martial merit

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martial merit

Postby adamfuray » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:09 am

what criteria, assuming that arriving at such criteria is possible, should be considered before a person could say that a martial art is effective? Below, I put together profiles of potential teachers, limiting their characteristics to historical claim and competition participation. In this post, please go with me on a very loose defenition of competition, consisting of aggressive action against a resistant opponent of considerable skill in a place where the general public can view.

Teacher A
-does not compete
-points to historical evidence of effeciveness

in this model, would lineage be necessary to substantiate or reinforce the claim? does lack of a "display of skill" reduce the merit of his claims?

Teacher B
-competes publicly, and presumably wins
-does not rely on the history of the art

in this model, is the teachers lineage worth anything? Does competition legitimate the possible claims about the effectiveness of his art?

Teacher C
-competes publicly, and presumably wins
-points to the historical evidence of effectiveness

is this model necessarily better than the other two?
are there examples of a "teacher D" that does neither and is still legitimate?
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: martial merit

Postby Josh Young » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:09 am

My primary teacher falls under category A, perhaps, I debate that with myself...

His teachings prove effective when I am training with a partner who throws real and fast attacks.

Your post is great, but as a person who teaches basics I do not know where I stand. I do not compete, but do train with aggressive tones. My teacher does not compete nor train with an aggressive tone. I had to look elsewhere to find that. He taught me and told me that the methods were effective, but i had to work with others to confirm that.

Also it took some practice against aggression such as real punches to learn to use what my teacher taught me in a martial context. I had to bleed and bruise to "get it". I have no doubts I could encounter an opponent who could defeat me, in my mind there is always someone better, no matter the skill level obtained.

If I taught then, what category would I fall under? I don't compete but know the history that the art I practice can be effective, and in private training it is.

As to the last category D, which does not compete and does not use historical models to evidence effectiveness, I feel my teacher both falls under such a category and is legitimate. Perhaps I am mistaken...?
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Re: martial merit

Postby Brian » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:36 am

adamfuray wrote:what criteria, assuming that arriving at such criteria is possible, should be considered before a person could say that a martial art is effective?


A martial art is only as effective as the person using it. It is not the art itself that is effective..it is the fighting ability/instinct of the user that determines effectiveness/outcome of a given encounter. Also, competition is governed by 'rules' which prevent the most effective techniques from being used and is, therefore, not necessarily the best environment by which to measure effectiveness.

Below, I put together profiles of potential teachers, limiting their characteristics to historical claim and competition participation. In this post, please go with me on a very loose defenition of competition, consisting of aggressive action against a resistant opponent of considerable skill in a place where the general public can view.
Teacher A
-does not compete
-points to historical evidence of effeciveness
in this model, would lineage be necessary to substantiate or reinforce the claim? does lack of a "display of skill" reduce the merit of his claims?
Teacher B
-competes publicly, and presumably wins
-does not rely on the history of the art
in this model, is the teachers lineage worth anything? Does competition legitimate the possible claims about the effectiveness of his art?
Teacher C
-competes publicly, and presumably wins
-points to the historical evidence of effectiveness
is this model necessarily better than the other two?
are there examples of a "teacher D" that does neither and is still legitimate?


A teacher can only teach the art to you, and irrespective of his/her competition career, it is YOU, the student who must show/exhibit true fighting skill in your chosen art in order to demonstrate its effectiveness.
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Re: martial merit

Postby brer_momonga » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:52 am

I think it's good to exhibit, however, popular competitions may be judged on wushu criteria as opposed to that of traditional taijiquan.
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Re: martial merit

Postby adamfuray » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:25 pm

here is what I would consider a legitimate example of a teacher who does not compete:

Teacher A=wins many competitions
Teacher B= granted discipleship by teacher A, but does not compete for moral reasons.

