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Thread: Realism In Training: What Is It?

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    Question Realism In Training: What Is It?

    This is often a hotly debated topic. Realism. Can we acheive a certain amount of it in our training? What constitutes going too far? Is it entirely necessary?

    If you've had the chance to practice with people that learned martial arts 40-50 years ago, you might hear some stories that describe the training as brutal; even sadistic. Cuts, stitches, contusions, concussions, fractures and a few knocked out teeth.
    Is all that really needed to "create" a good fighter? Is it needed to develop the character that is lacking in many martial artists? Do we need it to make us effective at defending ourselves?

    It's rare these days to run into people that have gone through this type of training recently. People have various reasons for wanting to learn martial arts.......fitness, hobby, friendship, self defense, etc.

    My first instructor wanted to instill a warrior spirit in us, the path he took us down made us dig dip inside ourselves to really understand perseverance, trust in ourselves and our abilities. You knew where you stood and what you needed to improve on. It was the toughest thing i've experienced and the most rewarding for my personal development.

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    WristTwist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Realism In Training: What Is It?

    Hmmmmm, I wonder what sparked this topic...good conversation tho...

    I think a definite amount of realism is necessary if you are training for self-defense or ring fighting. if you train more for fitness reasons, or just to do form competitions or tournaments that have rules and such, realism really probably isn't necessary, because your aspirations are different. But then, at least in my mind, that isn't what the martial arts are supposed to be...they are war arts, not "who can do the most perfect kata" arts.

    I've seen to many people train at their local McDojo, put in their time and get their black belt, then the first time it's really needed, there is nothing there. You can hit and kick a bag as hard and as often as you want, human instinct is often to pull back when hitting or kicking an actually person, the only way to overcome that is to hit and kick a person, and to be hit and be kicked. it's about mental toughness, physical toughness, pain management and self control. I've seen guys kick the crap out of a heavybag, then actually spar and wonder where all that power went...the fact ANY MA school will give out something as notable as a black belt to somebody that has never really fought is just rediculous.

    Just my opinion, flame away, I can take it.



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    Default Re: Realism In Training: What Is It?

    how did i know you would be the first to post?
    you make a lot of great points, this is the kind of discussion I'm after.

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    Default Re: Realism In Training: What Is It?

    [quote=WristTwist]...the fact ANY MA school will give out something as notable as a black belt to somebody that has never really fought is just rediculous.

    Just my opinion, flame away, I can take it.[/quote

    So if you have never been in a fight you shouldn’t get your black. Why would a normal person get in a fight. i havent been in a fight in a long time as an adult you need to think about other stuff than pride! I have been situation as an adult. but i really dont think thats the norm.
    Don’t get me wrong I think you hit it right on with some of the other stuff.
    Like sparring with full contact I also take a kick boxing class for the contact.
    If you can’t take a hit you’re not going to be able to defined your self.

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    Default Re: Realism In Training: What Is It?

    OK, well, I never said the fight had to be a street brawl, it could just as easily be a fullspeed sparring match at your gym...the bottom line is you can't learn to fight without fighting...and I have seen sooooo many people think they are "martial artists" because they know a million katas, yet have never thrown a punch at a real live person, or more importantly, had one thrown at them...

    When it's a real, live person with you, a person that fights back, it's a brave new world...



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    Default Re: Realism In Training: What Is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by WristTwist
    OK, well, I never said the fight had to be a street brawl, it could just as easily be a fullspeed sparring match at your gym...the bottom line is you can't learn to fight without fighting...and I have seen sooooo many people think they are "martial artists" because they know a million katas, yet have never thrown a punch at a real live person, or more importantly, had one thrown at them...

    When it's a real, live person with you, a person that fights back, it's a brave new world...
    I agree with that. There just so many MA people out there that go around and start fights or that just wont walk away whin there able to so they can prove that there a bad A or some crap. Sorry about that I miss understanding.

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    Default Re: Realism In Training: What Is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenpochad
    I agree with that. There just so many MA people out there that go around and start fights or that just wont walk away whin there able to so they can prove that there a bad A or some crap. Sorry about that I miss understanding.
    Well, thats true, there are lots of people that use it for the dark side...which sucks, but that exists in any facet of life, the world is full of losers.



