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The Pezman

Martial Arts

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Uh, that was me that said it lost pretty hard.

I'm not sure it specified, but I THINK it was Shaolin kung fu. Can't be sure about that though.

But they measured impacts of the strongest punches and kicks and whatnot, and the kung fu guy came in last for every test, if I recall correctly. If not last, near for sure.

Side note: that section on drunken boxing was pretty epic.

In relation to what I was asking about, Shaolin can also be referred to as a Southern style, and is the grounding for a number of other traditional hard and soft arts (karate, aikido and shorinji kempo among them), whereas the Northern styles tended to focus more on what are commonly known as the animal styles.

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I took an Isshin-Ryu karate class for a half a semester of college, and learn some tricks. I'd love to get back into some kinda of martial art, though there's a limited amount of dojos and masters around here, so options are limited.

Very much would love to learn some Kendo/Iaido for sword techniques as well.

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It's a tradition, a business and foremost, it's an art. The precursors literally practiced it to hurt or even kill people. The romantic ideal came way later. As in the modern eras. Even a lot of martial arts that pop up nowadays, it's a matter of nationalism/philosophy like Aikido (that art wasn't even created until five decades ago), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (made entirely from a sporting aspect, not out of some 'do no harm' philosophy) or something like modern Vale Tudo which was basically created to make taking down enemies that much more efficient (precursor to modern MMA with the grappling + striking).

The idea of a 'sensei' or a 'master' sitting and preaching some borderline religious line about 'not hurting others' has no real impact on the sport or the physicality of it. Also, that 'martial arts ideal' about not actively seeking a fight or abusing it is just common sense. That ideal doesn't lend itself specifically to martial arts. That's the kind of high and mighty attitude I dislike about some martial arts practices. If you have a tradition and like it, that's fine. But don't tell me that is essential to the actual science of it.

I don't really give a shit if masters did this or that. Practitioners ultimately matter the most. I really don't buy any of the romanticism involved personally. No offense intended, but that is how I feel. Especially not nowadays when most 'masters' are just coaches and assistants to the actual martial artists out there. Even in Karate/TaeKwonDo nowadays, masters has taken a back seat to the role of being coaches. As in like gym coaches. Does the end result change drastically? Of course not.

The funny thing about Aikido is that the philosophy is fundamental to the art. Aikido didn't exist in its current incarnation until Ueshiba's pivotal epiphany. The philosophy is what brought together the nine different arts that he studied into Aikido as we know it. To say that the philosophy is not an inextricable part of the martial art demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Aikiko's base principles.

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The funny thing about Aikido is that the philosophy is fundamental to the art. Aikido didn't exist in its current incarnation until Ueshiba's pivotal epiphany. The philosophy is what brought together the nine different arts that he studied into Aikido as we know it. To say that the philosophy is not an inextricable part of the martial art demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Aikiko's base principles.

That's true, but I doubt that most martial artists now would buy into the philosophy that Aikido preaches. It seems to progress well in that art, by itself would require to buy into. Personally I enjoyed the techniques in Aikido, but the religious aspect got to me. I don't want to bow to any man before practicing, no matter how exceptional or gifted he may have been. Ultimately, that was part of what turned me off to Aikido.

In general, I think I N J I N has a valid point. Many martial arts have their traditions, and then they have the practical application of the art. Sometimes those two things were conflated for political or cultural reasons, or to preserve knowledge of the art to a special few. But that doesn't relate to the material impact of the art: hurting others, or keeping yourself and others from harm. I don't think many people trained because they were SO into Eastern philosophy. Maybe some, but most guys I know like the improvement in strength, reflexes, endurance, fighting skill, and then to a somewhat lesser degree the philosophy.

But then again there's always hardcore guys who become adepts of the art, and are very good in it, but that's a small percentage of the population.

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Well, there's a few good indicators. Probably first is the rate at which most students advance through their belts. If a school gives any sort of guarantee about how fast you can make black belt, or if testing is rigidly done on a monthly interval and it looks like nobody ever gets held back from their next rank, the place is probably what you would call a black belt mill. These schools are pretty much just businesses, thus the colorful moniker "McDojo."

Secondly, and you already said you're not interested in competition, if a school is competitive, they may focus almost exclusively on tournament training. Competition has its place, but sometimes competitive schools will forget or neglect the other aspects of an art such as self defense or traditional practice.

Finally, if you can, try to check the descent of the masters of the school. If a master is just a couple masters descended from the founder of a style (I have had the good fortune to be able to say that I have trained under these conditions in a couple different arts,) it's a pretty safe bet his or her school is pretty damn solid.

