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How many arts do you know?

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  • How many arts do you know?

    I talk to a lot of people about training in different styles. Some people I meet Are like 20 years old and they tell me they have know BJJ, JKD, TKD, wing chun, etc.. . Yeah they may have trained in these arts, but do they really know any. When somene asks me the same question. I know TKD because I trained in it for ten years and taught it for 5 years. Now I have trained in other forms JKD(2 years two different instructors) Juijitsu ( 2 years two different instructors) Weeping JuiJitsu for a couple years. The only one I know is tkd from what I have learned about Juijitsu it takes years to get good. So I do not know it. And all this flopping around from one form to another makes me feel like I am forever in the first grade never really gaining true ability and knowledge. And now that I am not doing TKD i feel I am losing some of it. I suppose I am just jealouse of the independent wealthy and scool owners who can train in several arts religously every day.. What do you guys thik??? What does it mean to really know an art?

  • #2
    I think belt color is only a relative measure of knowledge, but a general indication.

    Korean MA - 5 years exp; black-brown
    Boxing/Muay Thai - About 19 months
    Brazillian Jiujitsu - On and off.

    Korean MA was my first MA. I took a liking to it because it was different than other schools I checked out. It was well rounded in self-defense (striking-take downs-finishing holds) and had flowery forms which tested your fitness level. The forms took quite a bit of athleticism-which was influenced by Korean Kung-fu. Not once did the instructor say these forms were good for self-defense; just an indicator of skill-level. Once I increased in higher ranks, I saw that people were forking out cash and receiving BB. I worked really hard, fought well in semi-contact against other styles and could do all of the forms but I was being held back while guys who were slow, out of shape and terrible at fighting were being handed their 1st dan. I was only 17 and could not afford $900 for the BB test, so I left.

    In college I trained on and off with other MAs. It was like "hey lets meet at the rec center and workout". I grappled wrestlers, judo (bjj was just becoming noticed at the time) and sparred boxers and got beaten, but kept coming back until I started learning their techniques. Funny way of working out huh, but again I couldn't afford tuition.

    Post college. I have been training in boxing/MT for over a year with a couple of great coaches. I've had a little over half a dozen school fights, some full-contact and am slowly getting used to being nailed with r.crosses and rear leg-round house kicks. I fight amateurs and professionals both for no more than 4 rounds and that is enough for me before I have to call it quits! I can tell they are spareing sometimes because I get hit really hard with a flurry kick/punch in the head and my legs get light and want to drop like a sack of potatoes while my sight starts to fade and get replaced with kaleidescope like flashes.

    Somebody tell me, am I being KO'd while still standing?


    • #3
      $900 you got to be kidding!!! I thought $95 dollars was expensive. When I ask people if they train I usually ask what they train and how long. I think it gives a better represenaion of knowledge. ( In general). I have talked to some schools that try to charge 100 a month and I looked at a Hapkido school and it was like a 2k contract for 2 years but they wanted 1k upfront!!!


      • #4
        I don't worry about knowing an art. I used to be a slave to the art. I thought learning and mastering everything the art had was the thing. I now realize that the art was put there to serve me. The goal is personal growth not art mastering. Personal growth can be had by studying whatever helps you along your path. I couldn't give a rats ass about knowing or mastering any art. I will certainly not ever learn a complete art because it is not necessary unless belt rank and certificates are your goal. My goal is performance and I measure it on the matt.


        • #5
          You have accurately described a standing KO!


          • #6
            I kid you not. That was the fee for the test; it did not include tuition. While this school & style was legit, they were making a killing in the martial arts business. My concern was the quality of the 1st and 2nd Dans. A friend of mine stayed in it and bought his 2nd dan (i went away for college). When I ran into him again a few years ago, he also quit because he realized that standards were getting watered down.

            Out of all of the students from the school (there were many!) only a handfull could demonstrate techniques with power, speed and leverage and truly fight their way out of a paper bag. Not that boards and bricks hit back, but during one of the demos I broke 5 bricks with a palm strike. I also advanced to the semi-final rounds in tournament sparring (semi-contact). At the time I was a brown belt fighting 1st and 2nd dan karate/TKD/Kung-fu guys. There were no other brown belts and no weight divisions.

            Well, its all in my past. I'm trying to bridge the gap to full contact kickboxing now. Its gonna be tough!


