Author Topic: How Tough is Too Tough?  (Read 7452 times)

Offline kajudaddy

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2004, 11:49:50 PM »
i used to teach at a school in fairfield,ca on mondays.i taught as my father taught me and only a fraction as hard as he was taught by Aleju Reyes and Alan Reyes during the 70's.over half of the students quit going on mondays and switched to thursdays becouse they claimed they were getting bruised up or i wasnt promoting fast enough(cant stand when they bug me for a belt >:().some time in the near future i wish to open my own school,what do i do.ease up or stand pat.the promotion issue is a no brainer,im tough on promotions becouse they got nothing but time to learn and practice.this a perfect question for the people who have taught for along time and hopefuly been through this.
Paul Ferber
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Great Falls,MT

Offline sifu_adam

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2004, 01:42:49 AM »
I have a very close friend/student that has a large Kajukenbo dojo a few hours away from me. In dealing with new people he tells them that different people find different paths in the martial arts to reach the goals of the training they have in life.

As D-Man said "I personally study martial arts to improve QUALITY OF LIFE".  Each person may find a different idea of what improving his or her own quality of life means. It leads us to deeper philosophical areas of our place in society and as teacher as to "how tough is too tough".

In learning from Grandmaster Pierce he at times will say, this is your Life and Death technique and than show a variation to the technique to restrain and control and he calls those --with a chuckle your "mother-in-law" techniques.  I also have found that under Grandmaster Pierce and my even through my own father we can gain from all types of training. I take Tai Chi, yes Tai Chi once sometimes twice a week. I enjoy this training. I was given this path through my instructor (GM Pierce), yet he also teaches and shows the awesome application to these movements that can be just straight up deadly or as I said before a restraining "mother in law" technique.

My father was a TKD man. It was through his training that he overcame other obstacles in life. He was in TKD before I was born. I respect his previous training in TKD and what it means to him as "his way". I too have seen many students walk into my dojo and leave only to join another school in town or to never take martial arts classes again. I have also seen students that search out the hard style training we do and stick it out for years and to this day continue to train no matter how tough it gets on the mat.

At this point many of us have dealt with or seen the schools around that we lable as black belt factories, but we should be careful before lable a STYLE. I once saw a registration form for an association can't really remember the group, but a line from it made me think a bit, one of the first rules was - Respect all other martial artist no matter what style is the path they follow. They like you find benefits to life and a peace like that we find in the path we follow.

I try to show respect to other in the arts, no matter what style, it is the individuals and how they represent themselves that I will change my attitude towards the individual.  I have respect for other styles even TKD given the fact that it was such an influence and positive for my own father. A few years back my father gave me his first ever martial arts / TKD certificate, it was his promotion to Gold in TKD. It is very old (from the late 1960's) so I had it framed and I hang it on my wall with great pride.

"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others".
-Nelson Mandela

Sorry if that went too deep, just wanted to share this perspective.

Sifu Adam
5th Degree Kajukenbo and Kodokan Judo,  also teaching Kickboxing and Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

Offline Brandi Ross

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2004, 02:44:56 AM »
Sifu Adam,
  Very well said.  I like your comments and what you have done with your father's certificate.  You are a good man.

Aloha,
Brandi
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Offline Nagi

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2004, 06:57:10 AM »

Im not defending TKD but I know one Instructor that used to say I have 2 feet and 2 hands and this guy could really use he hand's, so well he was a sparring partner for Professional boxer Vinny Paz. He even KO Vinny in sparring and when he got up he said I thought you TKD guys were known for your feet and he responded back. I can knock you out with those to.
But this TKD school was probably in the minority for having good hand's.  
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Offline Nagi

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2004, 08:18:36 AM »

I was brought up through the rank's by Shihan Shuras and let me tell you his test's were very hard physically
and mentally and you earned your rank and it made you a better MA and also you were ready for the street and as Shihan Joe say's his test's are a test of spirit.
I am a studio owner myself and times have changed so I had to compromise. I would like nothing better to be hard as nails but I have to keep my doors open by not being sued and having a law suite filed against my school (in this sue happy world), so not only am I a MA school but also a business and I need to keep students and also gain new one's in the process. I am still very hard on my students and my testing is not a walk through the park. I just had to compromise and find different ways and tactics to use on them, im trying to be middle of the road.

Ron
     
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Offline guarded

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2004, 12:56:15 PM »
After reading about the history of Kajukenbo I knew that was the art for me.  Although surely not as tough as the "old days" the physicalness of the art is what I was looking for.  As well as the practicallity of course.  I believe you have to be as tough on someone as you can without comprimising their ability to learn and enjoy training.
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Jacob Hopkins

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2004, 06:31:05 AM »
Hello!

Let me start by saying that I am humbled and honoured to be able to share my thoughts with such a wide and experienced audience.  

I have been training in Kajukenbo for 7 years on and off (though I wish more time on), and have seen the school go through many changes on this very subject of toughness.  Although I am not an official instructor, I have had some experience with this problem as I have often worked with the new guys and girls (perhaps because I have a lot of patience!)  It seems to me that the level of intensity goes up and down but on a whole has dropped considerably since I was the ripe age of 15.  

I believe the conflict lies in the fact that we live in a time when rent is high and pay is low and at the end of the day families have to be fed – so we juggle.  As a student of enough experience, as a guy of 6’1 and 225lbs, I to want to get to the next step, the next level of intensity, I want it to be more hardcore; but I can see why an instructor/proprietor would be cautious as well.  Because, really – getting kicked really hard in the stomach, I think we have to agree, does sound stupid.  I love it, it doesn’t hurt, but it sounds like a stupid thing to pay for.  It isn’t, but it sounds like it is.

