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Karate?
#11
In response to the question:

1. basic san soo with a caveat. Learn how to "shoot". This means shooting to one side or the other of a person who would attack you. The first objective to avoid being hit or grappling. Learn how to deliver a blow effectively while taking 1 step and then two steps. The caveat is to be very careful. Even a light blow can hurt.

2. a bit more difficult (and it doesn't teach avoidance) is how to deliver basic blows with a stick (called escrima). The same technique (human ergonomics) is and can be done with a stick/knife/book/looking at my office desk (a large spoon/magnifying glass).

You never know what helps. I fell outside yesterday and mentally had time to think "roll" and was uninjured. Learned to roll in san soo.

The very basics in san soo can be described as follows:
1. learn to avoid a weapon or a strike by "shooting". You move.
2. learn to use your hands to protect your face/head as you move.
3. learn to use your hands from a face/head protection mode to striking your opponent while moving.

And, this is for David. I was at a range with a nationally recognized firearms expert. I had been taught to rock, draw and shoot if someone had the draw on me. I didn't seem right. The expert was also a very advanced black belt in san soo. In seconds, he showed me how to "shoot" (getting out of the opponent's muzzle), move, draw simultaneously and fire effectively. It works. One of my classmates who was trained by the same instructor was held up at gunpoint at a gas station locally by a perp who had him at gunpoint. The end was that the classmate went home and the perp expired.
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#12
I have been to 3 classes now, my son has gone to 2. I got my gi, so I guess its official that I'll keep going. My son will get his on Saturday. We had a guest instructor last Saturday, our normal one had a tournament to get some students to, and he gave me a good bit of hope for the instruction. He is a student of our normal instructor, and he spent a good few minutes talking about the difference between style Karate and substance Karate. Several times he affirmed that they're teaching substance, useful self-defense. We'll see as we move forward, but so far I'm liking it quite a bit. He's very good at teaching young and old alike.

My daughter does Kickstart in school with the same instructor. She just got her purple belt, which is still a white belt in standard Shotokan, but very well on her way.

Its not as physically demanding as BJJ, so practical learning doesn't seem to go as quickly in Karate, but I'm sure it will still be useful. My instructor does have rank in Japanese Jiu Jitsu, maybe I can persuade him to teach a bit of that too.
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#13
I hope it goes well.  I will be honest and say that if your instructor was taking students to a tournament, well...it's a red flag.  Tournaments are sport and sport isn't real life.  Sport is an artificial environment, artificial and arbitrary rules with a referee.  Unless he's teaching two different ways?  But if what he's teaching as self-defense is also what he's teaching for tournaments and competitions then I'll be frank and say he's either lying to you or is completely ignorant of what self defense really is like.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
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#14
I'm totally not disagreeing with you at all, I just want to make that clear. Don't you think that competition puts you in a stressful situation that you wouldn't be in usually? Even if its purely sport (which I don't believe is being taught where I have started training) and you are a great competitor, wouldn't you still be better off than an untrained street punk/thug? In most cases at least?

If you were to take all the traditional training of Shotokan, and distilled it down to a practical set: what would you toss out? What would you keep? I plan to train and progress as its taught, but will keep my head about me and try to learn whats useful practically and whats not.
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#15
(05-16-2018, 08:00 PM)A3M0N Wrote: Don't you think that competition puts you in a stressful situation that you wouldn't be in usually? Even if its purely sport (which I don't believe is being taught where I have started training) and you are a great competitor, wouldn't you still be better off than an untrained street punk/thug? In most cases at least?


To be clear, I don't want to come across as trying to bash anyone's art of choice.  But as an instructor I feel obligated to make sure folks know exactly what they're training in and for.  Without patting myself on the back, I'm a 9th degree black belt and a Grandmaster with 42 years of training and teaching.  I've taught oversea as well as stateside to high liability professionals as well as private citizens.  I toss that out only to hopefully give credence to what I'm saying.

