myself

    Posted by Kosokun

    ...... etc, etc

    Posted by myself

    Posted by Kosokun

    One answer is attributed to development of the style, the other answer to commercialism?

    How can we make any progress, with so much Tradition?

  2. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Gee Andy, I don't understand your apparent irritation, I was only following "netiquette".

    From the alt.comp.freeware F.A.Q.

    "Netiquette is a particularly sensitive subject because so many people have such differing views regarding the subject. Nonetheless, the majority of the usenet community seem to agree on the following guidelines for posting in newsgroups."

    And the pertinent section on quoting:

    "Quoting - This refers to the inclusion of a copy in your reply of either all or part of the post to which you are replying.

    Why should you quote? Quoting is done to help others understand what, in the original post, you are referring to in your reply. It saves others the trouble of having to open the original post to try and figure out what you're talking about.
    Another good reason to quote is that posts have a finite lifespan on servers. The time they will remain available to somebody's reader is dependent on which server we're talking about, but's finite. What this means is that your reply can become an "orphan" post. If there's no quote from the original post in your reply, nobody will know *what* you are talking about. They will then tend to ignore your reply, and if you are in the habit of posting without quoting, they might begin to ignore (or even filter out) all of your posts.
    Should you begin your reply before or after the quote? Most people seem to prefer that others reply after the quote. Doing this will produce a logical progression of responses in the body of each new reply in the thread.
    Be careful when you are removing portions of a series of nested replies to avoid attributing words to the wrong person. Note that a ">" in front of each line indicates the most recent reply. A ">>" in front of each line indicates the next most recent reply and so on. Knowing this will help you keep track of who said what.

    Should you quote all of the message you are replying to? That depends on the size of the original. If the message is small, go ahead. However, if the message is large, it's a good idea to remove any portions of the original that aren't relevant to your reply or which are repetitious.
    As Prof. Timo Salmi of the University of Vaasa, Finland says, "The number one rule of quoting is quote judiciously. Quote only what is essential to make it possible for the reader to understand what your posting or email message is about. As a rule avoid quoting an entire message (signatures and all). It is not judicious to quote, say, a hundred lines of discussion just to input a single line of one's own. Proper quoting is a skill. If you are going to quote, devote some time to working the quote appropriately. Don't be lazy in this respect."
    When you remove something from what you are quoting, it's considered good form to substitute something like "(clipped)" (without the quotation marks) for what you have removed.

    Should you ever change what you are quoting? This is called "misquoting" and usually, it's a very bad idea to do so. Even if you point out that you've changed what somebody else has said, depending on the situation it's probably going to get you in trouble.

    How do you quote? Most newsreader programs have an option for setting your preferences to quote automatically when you compose a reply. Once you begin composing your reply, you can edit the quote. Refer to your newsreader's documentation for information on setting this preference."

    I hope that helps!

    Rob :Angel:
  3. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    How about some 'original' comments. You have failed to respond to any issues I raised in my previous post Kosokun. I have a whole dictionary here, should I scan it and post it?

  4. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Depends. I would say that this is very often the case ... but not always. The 2 systems I currently hold black belts in and the one that I'm currently training in are "eclectic" arts. The founders, though, didn't take just cursory looks at the arts they drew from. In most cases they were "black belts" (though belts weren't always used ... but you get the gist) in them ... or at the very least had spent many years training in them and had gotten permission to teach.

    Let's take, for instance, my primary system of "Sikal." Sikal is an eclectic blend from several systems of Filipino Kali and Indonesian Pentjak Silat. My instructor, Guru Ken Pannell, developed this blend after 15 years training in Kali and 10 years training in Silat. He had a "black belt" (or permission to teach) in 2 systems of Silat and 3 systems of Kali before he ever started developing his own curriculum which drew from those systems. He was very careful in his development of the curriculum to keep it cohesive and build all the necessary "bridges" between the elements so that when a student reaches advanced levels he/she is able to flow seamlessly between the elements and do "Sikal."

    The same is true of Eskrido by GM Cacoy Canete. GM Canete is a 10th Dan in Doce Pares Eskrima (and, at 82, has been training in that system for 76 years). He also has black belts in Aikido and Kodokan Judo (2nd and 3rd Dan respectively, I think ... though I may have them swapped). He has blended elements from these into an "eclectic" whole called "Eskrido" which utilizes the throwing and locking principles of Judo and Aikido with the stickwork of Eskrima.

    So, while "eclectic" sometimes (often?) means "hodge-podge" this is not always the case.

