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Thread: Idealistic Taijutsu or Realistic Taijutsu ?

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    Default Idealistic Taijutsu or Realistic Taijutsu ?

    I have noticed a tendency for practitioners to try to do their techniques too softly, to the point of the technique not serving it's purpose. We all know that when done properly, the techniques should be done effortlessly and with little to no force required,but I wonder if " trying to have a light touch,to be subtle and so on," is really an effective way to aproach the pinnacle of that concept. I mean shouldn't you apply the techniques in a way that they are serving their purpose effectively even if you have to put a little extra movement or force into them. It seems to me that if you train hard and apply the techniques in a way that you can utilize them that eventually you will with time and practice get a lighter touch and you wont have to put that much into your techniques. But you have to go through stages in order to get there. I see alot of people apply the techniques we study in a way that is above their understanding and ability instead of simply focusing on making them work. In my opinion too many people try to apply their taijutsu like Hatsumi Sensei does and not how they themselves should. I am curious as to what others think of this,or if they have even noticed this? There seems to be too much emphasis on replication of technique and not enough emphasis on development of technique.

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    Chris Scarbrough

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    1. Train with people who move like you want to.

    2. Train the way they tell you to.
    Stephen Kovalcik

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    OK ???
    And just how were you intending to relate this to the question?
    I think those two points have merit, but there is quite more to it than just that.
    How about, 1. Train with someone who you trust to teach you, and 2. Diligently practice what they are teaching you so that you can develop effective movement and strategies for youself in ways that they have for themselves. Just because someone moves well doen't mean that they will be effective, sure it will help, but there's way more to it than that.



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    Last edited by shugenja_09; 31st August 2007 at 01:36.
    Chris Scarbrough

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    Quote Originally Posted by shugenja_09
    Just because someone moves well doen't mean that they will be effective, sure it will help, but there's way more to it than that.

    If you're not effective you're moving wrong.
    Stephen Kovalcik

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    I guess that's a very general way of looking at it.


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    Chris Scarbrough

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    There is an interesting quote from a Bujinkan Shidoshi on the Shinobi winds dvd...........

    "It is surprising that all those that say you dont need to hit hard......................used to"

    Take from this what you will

    Jamie
    Jamie Phillips

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo
    There is an interesting quote from a Bujinkan Shidoshi on the Shinobi winds dvd...........

    "It is surprising that all those that say you dont need to hit hard......................used to"

    Take from this what you will

    Jamie
    Yep, which tells me that they know it must go through stages. It's not something achieved through mimickrey.

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    Chris Scarbrough

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    A certain shihan I've trained with often says "the attacker is never wrong".
    Food for thought, I suppose. In other words, adapt to your attacker as they will never do the same for you.
    Brian Minter

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    Shugenja_09,

    My approach is to first train a technique/kata slowly, trying to make my body get used to the positions, angles, et cetera. Once Ive done this a few times I want to increase speed and try to make everything flow (ie no stopping in the middle of the technique). Then I increase speed further (if my Uke can take it). I will also practise with the goal of doing the technique no matter what. If I have to use force/muscles somewhere I do so but at the same time make a notice of it and try to correct myself so I dont need to use so much force the next time. I will of course try to make my punches, kicks and grabs painful enough for the opponent in order to improve the total feeling and flow of the technique.

    Hope that makes sense ?

    Best Regards / Skuggvarg
    Richard Maier
    Bujinkan Kasuga Dojo
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    Hi, Chris.

    Very interesting thread.

    I agree with you almost entirely (perhaps entirely) and I think there is so much that can be said on this topic.

    For my two cents worth, I'll state the following:

    1. The concept of successfully fighting without any need for strength, speed, effort etc is an odious one.

    2. Hatsumi and some Shihan can indeed seem effortless to the rest of us. They don't use as much strength as we do when we train. However, they have perfected (or nearly) the art of demonstrating in the dojo with compliant (knowingly or otherwise) uke. They are not really fighting for their lives when we watch them demonstrate. I'll go out on a limb here and say that (logically), if Hatsumi were in a real fight, he'd need to use strength, speed, effort etc just like any other mortal man. Training is nothing like the real thing.

