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Some Observations of "Classical" vs. "Modern" Martial Arts

Discussion in 'The Martial Arts Forum' started by Vanguard.45, May 22, 2005.

  1. Vanguard.45

    Vanguard.45

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    Mar 4, 2003
    NW Indiana
    It seems to me that the study of "Classical" martial arts has become rather obsolete. Within the group of "classical" arts I would include those with the following characteristics:

    1. Lots of ritual (bowing, shoes off while training, wearing pajamas while training, etc.)

    2. Point Sparring/ Overly Controlled Sparring (can't kick here, can't strike there, can't grab and throw the opponent to the ground while sparring, etc.)

    3. Emphasis on a ranking system (white belt, camouflage belt, zebra belt, 10th degree ninja, etc.)

    4. Study of "traditional weapons" that have very little application in the real world (i.e. nunchaku, kama, tonfa, 9-section whip, kusari-gama, etc.). When will you ever have any of these with you?

    5. Unrealistic weapons defense (defending against knife/ gun especially)

    Talking about this last point, if you EVER find yourself in a martial arts class and the instructor claims he/she will be showing the class a realistic defense against a knife or a gun, notice that the instructor will most likely be setting up a "best case scenario" attack. The knife wielder will come in on a VERY simple line (i.e. overhead attack, straight thrust, long movements) or the LONE GUNMAN will hold the gun out at arm's length right in front of the martial artist's face and stand still waiting for the defender to act.

    This should be a RED FLAG. A person who knows even a little about how to use a gun or knife will own the unarmed defender 100% of the time- PERIOD. Sorry, but knife handlers see the world in four dimensions (height, width, depth, AND time) and tend to transition from straight lines to circles in nanoseconds while traditional martial artists are trying to complete their "X-Blocks" or other outmoded defense techniques. True gunmen in realistic defensive scenarios do not even draw their guns until it is time to SHOOT and will increase distance or keep their weapons out of reach while defending themselves.

    As well, the average person would not even know that either are carrying weapons until it is too late.

    Within the groups of "Modern" arts I would include the following classifications:

    1. Utilize modern, practical weapons likely to be in one's possession (handgun, shotgun, knife, stick, ballpoint pen, etc.)

    2. Sparring at all ranges is emphasized and the realistic transition between each is allowed to occur and develop

    What are your opinions? I am not trying to disrespect anyone, but am trying to be realistic. I studied classical arts for 21 years (age 9-30), but now study a more modern art (the handgun, and yes, it is ALWAYS with me).;)

    Vanguard.45
     

  2. thingamajig

    thingamajig clumsy person

    180
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    Apr 11, 2005
    CA
    I would say it depends entirely on what your goal is.

    There is certainly plenty of reason in studying traditional martial arts, if for no other reason than simply keeping the styles and traditions alive. In addition, any traditional school worth its salt strives to instill in the student respect, self-control, discipline, and true character.
    For instance, I'm studying Kendo. And I agree - it is one of the martial arts with the least "street value." However, the "intangible" benefits are legion, plus, it's a very good workout, and is really fun. I've always wanted to do swordfighting, and been enamored with knights, samuri, and all that stuff. So for me, it has plenty of value, and is still relevant.

    However, if your goal is to be able to scuffle in an alleyway and always win, then what you're saying is right on. You'll need to study the harshest, fiercest, bloody-knuckle art possible, that emphasizes taking out the other guy with whatever's handy, as fast as possible. There would be no fancy leaping kicks, you wouldn't have to "warm up" or start out with stretches. You'd just get in there and get it done, if you couldn't get away.



    Then again, if society goes to pot, maybe I'll get to pack my Glock on the right hip, and a katana on the left, and we'll see if you're weaponless style beats my kendo ;a
     
  3. MARTIN FISHER

    MARTIN FISHER

    173
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    Aug 21, 2000
    Guns and edged weapons have been a part of martial combat for a very long time. What most people forget is combat consists of only ranges.

    Projectile range which covers everything from ICBMS to throwing a rock or bottle at someone.

    Then kicking range, then boxing, then trapping, then grappling. Use the wrong weapon in the wrong range and you get dead.

    Talking about traditional vs modern really misses the mark if ranges are ignored. The idea a katana is a more deadly weapon then a Glock is only applicable if the subjects are in range where the katana can reach the other person. At 20 yards, the Glock is clearly the better weapon, at 200 yards, a scoped 308 is better then a Glock and the katana is nothing but a prize for the guy with the rifle.
     
  4. thingamajig

    thingamajig clumsy person

    180
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    Apr 11, 2005
    CA
    ;z ;z

    I agree, but that's beside the point of this thread. I think Vanguard is talking about in the context of a typical American barfight or alleyway scuffle, is there any point in studying the traditional arts, with traditional weapons, since you're not likely to have a pair of sai or a manrikigusari handy in that situation.
     
  5. MARTIN FISHER

    MARTIN FISHER

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    Aug 21, 2000
    thinga,
    Gald you liked that! It is very difficult to say a traditional MA has any value in a street fight, since traditional MA vary so much. Overall, I would say the majority of TMA schools I have been exposed to are bullshido when it comes to a street fight.

    But on the flip side, there are many TMA schools today that have been enlightened to the real world and trian effective street application to some degree or cross train with another MA to improve their chances in a fight. That was really not the case when I started MA some 20 years ago.
     