It could be assumed that Teacher B is a good martial artist and potential teacher via Teacher A's acknowledgement of his skill. Since Teacher A knows what a good fighter is, this can be legitimate. In this case, is lineage paramount?

the opposite (a Teacher who only competes and cares nothing for lineage) would be proof in and of itself. If he can beat other good fighters, he is a good fighter and potentially a good teacher.
Last edited by adamfuray on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: martial merit

Postby adamfuray » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:29 pm

A martial art is only as effective as the person using it. It is not the art itself that is effective..it is the fighting ability/instinct of the user that determines effectiveness/outcome of a given encounter. Also, competition is governed by 'rules' which prevent the most effective techniques from being used and is, therefore, not necessarily the best environment by which to measure effectiveness.


would it not be more accurate to say that a martial art training coupled with instinct is most effective? If instinct and natural fighting are the biggest piece of the pie, why do we see a larger gap in the skill of trained fighters when compared to normal people?
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: martial merit

Postby adamfuray » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:30 pm

Brian wrote:A teacher can only teach the art to you, and irrespective of his/her competition career, it is YOU, the student who must show/exhibit true fighting skill in your chosen art in order to demonstrate its effectiveness.


is someone disputing this?
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: martial merit

Postby adamfuray » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:32 pm

brer_momonga wrote:I think it's good to exhibit, however, popular competitions may be judged on wushu criteria as opposed to that of traditional taijiquan.


please refer back to the "working" defenition of competition I am using for this post. I recommended it to avoid the "fractal" effect that happens in arguments about competitions. It is just an aggressive act that involves two people that the public can view. It does not have to be a tournament, and does not have to have rules(but it can, the point still works).
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: martial merit

Postby Brian » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:42 pm

adamfuray wrote:
A martial art is only as effective as the person using it. It is not the art itself that is effective..it is the fighting ability/instinct of the user that determines effectiveness/outcome of a given encounter. Also, competition is governed by 'rules' which prevent the most effective techniques from being used and is, therefore, not necessarily the best environment by which to measure effectiveness.


would it not be more accurate to say that a martial art training coupled with instinct is most effective?


Exactly as I put it....read from "..it is the fighting ability/instinct.." above.

If instinct and natural fighting are the biggest piece of the pie, why do we see a larger gap in the skill of trained fighters when compared to normal people?


Believe me, I have seen 'normal' people (as you put it) with no training other than pure instinct, fight harder and more effectively than some trained fighters I know in 'real life' situations.

adamfuray wrote:
Brian wrote:A teacher can only teach the art to you, and irrespective of his/her competition career, it is YOU, the student who must show/exhibit true fighting skill in your chosen art in order to demonstrate its effectiveness.


is someone disputing this?


I offer that as a statement of fact (not in defense of anything)!!
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Re: martial merit

Postby adamfuray » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:24 pm

that is good stuff! what do you think about the above in relation to a fighter being able to credit his style as effective? Can lineage and competition be relatively important to this, based on factors I did or didn't mention above?
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: martial merit

Postby yeniseri » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:42 pm

What I tend to look for is as follows:
a. Accurate historicity
b. Ability to show the art's effectiveness
c. Honesty of teacher and syllabus that teaches level of skill and abilty to show skill

Anything else is suspect though there are a few teachers who possess the lineage, the authority and the ability to showcase the art. Competition is not necessay!
I am not a friend of wushu but I do admire its principles, training regimen due to the reality of wushu people stacking the deck in tournaments to the detriment of 'traditional' teachers.

Here is my example! Most Yang practitioners learned form Chen village so it amuses me that they always allude to some figure surnamed Zhang, who they attach so I wonder on what else they may add to further their claim of true learning.
What is lacking is an honest exposition of skill in martial endeaviours.
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Re: martial merit

Postby adamfuray » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:48 am

a. Accurate historicity


is this always required? could someone have an effective art without this? is anything beyond direct lineage credible? I am not disagreeing with you, but can anyone think of an example of a competent fighter who has not benefited from direct transmission?

b. Ability to show the art's effectiveness


I agree with you that every martial artist should be able to demonstrate. I do not agree that every martial artist should be required to demonstrate though(I know you aren not suggesting this). moral arguments can be made against hurting other people, and to truly show the arts effectiveness, hurting them is sort of required. I think lineage can also bypass this requirement.


c. Honesty of teacher and syllabus that teaches level of skill and abilty to show skill


Could a person lie habitually about their lineage (or anything) and still transmit quality skill?

Competition is not necessary!


I agree, lineage can compensate for the absence of competetive demonstration.

Zhang


you had to open the can of Zhang....
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: martial merit

Postby yeniseri » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:06 pm

Agreed on all points! As long as someone can show effectiveness, that is the bottom line.
I realize CMA and 'lineage' is an ovymoron 8) but that seems to be what is being dropped as 'possession of skill' as opposed to actual and practical knowledge and application. :D
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