The Martial Arts Thread

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AsenRG

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I was recently urged to open a more general martial arts thread for the afficionados and pros on the RPGPub:smile:. So I thought, hey, why not? I've learned a lot from talking about martial arts over a beer...or 13.

So here are the rules:
1. Talk about whatever interests you, as long as it's related to martial arts, self-protection, physical culture, mind and spirit cultivation, and so on.
2. We all know you are going to talk about other people's arts' weak points. Be civil about it.
3. If you decide to resolve some argument with sparring, keep it friendly and post a clip for all of us to see!

Tying it back to RPGs is optional, though I am going to, in my first post:wink:.

So, let's talk about something I was reminded of today.
Do you, as a martial artist, RPG player, or Referee, make a difference between different kinds of violence?
A classification
You can learn more by reading the entries for February, March and April on the same blog (especially those labeled CofV or Classification of Violence...but you don't need to stop there.)

Why does it matter?
Because the PCs or NPCs shouldn't approach it the same way. It's almost like a different skillset...or at least includes different bodylanguage and postures.

Just some fun facts to mill over, you know:grin:!
 

Raleel

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I’ve done a number of martial arts and martial arts adjacent things over the years. Take kwon do, judo, aikido, tai chi, a little bit of BJJ, hapkido a time or three, archery on and off, a little kendo on the side, and SCA stick fighting (for lack of a better term really). None of them have I done to the extent to be considered even middle degree mastery or anything, but I’ve done enough to see the similarities and the differences. I think about them more than many folks, I suspect.

At this point, I don’t think there is one true way for every situation, though there may be for any particular situation. Each one has strengths and weaknesses. I have slowly realized how much weapon arts are in with the unarmed arts, and how I had made that dichotomy artificially for a long time.

I love playing monks in RPGs, but my view of them has morphed over the years. Nowadays, I like putting fancy fighters on monk chassis. I think it works much better than most would think because they have a very King fu movie view of the monk. Swashbucklers and berserkers both work pretty well on monk chassis, depending on your definitions.

I love martial arts movies, I like MMA (though many fights are just not that fun to watch). I have paid full price for the occasional match, and own quite a number of marital arts movies. Next on my list is The Raid and The Raid 2. I saw a scene from one of those the other day and liked it, though I disbelieve the level of punishment they were taking - seemed rather implausible.
 

Voros

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The Raid and Raid 2 are excellent. The second film is very different with a big dose of gangster melodrama that I quite liked. Amazing prison yard fight. While gritty I don't consider it anymore realistic than all the other great martial art films. Creed is a good film but of course once they step into the ring it becomes a Rocky film, which is about as unrealistic a portrait of a boxing match as you can get. Still, I'm going to see Creed 2, probably today. For a realistic portait of boxing I'm looking forward to the UK film Journeyman.

In RL I boxed as a kid but haven't done it in decades. Still a big fan though and watch and read about it regularly. Probably no other western sport has such a rich literary tradition tied to it as boxing, going back at least to William Hazlitt's 'The Fight' (1822). Not a fan of MMA.

I see a lot of debate on what style is the best in RL, which seems a bit silly, I remember someone once saying when this was brought up in a bar conversation "Who gives a shit? In real life the guy with a gun wins." To me boxing is an art and a sport, the 'artifical' restrictions of the rules are what make it those things and the elegance and skill is fighting within them.
 
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The Butcher

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Lapsed BJJ blue belt here (18 months away from the mats and counting). Can’t wait to go back but need home life to stabilize a bit.

Dabbled in Shorin-Ryu karate for some time, and currently considering Wing Chun (an old BJJ bud runs a dojo near my office).
 

Moracai

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Lapsed pretty much everything here :tongue: I started with jujutsu (Hokutoruy for those interested), but was always interested in hitting things with fancy sticks too. At some point I got married with a two time european Shotokan karate silver medalist, and practised with her sometimes. Continued with stick hitting and dabbled with Choy Lee Fut and Wing Tsun (Not Wing Chun, different beast) Kungfus, of which I respect the latter more, being a bit more scientific and less movie presentable.

Tried going back to jujutsu, but noticed that the local black belt sensei was only marginally better than me. I had dismissed the color belt classifications meaning anything looong before this. Got quite good with a bokken and managed to become better than a friend of mine who had always been better than me. He became a swordfighting instructor for a while, and in turn became better swordsman than me, again.

I am quite comfortable in taking on two opponents at a time in real life situations, and have never managed to get beat up badly. I dare to say that I probably could take on 5 opponents who have sharp pointy stuff in their hands, provided that they are total newbies and I wouldn't be in an open space, and would have a decent close combat weapon. Of course the old body isn't anywhere near the heyday it was in the nineties, and healing takes a lot of time!

I love watching fight scenes in movies and watching MMA. Raid and Raid 2 have been mentioned already. My favorite martial arts actor is Tony Jaa, but once in a while I get impressed by mainstream movie choreography. Batman Begins and Wonder Woman get honorable mentions at least!
 

The Butcher

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Lapsed pretty much everything here :tongue: I started with jujutsu (Hokutoruy for those interested), but was always interested in hitting things with fancy sticks too. At some point I got married with a two time european Shotokan karate silver medalist, and practised with her sometimes. Continued with stick hitting and dabbled with Choy Lee Fut and Wing Tsun (Not Wing Chun, different beast) Kungfus, of which I respect the latter more, being a bit more scientific and less movie presentable.

Tried going back to jujutsu, but noticed that the local black belt sensei was only marginally better than me. I had dismissed the color belt classifications meaning anything looong before this. Got quite good with a bokken and managed to become better than a friend of mine who had always been better than me. He became a swordfighting instructor for a while, and in turn became better swordsman than me, again.