  6. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    543
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    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    There is a point that must be injected here:

    Has anyone in this thread actually trained in a traditional martial art? I highly doubt it.

    One of the problems with the "new" movement, is to lump every method developed prior to a decade ago as "traditional"- thereby including the traditional martial arts in the same category as the modern martial arts (read: The watered-down, McDojo type of methods).

    The very few people you'll meet (such as myself) who have trained in a genuinely traditional (koryu) martial art, bear absolutely no resemblence to the strip mall joints; although, as Vanguard so eloquently ;Q put it, we do "wear pajamas and bow". Spend a few hours hours in a genuinely traditional school, and you'll see a completely different environment than what you expected.

    Folks, superficialism is a ridiculous thing- and making assessments based on such a superficial criteria as what a person wears, is a little juvenile for serious martial artists. Speaking on a topic without the benefit of an understanding of the topic, is equally juvenile- however, on the latter point, the state of ignorance is understandable, because no education had been provided (or sought, for that matter)- and now you know better.

    It is equally juvenile to believe that all others should study for precisely the same reason you do- not everyone desires to be "ultimate combat guru"; for that matter, not everyone studies for combative purposes at all.
     
  7. MARTIN FISHER

    MARTIN FISHER

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    Aug 21, 2000
    I, for one, have trained in a traditional martial art, and it was not even in this country, it was not a Mcdojo. I knew many traditional martial artists there who did use traditional weapons in real street fights. While there, I carried a set of nunchuku around with me all the time, and used them.

    The only piece of padded equipment in the whole school was the canvas heavy bag. Compared to schools I have seen in here, this place was like stepping back in time 100 years.

    I have no reason to think I am something special in the MA's. But, I have also been around MA in the past twenty years and all over the world to tell you NO traditional martial art I have ever been exposed too holds all the cards when it comes to fighting.

    Since the average student spends less then two years in any given martial art, I can honestly say this, an average student with two years in a good boxing, kickboxing, BJJ, MT, or Straight Blast Gym type school will be able to take on most any "street fighter" or the majority of sutdents with two years training in a TMA school.

    Its not very often the masters of any TMA come out to the street to play, so telling me a 7th Dan Sifu Grand Master can beat me up does not mean his art good for self defense.

    And considering the FACT that only about 1-2% of the population study any kind of MA at all, yet still manage to get through life without many problems (and that includes police officers, military, et al) maybe it really does not make a difference, accept to us 1-2%?
     
  8. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    543
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    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    Might I inquire, which koryu budo you studied, and where?

    I don't agree with this for a second- the determining factor is the individual, not the method. This is as true now as it has been for thousands of years.

    No, it really doesn't. One wonders, then, what convinces an even smaller fraction of that small fraction of the population, to get on the internet and proclaim that "their (insert method) is the best".
     
  9. thingamajig

    thingamajig clumsy person

    180
    0
    Apr 11, 2005
    CA
    Probably for the same reason you get on and assert how doubtful it is that no one else has studied a traditional martial art.
    This isn't a flame, just an observation/assumption.
     
  10. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    543
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    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    I say so because the proportion of martial artists who have, actually, trained substantially in a koryu budo, is extremely small. In other words, the statement derives not from prejudice, but from probability.
     
  11. CA_DUDE

    CA_DUDE Dude here.

    717
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    Jan 31, 2005
    South Carolina
    You talk funny ~rf
     
  12. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    543
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    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    Oh great, GNG has found out about this subforum. ;Q
     
  13. CA_DUDE

    CA_DUDE Dude here.

    717
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    Jan 31, 2005
    South Carolina
    FYI, I do practice, and am interested in martial arts. Couldn't help but notice you were pouring it on a little thick Confucious.
     
  14. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    543
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    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    It's called the English Language- it's a great thing with which to have proficiency. If you find humor in the fact that someone is highly literate and well-spoken, then you're not worth my time.

    I smell troll in these here woods.
     
  15. CA_DUDE

    CA_DUDE Dude here.

    717
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    Jan 31, 2005
    South Carolina
    It's called snooty and pretentious.

    By the way, one would not "have" proficiency, one would "be" proficient.
     
  16. CA_DUDE

    CA_DUDE Dude here.

    717
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    Jan 31, 2005
    South Carolina
    Besides, if you have to claim to be literate and well spoken, who are you trying to convince?
     
  17. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    543
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    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    It's only "snooty and pretentious", to someone such as yourself (who, judging by your initial comment, probably engages in entire conversations consisting only of reiterations of the word "dude").

    Either of the two uses is correct.

    That only came up in response to your post.

    Now, why don't you contribute something of value to this thread? Or, did you come over here solely to display your resemblance to Beavis and Butthead?

    EDIT TO ADD: It would be nice if we had a real moderator here... ;Q
     
  18. CA_DUDE

    CA_DUDE Dude here.

    717
    0
    Jan 31, 2005
    South Carolina
    Your being serious about this aren't you? Your trying too hard. Relax and let what you say show people how intellgent you are.
     
  19. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    543
    0
    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    I was doing precisely that, when you came along and said the following:

    Now, as asked before, do you have something of substance to contribute, or are you merely here trolling? I suspect the latter. Feel free to prove me incorrect about this suspicion.