            • #7
              I would have to say that the only thing I really KNOW is how to fight and defend myself and those around me in a general sort of way.
              I too have some training in several disciplines. I certainly have not mastered any one of them. I can flow from one application to the other as the situation dictates without thinking about it much. This is why I train via the JKD idea of using whatever works whenever it works. I personally think that the best way of all is to develop a moderate sized catalogue of moves that you have "mastered" and come to you as part of your "muscle memory" without having to think about them or hesitate in their execution.
              If we are blessed we won't ever have to use even those. I certainly don't plan on being in enough confrontations to call up even a small percentage of the maneuvers I have been exposed to.
              I reckon if a person were interested in sport fighting then there would be more reason to develop a huge arsenal...
              Then again the most gifted compettor I have ever seen was an olympic freestyle type wrestler who was able to become a two time gold medalist and six time world champ mostly using one takedown move. Everybody that stepped on the mat with him knew what he would do and still the best compettiors the world had to offer could not stop him from executing that one move. I saw him take down one opponent with that same takedown SIX times in one match to gain a superior victory and an Olympic Gold Medal. Food for thought sez I.


              • #8
                MY MA experiance

                This is a tough one. I’ve trained in several but I would say I know only two.

                I have moved around a lot. I always take some sort of MA where ever I am. Not always the same one because of availability.

                1) 5 years in wado.
                2) 2 years in shito.
                3) 1yr 10 mo. In Chinese Kenpo and Arnis.
                4) 1yr 8mo (approx) in uechi.
                5) 6 mos (approx) In Tkd (wasn’t for me).
                6) 1 week in western boxing ( just started last week, I’ve had 2 practices)
                7) Then my very favorite- Muay Thai!!!

                Muay Thai this is a tough one. I trained for three years straight in it. 1981-84. I went into the service and trained in it off and on. I went to Thailand on three occasions to train. I went to many week end seminars and one week camps here in the US. I also train in it on my own 3-4 days per week. In between MA’s I always practiced MT. At another time I trained for 6 mo. straight and then off and on again. So it’s hard to say what all that adds up to. 4-5 years?

                I started in 1977, and it’s now 2003 this would mean 26 years. I know this isn’t exactly accurate because not all of it was spent in a dojo or a gym. I say I have 26 years experience because it’s less complicated and it makes me feel better. However if you only count time in a gym/dojo under a coach/instructor this will only add up to approx 15 years. With the rest being training I’ve done on my own or scattered inter dispersed training with instructors and coaches etc.

                I also have 6 years in wrestling High school and AAU (freestyle). No finishing techniques but has saved my ass a few times when fights (friendly and otherwise) have gone to the ground. Not too many people can shoot on me. I may not be able to get a funky arm bar but I can control someone on the ground pretty well.

                The two I would say I know well is wado and MT. Of course this is subjective and relative. Does this mean I know wado as well as someone with 26 years of experiance in it? no. Does this mean I know MT as well as someone with 15 years of experiance in it? No. Do i know it better than someone with only a year or two? Yes. See i'ts all relative.

                So am I a master yet? LOL! Hehehehehehe.
                Last edited by darrianation; 05-08-2003, 10:03 PM.


                • #9
                  I trained in Karate and Judo for about four years and then studied another form of karate for 6 months. I have been in Jujitsu for over four years and am now looking to go into either JKD or MT if I can find the right school.

                  I have also crossed trained with boxers wrestlers and kung fu fighters and grapplers but I would never claim to know these arts.
                  I think if some one studies a system for six months or so they should know the basics of that system. after a year or two they can say they know the system proficently. But without a constant study of the art for at least four or more years would I dare say I really understand and know a ma well


                  • #10
                    I have trained in Ninjutsu, MT, Kickboxing, and Ba gua Chang but not too extensively.

                    But my main areas of study are:

                    H2H =
                    Daito ryu Aiki JuJutsu Hakkuho Kai,
                    Yang style Tai Chi chuan,
                    Hebei Hsing I chuan,
                    Weaponry =
                    Ono Ha itto Ryu Kenjutsu,
                    Tenshin Hyoho Soden Kukami Shin Ryu Kobudo,
                    Enshin Ryu iaido,

                    Kodokan Judo,
                    Wado Ryu Karate,

                    I have trained intensley for a period of around 17 years.



                    • #11
                      This is off topic, but guys with wrestling/boxing backgrounds as their base MA are well off. Not saying superior, but they understand that superior conditioning and dynamic thinking are important. In college, I got schooled by boxers/wrestlers mainly because of their conditioning; when you get tired you get sloppy while the other guy can stay focused. Once I started allocating more time to running/stamina I could not only survive, but keep enough focus to figure out what the guy was doing.

                      Cool thing was that they new I wasn't a competitve wrestler/boxer, so they could pull off an arsenal of techniques on me from which I could later ask them to show. It was an interesting way of learning though.