    There are several items in this thread which I want to reply to which will kind of continue this post so rather than re-type things, I'll stop here and reply to those other posts as well :)

  5. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Pretty Cool, Mike. Sound's like you were fortunate in finding a good, forward-thinking, conscientious, thoughtful instr.

  6. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Could you please re-state the questions about the issues that you've raised? I thought this
    and this
    were rhetorical questions. :D

  7. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    One quote you used was a rhetorical question I asked, thrown to the whole forum.

    The other was a not so subtle point, suggesting that you were wasting a lot of peoples time by having them read information with no relevant context, written by somebody else, to disguise the fact that you were not answering anyones question

    I'm happy to re-state any questions I have previously raised if you do not understand them.

    Oh, how about you look for my questions and answer them? lol
  8. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    I think anyone, regardless of background, "dissing" someone else's training practices is rather shallow. Every one is different. We all have different tastes and preferences. We all learn better from different teaching methods. We each have unique physical aspects which enable us to do some things that others can't ... and, on the flip side, things that prohibit us from doing things that some other people do with ease.

    As a tangent, here, if it ever seems that *I'm* dissing someone's training methods, I apologize and that is never my intent. My intent is simply to state my personal opinion and what works for me ... to bring a different perspective to it. My way works for me ... but may be absolute BS for someone else.

    Anyway ... back to the topic at hand :)

    I believe that a foundation is vital. I don't believe that that foundation has to be a "traditional" art. I believe that *any* art which is cohesive will build a solid foundation. My foundation is the "Sikal" which I mentioned in my previous post. Sikal isn't a "traditional" art but it is cohesive and provides a very good foundation.

    I believe that there, really, are a finite number of principles that all the various martial arts systems draw from. The differences in arts/systems/styles arises from the emphasis each places on various principles and the way that the principles it uses are expressed. These differences arise because of the environment in which the art/system/style evolved. The "environment" includes the physical aspects and preferences of the founder and each subsequent instructor between the founder and a given student ... as well as those of the student. It includes the geography of the area(s) in which it evolved. It includes the society in which it evolved. All these factors (and others to varying degrees) have an impact on why a given art/system/style emphasizes various principles and the way in which it expresses those principles.

    When training, IMHO, we should try to develop an understanding of the *principles* rather than the techniques of a various system. Rather than look at "how did the instructor do that?" look at "why did it work?" If we can understand the "why" then when we cross-train we can build our own bridges.

    Too many people end up with a collection of techniques with nothing to tie them together.

    For all my love of seminars (I attend a lot of them), this is their biggest drawback (IMHO). They tend to draw "dabblers." These people go to a seminar (which, IMO, should be used primarily as a "sampler platter" for the presented art/system/style) and they think that the seminar is the whole of the art/system/style. They think that if they go to enough seminars that they will get the whole art/system/style. These people *only* train at seminars. They end up being "technique collectors." Some of them then, after years of attending seminars, feel that they have enough to teach with ... but they have no cohesion. All they have is a bunch of techniques.

    There are occasional people who can actually make this work for themselves. Usually because they've sparred enough with the material to build the bridges within their own bodies. But often these people don't have those bridges built intellectually and, therefore, cannot really teach other people about those bridges. (This situation can also arise with people who have really put the time in and studied in-depth but who are more physically adept than mentally.) Their students will watch something and say, "OK ... but how did you get from point A to point D ... I didn't see a point B or C?" And the "instructor" will not be able to explain. Generally, in this case, the second generation of the art/system/style is better at teaching than the founder because they had to stumble around until they found those bridges and they usually end up with more of an intellectual understanding than the found had.

    Note: I differentiate between "seminars" and "workshops" ... a "workshop" is, in my definition, curriculum oriented and a series of workshops can be used to teach a progressive curriculum. "Workshop" means you're in the kitchen learning to prepare the dishes. "Seminar" means your eating at the table but get only the vaguest of ideas as to how the dishes might have been prepared.

    Hope all this rambling made some sort of sense :)

    Summary: I think that a foundation in a cohesive art/system/style is absolutely vital ... but whether that foundation is "traditional" or not is up to the practitioner. The problem, though, is that when people begin training have no idea whether they're getting a cohesive foundation or not. Traditional arts are usually cohesive ... but I've seen some that (due to the way the instructor teaches them) are not. Whether you're talking about "eclectic" or "traditional" ... the instructor is the key element. If the instructor doesn't have a cohesive understanding and doesn't teach the elements in a cohesive manner then it will be up to the student to "pour the concrete" into the structure of the foundation (i.e.: make the connections between the elements). If the teacher doesn't teach them and the student doesn't make the connections then the student will not have a solid foundation.


