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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't do it, I find it is outside my understanding of what I need to know about how effective my martial art is. It may have physical and mental benefits, but now I suppose direct opposition and destruction have little priority in the way I think of my art. If you enjoy it, go for it. If you value it, fair enough; but I see it as a display of ego in the presence of others and a reflection of skill in a field that may have disassociated into a discipline in its self.
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Hawkmoon
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 891
Location: MK in the UK
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:24 am    Post subject: Re: The Art of Breaking and Conditioning Your Body Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
Breaking is probably one of the most common images non-martial artists associate with the term "martial arts". ... Not only is it a test of power, breaking also requires one to fully condition themselves both in mind and body.
...

The mind plays a crucial role in the art of breaking, and indeed martial arts as a whole. In order to break, one must fully commit themselves to destroying a material; you cannot half-heartedly hit a stack of boards because you will damage yourself instead. Overcoming your mind and managing to channel yourself through the boards is probably the greatest challenge of breaking and is the reason why breaking is usually required at belt promotions since it shows mastery of oneself.
...

One reason beginner breakers fail is because they fear injuring themselves. Many students ask if it hurts. But, if done correctly, breaking should not really hurt at all as your own body receives none of the impact. However, when preparing to break, a student's mind must not focus on the possibility of pain because they will be likely to not commit fully and subsequently injure themselves.
...

... By overcoming a fear of injury when breaking, a student has mastered their own mind and learnt to successfully transfer power without causing injury to themselves. .. Mastering your own fear also leads to greater confidence in yourself.
...
An example of a highly disciplined martial artist would be Masutatsu Oyama, as he spent many months training in solitude to condition his body. Mas Oyama was conditioned so well he was able to break the horns off bulls with his bare hands and this is the type of self-discipline modern martial artists need to try to emulate. Such conditioning is also necessary for combat as it reduces the likelihood of your bones breaking when struck. When having to defend yourself you do not want the chance that your own hand will break when blocking. You need to make your bones form as strongly as possible. Because breaking requires good conditioning and is a test of whether you are conditioned well enough, I believe breaking is necessary in the martial arts to encourage people to take their training home and not just use martial arts as a hobby - but as a way of life.

In the 1970s film "Enter the Dragon" Bruce Lee says, "Boards don't hit back." Many people use this as an excuse not to practice breaking and not to engage in any formal conditioning. However, as explained above, boards can hit back (at least to a certain extent) and, unfortunately, most people can't train power in any other way. Another excuse not to break is that excessive conditioning can injure the body and cause conditions such as arthritis. Many of the old masters have been conditioning for decades and no real harm has come of it; it is only when people take things to the extreme do problems arise from conditioning. In my experience, I have yet to come across a real excuse not to practice breaking and, for me, the pros outweigh the cons. Hence I believe that breaking (or at least power training) should be part of every striking art.


Love the whole post, the points that ring with me (in one paragraph are obvious) and on another are not as literal as the words that were spoken come across.

I'll start with one of my MA heros, Bruce Lee and one of my all time favourite MA films; Enter the dragon.

'Boards don't hit back'
Said in response to Ohara and his showing off breaking a board!

The literal acceptance of the comment is what many accept as its meaning is to be sarcastic! "oh! wow you hit a bit of wood ... and it broke!"
I see that, and I for an age accepted that as the point and insult and so the meaning of the line!

I've come to see what I feel was the actual meaning of the line .. its an insult, yes, its a direct attack directed at Ohara himself, not the action. Our hero in the story 'Lee' sees Ohara for who he really is ...out of balance an ego driven show off ... we the viewer miss the one huge fact, the fight we are about to witness has already started and the hero, 'Lee', is already winning 1:0!

Now to the next paragraph, the obvious one for me to like, its spot on...not much to add here, we all understand that hard work and rewards,but wonder if we truly understand MA as a way of life an acceptable normal way to lead your life like we might live ours lives as bankers, park keepers, mechanics, shop assistance and so on all acceptable and so normal, where to the western mind MA is a sport.
Breaking a board does boost confidence, it will always give you a rush, that is the point the problem (the Ohara example) many get pumped ...ego pumped and that's when things go south!

Positive mind set is great, tests of skill, power are required, mastery of you, your mind and your body the purpose and true value.
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Sosai Masutatsu Oyama (1923 - 1994) Founder of Kyokushin Karate.
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vaporman
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 09 Jan 2015
Posts: 57

Styles: Mixed

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure ego has to do with everything. Fear of dying is ego based and wanting to thwart off an attacker in one shot for the chance to live is the ego wanting to live.Ego can be your best friend or enemy.