I am quite comfortable in taking on two opponents at a time in real life situations, and have never managed to get beat up badly. I dare to say that I probably could take on 5 opponents who have sharp pointy stuff in their hands, provided that they are total newbies and I wouldn't be in an open space, and would have a decent close combat weapon. Of course the old body isn't anywhere near the heyday it was in the nineties, and healing takes a lot of time!

I love watching fight scenes in movies and watching MMA. Raid and Raid 2 have been mentioned already. My favorite martial arts actor is Tony Jaa, but once in a while I get impressed by mainstream movie choreography. Batman Begins and Wonder Woman get honorable mentions at least!

When Grand Master Hélio Gracie opened his first academia (dojo) here in Rio there was no belt color system to speak of — all instructors wore blue belts, all students white belts and that was it. (I think it was Royce Gracie who fought a competition in a blue belt once, as a protest against “black belt mil” dojos, a few years back.) I hear Aikido to this day is similar — you’re either a white or a black belt.

The Wing Chun bud I mentioned above refers to his style as Ving Tsun (Moy Yat Ving Tsun to be specific). What’s the difference, if any?
 

Moracai

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On regarding belts, I heard from that ex-wife that in the olden days of Japan, a student was supposed to wear white belt until it became black. I remember seeing pictures of her sensei and some Japanese people from Shotokan, wearing really ragged-ass belts. Probably because of that reason.

Wing Chun is the one that Ip Man taught Bruce Lee, which was originally put together by a female monk from the original Shaolin temple. I forget her name. The Wing Tsun I practiced was said to diverge from Wing Chun so that it ignored some of the more flairy movements, and incorporated a grappling system, which is not in the original way. That's at least how it was told to me.

Edit - To extrapolate bit about the virtues and shortcomings of Wing Tsun. Footwork is really solid and lends itself fairly nicely to one-handed fencing styles, such as sabres and even modern sport-fencing. The centre-line thinking and drills really drive home the lessons what types of straight attacks have the highest chances of hitting home. It has 2 weapon systems as all official Kung Fus were supposed to have. Butterfly swords and long staff. The long staff stuff is clunky at best and the butterfly swords stuff is nothing you can't learn from escrima (fighting sticks). Disadvantages of it are really short range attacks and an awkward stance in regards to say, boxers.
 
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AsenRG

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The Raid and Raid 2 are excellent. The second film is very different with a big dose of gangster melodrama that I quite liked. Amazing prison yard fight. While gritty I don't consider it anymore realistic than all the other great martial art films. Creed is a good film but of course once they step into the ring it becomes a Rocky film, which is about as unrealistic a portrait of a boxing match as you can get. Still, I'm going to see Creed 2, probably today. For a realistic portait of boxing I'm looking forward to the UK film Journeyman.

In RL I boxed as a kid but haven't done it in decades. Still a big fan though and watch and read about it regularly. Probably no other western sport has such a rich literary tradition tied to it as boxing, going back at least to William Hazlitt's 'The Fight' (1922). Not a fan of MMA.

I see a lot of debate on what style is the best in RL, which seems a bit silly, I remember someone once saying when this was brought up in a bar conversation "Who gives a shit? In real life the guy with a gun wins." To me boxing is an art and a sport, the 'artifical' restrictions of the rules are what make it those things and the elegance and skill is fighting within them.
1922?
I see your 'The Fight', and raise you 'The Game' (Jack London, 1905), as well as 'A Piece of Steak' (1909), 'The Mexican' (1911), and 'The Abysmal Brute' (1911) by the same author. Have you got anything?

I didn't like practicing boxing myself, because the gloved defense just ain't for me...but I respect boxing and boxers, and consider it a martial art on par with all the rest of them. And if you ask me, the answer isn't 'doesn't matter because guns', it's 'all styles can kill or cripple you, look at the man* you've got to fight because it depends on him to have learned doing that'.

...Also, if you're playing sport boxing, play sport boxing. Don't cheat. Don't turn it into an MMA-styled dirty brawl....if you want to do stuff that's forbidden by boxing rules, go into MMA, where those things aren't forbidden, or find a bareknuckle boxing group!
Just my personal opinion regarding stuff I've seen. But enough from me on the topic!

*Around here, fighting women is...just not done. At least among the "polite society", which includes some people which regularly fight without rules.
Bottomline, you can only lose, regardless of who gets more bumps:smile:.

When Grand Master Hélio Gracie opened his first academia (dojo) here in Rio there was no belt color system to speak of — all instructors wore blue belts, all students white belts and that was it. (I think it was Royce Gracie who fought a competition in a blue belt once, as a protest against “black belt mil” dojos, a few years back.) I hear Aikido to this day is similar — you’re either a white or a black belt.

The Wing Chun bud I mentioned above refers to his style as Ving Tsun (Moy Yat Ving Tsun to be specific). What’s the difference, if any?
I'd take a guess that it's more about the spelling, the trademark, and probably some details in the applications. Oh, and who's on top of the federation, can't forget that :wink:!
Or maybe he just doesn't like the abbreviation of Wing Chun...:grin:

Also, I applaud Royce Gracie's move. But all the Aikido schools I've seen had colour belts. Granted, most of them had kids classes, too, and that's probably a virtual necessity in this case:tongue:!
...said me, who only ever had a yellow belt, and let it lapse by not going to another examination within the next five years. Ah well, I wasn't a kid when I started, so I figure colour belts aren't a necessity for me!
Then again, one can point out that I'm one of those people who would go to a seminar, but skip the examination at the end, if there is one:shade:.
(That's something I learned from my first teacher. He abided by the traditional Asian system, where you have people who know more, and can show you, and people who know less than you, and you're expected to show them the mistakes you spot. Other stuff I learned: being respectful to everyone, training with shoes, but no gloves, because you're likely to be outfitted like this if you ever need to apply these lessons, doing another repetition after you decide you can't do any more, that blue spots or scratches don't count as trauma, always attacking to end the fight with extreme prejudice, but without getting angry...ah, the good ol' days of getting lessons in a style that many "real practionners" believe to be ballet-like:gunslinger:!)
 