    3. If you don't use some strength, most of the techniques don't and can't work. I think the Bujinkan has (generally speaking) lost its way, here. Fair enough if some people don't want to stick to the kata as rigidly as do the other two x-kans, but practicing a half-arsed oni kudaki many times over twenty years of training is useless. Most Jinenkan and Genbukan practitioners know how to make their locks, throws etc work far better than most experienced Bujinkan practitioners I have seen. Knowing how to move well is one thing but, if there isn't a sting at the end of that movement, then the movement is completely ineffective (unless it is an escape).

    3a. All things are in degrees and, if no strength at all is used, we will simply fall over due to a lack of muscle tension in our legs and back...

    Jamie Phillips mentioned the Shinobi Winds of the 34 Generations DVD. I particularly agree with what was said by Shawn Havens, toward the end of the documentary, when commenting on the 'Ninja boom' period. He says, "the negative side was that it grew so quickly there was not a lot of careful growth... that sort of weak growth made for a lot of weak skills... so everyone who got involved during that time really needs to take a very strong look at themselves and try to strengthen their knowledge and skill base".

    I would add that the current crop of godans are largely a product of that crop of slack practitioners and only those who buck the trend and studiously study the mechanics properly for years on end will become good at them. That's why the Jinenkan is in existence today. It shouldn't need to be.

    Regards to all,

    Joe Jackson.

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    i was told that most of us do it "soft" just to have 'flow'. looking now, imho it is correct. compensating for bad positioning or posture we do it slow and soft so that we can QUICKLY correct ourselves. it flows. it looks good; is it working? we commonly forget that muscle tension is a big factor in violent situations.

    ps

    watching again the videos of takamatsu-sensei and hatsumi-sensei that they both share a common quality: they hit hard. their throws might be effortless but the hitting even hurts while watching. hatsumi-sensei's throws are a bit softer, letting you fall, while takamatsu-sensei's (from the little i've seen) seem to pound it the dirt.
    Griff Lockfield

    "To bear what you think you cannot bear is truly to bear"
    - BUSHIDO by Inazo Nitobe

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    Joe that was a great post.
    I'd say one needs to know how to use strength at the right times combined with timing and balance. BUt it is a factor.

    It can be very fustrating watching them move and trying to mimic that when you realize honestly that they are doing enbu not combat.
    Dave Gibb
    Bujingodai Dojo
    "it's not the move, it's the movement."

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    Quote Originally Posted by tweety
    1. Train with people who move like you want to.

    2. Train the way they tell you to.

    Amen. Absolutely.

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    I'll venture as far as to say many people in the Martial Arts world don't have a lot of experience in what works. In terms of that do I mean they need to go out and get into a fight? No, not at all. I'm a Bujinkan practitioner, but my uke don't just hand me a technique. I learn how to use it correctly because they do resist, they don't just let me play. My best friend and training partner will be the first to tell you after 12 years of training if I don't move correctly or do a technique correctly, then, well, I get hit. And I don't like to get hit, especially by him. As an instructor I feel that, even if I don't break my students I still apply the techniques correctly to show them how it works, to gain insight into the feeling of what it is I'm doing. Just last week all we worked on was proper kamae and jodan uke (mind you I have one three green belts and a white belt training with me so this is cool, we can all benefit from training on basic stuff more often I think!) In other words learn to apply a technique on a resisting, live uke, one who will let you know if you got it right or not (whether through muffled screams, yelps of pain or grunts of anger....)

    What tends to make me mad at some MA instructors too is that they teach that if techniques are done correctly there's never gonna be a hit that lands on you. Of course this is in all arts so what am I saying? But what I'm getting at is this: many people train to give a strike but never train to take one.

    Hence....

    Realistic training is the key to learning it, through the kata/waza we can learn ideas which make them work better, and through application we can see where those same skills will take us. If all you do is go through the motions then all you're doing is developing dojo syndrome. No bueno.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    Well, I'm glad to see that this topic/concept is on others minds as well. Having trained in this art for 15 years and from different perspectives has shown me through trial and error that if you truly want to develop USEABLE skills you must try many different approaches until you gain the better understanding and ability that you seek. Sometimes you might even have to go against the recommendations of someone who you see as knowledgeable in order to figure that out. Some of the insights and abilities that I have gained were because I did things in a way that I felt was right even if that contradicted what someone of higher rank was telling me. Anyhow, all of the information and experiences shared have been very helpful and insightful,they remind me that there are people still out there trying to truly learn this art so they can apply it, instead of merely demonstrate it. Thank you all for the interest in this topic.

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    Chris Scarbrough

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