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Date Posted: 08:42:48 05/13/03 Tue
Hey Rick, Good Question,
BTW, Rick is one of our instructors here at Freewind Dojo and is seeking information to formulate a training regimine to present towards second degree black belt, with his theme on reality self-defense.
Just a note, Rick, Big Bob, one of Kelly Worden's top students, has posted a real good topic on the WMAC forum, called scenarios. Apparently, he just got hired on as a corrections officer! So he can really tell you the ins and outs of a particular category of self-defense...maybe he could elaborate here on WRCMA?
Last night, I taught at the Freewind HQ, and talked in some detail about deconstruction theory as it relates to martial arts. To clarify, construction theory would be something like, the more techniques the better. A system that comes to mind is American Kenpo (e.g. Ed Parker Kenpo) insofar as they have around 100 some self-defense techniques to reach black belt, maybe more, depending on the instructor. The theory with construction theory is that the more techniques one has at their disposal, the more one can draw from the "database" when they are needed in a fighting scenario. Unfortunately, people's brain do not work exactly like databases, nor harddrives. The brain tend to blend things together in the inverted pyramid of knowledge and confusion and hesitation occur with the sheer amount of knowledge. Other styles outside of Kenpo, such as Shotokan and TKD, are constructionist styles as well. One may have say 12 forms to reach black belt, and another 4 to reach second degree, and another 4 to reach third degree, and so on. The question is, are the students "learning" more or just training to learn patterns until muscle memory takes over? I would argue it would be the latter, but everyone's idea of learning is different. I'm learning a new kata, but are they really?
I made the argument in class, that one could take simply a "h" form pattern (or for you arnis guys, empty hand anyo isa) and break it down in such a way that you could develop all your self defense needs within the ONE form!! How can one do this? Especially with a TKD form or another simplistic punch or block form? Well, you have to think outside the box and not be restricted to what an instructor might relate karate skills to beginners. I've heard the idea that it is a good idea to have a Beginner's mind, but you have to stop thinking like a beginner as well at some point. Get beyond the spoon feeding and the bib wearing and start using your noggin.
Now, how to break down a form to fit all your needs...well first off, lets call this deconstruction theory, next, get over the idea of freeing yourself from forms completely. In order to gain any skill, you have to repeat a particular motion, that means walking, talking, lifting, or shifting. I know Bruce Lee liked to talk about using no forms, but that was from a certain point of view, but also, he argued one should chip away the inessensals. But, not everyone is skilled as Bruce was, nor are they philosophically inclined to understand the free from forms idea, that idea was couched upon the base that his students needed as base, e.g. he didn't take anyone who wasn't already a black belt! The black meant they had to have had form before formlessness. Hence, my argument one cannot begin to get away from forms. In anycase, each style is bracketed into a particular sphere of operation or range. For example, wrestings and groundfighting operate in the grappling range, sticks and knife work operate in the weapons range, boxing operates in the punching range, TKD's kicks operate in the kicking range. Thus, you have 5 ranges: Punching, kicking, trapping, grappling, and weapons. One method of deconstruction is to get a simple technique, lets say a low block, step and punch, and see how we can reinterpret the movement into say trapping, grappling, and weapon ranges. By taking the concept of our technique out of the box in the punching and kicking ranges, we develop a new understanding and conceptual base by using our ranges as templates that superimpose themselves upon the technique to change them without having to add to the bulk of the number of techniques learned. Another way is to use our technique, lowblock, step and punch, against a myriad of attacks such as front choke, wrist grab, bear hug, takedown, etc. Some may work, many will not. The point is, exploration into what one already knows is the key, not to blindly add more technique with shallow knowledge of the movements. By deconstructing, one develops a deep and thourough knowledge of martial arts. Remember, many say, all karate moves suck because they are inefficient. I would argue that that person has not done their homework and really analyzed their material. Although martial arts is a physical skill, it is also a mental one, even things out on your training.....