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AsenRG

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The long staff stuff is clunky at best and the butterfly swords stuff is nothing you can't learn from escrima (fighting sticks). Disadvantages of it are really short range attacks and an awkward stance in regards to say, boxers.
The long staff is best visualized as a spear, I've found. Though I haven't studied that particular form of it, so I can't speak:smile:.

I'm surprised to hear that Wing Chun is supposed to be awkward in regards to boxers, though.

Of course, if you put them in a ring with gloves, and rules close to boxing, the boxer is likely to win, but the same can be said about almost any style... older styles of combat just aren't meant to be practiced with gloves on, much less the gloves used in boxing!
Case in point, watch the differences between the guard in MMA and in boxing, simply because MMA gloves are lighter. And guards in MMA are longer and lower than in boxing. It only makes sense Wing Chun would use a longer and even lower stance...hey, there's a reason why Muay Thai has the Long Guard!

Bottom line: If you estimate it according to boxing standards, Wing Chun stance sucks. But if you estimate it according to actual no-holds-barred, no-gloves scenario, I'd say it should* hold up, assuming it's been mastered. A big assumption, I know:tongue:!
Hell, similar - not the same - tactics are being used by folk wrestlers that expect strikes to come up, and by some good boxers and kick-boxers...especially when they don't have rules forbidding them to do some particular moves:wink:.
But IMO, that's what the Wing Chun guard should be doing...even before we go into deflections instead of covering up part, and forward pressure to take the center.
Of course, trying to do that gives you no guarantee the opponent wouldn't impose a different game plan. That's when we come to the "it's the man, not the art" from before, and my post makes a full circle:clown:!
Which means it's a good time for me to stop:star:.


*That's what I expect to be taught. But I only started doing it last month, so cut me some slack...I'm estimating what to expect based on my other experience. Which means that I might be wide off the mark**.
**A propos, does anyone know whether the phrase "off the mark" is related to the boxing target "mark", a.k.a. solar plexus:hehe:?
 

Voros

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1922?
I see your 'The Fight', and raise you 'The Game' (Jack London, 1905), as well as 'A Piece of Steak' (1909), 'The Mexican' (1911), and 'The Abysmal Brute' (1911) by the same author. Have you got anything?

Lol, that was a typo, Hazlitt wrote ‘The Fight’ in 1822. He was a contemporary of Johnson and the Romantics, a great essayist.
 

The Butcher

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Thank you Moracai Moracai and A AsenRG

I heard the same “put on blue belt and wear until black” thing (and its dojo folklore corollary, “never wash your belt!” :grin:) in Shorin-Ryu karate.

I also did a little weapon training under Shorin-Ryu — they called it kobudo (literally “the old martial art”) and it was graded distinct and parallel to our karate belts. I did okay with the staff, less so with the nunchuck and never did progress to the sai, kama (sickle) or eko (literally a rowing oar). Fun stuff.

Sometimes we had a kendo instructor come in and give us some rough basics and that looked like a ton of fun too.

I sort of wish I’d tried fencing when I had the chance back in college, but never did, which is kind of frustrating. There is an Army fencing school is a few blocks down from my home, and they do take (paying) civilian students, but I can’t attend it any more than I can attend my beloved BJJ classes. I fear I might be too old to start now.

I do wish to take boxing or Muay Thai eventually. I suspect I can throw a halfway decent punch, courtesy of karate, but a little more formal instruction would be cool.
 
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Moracai

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Oh yeah, I did sort of Myay Thai a little bit too. Three of my friends were somewhat involved in it, but one of them more than others. He had the keys to the training space and we used to go there to train during off-hours, and I learned a few new tricks at the time. Nowadays my interests are in HEMA (historical european martial arts). That's a whole lot of stuff, and cannot be fully learned during one lifetime!

I got a proper longsword, and noticed that I can't make a proper ascending cut because of my stiff wrists, which became that way because as kids we didn't listen to instructors and did wristlocks despite being clearly told not to do so. Also I kinda become a leftie when holding anything with two hands, including hockey sticks and baseball bats, so longswording is awkward for me. I think I'll try the sabre next. Here's a guy from youtubes that I respect in all HEMA matters (he in fact coined the term HEMA), but in sabre stuff especially.

 

The Butcher

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Oh yeah, I did sort of Myay Thai a little bit too. Three of my friends were somewhat involved in it, but one of them more than others. He had the keys to the training space and we used to go there to train during off-hours, and I learned a few new tricks at the time. Nowadays my interests are in HEMA (historical european martial arts). That's a whole lot of stuff, and cannot be fully learned during one lifetime!

I got a proper longsword, and noticed that I can't make a proper ascending cut because of my stiff wrists, which became that way because as kids we didn't listen to instructors and did wristlocks despite being clearly told not to do so. Also I kinda become a leftie when holding anything with two hands, including hockey sticks and baseball bats, so longswording is awkward for me. I think I'll try the sabre next. Here's a guy from youtubes that I respect in all HEMA matters (he in fact coined the term HEMA), but in sabre stuff especially.


Fuck wrist locks. We rarely saw them in BJJ training but when we did we were like “are you seriously going to spend precious rolling time doing wrist locks???”

I don’t even wait for them to hurt when I’m trapped in one; I tap right away. I can’t actually fucking work without both of my hands functioning.
 

Raleel

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Fuck wrist locks. We rarely saw them in BJJ training but when we did we were like “are you seriously going to spend precious rolling time doing wrist locks???”

