Which are you?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Old bloke, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Old bloke

    Old bloke Active Member

    Are you a traditional martial artist, who believes teachings should be as they were, a whole lesson in belt tying, learning every technique, learning the name of techniques in the country of origins tongue.

    Are you a modernist, no time wasting on non important belt tying, or language, use that time to learn techniques that work in the modern day, and believe there's no point in learning how to use certain weapons, nobody uses them anymore.

    Are you in between, do you believe it is relevant to learn most of an art, with some modern additions.
    Where do you place yourself?
  2. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Surely, since many martial arts didn't originate as sports or hobbies, your definition of "modernist" is actually the real "traditional" method? Ie: learning to effectively fight quickly, without tacking on loads of other, non-essential gumf?
    Your idea of a "traditionalist" is more along the lines of a social study, or hobby?
    bassai and axelb like this.
  3. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    The ongoing "traditional" is relatively modern compared to what is considered "modern".

    Certainly the term MMA is considered modern, and karate, tkd, judo etc "traditional"
    However the core of MMA is one of the oldest martial arts, pankration being an example, from ancient Greek times.

    Karate, judo and tkd being terms only created less than 200 years ago.

    In martial arts, the term traditional is often given to imply that the style has been around longer, where as in fact it seems to be associated with martial arts that have been dressed with the originating countries ceremonies and culture.

    So to say modern Vs traditional is such s loaded question.

    Maybe a different term should be associated.

    Certainly sport can been a term used as some martial arts train to fit with a specific competitive ruleset.

    And there are some traditionally that do not.

    So maybe sport Vs non sport?

    But in some cases there are those that do not fit into either? Self defence focused which have live training, but not sport focused, and also without ceremony and culture associated with country of origin.
    Monkey_Magic likes this.
  4. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Indeed, some “traditional” arts like TKD are quite young.

    Whereas “MMA arts” are pretty old, such as wrestling and boxing.
    axelb likes this.
  5. Old bloke

    Old bloke Active Member

    IMHO, tkd is a modern adaptation of an older art, for me and it is only my opinion, a traditional art is an art that is the same as it was when it was created, but must not be from another art unless it is for arguments sake 150 -200 years old, tradition for me is something that has been passed down for many generations, and was a way of life. I understand this statement may be provocative, and I will make my intentions clearer later.
  6. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Ya, what Axelb said. ... I dunno. (shrug) Some of everything.

    I like swords, which no one carries, but not tonfas or 'chucks, which no one carries either. I like some amount of bowing, but not too much. I like moves that make sense right now, that have an obvious fighting application, but I also like short "kata" moves that have 17 applications that are not immediately apparent.

    Meh, it's all good.
    axelb likes this.
  7. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I don't think an art like that exists to be honest.
    Maybe...just maybe...there are some koryu styles that would fit that description but I don't think any art is the same today as when it was created.
    As soon as one person attempts to pass an art on it changes. Some things are retained, some things added, some taken away.
    Just human nature means people teach stuff they like or can do well rather than stuff they don't like or can't do well. That creates style creep without them even realising.
    Styles don't often come into being in one flash. They develop. Sometimes over decades.
    Is 'aikido' (for example) what Ueshiba taught as a man of 30, 40, 50 or 60? By all accounts Ueshiba was a hard man not to be crossed in his youth but mellowed as he aged. When was 'aikido' created so we can compare that time to what it is now?
    What version of aikido is actually aikido?
    Monkey_Magic likes this.
  8. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Also...it has rarely been 'traditional' to preserve a style in amber and have it preserved and unchanged forever.
    Again...that may be true of koryu and/or some family kung fu styles but a more accurate picture of most styles (karate for example) is one of evolution, adoption and change...right up until some muppet (or collection of muppets) draws an arbitrary line in the proverbial sand and tries to define a style as 'it is now this and must not change from this point on'.
    Vince Millett and Dead_pool like this.
  9. Old bloke

