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Thread: The classical "mess"

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    Default The classical "mess"

    Dear Fellow kenpo brother's and sister's:

    What is the "classical mess" that Bruce Lee spoke about?
    Is it present in some martial arts today and if so where?
    How many forms/techniques are enough?
    Is it practical for self defense techniques to have 10 moves when your opponent goes down or moves after the first, second, or third one?
    When does a multiplicity of belt requirements become more about making money that actual demonstrations of proficency?

    Please understand that I am seeking real answers and not bashing any system or style. BL has a point that I believe has been largely overlooked by most sysyems and sensei's today. What do you all think?

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    i'd only call it a mess if I couldn't make sense of it.

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    I don't know exactly what Bruce Lee meant, but he may be talking about the fact that a lot of systems remain traditional even as the environment around them changes. What I love about American Kenpo so much is the fact that from its inception, it was designed to be improved and to evolve.
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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I don't know exactly what Bruce Lee meant, but he may be talking about the fact that a lot of systems remain traditional even as the environment around them changes. What I love about American Kenpo so much is the fact that from its inception, it was designed to be improved and to evolve.
    What he said.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz View Post
    i'd only call it a mess if I couldn't make sense of it.

    More Shugyo!

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Part of the "Classical Mess" was who you could and could not teach. And only a family member could know the entire art, something was always held back from everyone else.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    I allways thought he was refering to all the useless moves and busy work found in most martial arts systems. But he also talked about learning the system, then getting rid of what is not right for you- not just picking and choosing what you want to learn.

    Dan C

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    I allways thought he was refering to all the useless moves and busy work found in most martial arts systems. But he also talked about learning the system, then getting rid of what is not right for you- not just picking and choosing what you want to learn.

    Dan C
    bruce lee was a relatively young fella without a whole lot of training.

    there are plenty of things a student must learn in the beginning that might not make sense by themselves, you need to crawl first.

    i think a lot of bruce lee's fans fall into this trap, possibly getting rid of something they dont understand because it probably isnt right for them.

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    Part of the "Classical Mess" was who you could and could not teach. And only a family member could know the entire art, something was always held back from everyone else.
    I agree this was pre-Meiji in Japan. I'm not as familiar with chinese systems. Now for the last 150 years arts have been slowly taught outside the family. It became a matter of preservation.
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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    I allways thought he was refering to all the useless moves and busy work found in most martial arts systems. But he also talked about learning the system, then getting rid of what is not right for you- not just picking and choosing what you want to learn.

    Dan C
    True classical arts do not have useless moves. They may have a lot. This is because of different situations, travel, castle etiquette, facing many types of weapons. But, each move is effective and serves a purpose. If not, the ryu would have been killed in the fighting by the Shoguns. These systems survivied many life and death confrontations.
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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    when you look at the techniques and forms as an index, and as ideas of motion.. and begin to understand the principles behind them.. the why hows and what fors.. there is never enough to learn.. thats what i love about martial arts..

    with the X number of different strikes.. I see it as basically the big "what if".. maybe this guy is on something like PCP, or say one of your hits isnt as effective as you would have wanted because maybe you're sick, or he reacts a different way than you've trained in the ideal phase. what you do to the person attacking you isnt set in stone by the technique.. he might not even be standing for the second half of the technique if <s>you're</s> he's lucky.

    as for the picking and chosing.. id rather have a handfull of techniques that work for me, and tons of "unuseful" ones (as in the Kenpo defenition) than i would 30 techniques that worked for me, and discarded everything i didnt think was useful or didnt make sense. you would have such a larger "bag of tricks" so to speak if you were somehow in a situation that one of the techniques you strictly adhered didnt contain what you needed.

    Crashing Wings, good example.. who in their right mind is going to grab you in a bear hug WITHOUT pinning your arms.. i dont know... but it's a Kenpo technique.. and it technically is something that could happen, and must have at some point in history. otherwise why would we have it?

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Dear Kenpo brother's and sisters:
    I think it might be time to repeat BL's dedication in the "Tao of Jeet Kun Do".

    "This book is dedicated to the free, creative, martial artist. Take what is useful and develop from here."

    Many styles have ceased to be creative and have long stopped developing. A style that contains no grappling moves, joint lockcs or ground fighting techniques imay be good for the dance floor but useless on the street.

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    You have to be creative in order to adapt and evolve in your art. The world around you does not remain static and niether should your art. By definition, American Kenpo is meant to adapt and grow as the social, political, and other environments changes around us.
    IMHO- =-)
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by madeku View Post
    Crashing Wings, good example.. who in their right mind is going to grab you in a bear hug WITHOUT pinning your arms.. i dont know... but it's a Kenpo technique.. and it technically is something that could happen, and must have at some point in history. otherwise why would we have it?
    There are grappling takedowns from behind that do this. One of the reasons you step to the side is so he can't anchor your heels and take you over. Remember, these grappling attacks will more than likely occur dureing the course of a fight than as the opener, and he won't be standing there waiting to see whatyou will do.

    Dan C

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by gakusei View Post
    True classical arts do not have useless moves. They may have a lot. This is because of different situations, travel, castle etiquette, facing many types of weapons. But, each move is effective and serves a purpose. If not, the ryu would have been killed in the fighting by the Shoguns. These systems survivied many life and death confrontations.
    ???

    That aside, BL's main point was that some things that are useful to others may not work well for you. He thought you should learn it all, but perfect only what works for you.

    DSan C

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz View Post
    bruce lee was a relatively young fella without a whole lot of training.

    there are plenty of things a student must learn in the beginning that might not make sense by themselves, you need to crawl first.

    i think a lot of bruce lee's fans fall into this trap, possibly getting rid of something they dont understand because it probably isnt right for them.
    All true.

    Dan C

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    A style that contains no grappling moves, joint lockcs or ground fighting techniques imay be good for the dance floor but useless on the street.
    This is not the definition of what does or does not work on the street.

    Would you say a skilled boxer has no useful street skills?

    Grappling, locks, and groundfighting have their place, and are ONE successful approach, and yes, to be a fully rounded martial artist one should have some skill in this area. But that doesn't mean that someone who is a pure striker is useless on the street.
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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    ???

    That aside, BL's main point was that some things that are useful to others may not work well for you. He thought you should learn it all, but perfect only what works for you.

    DSan C
    I agree with using what works for you. Classical arts don't have useless moves and busy work. I was clarifying the different between ineffective moves and more moves then one person needs.
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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    There are grappling takedowns from behind that do this. One of the reasons you step to the side is so he can't anchor your heels and take you over. Remember, these grappling attacks will more than likely occur dureing the course of a fight than as the opener, and he won't be standing there waiting to see whatyou will do.

    Dan C
    im not trying to start a thread within a thread i was just saying the fact your arms arent pinned seems odd. if someone's going to grab you it would likely be for someone else to come up and attack you. hence they would likely want to pin your arms. if it was a takedown, common sense would think it would be a kind of charging attack, altho a lifting and slamming thing could be likely.. hrm.. if youd like to continue this send me a message

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    Default Re: The classical "mess"

    Dear Kenpo brother's and sister's:

    Thanks for all of your comments! I believe that a well rounded martial artist must have skills in all areas of combat including strikes, joint locks, takedowns, etc.. I'm not sure if the practice of learning form after form along with dozens of self defense moves does anytning but generate revenue.

    I know what I know and I know how to fight. I was blessed wirth an instructor that understood the essentials of combat and could sift out the "fluff" that permeates so many systems. I suspect that other's have shared my experiences with the art's over the years and have learned to keep things in their proper perspective.

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