The fitness concern is self-explanatory, but as for confidence, did you mean that you wanted that in an overall sense, or that you wanted to feel more physically secure? Either way, really, it sounds like that ninjitsu dojo you mentioned could be a winner.

Thanks for your tips, I'll have to look into it more, don't know If I'll have time for it while I'm taking classes though. Also, I think the fee's around $60 a month for 4 classes, sound reasonable enough?

As for the confidence part, I'm really looking for more of a general improvement. Obviously I'll be feeling more physically capable if I stick with it, but I'm far from the type of person that would look for ways to show off or search for trouble.

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Some years ago I trained PFS JKD in Denmark, and my trainer was Jacob Aabye (an awesome instructor by the way). But I stopped after meeting the new instructor , and what an arsehole he was. Now adays I don´t train anything, but I do miss practising PFS JKD. But who knows what the future will bring in that area.

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Yeah, I quoted the wrong post. I was taking issue with this comment.

The prevelent MMA style, GJJ with a supplemental striking art is not just a practical self defense art, it's the best self defense art.

Um, no.

The moment you are dealing with more than one mugger/attackers/assailant, your entire style of martial arts goes down the toilet.

While you are busy grappling one guy, his buddy is going to kick you ribs in.

Also, in my experience at my local BJJ school, I don't care how good you are, large guys can be darn near impervious to a lot of grappling. We have a 250lbs marine in our class, and he really is a nice guy and doesn't "try" to be a jerk about the techniques not working on him, but even our instructor has problems trying to successfully perform chokes and holds on the guy. All that talk about being able to grapple anybody regardless of size is baloney.

Don't get me wrong, BJJ is a great style (I've been taking it for almost a year now myself) but be carefuly about getting too fanatic about it, it has it's downsides.

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The funny thing about Aikido is that the philosophy is fundamental to the art. Aikido didn't exist in its current incarnation until Ueshiba's pivotal epiphany. The philosophy is what brought together the nine different arts that he studied into Aikido as we know it. To say that the philosophy is not an inextricable part of the martial art demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Aikiko's base principles.

also baloney. Anybody can successfully perform every single of those techniques without ever hearing a thing of it's philosophy. It's not like there is a magical force that stops you from breaking the opponents kuzushi because you don't understand the unity and love of peace.

The 8 releases, the 17 , or even the Big Ten can all be done by anybody with functioning limbs and a brain. Don't get all spiritualistic with that crap.

Also, Aikido DID exist before Ueshiba, just it was called Daito-ryu Aikijutsu, and it involved breaking limbs AS you were performing the movements. All Ueshiba did was remove the "nastier" stuff.

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As for the confidence part, I'm really looking for more of a general improvement. Obviously I'll be feeling more physically capable if I stick with it, but I'm far from the type of person that would look for ways to show off or search for trouble.

I seriously doubt that's what he meant. If you were that kind of person, then you'd be learning it for all the wrong reasons.

Feel free to correct me RFB, but I think the confidence he's referring to is a confidence of being in your own skin. I've only been doing Chidokwan for a year and a half and already I've felt fitter and more balanced. My chiropractor notes that I'm not out of alignment as much, I know how to punch effectively, I can really turn my hips over put a lot of force behind an attack, and I can kick much higher than I ever could before. Does this mean I'm going to now seek a fight? Of course not. But now I know that I can get out of one if it ever happens, and I now know the power my body is capable of producing.

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Also, Aikido DID exist before Ueshiba, just it was called Daito-ryu Aikijutsu, and it involved breaking limbs AS you were performing the movements. All Ueshiba did was remove the "nastier" stuff.

Bullshit. Daito-ryu has no monopoly on the concept of aiki, and Ueshiba himself said that he didn't discover aikido from Takeda. He learned from him, sure, but removing all the limb-breaking "nastier" elements intrinsically changes what art you're talking about. And I'm sure he didn't add elements from Yagyū Shingan-ryū, Tenjin Shinyō-ryū, Kito-ryū or Shinkage-ryū either.

Like I said, Aikido did not exist in its current incarnation until Ueshiba experienced that moment of satori in 1925. The philosophy and spirituality cultivated and shaped aikido. Without those elements, we'd have something completely different on our hands.

Of course you don't have to be spiritual and shit to put someone on their back. Any asshat can do that, but I think if you understand the underlying concepts behind the art, you'll have an easier time grasping and learning the techniques themselves.