                      • #12
                        Boxers and wrestlers are better because they train with active resistance against partners who are fighting back. In traditional martial arts we spend too much time punching and kicking air!


                        • #13
                          Yep, when it comes down to it, training with live resistant partners is the best way. In some traditional MAs you do this as well, but you have to spend 2-3 years perfecting a technique w a static partner. Once you get it flawless, then comes the humbling act of doing it against a resisting partner who throws things back at you.

                          There were a couple of cops I trained w/ during my trad MA days and they would give me crap unless I pulled off the technique with their resistance. They would get physical; shove me, grab me etc. for training purposes. It kind of made you thick skinned after a while, but otherwise it was tough and intimidating.


                          • #14
                            I took kung for three years , aikido for three months [college course].

                            as far as my kung fu experience was concerned it was really hybrid. I didn't know exactly what I was learning at the time. There was a mix of traditional and modified wushu along w/ some kickboxing style sparring. The drills were odd though. looking in retrospect the teachers then were trying to get their certificate in JkD concepts or so i've heard when they'd talk to us. I'm still not sure if it was the case ..but it seemed like it. He would say stuff like this comes from the jun fan / kali principles .. a muay thai drill here and there. I think we did some chi sao..and since i was 9 or 11 at the time I was even less sure of what I was learning there. even whacked with some kali sticks for a few days. We still did fighting sets or forms though. The sparring drill though were somewhat dead but maybe it was for tool refinement as i look back. It was just that hybrid. If any of you have heard of a Dirk Johnson [1% chance of that happening maybe even less heh!] let me know yeah?

                            Aikido, seemed cool at first. I thought hey .. use your opponents force against him.. cool [by far one of the few real essences of the art i fouind]. But the thing that bugged me was how we practiced techniques. I don't see it as a combat art ..nor I don't think it was intended to be for combat ..but either way.. footwork was really negated. that was the real downside.. no aliveness in other words. I learned katas and stuff too.

                            take it easy all



                            • #15
                              Just to add something about wrestling. I wrestled from 7th grade thru 12th grade in school plus off season AAU wrestling for 6 years. One of our assistant coaches wrestled and did judo in collage. I’m not sure about his wrestling career but he was NCAA judo champion. I learned a lot from him. We all did.

                              As I said in my earlier post wrestling has helped me tremendously. It has given me a solid base with good balance. It is hard to throw a good wrestler. Also I have had guys try to take me down with single or double leg takedowns believe me they didn’t succeed. Wrestling taught me good timing and when to sprawl also good escapes and how to control some one on the ground and neutralize them. There is a lot to wrestling that a lot of people don’t realize. Okay there are no finishing techniques but with a few modifications and a little practice you can take wrestling a lot further. Wresting is not a complete system even with the modifications but with a little cross training and you’re good to go.

                              Wrestling a lone wouldn’t be enough but I think it would enhance and be complementary to any of the other ground fighting systems you would want to take. Now add some striking and your set.

                              I will admit I wish I knew more ground fighting with finishing techniques. I was sparring with my nephew sometime in March (he has a BB in TKD, and is active in competing). He is actually larger than I. We are the same height but he out weighs me by 60 pounds. I was leg kicking him to death. Every time he tried some f’n fancy kick on me I would kick his support leg and down he’d go. He finally got frustrated and charged me. I was more than happy to oblige him by clinching him and throwing knees (lightly of course). He said I couldn’t do it again, so with in 15 seconds I had him in a clinch.

                              Well he had a plan he dropped and tried a single leg grab (he was lucky a knee wasn’t on the way) and tried to work for a double leg takedown. I sprawled out and swung around on top of his back. I collapsed his arm putting him flat on his stomach then figure four’d his leg with mine so he couldn’t raise up off his belly. Now I had complete control of him. He couldn’t get up to escape nor was he in any position to do a reverse.

                              Now my problem, this is where wrestling falls short. I really wanted to get a choke or an arm bar something that would cause him to tap out. Well he was strong and I couldn’t get him to lift his head so I could get my arm around his throat. I couldn’t pull his arm far enough back to put pressure on the joint. I was lightly slapping his ears and elbowing the back of his head and a punch or two to his kidneys which is good, but I really wanted the choke or some finishing move like that. Nothing worked. So I just kept him pinned to the ground until He wore out and gave up.

                              I give my wrestling training a lot of credit for being able to stay in control. I know if this had been for real the elbows to his back, kidneys, and back of head probably would have been enough. I just think I need a little more practice with the finishing techniques and add a few more weapons to my ground fighting inventory and I will be in pretty damn good shape. I did post this, the above problem to the grapplers and they gave me some good advice on how to raise his head to sink the choke and etc. See I’m still learning.