  9. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Yes, I feel very lucky in the instructors I've had. For that I give credit to a woman named Melinda Bear. She was my first MA instructor (TKD) when I was a kid. She taught me many things ... but primarily she was an excellent instructor. For me, she exemplified the qualities that a good instructor should have and, over the years, I have used her as a kind of ruler to measure other instructors against.

  10. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Masterfully defined as always Mike..

    At my school the 'smart' guys always got a kicking! lol
  11. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    LOL ... thanks Andy. My 1st passion in life is MA. My 2nd (though, admittedly, the gap between the two is sometimes pretty large :) is writing. I'm glad to see I can use the 2nd to buttress the 1st when necessary :)

  12. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    What would you consider long enough?

    and then lets look at the Okinawan model where it was quite common to study a couple of years with one fello, then a bit with another, then go find someone else for a few months. Then eventually start teaching a blend of what they had learnt.
  13. Ozebob

    Ozebob Valued Member

    Hi Andrew,

    I think that 2-3 years is sufficient to gain an understanding of the basics. A couple more years to learn enough of the content to see the big picture. I think that an instructors course is necessary to learn how to teach and then some sort of apprecticeship at a dojo under the supervision of a teacher of at least 20 years of experience. This is the ideal in brief to teach at one's own dojo as a branch of a good association. To break out on their own as many do with little experience is sheer stupidity.

  14. Chazz

    Chazz Keepin it kickin TKD style

    Good point. I think that all instructors should have to learn ways of teaching. Not all Orgs. do that. They just send someone out to teach and say good luck
  15. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    Which would usually translate to a low dan grade, sometimes only shodan.

    Let's say someone trained for ~10 years in on style of karate, got ranked nidan. Switched to Judo or jujitsu for a year and a half, didn't make shodan, but got pretty good at throwing people, then went to a different karate school, trained for another year or two, but again didn't get a dan ranking (or even just got a shodan) Throw some escrima work in there at some point to for good measure.

    Then this person deciedes to start teaching, highest rank is Nidan, but still has 15+ years experience, has trained hard, taught or assisted teaching at at least the first school and helped out a lot at the 2nd karate school because of previous experience.

    They select kata mainly from there first style of karate, but a few from the 2nd, incorporate some stick work and Jujitsu stuff into the syllabus (Yes its all in the kata and they see that)

    Just to make it more interesting, they also have a degree in Physical Education.

    Should this person be teaching?

    I see no reason why not.
  16. Ozebob

    Ozebob Valued Member

    Hi Andrew,

    Plenty do that and they would have good skills as a student but I think they still need guidance from someone with 20 years plus in the one art. The teaching ability should be there but not the content and time-in-art specific.

  17. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    I think it will vary from person to person. Some people are, by nature, more suited to teaching than others and will, therefore, require less time teaching under supervision. I think the structure that has been put forth is valid. In the example by Andrew the foundation in Karate should give the student a solid foundation and an eye toward finding the underlying principles. This should give the student enough to be able to envision and build a cohesive curriculum from his experience.

    I think most anyone can learn to be an effective teacher ... but it will require more work for some than others.

  18. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    Which is why I threw in the degree in PE :)
  19. Ozebob

    Ozebob Valued Member


    The PE degree is a great asset for teaching but you still need to understand a system.. not just some of it. Some kata become apparent as building blocks when you learn the kata from the levels above you..

    In old-style Shoto, it is not realised that Chinte is a lead in to Gojushiho. Many kata in Shotokan and other styles are taught as stand alone kata because the big picture is unknown.

    !0 years in karate is a relatively short time if one has been stuck in the Shu of Shuhari. Hardly anyone seems to get out of the Ha stage and very few are suited to teaching.

    Anyone can call numbers but very few can teach the art IMO.

  20. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    Hi Bob,

    Yes, but the point was that after training for 15 years a person should have a pretty good idea of what they are doing, even if it doesn't match up exactly with any other established style.

    Kyan lineage also teaches Gojushiho, but not Chinte. I really don't think this makes any difference, a kata can serve as a lead in to another, but that is a teaching methodology question, not something that is part of the kata.

    Who said he was, let's assume a good student, good physical shape, can apply things well, and has the ability to innovate. I never really liked the shu-ha-ri way of looking at things myself, perhaps we could adapt Bloom's taxonomy to the martial arts instead?

    Should this person not be teaching based solely on qualifications? Let's just assume they have the ability to teach, sufficient knowledge of thier own hybrid system and every other prerequisite you want to stick in, but only ranked nidan in an art they haven't taught or studied in 5 years, a shodan in something more recent, and a couple of kyu grades. They certainely don't meet the godan or higher requirement. But I would venture a guess that you started teaching before Godan as well...

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