Does sport put you under stress?  Yes.  Is it the same stress as a physical altercation with someone where your life is possibly on the line?  No.  Not even close.  Why?  Because sport puts you in an artificially created environment, with artificial rule sets, with a single opponent (not an attacker or attackers) who is unarmed and has agreed to abide by the same artificial rule set you have.  It is in a well lit venue on a dry, soft, flat area.  You are likely wearing at least some safety equipment.

Is that like real life in any way?  No, not even remotely close.  Is a real world attacker going to abide by the same rule set as you?  No.  Are they going to abide by any rule set?  No.  They are going to try to inflict as much damage as possible in as short a time as possible.  And you may face the reality that there are multiple attackers.  Who may be armed.  May be in a dim light situation (likely).  May be on wet grass, oily parking lot, between a couple of parked cars, in an elevator, in a car etc.  Does sport training do anything to address those factors and scenarios?  No.  

So you will be at a distinct disadvantage from the outset.  Why?  Because we don't rise to the occasion, we sink to the level of our training.  Period.  


Quote:If you were to take all the traditional training of Shotokan, and distilled it down to a practical set: what would you toss out? What would you keep?


This may sound harsh but there is a simple test.  The type of Shotokan that your taking...does it teach blocks?  High block, low block etc?  If so, it is children's karate and not real karate (as in adult karate designed to end the fight in seconds after it starts).  Some arts teach 'joint manipulation' i.e. locks.  In actuality it should be 'joint destruction' as in the muscle and ligaments are torn from the bone.  Yes, sounds brutal.  Karate is brutal.  It's suppose to be.  

If you read the articles I posted in my first post you'll see a brief history or how and why karate was essentially watered down in the late 19th century and how that watered down version made it to other countries.  It is hard to find 'real' karate being taught, even in Okinawa, Japan and especially Korea.  

Sure, you may get lucky against someone that doesn't know anything about fighting.  And it is great exercise.  And not having seen the class your taking I can't say one way or the other what value the instruction may have against a real world attacker(s).  But I'm tossing things out for your consideration, things to look for and evaluate.  Far too many instructors have a 'Self Defense Taught Here' sign over the trophy case yet only teach the kind of stuff that gets trophies.  That's a disservice to the student.  

I would also ask/caution about belt testing fees, particularly the black belt test.  Some places charge large amounts for a piece of paper, like hundreds of dollars.  I never charged anything for a belt test...ever.  I realize some places have to because it is the instructors sole means of income, just be cautious that you're not being taken for a ride.  

If I can be of any help let me know.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
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#16
(05-16-2018, 08:36 PM)David Wrote: If I can be of any help let me know.

I absolutely will.

Yes, we are learning the different blocks and such. If there is a fee for testing I haven't heard of it yet. He teaches for nearly no dues ($40 per month), and I think that is just for the space and power used at the church he teaches from. My Aikido training was completely free. The church that guys used was the one he went to, they let him use it for free. So he would interview the potential student before allowing them to train with him.

I understand what you're saying about Karate being watered down. When I was doing Aikido, our instructor would teach the joint lock that ended the technique and back away from the uke. Then he would explain that in the arts that Aikido descended from (Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu of the traditional samurai arts as I understand it), that the joint lock would have gone on to breaking the bone to truly end the threat from that person. He didn't play around with the love/softness of Aikido, but that if used properly it could be used as a useful defense.

You may have already mentioned it, and I apologies if I missed it, what are you teaching these days?

I'm not planning to go around my very limited instruction, but could you explain a bit about how a high block descended from joint breaking? I don't see it, but again, I'm very new.
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#17
Quote:You may have already mentioned it, and I apologies if I missed it, what are you teaching these days?


It goes by two different labels;  Kong Soo Do Karate or Taekido Ryu Aikijujutsu.  