Kajukenbo is hard to market.

So what do you do?  How do you find a balance?  How can you be true to your art and not be a financial chump?  I’m not sure…

For what it’s worth, I’ll tell you what I say when I explain it to people: For me, it’s about respect and giving my body for my partner’s training, and them giving me their body for mine.  It’s an understanding and trust.  Obviously, it takes time to build, but when I train with someone with whom I have a good dojo-relationship, I learn the better, harder and with more satisfaction.  When I train with a new person, I tone it down.  It’s important to stress that the defender has control and must communicate their needs.  (My radio instructor must have said it a thousand times: The key to success in ANY relationship is good communication.)  If they want more abs and less thigh, it’s their call, and I let them know it.  I stress this.  Eventually, they trust me and let me know when to step it up.  It seems like the sooner the trust is built, the sooner their self-confidence is built and the intensity jacks up.  It’s not a competition.  The machoness very quickly leaves the arena and when you get to this point the learning kicks into high gear and you get into the rotation lines and the multi-mans and people are getting tossed around like rag-dolls and, ugh!  This is what I love!  This is what speaks to me and my heart!  This is Kajukenbo!   (Sorry for the melodrama, but, you know...)

So, How tough is too tough?   If I’m injured to the point that it inhibits my learning, it’s too tough.  If it screws up my knees, or any joints for that matter, it’s too tough - i.e.: rough or clumsy wrist and knee locks, sloppy hits…etc.  This is my body and I have to live in it for the rest of my life – if someone is being inconsiderate – which does happen on occasion, I spare no feelings in letting them know.  Their ego is not worth my knee.  Accidents do happen, but that’s life.  

So what I’m trying to say is: as long as the instructors make it clear about respect and as long as there is mutual trust, everything should be fare game.  Tough is a relative term.  And who knows, maybe the hard-core aspect doesn’t have to be sacrificed – but I’m an optimist.



Jacob Hopkins
Green Belt
Emperado & Chu’an Fa methods
Under Sigung Philip Gelinas
Montreal, Canada.


PS – Wow, that took more room then I thought.  I know it’s all a little simplified and for theory to become reality, it takes a lot of hard work.  I would also like to apologise if this was at all condescending – my intention is merely to be as clear as possible.

PPS – In case the belt systems are different, in my school, it goes: White, Purple, Blue, Green, Brown and then Black.



Offline Rob Poelking

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2004, 06:47:50 AM »
Very well said Jacob. I think that pretty much reflects the philosophy in our school. There was a time when Sifu Ray first started teaching; his 2-3 students at that time would train with such intensity that when Ray was on the phone a visitor would drop in to see what we were all about. Before Ray got of the phone the visitor had left. One finally returned to tell the tale and said that he thought we were just nuts and too extreme for his liking. Sifu Ray then made sure those students ran forms any time we had a visitor after that.

That was all before my time. And we are no where near that level of toughness now. We aren't even where we were when I first began 5 years ago. However, Sifu Ray will hit your harder the longer you train with him in accordance with your rank with age & gender considered as well.
Rob Poelking, Black Belt, Original Method
Black belt under Sigung Ray Anderson
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Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2004, 04:38:29 PM »
The reliable source I mentioned happened to be the director of the community center I teach out of. Yikes! You don't want to piss the boss off. It's great to see everybody's point of view.

Last Tuesday, a person who trained in TKD and another form of Kempo came by the community center for the first time and was so impressed by our hardcore antics that he signed up and paid in advance from now till the end of May. This person was also recently attacked. He said our stuff is so good that he didn't want to take the chance of losing his spot. (By the way, I don't do contracts because if a person doesn't want to learn I don't want them wasting their time or mine. Thus everything is month by month and no discount was provided.)

I'm calling the director to share this story right now...
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
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Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2004, 04:41:17 PM »
Sifu Adam and all the other supporters of Tae Kwon Do,
I apologize if I seem critical of the Korean art. I believe it is a good art in it's pure form. It's just that the over commercialized versions of it are embarrassing to us real martial artists. They might as well change their name to what it really is: Take Yo Dough.
Respectfully, Andrew
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
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Offline Jon Pack

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2004, 10:23:12 AM »
It is an important part of training to put yourself and the student under a good deal of pressure and have the ability to keep doing what it is that you have to do. I can speak from experience that it is NOT about surviving what amounts to severe battery in order to be recognized for ranking. As a leader of my own school now it is as important to know what not to do. If my students were treated as I have been I would pull them out of the test and make other arrangements for them. This should be one of the greatest experiences in the lives of these people not the source of possible crippling and or perminent brain damage. The measure of someones heart is in not what they can dish out but what it is they can take and still stand and deliver. I try to remember this when I am dealing with after effects of training and testing.
Now you know why some of my posts might be...lacking in cognative flow.
Jon
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Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Offline Mell

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Re:How Tough is Too Tough?
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2004, 09:31:53 PM »
To Mr. Hopkins:

"I love it, it doesn’t hurt, but it sounds like a stupid thing to pay for.  It isn’t, but it sounds like it is."

I laughed when I read your post.  Every week I come home with bruises, aches and pains and my husband says to me "And you pay money for someone to do this to you?"

He doesn't train, so he doesn't understand.  I understand and I'm there with you.
Sibak Mellody Porter
ANDERSON MARTIAL ARTS - Grafton, Ohio
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