I don’t even wait for them to hurt when I’m trapped in one; I tap right away. I can’t actually fucking work without both of my hands functioning.

lots of wrist work in aikido and hapkido. a little in judo. when i was young they didn't bother me nearly as much. at the time, It was hard to get a shoulder bar/lock on me, due to some extremely flexible shoulders, though I imagine now it wouldn't be as bad.

muay thai is on my list as well. not a lot of schools near by - likely the closest would be at least 3 hours away. For now I will have to content myself with tai chi.

speaking of - tai chi can be much more effective as a martial art than most people think. I would say it feels very "kung fu" when you speed it up a bit. My instructor doesn't talk about using the legs as much as it actually does - we have a lot of push maneuvers that are really push with the legs, and most of the stances are around defending against sweeps. Another we do, Parting Horse's Mane, is a takedown (grab the hand, other hand comes in high, assumes side to side), but is pretty easily converted to a strike to the neck. It's got a downside in that it's stance is slower than, say, boxing for moving in and out. And it likes to be pretty up close - inside clinch distance - and that puts you in grappling distance, and there are some good martial arts there. So there is a lot of low stances and sweep defense to prevent you from going to the ground.

before I stopped back in February, I took a class or two in Xing Yi, and was intending on taking Bagua from the instructor as well. I really enjoy the arts, though the instructor is... well, he's a PITA sometimes. at least he's not a (arrested, convicted, now in prison) pedophile like my BJJ one! if I can get through far enough, I would like ot pick up some southern preying mantis kung fu from him.
 

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My cousin was a kickboxing champion in Canada who travelled to Asia to study Muay Thai. When I was in Thailand a couple of years ago I was able to catch a few fights there. Interesting to see it fought there as it is very much part of the culture with ring rituals, traditional music, etc.
 
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David Johansen

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I got my orange belt in Judo and took a little Karate, I also had a room mate who was into Tae Kwon Do and Wing Chun for a couple weeks and learned a little from him. But no, I wouldn't consider myself a martial artist by any stretch and my knees and hips are too sore and stiff for much of it anyhow. I do spar a little with my son who has a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do and will probably test for red this spring. He kicks my ass unless I can corner him and goon him. I may have lost fifty pounds over the last seven years but I still outweigh him two to one. As we used to say in Judo, if you can't throw it, goon it. I wrestled with my brother who got his blue belt in Judo a couple years ago and afterwards he asked why I approached it how I did. I told him my weight was only an advantage if I could stay on top, and it's true, once he got out from under me he pinned me easily.
 

AsenRG

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Lol, that was a typo, Hazlitt wrote ‘The Fight’ in 1822. He was a contemporary of Johnson and the Romantics, a great essayist.
OK, I was unfamiliar with him. Reading The Fight now... :smile:

My cousin was a kickboxing champion in Canada who travelled to Asis to study Muay Thai. When I was in Thailand a couple of years ago I was able to catch a few fights there. Interesting to see it fought there as it is very much part of the culture with ring rituals, traditional music, etc.
Yes, definitely!
I still can't forgive the other members of our team who insisted on us going to the market instead of Lumpini when we visited Bangkok for a day... :wink:

Not sure why, but you're welcome:thumbsup:!

I heard the same “put on blue belt and wear until black” thing (and its dojo folklore corollary, “never wash your belt!” :grin:) in Shorin-Ryu karate.
I think it's just dojo folklore, though. Or rather, that it's not how stuff works in Asia...

I sort of wish I’d tried fencing when I had the chance back in college, but never did, which is kind of frustrating. There is an Army fencing school is a few blocks down from my home, and they do take (paying) civilian students, but I can’t attend it any more than I can attend my beloved BJJ classes. I fear I might be too old to start now.
Trust me (without an "h"!), nobody is too old for fencing.
Don't know about competitive fencing, but it shouldn't be a problem to practice, at least.

I do wish to take boxing or Muay Thai eventually. I suspect I can throw a halfway decent punch, courtesy of karate, but a little more formal instruction would be cool.
Depending on the respective schools that you trained in and that you go to, you might have to learn a new paradigm of fighting, though. Or not. Just something to keep in mind.
Fuck wrist locks. We rarely saw them in BJJ training but when we did we were like “are you seriously going to spend precious rolling time doing wrist locks???”

I don’t even wait for them to hurt when I’m trapped in one; I tap right away. I can’t actually fucking work without both of my hands functioning.
What's wrong with wrist locks? I mean, all locks hurt, if you apply them sharply*. And disabling the hands of the opponent is the goal, I've been told...

*Getting your ass kicked by the instructor and/or senior students for doing any locks sharply is optional, but likely:wink:.

lots of wrist work in aikido and hapkido. a little in judo. when i was young they didn't bother me nearly as much. at the time, It was hard to get a shoulder bar/lock on me, due to some extremely flexible shoulders, though I imagine now it wouldn't be as bad.
My first (kung-fu/kempo?) instructor had us train the flexibility of our hands and learning to yild and join with the force for quite a bit before teaching us a single lock. Think "2 or 3 years" of learning that.
There was never any injury even when applying them in sparring (and our kind of sparring included locks, throws, and all the short weapons, headbutts included - the only rule was "don't apply them full-power, just enough to register"...see: scratches and blue spots on your skin aren't trauma).

For now I will have to content myself with tai chi.

speaking of - tai chi can be much more effective as a martial art than most people think. I would say it feels very "kung fu" when you speed it up a bit. My instructor doesn't talk about using the legs as much as it actually does - we have a lot of push maneuvers that are really push with the legs, and most of the stances are around defending against sweeps. Another we do, Parting Horse's Mane, is a takedown (grab the hand, other hand comes in high, assumes side to side), but is pretty easily converted to a strike to the neck. It's got a downside in that it's stance is slower than, say, boxing for moving in and out. And it likes to be pretty up close - inside clinch distance - and that puts you in grappling distance, and there are some good martial arts there. So there is a lot of low stances and sweep defense to prevent you from going to the ground.
Oh yes, depending on instructor (and the student), TJQ can be great:smile:!
Or it can be just a slow-mo taibo. You never know until you try.

before I stopped back in February, I took a class or two in Xing Yi, and was intending on taking Bagua from the instructor as well. I really enjoy the arts, though the instructor is... well, he's a PITA sometimes. at least he's not a (arrested, convicted, now in prison) pedophile like my BJJ one! if I can get through far enough, I would like ot pick up some southern preying mantis kung fu from him.
I would have gone back to this school if I was you...
...but I'm not.