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    Default Re: Realism In Training: What Is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by WristTwist View Post
    Well, thats true, there are lots of people that use it for the dark side...which sucks, but that exists in any facet of life, the world is full of losers.
    I remember many years ago, a fellow in San Antonio, who, when he promoted a student to Black Belt, used to take them out to local bars. He would, essentially, find a fight for the student, more or less, for the last part of his/her Black belt test.

    Yes, in the very ancient of days, back 30 or 40 years ago, the training was brutal. I remember once, myself, walking around on a cane and having my broken right foot wrapped in Ace Wraps, and continuing to train. We would often have, as stated before, broken bones, sprained joints, chipped teeth, bruised faces, and egos. I also remember, once, taking a spinning heel hook in the throat and being knocked on my butt, and out for the count.

    Tournament fighting was much different then, as well. We used to spar, both in our school, and at tournaments with either bare hands and feet, or with Ace Wraps or similar. Chest pads were a canvas concoction with split bamboo staves inserted in them ... However, when you got a thump via hand or foot, you still had the waddin' knocked out of you.

    When the first very cheaply made hand and foot guards came out, with the elastic material base, and about 1/8 inch of white rubber pad in them, they still made a significant ding when you took a hit. When the foam padded head, arm, hand, shin, and foot guards first came out, we laughed because, often they wouldn't hold up for one complete round of sparring.

    True enough, the "good old days" were fraught with toughness, stamina, and lots and lots of testosterone.

    I don't think this really makes for a better student than is out there today.
    Realism can be achieved at a much lower cost to the student. And, there are considerations, nowadays, of liabilities, lawsuits, and such. It is, often, a stretch to find ways to insert realism into the training.

    I don't think it is always a case of "McDojoism" that keeps the training from being live. It is more likely that our society with it's propensity for lawsuits, greed, and a colletive ethical posiiton that someone else has to pay for our foolish indiscretions that has created the less tough training methodologies. Plus we have a tendency to become more humane as we progress up the ladder of civilization. Unless one is in a warzone (both here and/or abroad) one does not, necessarily, need the full gamut of weaponry that is available to them.

    For instance, breaking through bricks and wood. No one wears samauri type bamboo based armor anymore. We have a tendency to armor ourselves with shirts, jackets, coats, etc. Breaking through that kind of layering to get through to the attacker inside is not as tough.

    If you want hardcore, I would suggest that you find an old schooler, like myself, for instance, who teaches for free, or very nearly, has no overhead (building, lights, insurance, equipment, financial responsibility) who teaches in his basement or garage, and see if he'll take you on as a student.

    Even the schools with student insurance don't go hard-core. It would be too much of a liability for any continued use and I'm relatively certain that the insurance companies would soon blow a guy like that away.

    Fighting, actually, is not the end-all to be-all of Kenpo, or any art, for that matter. Much has been lost in the way of martial philosophy over the years for whatever the reason. The highest form of any fight is the "no-fight", and that goes well beyond being afraid of being hit. It goes to the side of ethical and moral consideration.

    A person who is a martial artist, following a path or a system, is, in many ways, a "superior" human being". I fall back on the Kenpo Creed that Ed Parker put out so many years ago. It simply eschews fighting, unless there is no recourse. When it becomes necessary, then it is necessary to go all the way. And not a second before. Just because you could, theoretically, take out 2 or 3 attackers at the same time doesn't mean that you should.

    No... Reality training is in the schools. It does become necessary for the discerning student to find it and go with it. Remember, a vast majority of people who attend martial arts schools, Kenpo or otherwise, are doing it for the "fun" of it. After they have achieved a Black Belt (if they get that far) they are then on to the next big thing, i.e. tennis lessons, golf, Origami, or some such. It is rare to find the student who wants to be there for the duration, or has chosen what you have to teach as a life path. And we, as instructors, do have to teach to the weakest link in most modern training settings.

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    Default Re: Realism In Training: What Is It?

    Great Post!

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