Quote:I'm not planning to go around my very limited instruction, but could you explain a bit about how a high block descended from joint breaking? I don't see it, but again, I'm very new.


Sure.  It's often hard to put into words an application but I'll try to give you the gist.  Here is the typical high block.

[Image: age_uke.gif]

Now in the figure on the bottom right you have the figure on the left doing a high block against a downward strike from the figure on the right.  The common thought is that the attacker on the right has a beer bottle or stick or knife or whatever and he's striking in a downward motion.  Not common, but okay, we'll go with that premise.  The common high block is taught as a static movement i.e. bad guy attacks and you block and then what?  Lots of arts then go into that chambered punch from the hip.  Problem is that the chambered punch from the hip, the one with the cork screw movement of the fist...isn't actually a strike at all.  But that's another post.  So to continue, let's go from the point that you've intercepted the bad guys arm from some position so that your left arm (as in the photo) is underneath the right arm of the attacker (as in the photo).  Now this doesn't have to be from a downward strike.  It could be from any position where you've put yourself in this position such as from a grappling position.  From this point, you take your right arm and put the attacker in a shoulder lock.  Then you have options beyond some cork screw punch that actually isn't a punch to begin with.  You can do damage to the shoulder and/or take down down.  In the video is a friend of mine, Master Alain Burrese.  He's demonstrating the shoulder lock from a wrist grab (not a common form of attack on males).  Now, instead of a wrist grab, visualize the 'high block' position from a grapple or some other scenario where you'd be able to place your forearm under the attacker's forearm to set up the lock/throw.  





This is one of the bunkai for the 'high block' movement.  It is also at the beginning of Pinan Shodan Kata.  

The typical line drills i.e. high block, low block, punch from hip etc aren't actually what they are commonly portrayed to be (the aren't blocks and punches for the most part, they are much more advanced than that).  What is typically used as a warm up in class i.e. line drills could be used for several years worth of advanced application study when you know the actual applications.  The 'down block' isn't a block...it's a hammer fist against the attacker.  The cork screw punch from the hip isn't a punch...it's a balance displacement technique against the attacker.  The 'horse stance' isn't a stance...it's part of the balance displacement against an attacker.  

The key verbage isn't that a line drill is something YOU do...it is something you DO against someone else.  

Don't know if any of this makes any sense as it's hard to describe in words.  Hopefully I did a somewhat adequate job?  

I would suggest Iain Abernethy Sensei's website.  He has good articles and videos:

Practical Karate
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
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#18
That arm lock looks very similar to a key lock/Americana learned in BJJ, and if I remember correctly a sankyo grip in Aikido (its been a very long time). The rotation and take down reminds me very much of Aikido as well.

Ok, I know Hollywood is not reality, but bear with me for just a second. At about 1:36 in the linked video, Agent Smith is going to use his right arm to high block an overhead punch from Neo. Not a force to force, but sweeping Neo's arm around and kind of getting an underhook/lock. When you mention a block not being static, but dynamic, this is what popped into my head.  https://youtu.be/DT3GnJStVEw?t=1m35s

EDIT: I embedded the video here, its cued up to 1:35, so the block/sweep I mentioned is just about to come up.




We were learning gedan barai last week, after spending time learning the motion/mechanics, our instructor spent time on the Japanese translation. Its not a low block, but a low sweep. Not meeting force to force, but a sweeping motion. After talking to you about this, and visualizing what you mean, I understand what you're getting at. And it gives me hope that because he mentioned the inaccurate translation/mechanics, as we progress we'll travel down this road more. I'll ask him if that's where were going once we get more basics down.
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#19
Great  Smile

And one thing I always recommend is finding out about his experience.  Not necessarily his certificates (those can be made on any printer and are fairly meaningless).  But his actual experience.  If he's teaching self-defense does he have actual experience?  How does he know something will actually work?  Not against an opponent in competition but rather a violent felon that is attacking you.  How does he know?  Has he used it?  Or is he simply teaching what was taught to him?  And in that case, how did the person that taught him know?