It is the end result of all your training, you either break material or yourself, the stronger you become overall will mean you can crush more stuff. Do you need to break to become able to break or be effective when need be? Maybe not but how will you ever know? Its a result that's it, proof that is physical.

For me its a life saver meaning its better to make use of emotions and channel them into something rather than someone. It is an outlet!! Keeps me in check because i tame my own ego.Your worst enemy or friend is your own self..sure i get hurt sometimes but i am fighting myself all the time, even to get out of bed because it is life, IMO all of it is and to separate things into boxes is also the ego wanting to understand!! For me its all or nothing and to break is to put all you have in it in that instant, same like washing dishes the attitude is interchangeable to all aspects of life! Whatever your path is it is yours, What you take and leave from others experiences is your choice. For me i tend to go for the truth in everything as fast as i can, When i continued my journey into this subject it was the same to dig deep in the subject theoretical and practical, either by testing then reading about it or reading/seeing pics or videos and testing after both work but one is usually safer,maybe. The internet, Books,friends, Family were and are always good sources of info but take everything with a grain of salt until proven otherwise. I take/use whatever i can find from any system some things stick and a lot goes to the bin, The power of choice! My favorite system is karate for the strikes and its raw effectiveness, Simple but hard due to the repetitions required. The front kick for example (Knee to sternum and release forward) is very simple and its my main kick but takes years to get any sort of real power. So if it takes so long to get good at simple stuff why bother doing anything else than something that has real results. Because these skills mostly need to be maintained for life it become necessary to weed out the extra weeds to get that nice watermelon.Hard cannot exist without soft and vise verse, Yin yang. Conditioning and being able to break is part of it even if its just an after effect(Mental and or physical)The human body is best at adaptation until a certain point, keep bellow this certain point and train/practice there, The longer the more the body becomes resistant to the stress.The body needs some to function right but to much is detrimental,finding this line is paramount. Train/practice for whatever you want to do in life. I want to be able to deliver a blow powerful enough to knock out a horse if need be on an instant because if i need a second blow it will probably be to late and the altercation goes to the ground, The last place i ever want to be.. What if a bear attacks you? Run? They are so fast! they will be on you in a flash then what? hit them whit whatever you have it might annoy the bear and he will leave or just take you to the ground anyways. Point is anything can happen and being ready for it increases odds of survival, even if its climbing a tree then train climbing trees. Yes bears climb but at least it will come head first so the option of kicking it in the face is,well optional.

vap
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14189
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harkon72 wrote:
I don't do it, I find it is outside my understanding of what I need to know about how effective my martial art is. It may have physical and mental benefits, but now I suppose direct opposition and destruction have little priority in the way I think of my art. If you enjoy it, go for it. If you value it, fair enough; but I see it as a display of ego in the presence of others and a reflection of skill in a field that may have disassociated into a discipline in its self.

Ego?

Possibly for some and not for others! Those who "do" tameshiwara might because their ego needs the stroking each and every time; they can't help themselves. Those who "train" in tameshiwara do it because they need the value of it. I'm of the latter!!

Does Higaonna Sensei (Goju Ryu~10th Dan Hanshi) "do" or "train" in tameshiwara? I believe he "trains" in tameshiwara!! Does Higaonna Sensei train in it to stroke his ego? No, I don't think so!!

"What is harder? You or the rocks? Train so that the rocks fear you!"~Takahashi Sensei (Dai-Soke)

If you should strike another, who should bend? You or your opponent? Flesh meets flesh and bone meets bone!! If you become injured from striking your opponent, well, it can present a problem for you.

What drives me crazy is when practitioners "wind-up" over and over and over until they execute! Or, when practitioners have to psych themselves up one way or another before they execute!! It's, imho, a waste of time because you won't have that much time on the streets!! Either you're ready or your not: I prefer to be ready!

Now, tameshiwara isn't a prerequisite to defending oneself or others!!



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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short answer, no. If you hit a person with seiken to the temple with the force that it would take to break an inch thick pine board, you would kill them. Even when faced with a deadly weapon, if you do that, the court would see that it was your choice to do so. That's not defence. Many martial artists are unaware of their power, it not a good thing, it should be your only fear. If you want to kill people, join the military.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6105
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harkon72 wrote:
Short answer, no. If you hit a person with seiken to the temple with the force that it would take to break an inch thick pine board, you would kill them. Even when faced with a deadly weapon, if you do that, the court would see that it was your choice to do so. That's not defence. Many martial artists are unaware of their power, it not a good thing, it should be your only fear. If you want to kill people, join the military.

