Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Stream

... of consciousness

CoCA initiation?

  1. Should this should be the new Convocation of Combat Arts initiation? Comments welcomed!

  2. Balance is the greatest attribute for a fighter, even on the ground, all other things being equal between combatants.

  3. I've observed that there are some general types of martial arts blogging approaches: instructional, philosophical, style-centric, eclectic, and entertaining. Can you think of any good examples of each? Are my categories accurate?

  4. There are several threads on CoCA about things like steroids (Royce Gracie, Benoit), traditional martial art versus martial sport ethics. The general gist is that sports are now usually devoid of the character-building that they once espoused, including boxing, MMA, and even Olympic Taekwondo (more by the political organizations than the athletes). I think this is cause by several things: the looser mores that are tolerated, or even encouraged now in society (think Paris Hilton) which actually celebrate lawbreaking or rude behavior, the weakening of the idea of shame, among other factors. For martial sports like Judo, MMA, wrestling, BJJ, TKD, and boxing, when winning becomes the most important thing, it loses the ability to mold behavior in a positive manner. Sad, but true to all sports.

  5. Further on the thought above: those martial sports which have stayed closest to their traditions, like TKD, Judo, Kendo, BJJ have the least problems with degenerative behavior outside of competition.

  6. In self-defense situations, you should assume that: 1) there's a weapon, even if unseen now, 2) there may be superior numbers against you, again it may not be obvious at first, 3) your adversaries believe they can win because of their own assumptions. As always, no fight should be fair, so make sure it's you that has the advantage. Train with these assumptions in mind.

  7. There's a bid difference between sparring on carpeted concrete and in a ring. The ring slows down your footwork and saps some explosiveness because it's padded; you can't push off or get the same drive from the floor. It shocked me how different it was. Try it, if you haven't had the pleasure.

  8. IMO, the current war against militant Islamists has proved one thing to be true: war hasn't really changed over the centuries, it's still depends on men fighting others at close range, where superior technology doesn't make as much of a difference. Winning depends on:
    A) the courage to take action
    B) the training to react properly
    C) proper leadership on the ground using effective tactics and strategy
    D) reliable equipment and weapons

There! Now I feel better. Have a great Thursday. Stay safe.


Patrick Parker said...

1) I see no reason to water down the intensity of the initiation rite to the level of this pic. ;-)

more to follow...

Patrick Parker said...

2) While I agree with you, posts like this that attribure success in a martial art to one best principle remind me of this Monty Python monologue:

“Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope.... Our Amongst our weapons...amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise”

Ha! I laugh every tim I think about that one.

I would have probably said mobility is our greatest attribute, but then you have to be balanced to be mobile. So, mobility and balance are our two greatest attributes... and posture. Ok, so our three greatest attributes are...


Patrick Parker said...

3) I would add to that scheme, 'training log' and maybe even 'commercial.'

I think most blogs probably blur these categories somewhat, but for some examples from the toplist:
instructional: Mokuren Dojo, TDA Training, Formosa Neijia
philosophical: Vestia's Martial Views
style-centric: Colin's and Gordon's TKD sites
eclectic:BBM, Martial Thoughts, Amanda Takes Off
training log: Steve's, Slidey's, and Ivan's logs
commercial:Wu Hsing Chuan, Judo Monthly

And if you feel like getting up in arms about these generalizations, please don't. Like I said, all blogs fit into multiple categories, I didn't categorize every blog but just gave examples, and it is, after all, just oe guy's opinion.

Nathan Teodoro said...

Hah! Good stuff! Whenever I don't use forethought, research, or at least read my post before publishing, I deserve this!
On #1, who said that was all??? I the dunk tank, shards of glass, jello wrestling with a hairy dude, etc. all still apply!
#2 I completely agree, and that's where I opened myself up. As in, "all else being equal" anything that superior will make the difference! I always preach mobility (right Mike), but I think that the hallmark of all great athletes is their balance - that leads to hitting harder, moving better/more smoothly in footwork, not getting trapped, and so on. Otherwise, I agree with the Monty Python point. Hilarious!
#3, I'm glad you jumped in there, and you had the time to think about categorizing them. I'll put some more thought into where I'd place our CoCA blogs, but I think you probably aren't far off from my opinions.
Keep em comin'!

Patrick Parker said...

#4 and #5 there is a lot wrong with combat sports in my opinion. There are some good things that come out of them but overall I dislike them for too many reasons to get into here.

Bobby P. said...

On initiations...

On a serious note: don't use your head to break things. I hate seeing people do this at tournaments. Heads are for thinking or to be protected.

On a silly note: I still think we should make new people have a carp tossing contest.

On sports...

Any time big purses and lots of advertising revenue get linked to ANY sport, the temptation to cheat and use steroids etc. increases.

On fair fights...

My adage is there is no such thing as a fair fight. Is it fair that a 225lb person who can press 350lbs takes a swing at me? Being only 179 I'm gonna have problems even with training. Once talk has failed and it's go time any technique is viable. "Dirty fighting" rules only applies to a sport setting where there are rules.

On surfaces...

Everyone should get a sense of footwork no matter where you are. We tell new students the next time they are shopping at a store, in a parking lot, etc., try pivoting their feet like they would with kick. You can do this without kicking in public btw. You will soon realize that many techniques you do in the dojo or dojang may not work on a different surface.

My dollar's worth!


Nathan Teodoro said...

Good observations, BCP!
1. on breaking: that pic was from my commando days in the NKPA. That's how we'd wake each other up in the morning before assembling to worship the great leader. On a serious note, I am in full agreement as to head breaks. They don't make sense, and are likely to cause permanent damage (see my pic of the day today).

6. Reference "fair fighting," good point, it's not fair, but the only reason someone, an adult, would attack another is because he/she believes that they have the "unfair" advantage on their side, and heavily. Or they're mentally unstable to a degree that makes it unfair - see Mike's story on "Have you ever used it" where the guy was looking to fight a cop! My point, and yours, is that we need to stay in the survival/attack mindset, and not a "self-defense"/defensive one. Use every advantage. I am 217# now, and pretty strong, but know I can't go like I could when I kickboxed in the 168# weight class years ago. I am stronger and better as a fighter, but wouldn't want to go 8 rounds! I will finish it as quickly as possible!

7. On surfaces, I agree there too. I rarely use my "karate" kicks when I'm not on a level surface. I like sweeps, leg kicks, knees, and the practical front kick. In my stream of consciousness, I was just remembering the first time I went into the boxing gym and was put in the ring against 5 fighters in a row to guage my skill and conditioning, and the ring's padding sapped my speed and endurance. You'll actually do better on anything but sand. Try kicking on ice, too - not gonna happen!

I like this! I put out some spur of the moment, unresearched post, and get lots of comments. Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn't try so hard in the future?!