    Old bloke Active Member

    Never done Aikido, but I believe it was created around the same time is as Hapkido, around the 1940's, 1950's as they both arise from Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, but I also thought the Iwama school was kept as is, exactly the same as Ueshiba taught Morihimo Saito, again not studying the art I cannot be sure.
    So in your eyes there are very few Traditional arts left, just some traditional style of training exists.
  10. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I think the notion of "traditional" in martial arts is so miss-used, haphazardly applied and laden with baggage and nonsense it ceases to really mean anything or be easily defined.
    It's not really a label I use myself to be honest. It needs so many caveats and qualifiers it's not that useful a term IMHO.
    It's most often applied to arts like shotokan and TKD where their "traditions" go back a few decades. They are mock or quasi-traditional really.
    I used to train at a Judo club that was older than TKD. Not just that Judo the art is older than TKD the art but that the actual judo club predates TKD as an art. The budokwai in London was founded in the same year General Choi was born so recent is the development of TKD.
    As mentioned above young arts get lumped in as traditional where far older arts do not.
    axelb, Monkey_Magic, bassai and 3 others like this.
  11. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I'm all over the place... on the one hand I dislike ceremony in general. E.g., I find weddings, funerals, awards dinners, parades, etc all fairly boring and tedious. (It probably doesn't help that I am a fairly strong introvert, and find being around so many people for a long time very draining.)
    I understand intellectually that some people do like that stuff, but it just isn't for me.
    Tradition is also not important to me at all.

    But, I do like learning. I enjoy learning about the history of an art, interesting trivia, etc.

    My main enjoyment from martial arts is learning & doing techniques. Working on footwork, slips, improving my jab, my stance, takedowns, joint locks, I like all of that. I like gradually improving over time.

    Some of the instructors at the Muay Thai gym I train at will tell us the Thai word for whatever strike we are working on. I am less interested in that than history/etc, but it isn't tedious & boring to me like ceremonial stuff is.
    E.g., there are something like 8+ types of elbow strikes with different names.
    I do like when I'm watching a Thai fight and I recognize some of the words the announcers are using.
    axelb likes this.
  12. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    It's also funny to see arts like BJJ adopting things like saying "osu!" far more than most people in "traditional" Japanese arts say it.
    In many ways a lot of the feel of traditional arts is westerners trying to out Japanese the Japanese (or koreans or chinese).
    I've seen the rules of one Gendai jiu jitsu association where they even specified the layout of how people had to sit at their meals and awards nights. :)
    pgsmith and Frodocious like this.
  13. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Mostly traditionalist, but Traditional Chinese Martial Arts has no belts to tie and is fairly informal
    axelb likes this.
  14. pgsmith

    pgsmith Valued dismemberer

    Sorry, but there ARE no arts that are the same as when they were created, even those that may have been created only a couple of years ago. All arts change and evolve. Basic methodologies and underlying theories may stay the same, but the arts are living things, and they are constantly changing. Even the most traditional of classical Japanese arts is not the same as it was 10 years ago, never mind how it was when it was created.

    Personally, I don't like labels much, so I try to avoid them.
    Vince Millett, Monkey_Magic and axelb like this.
  15. Black Wolf

    Black Wolf New Member

    Noob alert! (To this forum, not MA)

    Great question! I fall into a weird category that is more of a "both" than a "half an half".

    (Just one ape's opinion) I feel, ultimately, MA is about learning to effectively use your body to damage someone else's WHILE they are attempting to damage yours. The goal is - to prevail in a violent encounter. This is the CORE, once it is distilled but does not have to be the total sum. I find that maintaining (as well as creating) tradition and following protocols helps add both structure and solidarity to a dojo (also like to use cool foreign words like dojo lol). I just feel it is important to remember those are the seasoning NOT the steak.

    Tradition in technique...... Eh, who USED it when and under what circumstances? "My instructor said his instructor said his instructor had to use this technique and it worked well" doesn't resonate with me as much as "at my part time job, bouncing, I did XYZ and this happened". Pressure testing also lends credibility. Basically- how far removed from field use is the technique that I am supposed to learn because of "tradition"?

    I am not a purist, by any stretch. In fact I do not believe there is such a thing as a pure art. Marital Arts have been "mixed" since the first boat was made. I do like studying lineage as a way to show appreciation for the contributions my predecessors have made to a fighting system.

    Kind of a cop out answer, I know. So, I'll give you a definite - if I HAVE to choose between effectiveness and "art", I'm going with effectiveness.
    axelb likes this.
  16. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    Since I do both judo and BJJ I’d say properly tying a belt is much more pragmatic than mere tradition. Belts really do have a function if you’re training in a gi.

    Of course you can always just do no gi- for BJJ- very little organized no gi judo around. But I’d argue gi training has its value.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  17. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Wrestling today is not the same as wrestling 1000 years ago.... so.........
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