A different question about forms, kata and patterns

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Monkey_Magic, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. pgsmith

    pgsmith Valued dismemberer

    Exactly! It all depends upon what your goals for training are.

    Herein lies my personal problem with the majority of on-line arguments over martial arts. A great many people equate martial arts with ring fighting. If that is what someone enjoys, then by all means they should go out and train to be a better ring fighter. There are a number of arts and training practices that are geared toward that result. However, that is only a single result, not the be all, end all that many martial artists paint it to be. A great many people talk endlessly about "no rules environments" and "street effectiveness", but they have no actual experience other than what they've been told, so they equate ring fighting with actual "fight to live" fighting, which are two very different things. Many will pummel a person with their ideas and ideology as if it was the only truth, and it does get old.

    Here's a real life example of what I'm trying to say, from my own experience ... There was a karate dojo in the same strip mall as the pool hall that I and some friends would frequent in the late 70's. One of the guys from there liked to come over and tell us about his black belt (I've no idea what level, I've killed a lot of brain cells since then!) and his latest tournament wins, and how he was a killing machine. On one particular night I was more sarcastic than usual, and he threatened me repeatedly until I finally got fed up and agreed to go outside with him. At that point I had zero formal martial arts training. Outside, he got himself ready and squared off with me. I looked over his shoulder and shouted very loudly "NO, DON'T". When he glanced over his shoulder to see what I was shouting about, I kicked him between the legs and threw him through a plate glass store window. I've no idea what happened to him (I left quick before the police showed up) as we never saw him at the pool hall again, but I'd say all of his fight training availed him nothing in that scenario. Doesn't mean his training wasn't practical or worthwhile, just that it didn't help him in that particular instance. The reality is that it's pretty hard to say definitively what sort of training would have helped him there (other than training to keep his mouth shut).

    So, it all depends on what you're training to achieve, and the vast majority of martial artists are not training to achieve street mastery, although a great many of them like to think they are. :)
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  2. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    This guy made millions just teaching Muay Thai. Any major author of karate books has made millions. Who knows what George Dillman's made off his 25,000 students!

    Millions is not a lot of money when it comes to strip mall dojo proceeds and book sales, is it?

    How one man built a martial arts empire
    Dillman Karate | About George Dillman
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  3. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    I'm sure there are plenty, and their incomes aren't my business, but start with the long list of Amazon book sales and various associations. There is a lot of money to be made selling that stuff. I don't think it's misleading to say that the sheer number of forms-focused schools is a direct result of the profiteering possible.

    When a boxing gym or Muay Thai school makes millions, that's the real oddity.
  4. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Uh, no. Having published books does not by any means make you a millionaire. Nor even rich. I have several friends who are published authors. One who co-wrote a book with a big name author. He still isn't rich by any means.

    It sounds like you are throwing out the idea of millionaire MA instructors without any real knowledge of any of their incomes. How can you say on one hand they are millionaire's, but on the other hand say their incomes aren't your business? :confused: What that says is you really don't know when it comes down to it. "I'm sure" just isn't good enough to back up your assertion.

    If you are going to have any credibility at all with regards to this claim of plenty of millionaire's, you are going to need to back it up with some evidence at this point.
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  5. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Ok that is one. It's a start, but hardly plenty. I am sure there are a couple. You need a lot more more than that to prove your point though. You know, how it is super profitable for "plenty?"

    Also, Didn't Dillman make most of his money, not with forms teaching, but with promises of his no touch knock out nonsense?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  6. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    This video came up in a discussion on kata the other day and I thought it would be worth sharing here.

    The video itself is more about stances and weight shifting but my teacher- or actually the senior student teaching the class- brought it up in the larger context of both kata and kihon training.

    His point was, you practice certain movements found in kata or say kihon ippon kumite (the thing we were working on that day) not in the sense that those are exactly the movements you execute in a fight, but to learn the proper feeling of weight shifting, hip rotation, kime, etc with those big movements which you later learn to condense into shorter, more efficient but equally powerful movements during kumite.

    On the one hand I think there's an argument to be made that you could probably just start with more efficient movements and develop power and timing from there, on the other I suppose all roads lead to Rome, if indeed you are actually heading to Rome (some people never really develop their skills through actual application).

    Though initially skeptical, on reflection the argument does ring fairly true for me. When you first learn say a seoi nage in judo your partner stands square and upright and pretty much gives you his arm while you walk through the perfect grip, footwork, and hip position over and over again. Those perfect conditions are never found in randori (nor really is picture perfect execution though sometimes you get close) but learning that way allows you to build a foundation from which you learn to adapt to the endless variations of randori.
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  7. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    But when doing seoi nage you are doing exactly the same thing you would look for in a fight,

    same balance breaking same loading same projection, you are even looking for the same position from your partner you always try to throw from between their legs,

    what changes is the level of resistance and your set ups,

    the movement is essentially the same and its always done with a partner so you have proper feeling for weight distribution and mechanics
    BohemianRapsody likes this.
  8. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    Yes, I agree with you. Mostly. It’s far from a perfect analogy. In Randori you never get that perfect condition of someone standing square, static and upright... well sometimes with white belts when they’re not stiff arming for dear life, but not against an experience player. So while the movement is more or less what you’d do in Randori your actual entrance tends to have a fair amount of variation in it depending on your opponent’s movement.

    So maybe a better analogy would be kihon opponents kumite. Your opponent throws a punch, you do an upward block followed by a reverse punch. Will never happen like that sparring, but a less idealized version of moving your arm upwards to clear a punch and following with a reverse punch happens all the time. So going back to Rick Hotton’s video, yeah it’s not exactly the stance nor exactly the block, but a “messier” variation you can execute quickly and powerfully if you have a solid mastery of the fundamentals.

    And- at least in terms of shotokan- this is proper karate. There’s a Funikoshi quote about throwing out form once you’ve mastered it. That, to me, is what kumite is for.

    But kihon isn’t kata...

    True. I do kind of buy Ian Abernathy’s argument that kata is the syllabus of the style. The movements of the kihon you adapt to kumite are found in the kata, as well as a plethora of self defense movements you practice with bunkai.

    Is kata the most efficient way to organize and practice the fundamental movements of an art? It probably was when they were developed. It probably isn’t in the modern age. But it’s still a method that can help develop fundamentals like weight transfer and hip rotation to develop speed and power. Along with being pretty good exercise.
  9. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    "Well, if you combine the income of all fried chicken lunch counters nationwide together into a single pot, that's a lot of money. And Colonel Sanders made his fortune selling Kentucky Fried Chicken. Therefore, people who sell fried chicken are frequently millionaires, and the motivation of restauranteurs who choose to sell fried chicken instead of teriyaki bento is $$$$."

    That's literally the logical steps we're seeing here.

    Meanwhile, the cold hard facts are that about half of the JKA Shotokan karate dojos in the US Northwest region have closed their doors since 2006. From what I've seen, taekwondo schools are facing similar attrition. Meanwhile, MMA and BJJ gyms are very hot commodities, as are anything-related (such as Tapout apparel).
    pgsmith and David Harrison like this.
  10. barongan

    barongan New Member

    Indeed, very interesting thread[​IMG]

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