The reason I say certificates are fairly meaningless is that too many organizations are rank-mills.  Pay your money and get a cert.  There is a TKD place in Kansas.  The instructor is a 'legitimate' 8th or 9th Dan in TKD (Kukkiwon).  He has a buddy that is an 8th Dan in Hapkido (HKD).  His buddy comes in every so often to do a seminar.  Okay, that's not a problem.  What is a problem is that they offer HKD black belt ranking after just the weekend seminar!  So you can be a TKD black belt (sport) with no training in HKD and after a weekend class you're now a HKD black belt.  Well, as long as your check clears that is and they print you off a certificate.  Now they can go back to their schools and hang that HKD black belt certificate on the wall and 'claim' to teach HKD.  

The Kukkiwon, just to toss out some information to you, is the largest martial arts organization in the world.  And they're proud of that...just as them.  They have over 7 million black belts registered.  Sounds impressive right?  It's a paper tiger and a complete joke in the martial arts community.  In Korea, school kids learn TKD and get a black belt in less than a year.  Then they get registered into the KKW (Kukkiwon).  Then they quite TKD and get into something else like soccer.  Very few adults in Korea keep up their TKD training.  So 6 million of that 7 million black belts are the school kids in Korea that no longer actually train in TKD and the other million is everyone outside of Korea.  Outside of Korea they charge hundreds of dollars for a black belt certificate.  Do they charge that to Korean kids?  Nope.

On top of that, many KKW instructors have been exposed just handing out black belt certificates to unqualified people just to bump their numbers up.

On top of that, the KKW had a 'special' testing a few years back in Las Vegas.  You could become up to a 3rd degree black belt without actually having to show up for the test.  Just as long as your check clears you're now a black belt.  To be a 4th degree or higher (considered master) you did have to show up...and perform only two forms and spar for 1 minute.  And of course pay your hundreds of dollars for the fee and BOOM...you're now a martial arts master.

One of my instructors is a KKW master but from decades ago when the organization actually meant something.  I have three different sources that could certify my as a TKD master in the KKW.  I have refused because the certificate is meaningless.

So if I sound somewhat negative at times it is because I know the garbage that is being pushed on unsuspecting students.

What makes a certificate have value?  Being ranked by someone that actually has trained you and knows your capabilities.  An instructor that knows you and your training can write you a certificate on the back of a napkin and it has more value than a fancy certificate from an organization like the KKW that has never seen you, never seen your training and only cares about your cert fee.

Full disclosure, here are my qualifications in the martial arts over the last 42 years:
  • First Dan in Shuri Te by a real instructor
  • Fourth Dan (Master) in Hapkido, again by a real instructor
  • Fifth Dan (Master) in Taekwondo (real TKD and NOT sport TKD), again by a real instructor
  • Ninth Dan (Grand Master) in Kong Soo Do Karate (also known as Taekido Ryu Aikijujutsu) by a real Grandmaster AND a Masters Council
I've only been awarded one time by someone that didn't personally know me and see my training.  That was Grandmaster Davies of the Ildokwan in Great Britain.  He awarded me an Eighth Dan (Grand Master), which was equal with his own rank as a Grandmaster after seeing all of my training (in the martial arts and in Law Enforcement which I have six advanced instructor certifications) as well as personal testimony from my own instructor who also ranked me accordingly.  And there was NO fee charged for that recognition.  

Anyway, I guess I am passionate about this particular topic and want to see folks get honest, sound training.  Particularly on something in which their lives may depend.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
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#20
Dave knows his stuff and wouldn't even bother with this type of drama if he wasn't looking out for you. I was Dave's partner and lead instructor in our Martial arts business when we owned a school. We taught real self defense to mostly Law Enforcement and Military personnel, they were very pleased with our style and surprisingly when they needed to use the skills they worked on real life bad guys!
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