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I seriously doubt that's what he meant. If you were that kind of person, then you'd be learning it for all the wrong reasons.

Oh I know, I was just clarifying it a bit more.

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Bullshit. Daito-ryu has no monopoly on the concept of aiki, and Ueshiba himself said that he didn't discover aikido from Takeda. He learned from him, sure, but removing all the limb-breaking "nastier" elements intrinsically changes what art you're talking about. And I'm sure he didn't add elements from Yagyū Shingan-ryū, Tenjin Shinyō-ryū, Kito-ryū or Shinkage-ryū either.

Like I said, Aikido did not exist in its current incarnation until Ueshiba experienced that moment of satori in 1925. The philosophy and spirituality cultivated and shaped aikido. Without those elements, we'd have something completely different on our hands.

Of course you don't have to be spiritual and shit to put someone on their back. Any asshat can do that, but I think if you understand the underlying concepts behind the art, you'll have an easier time grasping and learning the techniques themselves.

Well of course it "changes the art you are talking about" in the same way Kendo is a different art than Kenjutsu, and Judo is a different art than Jujutsu. Both Kendo and Judo are "different" arts from their original styles, but they still share about 80% similarity with the ~jutsu styles before them. You are splitting hairs here.

My first year in Tomiki Aikido I excelled, and I had only HEARD name name Ueshiba once at the beginning of class. Later on when I had some free time, I researched him a bit, but I still have never read any of his stuff, yet I'm still do better than most the people in the class. In fact I've found people that claim to practice the "philosophies" of their martial arts tend to be slacking in the >physical< aspects of their style. And it's because I practice the movements. Not because I read any philosophy.

also, yeah I'm gonna cite wikipedia only because I'm at work,

The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally at a glance and to win without fighting."

-Takeda Sokaku

Sounds pretty darn similar to what Ueshiba would talk about from what I've read.

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Thanks for your tips, I'll have to look into it more, don't know If I'll have time for it while I'm taking classes though. Also, I think the fee's around $60 a month for 4 classes, sound reasonable enough?

Depends on the school. Also, do you mean 4 classes a month? That sounds kind of pricey, but if the school's good and there aren't a lot of hidden charges, I say give it a shot if you have the time.

As for the confidence part, I'm really looking for more of a general improvement. Obviously I'll be feeling more physically capable if I stick with it, but I'm far from the type of person that would look for ways to show off or search for trouble.

Good man. Any art should work well for you then, especially if they have belt testing. One thing that can very much be said for ranks is that few things feel quite as good as advancing after a tough test. I think we're talking about the same thing here, Mr. Pesner. :smile: At the very least, one form of confidence often leads to the other.

Haganegiri; a double post? Poor technique, sir. :wink: Good points, though. As much as I love the philosophy of o-sensei, at the end of the day, you can still throw somebody into a ikkyo without being a deep thinker. An adage my teacher often uses (and this is from a master instructor in the Spiritual Martial Arts association) is that the first ten years of practice are physical, the second decade mental, and from then it's spiritual. Therefore, at the very least, to begin with, you learn about how to act in the material.

Also, jujitsu is badass, but yeah, grappling is hard against people much bigger than you and often not really an option when confronting multiple attackers. That's not always true, though; if you can control a ring leader of a group, you may have a quicker way out of a fight than handling each assailant individually. All that being said, Kai did say GJJ supplemented with a striking art. That's pretty solid.

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Speaking of advancing through ranks, here are some more belt test photos:

IMG_1456_JPG.jpg

Performing Heian Nidan. I'm on the far left.

IMG_1486_JPG.jpg

Me trying to get a hit in.

Not of me, but...

IMG_1495_JPG.jpg

SWEAT-SLICKED BLURRY ACTION SHOT GO!!!

And finally...

IMG_1501_JPG.jpg

Everyone advanced a belt level!

+15 Str

+8 Spd

+30 HP

+ 12 Def

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Haganegiri; a double post? Poor technique, sir. :wink: Good points, though. As much as I love the philosophy of o-sensei, at the end of the day, you can still throw somebody into a ikkyo without being a deep thinker. An adage my teacher often uses (and this is from a master instructor in the Spiritual Martial Arts association) is that the first ten years of practice are physical, the second decade mental, and from then it's spiritual. Therefore, at the very least, to begin with, you learn about how to act in the material.

Also, jujitsu is badass, but yeah, grappling is hard against people much bigger than you and often not really an option when confronting multiple attackers. That's not always true, though; if you can control a ring leader of a group, you may have a quicker way out of a fight than handling each assailant individually. All that being said, Kai did say GJJ supplemented with a striking art. That's pretty solid.