I got my orange belt in Judo and took a little Karate, I also had a room mate who was into Tae Kwon Do and Wing Chun for a couple weeks and learned a little from him. But no, I wouldn't consider myself a martial artist by any stretch and my knees and hips are too sore and stiff for much of it anyhow. I do spar a little with my son who has a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do and will probably test for red this spring. He kicks my ass unless I can corner him and goon him. I may have lost fifty pounds over the last seven years but I still outweigh him two to one. As we used to say in Judo, if you can't throw it, goon it. I wrestled with my brother who got his blue belt in Judo a couple years ago and afterwards he asked why I approached it how I did. I told him my weight was only an advantage if I could stay on top, and it's true, once he got out from under me he pinned me easily.
Hey, you use what you've got! If you've got weight, use it:shade:!
 

Moracai

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Fuck wrist locks. We rarely saw them in BJJ training but when we did we were like “are you seriously going to spend precious rolling time doing wrist locks???”

I don’t even wait for them to hurt when I’m trapped in one; I tap right away. I can’t actually fucking work without both of my hands functioning.
As always, I can't be anyone who speaks out from my experiences, but I did a lot of successful wrist locks against guys that were 80 poundds heavier than me. So I welcome you to try out some matsparring with me anytime :grin:
 

Raleel

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I would have gone back to this school if I was you...
...but I'm not.

I’ll be going back. Other things in life prevented my return. He’s still a PITA but he at least checks in on me. I was going to tai chi in the park this weekend, but had the flu. I suspect I will hit it this weekend and get back up to speed then start attending classes again
 

AsenRG

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Sorry, I perhaps read that wrong..
Yeah, I think you did. But to be honest, I also misread it the first time. I suspect we've had similar experienceswith other BJJ practitioners :smile:.

I’ll be going back. Other things in life prevented my return. He’s still a PITA but he at least checks in on me. I was going to tai chi in the park this weekend, but had the flu. I suspect I will hit it this weekend and get back up to speed then start attending classes again
That's the spirit:grin:!
 

Lundgren

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I spent quite some time at a Bujinkan dojo in my late teens (I'm in the later half of my 40's now), practicing both that and the teachers own self defense system. For a couple of years, it was four days a week, often two classes after each other, and any camp/seminar/extra training I could get. As the guy having the place had quite a network of connection, we had quite often guest instructors of other martial arts. He had grades in quite a few martial arts, but as he used to say he had only earned about half of them, and the rest was courtesy/honor/gift grades.

These days I mainly just join in on a kick-boxing session once in a blue moon at work. Or when I want to zone out for a bit, I go over strikes, grapples, and locks in my mind.

When it comes to handling fighting in role-playing, it depends on the setting and feeling. But I prefer to have different styles of fighting, and they are optimized for different things.
 

Stevethulhu

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I approve of this thread! And how did I miss it til now?

Many years ago I, like many others, took enough karate to learn how to thump the kid that had been bullying me at school. Then dropped out. 25 years later, after havi g had a series if heart attacks and a double bypass, I needed something to keep me active. So I got back into karate at age 40.

Now I'm looking at testing for my 2nd dan in March. Which is quite nerve wracking.

Anyway, the style I do is called Shukokai. Which translates as Way For All. My tracher was trained by Shigeru Kimura, who was taught by Sensei Tani, who founded the style back in the 50s.

The style is a mix of traditional and practical, with one of our central concepts being, technique, with speed plus relaxation gives power. Received wisdom is that our style has the hardest punch in karate. All I know for sure is we were one of the first karate styles to adopt impact pads and our techniques are very ergonomic.

Give me a few months and I'll post some pics if I pass my grading.
 

The Butcher

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Trust me (without an "h"!), nobody is too old for fencing.
Don't know about competitive fencing, but it shouldn't be a problem to practice, at least.

Good to know! I might give it a try some day.

What's wrong with wrist locks? I mean, all locks hurt, if you apply them sharply*. And disabling the hands of the opponent is the goal, I've been told...

How would you feel if, during Aikido class, right after a takedown, your tori hopped on top of you and went for a kata gatame?

As always, I can't be anyone who speaks out from my experiences, but I did a lot of successful wrist locks against guys that were 80 poundds heavier than me. So I welcome you to try out some matsparring with me anytime :grin:

Not arguing efficacy. Very useful in the right self-defense scenario.
 

AsenRG

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The style is a mix of traditional and practical, with one of our central concepts being, technique, with speed plus relaxation gives power. Received wisdom is that our style has the hardest punch in karate. All I know for sure is we were one of the first karate styles to adopt impact pads and our techniques are very ergonomic.

Give me a few months and I'll post some pics if I pass my grading.
So how is the shukokai tsuki different from, say, a shotokan tsuki?
 

Stevethulhu

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So how is the shukokai tsuki different from, say, a shotokan tsuki?
We start off much more side on and end much more side on. For a gyaku zuki, the hips twist, back heel comes off the ground and the chest rotates to face the other way. So the power comes fr9m the hips rather than chest.
 

AsenRG

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We start off much more side on and end much more side on. For a gyaku zuki, the hips twist, back heel comes off the ground and the chest rotates to face the other way. So the power comes fr9m the hips rather than chest.
Isn't it supposed to come from the hips in all tsukis :smile:? I mean, the few times I was explained this by a Shotokan instructor, he was talking about hips, too, and demonstrating some significant hips action (though he didn't like double hip, preferring single hip action).