Now that to me is exactly why one might want to practice tameshiwari. I know from many years of practicing exactly how much I need for one board, two boards, 1/2 inch, 1 inch, pine, bricks etc. If someone puts one board in front of me of a set thickness and type then I know I don't necessarily have to hit as hard as I need as "just enough" will do. There's crossover then into sparring and self defense.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6105
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:

What drives me crazy is when practitioners "wind-up" over and over and over until they execute! Or, when practitioners have to psych themselves up one way or another before they execute!! It's, imho, a waste of time because you won't have that much time on the streets!! Either you're ready or your not: I prefer to be ready!

This is something I wholeheartedly agree with. It has always been policy at our school (and in the ITF in general) that you get one measure and one break. No more. Most advanced students don't even bother with the measuring and just gauge distance by eye if it's a technique they are comfortable with. If you can't assess your distance by eye or need a really big wind up physically and mentally, kinda defeats the point really? The idea is to hone your skills and mind so you are ready to go, not say to your attacker "hold on I have to psych myself up before I punch you!"

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I compete in the power contest in Taekwondo competitions. The tournaments I go to are very strict about this kind of thing and you can be disqualified for any excess wind ups and behaviour. You have to walk up then you get 30 secs to compose yourself, position, and break it. No extra faffing around or adjusting position or materials.
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vaporman
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 09 Jan 2015
Posts: 57

Styles: Mixed

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

''Many martial artists are unaware of their power''

Breaking shows one exactly how much skill you have in one or more particular strikes/moves, Including power. If you break rocks with x amount of force then using this force or one of the few kinds( Breaking rock and wood requires different technique because of flex and breaking points) is your choice in whatever situation you face as you are your own master for the most part.

Totally agree with the winding up part because one might actually hinder his/her power by becoming tense to early mentally and or physically(takes time that you may not have later when putting it to use). Personally i like to be to alert and relax, Minimal tension with proper movement speed increasing right until impact, Finally exhaling and tensing right before impact. Its ok to do one or 2 pretend/practice strikes before the break to gauge distance or whatever but you should be ready to break after that one practice move because the mind was also prepared.But if you need the mind then its not yet automatic so keep practicing until the required time you need prepare to break shortens as short as possible, Then becoming automatic or as quick as possible.Conscious practice/doing usually becomes subconscious activated meaning automatic because the muscle memory has already been mapped. Thinking on the spot takes time and energy, the less you need to think the more you can focus on the current given situation.

vap
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14189
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
sensei8 wrote:

What drives me crazy is when practitioners "wind-up" over and over and over until they execute! Or, when practitioners have to psych themselves up one way or another before they execute!! It's, imho, a waste of time because you won't have that much time on the streets!! Either you're ready or your not: I prefer to be ready!

This is something I wholeheartedly agree with. It has always been policy at our school (and in the ITF in general) that you get one measure and one break. No more. Most advanced students don't even bother with the measuring and just gauge distance by eye if it's a technique they are comfortable with. If you can't assess your distance by eye or need a really big wind up physically and mentally, kinda defeats the point really? The idea is to hone your skills and mind so you are ready to go, not say to your attacker "hold on I have to psych myself up before I punch you!"

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I compete in the power contest in Taekwondo competitions. The tournaments I go to are very strict about this kind of thing and you can be disqualified for any excess wind ups and behaviour. You have to walk up then you get 30 secs to compose yourself, position, and break it. No extra faffing around or adjusting position or materials.

Yes!! Imho, ISKA and the like tournaments have made the MA a laughing stock!! Showmanship over everything that's effective!!



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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14189
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vaporman wrote:
''Many martial artists are unaware of their power''

Breaking shows one exactly how much skill you have in one or more particular strikes/moves, Including power. If you break rocks with x amount of force then using this force or one of the few kinds( Breaking rock and wood requires different technique because of flex and breaking points) is your choice in whatever situation you face as you are your own master for the most part.

Totally agree with the winding up part because one might actually hinder his/her power by becoming tense to early mentally and or physically(takes time that you may not have later when putting it to use). Personally i like to be to alert and relax, Minimal tension with proper movement speed increasing right until impact, Finally exhaling and tensing right before impact. Its ok to do one or 2 pretend/practice strikes before the break to gauge distance or whatever but you should be ready to break after that one practice move because the mind was also prepared.But if you need the mind then its not yet automatic so keep practicing until the required time you need prepare to break shortens as short as possible, Then becoming automatic or as quick as possible.Conscious practice/doing usually becomes subconscious activated meaning automatic because the muscle memory has already been mapped. Thinking on the spot takes time and energy, the less you need to think the more you can focus on the current given situation.

vap

Solid post!!



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