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Montana
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 906
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2023 9:49 am    Post subject: Martial arts is a dying art? Reply with quote

I'm retired now due to medical reasons, but I was a student of Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo under that late Kuda Yuichi. Although I only competed once in a tournament, I enjoyed judging and refereeing them for over 25 years. I judged empty hand kata, weapons, just about everything except breaking (buncha crap IMO).

Last month I had an opportunity to judge again at an open tournament locally, and boy, was I DISAPPOINTED in what I was seeing! There were a few really good (IMO) martial artists with great technique, but I'd say that 90% of what I was seeing, whether student or sensei, SUCKED!

No power, bad stances, sloppy, SLOPPY technique, and just plain incompetence!

Are the arts dead???
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If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please..feel free to stand in front of them.

Student since January 1975---4th Dan, retired due to non-martial arts related injuries.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 2315
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2023 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly not. Not every practitioner and sensei can be good, the numbers just don't account for it. This is normal. There has always been, and always will be, schools that don't uphold a certain standard of excellence that others might. Is it unfortunate? Absolutely. In a perfect world, this wouldn't be the case. I would love to see every school doing its absolute best to make sure that the students got a quality, practical education.

I wouldn't take your experience as the norm. There will always be schools and students who don't give their all. This just makes those that do give their all shine all the brighter.
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Martial arts training is 30% classroom training, 70% solo training.

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Montana
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 906
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2023 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand that, it just seemed, after a 15 year absense, that what I was seeing was really, really bad, including from the sensei's. Total lack of power and good technique. There were a lot of people doing "sword" kata. Horrible was the first thing that came to mind.
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If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please..feel free to stand in front of them.

Student since January 1975---4th Dan, retired due to non-martial arts related injuries.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2745
Location: Salem, IL
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2023 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that traditional martial arts are dead, or even dying, but they are absolutely undergoing a divergence, and I think that we have reached a point where some approaches to the arts simply don't qualify as traditional/classical martial arts, anymore.

Some are emphasizing aesthetic over all else. They may have fine looking kata, but no purpose or intent behind their movements.

Some are emphasizing victory in competition over all else, and losing all of the curriculum that doesn't directly support that. Depending on the competition they train for, some aspects may be incredibly sloppy, or simply not present, at all.

Some are emphasizing the discipline and personal development aspects of the arts, and remove the practical aspects, which often removes the functional intent and allows for form to suffer.

Some are still trying to pass on the arts with practical functionality as the goal. In some cases, this will result in somewhat ugly performances, but the fundamental structures and mechanics should be sound, otherwise the movements and postures would not be able to work.
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Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu/Shinkoten Karate | 2010-Present: Yondan, Renshi | Sensei: Richard Poage (RIP), Jeff Allred (RIP)
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker (RIP)
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker (RIP), Ramon Rivera (RIP), Adrian Rivera
Illinois Practical Karate | International Neoclassical Karate Kobudo Society
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16497
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2023 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The martial arts aren't dead. What's dead is said practitioners executing of said techniques effectively. The martial arts shouldn't be blamed whatsoever, nonetheless, the practitioner most definitely should be.




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DarthPenguin
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 977
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2023 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
The martial arts aren't dead. What's dead is said practitioners executing of said techniques effectively. The martial arts shouldn't be blamed whatsoever, nonetheless, the practitioner most definitely should be.





Totally agree with this! The art itself hasn't really changed but the practitioners interpretation of it has.

One thing i have noticed from returning to karate is that things are a lot 'gentler' than they used to be. The training isn't as hard but they are also almost being too nice sometimes - simple example from my own experience : I remember when i has 7 years old and training under a jka school sitting my 4th kyu grading alone in a large sports centre with a very stern and senior japanese examiner and failing. I obviously wasn't up to the required standard so i failed, fair enough. Nowadays the kids (and some adults too) seem to get a weird thing called a 'temporary pass' instead where they were not quite of the required standard. This lets them wear the new belt and train on the new syllabus, so i am never quite sure of the point of it. Difference does come in at 1st kyu where they have to retake the grading until a 'full pass'. I very much doubt that these things would have happened in the past
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Montana
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 906
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2023 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good responses, thanks!

I didn't mean so much as martial arts are dead, but rather just getting sloppy and stupid now. SOOOO many people walking around that tournament with black belts, and after judging their kata and fighting skills, I just about wanted to cry at how bad they were for the most part.

|Sure, there were some really good talented karateka there, but they were more of an exception than the rule.

I made it a point, regardless of their rank, of meeting and shaking the hand of every GOOD person there and making sure I recognized them as such. For young kids I found some parents and talked to them also.

I'm going to try to hit more tournaments as a judge this summer. They're fun for me since I can't teach any longer.
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If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please..feel free to stand in front of them.

Student since January 1975---4th Dan, retired due to non-martial arts related injuries.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16497
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2024 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the MA is dead, then who signed the death certificate?? Anyone knows that the next of kin has to be notified, I'm the next of kin, and nobody told me. If the MA is dead, then what is this that lives in my heart and soul??



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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 178
Location: NJ
Styles: Hapkido, JKD, TSD

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2024 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To borrow from the joke about jazz, Martial Arts isn't dead, it just smells funny!

I think the kind of people that would have been the hard-core training types back in the day now elect for the MMA/BJJ scene.

I was watching some tournament videos on YT recently, and training reels on FB, and a lot of it was cringe-worthy.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 2315
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JazzKicker wrote:
I was watching some tournament videos on YT recently, and training reels on FB, and a lot of it was cringe-worthy.


I know the feeling. An issue with content on the internet is that just anyone can post whatever they want on social media. For every person posting a drill that is so far from having real world application that it just cast a magic spell, there are plenty of people doing good drills... they just don't post. Which is a shame! I would love to see a lot more traditional martial artists posting drills and bunkai videos. The issue, in my summation, is that modern sports karateka feel they have nothing to hide. All of their content is out there for the world to see by design. Traditional karateka, on the other hand, are trained to believe that their way of doing something should remain a secret known only to those on the inside.
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https://www.instagram.com/nordic_karate/
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