Personally, I'm of the opinion that all the power comes from the ground, initiated by the feet, and the hips are an accelerator. But it seems saying "hip action just adds to what is already travelling up through your legs and towards your fists" doesn't make me popular with most martial artists, for some reason :tongue:!
 

Stevethulhu

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Isn't it supposed to come from the hips in all tsukis :smile:? I mean, the few times I was explained this by a Shotokan instructor, he was talking about hips, too, and demonstrating some significant hips action (though he didn't like double hip, preferring single hip action).

Personally, I'm of the opinion that all the power comes from the ground, initiated by the feet, and the hips are an accelerator. But it seems saying "hip action just adds to what is already travelling up through your legs and towards your fists" doesn't make me popular with most martial artis9ts, for some reason :tongue:!
Here is a table with a fairly good comparison of karate styles. Shukokai is unusual in that it has roots in both Shuri-te and Naha-te. Shotokan, with its deep, long stances can't get the same degree of hip as we do. And that hip twist is the foundation of shukokai karate.

Another difference is in the way a mawashi-geri is performed. We pivot on the ball of the supporting foot and impact is with the instep. Shotokan pulls the toes back to hit with the ball of the foot. They also collapse their hips when do ing this kick, while we keep the back arched and don't let the knee pass the hips.

Little differences that lead to more speed and more power at the cost of looking good.
 

AsenRG

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Here is a table with a fairly good comparison of karate styles. Shukokai is unusual in that it has roots in both Shuri-te and Naha-te. Shotokan, with its deep, long stances can't get the same degree of hip as we do. And that hip twist is the foundation of shukokai karate.

Another difference is in the way a mawashi-geri is performed. We pivot on the ball of the supporting foot and impact is with the instep. Shotokan pulls the toes back to hit with the ball of the foot. They also collapse their hips when do ing this kick, while we keep the back arched and don't let the knee pass the hips.

Little differences that lead to more speed and more power at the cost of looking good.
OK, I'll need to do more research. Because the guy who was showing me Shotokan wasn't using a deep, long stance. Unless you think MMA fighters are using a deep, long stance - he was roughly at a similar length and depth :smile:.
Maybe he was showing me his interpretation? Quite possible - after all, we were just "comparing notes", and I wasn't there to study original Shotokan. Or maybe he was influenced by other styles.

BTW, I really like, and pretty much collect, those "little differences that lead to more speed and more power at the cost of looking good", so if you're willing to share, keep them coming :wink:!
While we're at it, I remember something about the styles that were influenced by one of the Okinawan towns, but can't remember whether it was Shuri or Naha...so, do you perform your blocks with forward pressure :grin:?

BTW, here's also an article by Jesse Encamp that I found while checking for clips to refresh my memories, which sounds a lot like what you're talking about.
 
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Stevethulhu

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OK, I'll need to do more research. Because the guy who was showing me Shotokan wasn't using a deep, long stance. Unless you think MMA fighters are using a deep, long stance - he was roughly at a similar length and depth :smile:.
Maybe he was showing me his interpretation? Quite possible - after all, we were just "comparing notes", and I wasn't there to study original Shotokan. Or maybe he was influenced by other styles.

BTW, I really like, and pretty much collect, those "little differences that lead to more speed and more power at the cost of looking good", so if you're willing to share, keep them coming :wink:!
While we're at it, I remember something about the styles that were influenced by one of the Okinawan towns, but can't remember whether it was Shuri or Naha...so, do you perform your blocks with forward pressure :grin:?

BTW, here's also an article by Jesse Encamp that I found while checking for clips to refresh my memories, which sounds a lot like what you're talking about.
Some nice articles there.

I can't help but think MMA tends to encourage specific traits that work well in the environment of the octagon. Rather than the kind of things that traditional martial arts tends to encourage. LIke I can see the guy showing you MMA style stances being unamused by things like attacks to the sides of knees with sokuto, mae geri to the bladder or ipponken to the solar plexus. All of which are very effective in a real situation, but frowned on to say the least if used in competition. Not to mention by the police!

Blocks are an interesting area. They work, but only in the right context. They were developed to be used bare handed, not with boxing gloves. Beginners tend to practise a full jodan uke, chudan soto uke and so on. Learning how to move your limbs in a co-ordinated fashion is as important as being able to move your weight to where you want it. So blocks and stances are important for learning how to do this.

As you become more advanced you learn to move less and less in order to protect yourself. Until you're just covering, or using slap blocks to deflect incoming attacks. But we also train to use ergonomic body positioning to lock out stances, meaning a block can work better against a harder attack. It's an interesting mix of hard and soft techniques that gives a variety of answers to the martial arts questions of how to stop yourself from being hurt in a fight.

I did find some video, now two years old, of me when I was taking my black belt. But the files are too big to upload to the forum server.
 

AsenRG

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Some nice articles there.

I can't help but think MMA tends to encourage specific traits that work well in the environment of the octagon. Rather than the kind of things that traditional martial arts tends to encourage. LIke I can see the guy showing you MMA style stances being unamused by things like attacks to the sides of knees with sokuto, mae geri to the bladder or ipponken to the solar plexus. All of which are very effective in a real situation, but frowned on to say the least if used in competition. Not to mention by the police!

Blocks are an interesting area. They work, but only in the right context. They were developed to be used bare handed, not with boxing gloves. Beginners tend to practise a full jodan uke, chudan soto uke and so on. Learning how to move your limbs in a co-ordinated fashion is as important as being able to move your weight to where you want it. So blocks and stances are important for learning how to do this.