... A ring leader of a group? no offence, but muggers don't often have a ring leader, nor do a group of rapist, or a group of drunks, etc this isn't a movie. It's real. I would persoanlly deliver a crisp 100 dollar bill to a guy that can grapple a single mugger/rapist/drunkard out of a group and actually "scare" the other guys away. And even if that did work, do you really want to gamble on it? You can't gamble in a fight.

Striking is where it's at for multiple attackers. Just basic, no non-sense boxing technique. Of course, being well training in other martial arts help, but if nothing else, I always tell people that if they are concerned about the quickest and easiest way to learn self-defense to take up a boxing class.

I'm not trying to be anti-martial arts here, just trying to be real about this stuff. It's not a game or a movie, fights can be serious business. My sister's best friend was stabbed in a mugging (and there was three guys). Had to go through a lot of physical therapy (and some mental therapy too).

again, I've taken many martial arts over the years, BJJ, Aikido, Mantis Kung-fu, and Taijutsu mainly. I treat my training very professionally.

I've taught classes when I've had the time, and I always maintain the seriousness of what it means to be involved in a fight. I've read a lot of books, like On Killing by Dave Grossman, and I've talk to a lot of friends who have served over seas in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as I've had female students who were mugged/raped. again, I take this stuff very seriously.

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IMG_1456_JPG.jpg

Performing Heian Nidan. I'm on the far left.

This is like, an action shot, right?

Tell me your stances aren't THAT short. It HAS to be an action shot.

HAS TO.

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... A ring leader of a group? no offence, but muggers don't often have a ring leader, nor do a group of rapist, or a group of drunks, etc this isn't a movie. It's real. I would persoanlly deliver a crisp 100 dollar bill to a guy that can grapple a single mugger/rapist/drunkard out of a group and actually "scare" the other guys away. And even if that did work, do you really want to gamble on it? You can't gamble in a fight.

If you move with enough power and you're vicious enough, it can work. I've seen it happen. Put that one guy in so much pain he lets loose a blood curdling scream of unmistakable defeat... It can send a tremor through the other assailants that might surprise you.

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Well of course it "changes the art you are talking about" in the same way Kendo is a different art than Kenjutsu, and Judo is a different art than Jujutsu. Both Kendo and Judo are "different" arts from their original styles, but they still share about 80% similarity with the ~jutsu styles before them. You are splitting hairs here.

My first year in Tomiki Aikido I excelled, and I had only HEARD name name Ueshiba once at the beginning of class. Later on when I had some free time, I researched him a bit, but I still have never read any of his stuff, yet I'm still do better than most the people in the class. In fact I've found people that claim to practice the "philosophies" of their martial arts tend to be slacking in the >physical< aspects of their style. And it's because I practice the movements. Not because I read any philosophy.

also, yeah I'm gonna cite wikipedia only because I'm at work,

The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally at a glance and to win without fighting."

-Takeda Sokaku

Sounds pretty darn similar to what Ueshiba would talk about from what I've read.

Another version of Takeda's saying goes a little something like this:

"If there is any reserve or hesitation, even a skilled practitioner can be easily defeated. Hear the soundless sound, see the formless form. At a glance, control your opponent and attain victory without contention."

Contrast that with Ueshiba's description of Aiki:

"Aiki is not an art to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is a Way in which to harmonize all people into one family. The essence of Aikido is to put oneself in tune with the functioning of the universe, to become one with the universe."

Consider this as well:

"The direct influence of Sokaku's Daito Ryu techniques on the formation of Aikido is not that great. It was but one element among many." - Morihei Ueshiba.

Ref: Stevens, John. Abundant Peace: the Biography of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1987.

It's only possible to say that Takeda and Ueshiba espoused the same things if you generalize as broadly as possible.

Takeda and Ueshiba were pretty much polar opposites, with their only point of intersection that of using aiki, and even then, their application thereof was completely different.

I'm not trying to say that ignoring philosophies in martial arts makes you ignorant of some "deeper" meaning (Ueshiba would, but that's not the point). What I'm trying to say is that if I know that an art has a founding philosophy that shaped every kata and technique, it would behoove me to, if not practice, then at least understand that philosophy to better my understanding of what I'm trying to become more skilled at. But that's just me. I certainly haven't done that with every art I've practiced (it's kinda hard to grasp anything deeper than surface instruction when my Japanese ain't so good), but it certainly can't hurt.

