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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14371
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneKickWonder wrote:
sensei8 wrote:


Please don't brush the SKKA with a general brush because we're not from the same palette as other Governing Body's, nor is the our style.




Is this an example of the open mindedness, humility and respect that martial arts teach us?

I can only speak with familiarity as well as authority about the SKKA/Shindokan/Hombu.



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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneKickWonder wrote:
JR 137, excellent post. And I agree almost entirely.

But....

Why do so many systems require that students wait potentially years to figure these things out?

We have a similar notion to what you described. Beginner's one step. One of which is so highly impractical if taken at face value. But it teaches principles. And more than that, it teaches how to do something, even if caught in an awkward vulnerable position. One time, working with an adult newbie, I could see the utter scepticism on his face when showing him this technique, which almost requires you to voluntarily give up a strong position to perform a weak counter attack from an even weaker position. Basically it involves turning your back on your attacker so you can elbow them backwards. Ridiculous of course. I could totally understand the newbie's sceptical expression. So instead of stopping my mock attack on the first punch, I threw the punch, moved in, and grabbed him in a head lock to spin him off balance backwards. Suddenly the principles in this silly technique worked. Now it is clear why you give up the string position to elbow backwards from a weak position. But here's the thing. Nobody taught me that application. I figured it out. And I was frowned upon for showing it to a newbie. Apparently what I showed was higher grade stuff not for beginners.

Why?

Because the curriculum in not ideal.

Sure there is value in letting people figure out their own applications. But surely there is also value in sharing learned knowledge and passing it on to newer students. They are after all committing their own time, energy and money to learn martial arts.

It's a bizarre concept that I don't think applies in many other contexts. If you were paying a driving instructor to teach you to drive, and he sat you in a stationery car and got you to press the brake pedal on and off for a year without explaining why, or how it fits into the grand scheme of driving, most people would get quite frustrated and stop giving him their time and money. Yet in martial arts, that's just the way it is. We trust that one day, it will all become clear and we'll figure out for ourselves how it all fits together.


I agree on principle, however a caveat...

Thatís not the syllabus/curriculum, itís the implementation of it. My teacher teaches the exact same self defenses, kihon kumite, yakusoku kumite, et al as every other Seido dojo. His interpretation of the syllabus is how he describes those things (concepts vs textbook facts) to us. Not that I needed to hear it, as I had those feelings before I first heard him say it. But I actually learned some of those during my first stint in karate about 20 years ago, and that wasnít explained to me. It was ďthis is how this is doneĒ without a deeper why itís done. As I progressed through the ranks, that became more obvious to me, but I was never told that. In my previous post when I said ďat first you think...; then you think...; then you realize...Ē, itís because thatís exactly what I went through and what several others I trained with went through too.

My original organization was an offshoot of sorts of my current organization (Seido). My original organization was started by 2 higher ranking Seido teachers who left and started their own thing. 90% of the syllabus was identical up to and including 1st dan. So going to Seido was a very easy transition for me after my 15 year hiatus.

One of the things that really attracted me to my current teacher the first time I visited and watched a class was his explanation of why the students were doing the self defenses (theyíre the exact same in both organizations). He articulated to his students exactly what I felt, and it was the first time Iíve ever heard anyone say it. And they were beginner students.

Same curriculum, same exact movements, different teaching styles. Itís not the syllabus, itís the studentís understanding of it. And the way the student was taught it.
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