As you become more advanced you learn to move less and less in order to protect yourself. Until you're just covering, or using slap blocks to deflect incoming attacks. But we also train to use ergonomic body positioning to lock out stances, meaning a block can work better against a harder attack. It's an interesting mix of hard and soft techniques that gives a variety of answers to the martial arts questions of how to stop yourself from being hurt in a fight.

I did find some video, now two years old, of me when I was taking my black belt. But the files are too big to upload to the forum server.
Glad you like the articles! And there's another one about the different types of power generation that you might like...
(So, I just learned a word. Huh. Do you call it kime or chinkuchi in Shukokai?
Apologies for the many questions, but I don't think I've ever met another Shukokai practitioner. And I like discussing body mechanics!)

I agree with you on MMA - but I was using "as long as MMA" as a way to denote how long was the stance of the Shotokan guy that I'm basing my idea on. He was most certainly no MMA fighter, given that his idea of hand strikes incorporated "tatsui in the groin" quite regularly... :smile:
I've used most of the types of strikes you mention, personally. Luckily, we've never had to involve the police, for which I am immensely grateful!

I hear you on the "bare-fisted" part of blocking...but then I've got only months in a gym where gloves were used, compared to close to two decades in other places.
And it's true you don't need major moves to cover. A shoulder defence involves minimal movement, and yet is great protection.
(And the funniest part about my shoulder defence is that I don't know where I've learned it, but I noticed doing it yesterday...but it was probably in folk wrestling, or maybe in HEMA-style unarmed applications. Because it sure wasn't in Xingyi or Wing Chun. My bet is on folk wrestling).
 

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Has anyone ever heard about Yaw Yan:smile:?

I'm not all that impressed by the technique, although it seems to work. But the reason I'm asking is because of the unique name:wink:!
 

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The Wing Chun bud I mentioned above refers to his style as Ving Tsun (Moy Yat Ving Tsun to be specific). What’s the difference, if any?
Ving Tsun is just a different transliteration from the Chinese than Wing Chun.
Moy Yat is one of the big names in the Ip Man branch of Wing Chun, a grandmaster taught by Ip Man himself.
 

BedrockBrendan

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Some nice articles there.

I can't help but think MMA tends to encourage specific traits that work well in the environment of the octagon. Rather than the kind of things that traditional martial arts tends to encourage. LIke I can see the guy showing you MMA style stances being unamused by things like attacks to the sides of knees with sokuto, mae geri to the bladder or ipponken to the solar plexus. All of which are very effective in a real situation, but frowned on to say the least if used in competition. Not to mention by the police!

Blocks are an interesting area. They work, but only in the right context. They were developed to be used bare handed, not with boxing gloves. Beginners tend to practise a full jodan uke, chudan soto uke and so on. Learning how to move your limbs in a co-ordinated fashion is as important as being able to move your weight to where you want it. So blocks and stances are important for learning how to do this.

As you become more advanced you learn to move less and less in order to protect yourself. Until you're just covering, or using slap blocks to deflect incoming attacks. But we also train to use ergonomic body positioning to lock out stances, meaning a block can work better against a harder attack. It's an interesting mix of hard and soft techniques that gives a variety of answers to the martial arts questions of how to stop yourself from being hurt in a fight.

I did find some video, now two years old, of me when I was taking my black belt. But the files are too big to upload to the forum server.

I've done Taekwondo, MMA, Judo, Sanshou, Boxing, Muay Thai and a bit of Kendo. I've done BJJ as well but honestly I never really absorbed enough to say I know anything on that front. But my experience with places like MMA and Muay Thai gyms is you actually get a mix of people. Some guys are just there to train for the octagon or the ring. But less than half usually compete at all, and many are things like bar bouncers or security guards who are trying to pick up additional skills to use in their job. It is probably less true now, but back when I started MMA, most people who came to it, were coming from traditional martial arts backgrounds. In fact, when I first did Muay Thai, we were encouraged to keep what tools we found worked in order to have an unorthodox technique that might surprise an opponent. Something else to keep in mind, a lot of guys who go to boxing gyms, MMA gyms and muay thai gyms, are tough people from bad areas. There is a lot of interest in practical techniques that work outside the context of sparring or competition. Definitely how you train, is how you end up fighting, so I do know that I have habits which assume people are wearing 8-10 ounce gloves for instance.
 

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Oooh just saw this thread. :smile: I've been in and out of Martial Arts for years but eventually got my actual Black Belt in American Kenpo (which is a fun art to do but not effective in my opinion).

I worked as a doorman for about 3 years which put me through art college. I quickly realized that a lot of my trad training didn't work too well under pressure. When I finished college I dropped all traditional Martial Arts and concentrated on Self-Protection (as opposed to self-defense).

I was coaching Combatives (or Close Combat) for about 6 years. I fell out of it because of all the politics, etc. I teach the odd private lesson now, but don't do any group classes anymore (far too much hassle). I mainly just dip in and out of Boxing now to stay frosty. :smile:

I personally don't get too into the minutia of the types of violence, as the offender will dictate what happens next. We always employ a 'level of force to level of threat' model.

Of course, we'd always advocate a path of non-violence by not being there, de-escalation or running. And only ever use violence if you have no other choice.

However one (or any student) should be using and training in 'awareness' and all the pre-cursers that go with it (body language, hand placement, concealment, tells, adrenaline, environmental miss matches, etc). As you have to know what you are looking for. :smile:

You can have all the skill in the world but if you don't see an attack coming in the first place you're going to be on the back foot. And if that attack comes from someone who can hit really hard or a weapon, then the chances of coming out on top are severely reduced.
 

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Great post. Situational awareness (zanshin, my karate instructor called it) really is the soul of martial arts to me — different disciplines might offer different answers for any given situation, but they all agree on paying attention and focusing on just what is going on during a fight.

When I comment on the fact that I do martial arts people often say “must be great to blow off steam!”