I have no interest in changing your opinion of philosophy and martial arts. No, you seem pretty dead set on hating everything about them, just like injin and ambient. I'm happy to debate the value and practicality of philosophy and martial arts, but if it's just going to degenerate to "I don't give a shit about..." or fallacious "anyone with a sober mind knows..." arguments, then what's the point?

Civility comes cheap, but if that's too much to ask, then there's little to be garnered here.

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I dunno what martial art I do really...I've done some Kung-fu, Mui-Thai and a little bit of Aikido. I got farthest in Mui-Thai, and I got a real sense of fighting from full speed, full contact sparring. We're told to use full speed, but only about 25% full strength.

I remember once I got tired after about an hour of sparring and I dropped my guard a bit and got hit with a jab-cross combo, I almost got knocked out and he only lightly tapped me!

Anyway I haven't done any martial arts for almost 3 years now so I'm a bit rusty. In real life I'd kick them in the nuts and go for the neck, choke them out, use arm locks if they got weapons (after nuts kicking), elbow to the head, throw coins at them, bite, scratch, shout etc.

You, sir, have successfully grasped the concept that Bruce Lee spent his whole life trying to get across to the general populace. Congrats!

On a lighter note, I personally like the style of Mexican Judo.

Judo-know I have a knife, Judo-know I have a gun. :<

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I'm going to make an Assassin's Creed style retractable shiv. That would take care of pretty much any problem I could ever have if I were mugged. That + element of surprise = profit

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If you move with enough power and you're vicious enough, it can work. I've seen it happen. Put that one guy in so much pain he lets loose a blood curdling scream of unmistakable defeat... It can send a tremor through the other assailants that might surprise you.

Your gonna get your ribs kicked in.

I'm going to make an Assassin's Creed style retractable shiv. That would take care of pretty much any problem I could ever have if I were mugged. That + element of surprise = profit

until the mechanism breaks and you slice your hand. And should you ever use it on someone, by US law, your carrying a lethal weapon with intent to kill, not just defend yourself. Good luck trying to convince some red neck cop that you carry a "retractable shiv" for self-defence purposes. So even if they mug you, you would go to jail.

buy a taser. Quicker, easier, and completely legal.

please tell me both of you are joking? This isn't a video game. Fights are serious and deadly business. I think you guys take the movies and games you play WAY too seriously. Please reconsider the way you guys think about fighting and how they work.

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Even if I had engineering know-how and materials to make something like that, I lack the drive to actually see it through to anything resembling passing functionality.

God forbid anyone ever make a joke, spoilsport.

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until the mechanism breaks and you slice your hand. And should you ever use it on someone, by US law, your carrying a lethal weapon with intent to kill, not just defend yourself. Good luck trying to convince some red neck cop that you carry a "retractable shiv" for self-defence purposes. So even if they mug you, you would go to jail.

buy a taser. Quicker, easier, and completely legal.

please tell me both of you are joking? This isn't a video game. Fights are serious and deadly business. I think you guys take the movies and games you play WAY too seriously. Please reconsider the way you guys think about fighting and how they work.

What Fenrir said. Ya' Joy-kill.

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A retractable shiv would be pretty damn cool ... but for practical (and I guess legalistic) reasons, I'd take a telescopic high-density plastic baton. Unlikely to kill, and would work a treat against a knife-wielding opponent - a quick snap to the wrist and I disarm my opponent without risking my possibly-unshielded foot.

As for multiple opponents, that is not something you can win by playing defensively. You need to take the initiative and not surrender it. Not as hard as it sounds, as multiple opponents simply means more possible attack opportunities. If you are going to take one of them down for purposes of aweing the rest, treat it as you would a dog-attack: Pick the biggest, meanest looking one, and you take him down with one hit. If you don't, no-one's going to be awed. They'll simply go all at once and you will get swamped.

I'm not going to comment on the differences between traditional and modern arts - my own experience tends more towards the traditional ones, with application included, which generally would be greatly influenced by modern arts. All arts have an underlying philosophy, and it is that philosophy that will drive the techniques taught. If that philosophy is winning the fight and saving your own skin without regard for the opponent, techniques will be geared towards bodily destruction and brutal attacks - muay thai and boxing come to mind. If the philosophy is geared more towards preserving one's self while causing as little harm as possible, the techniques will hinge more on understanding the body's weakpoints and how to manipulate them. My only comment shall be, I'm pretty sure I know which one would hold up better in a legal sense.

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