And I make a point of clarifying: that’s now how it works for me. The stress-relieving effect of martial arts, as I experience it, is twofold:
  • You are removed from the contingencies and networks of everyday life, where we are all connected to and contingent on one another, and dropped on a mat where progression and success are contingent exclusively on your own effort. The opponent’s capabilities are ultimately irrelevant as it is entirely up to you to rise up to the occasion.
  • You are conditioned into banishing stress and anger from your life by repeated demonstrations of the importance of keeping your wits about you. Wading into a fight angry or stressed out will cloud your judgement and result in you getting your ass handed over to you, each and every time.
 

AsenRG

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Oooh just saw this thread. :smile: I've been in and out of Martial Arts for years but eventually got my actual Black Belt in American Kenpo (which is a fun art to do but not effective in my opinion).

I worked as a doorman for about 3 years which put me through art college. I quickly realized that a lot of my trad training didn't work too well under pressure. When I finished college I dropped all traditional Martial Arts and concentrated on Self-Protection (as opposed to self-defense).

I was coaching Combatives (or Close Combat) for about 6 years. I fell out of it because of all the politics, etc. I teach the odd private lesson now, but don't do any group classes anymore (far too much hassle). I mainly just dip in and out of Boxing now to stay frosty. :smile:

I personally don't get too into the minutia of the types of violence, as the offender will dictate what happens next. We always employ a 'level of force to level of threat' model.

Of course, we'd always advocate a path of non-violence by not being there, de-escalation or running. And only ever use violence if you have no other choice.

However one (or any student) should be using and training in 'awareness' and all the pre-cursers that go with it (body language, hand placement, concealment, tells, adrenaline, environmental miss matches, etc). As you have to know what you are looking for. :smile:

You can have all the skill in the world but if you don't see an attack coming in the first place you're going to be on the back foot. And if that attack comes from someone who can hit really hard or a weapon, then the chances of coming out on top are severely reduced.
I keep hearing how traditional martial arts don't work. I'm still not sure why some people think that...though I'd totally agree that the way they're often taught, they wouldn't work, indeed!
Then again, I really suspect that even a tennis player couldn't learn tennis if the sport was taught the same way. Replace tennis with whatever else you'd like in the above statement.

At least I can totally agree with you on the necessity of awareness:smile:!

Great post. Situational awareness (zanshin, my karate instructor called it) really is the soul of martial arts to me — different disciplines might offer different answers for any given situation, but they all agree on paying attention and focusing on just what is going on during a fight.

When I comment on the fact that I do martial arts people often say “must be great to blow off steam!”

And I make a point of clarifying: that’s now how it works for me. The stress-relieving effect of martial arts, as I experience it, is twofold:
  • You are removed from the contingencies and networks of everyday life, where we are all connected to and contingent on one another, and dropped on a mat where progression and success are contingent exclusively on your own effort. The opponent’s capabilities are ultimately irrelevant as it is entirely up to you to rise up to the occasion.
  • You are conditioned into banishing stress and anger from your life by repeated demonstrations of the importance of keeping your wits about you. Wading into a fight angry or stressed out will cloud your judgement and result in you getting your ass handed over to you, each and every time.
Well, as Dempsey says, a boxer must keep his head cool. A fight is usually accompanied by anger.
He actually lists it as one of the differences between boxing and real fistcuffs, BTW:grin:!

And if you sleep through the beginning of the fight, you're headed for the hospital.
 
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Rob Necronomicon

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Great post. Situational awareness (zanshin, my karate instructor called it) really is the soul of martial arts to me — different disciplines might offer different answers for any given situation, but they all agree on paying attention and focusing on just what is going on during a fight.

When I comment on the fact that I do martial arts people often say “must be great to blow off steam!”

And I make a point of clarifying: that’s now how it works for me. The stress-relieving effect of martial arts, as I experience it, is twofold:
  • You are removed from the contingencies and networks of everyday life, where we are all connected to and contingent on one another, and dropped on a mat where progression and success are contingent exclusively on your own effort. The opponent’s capabilities are ultimately irrelevant as it is entirely up to you to rise up to the occasion.
  • You are conditioned into banishing stress and anger from your life by repeated demonstrations of the importance of keeping your wits about you. Wading into a fight angry or stressed out will cloud your judgement and result in you getting your ass handed over to you, each and every time.

Yeah, Zanshin (or situational awareness) is the key to any system... Backed up with 'mindset'. :smile:
 

Rob Necronomicon

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I keep hearing how traditional martial arts don't work. I'm still not sure why some people think that...though I'd totally agree that the way they're often taught, they wouldn't work, indeed!
Then again, I really suspect that even a tennis player couldn't learn tennis if the sport was taught the same way. Replace tennis with whatever else you'd like in the above statement.

At least I can totally agree with you on the necessity of awareness:smile:!

I wouldn't get too hung up on why many people don't believe in TMA for real world applications anymore... If you've 'pressure tested' it under duress and you can make it work then you should be good to go. That is to say, get your boxing gloves on. Set it up for the correct range of a street fight (hand shake distance and not sparring range). Then go 'all out' and see if you can block or counter a barrage of blows where someone is actually trying to knock you out.

If you can (irregardless of the art) then you are on to something. If however, it breaks down under that type of pressure then it's probably time to reassess the situation. I would recommend one proceeds with caution for inexperienced students as safety is priority. But for instructors you should be able to go all out.

Then one should try different scenarios too. Youtube is a great way to see how real street fights unfold. They nearly always start with some kind of deceptive dialog and attack when one least expects it.

I would never expect anyone to take my word for it, however. All you have to do is test it out under the right conditions. The blokes I worked with on the door were all Black Belts in one form or another. However, punching was the key when restraint was not possible.

I forgot to mention, not all TMA are equal. Muay Thai is an exceptional art! Any thing that involves boxing mechanics you can't go wrong with. :smile:
 
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