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Author Topic: Email I received "dissing" kali...  (Read 3989 times)
Rusty
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Posts: 9


« on: June 27, 2007, 02:44:12 AM »

I just received this email from one of the web-gurus who sell the type of dvd that promises you super secret deadly commando combat skills just by watching the dvd once. The hype he uses to sell these things is actually kind of funny to me. (I never ordered them, but find the emails entertaining enough that I am still on the list. I admit it, I am a secret fan of any type of Martial Arts tomfoolery, snake oil, and wannabes. I love it all, from the self made Ninja masters to the Super Trooper Secret Spy Commando Warriors shut down by Congress. I love every tacky, silly bit of it.)

Anyway, this  latest email is a direct challenge of the "real world" applicability of FMA training, as well as being an insult to the Filipino people, and an inaccurate history lesson to boot.

It was annoying enough to share.

Start quote--

"Every culture throughout history has created some
form of martial art so their people can defend
themselves in a time of crisis.

But as we already know; the only true
test of a martial art is in actual combat.


Known as Kali in Europe and the United States,
the knife and stick fighting based art is
actually called Eskrima or Arnis by the Filipino
people. It is said that the art was developed
over centuries during many intertribal conflicts
and wars with outside invaders.


Those who practice Kali claim that is more then
just a cultural art and remains an effective form
of self defense that can be taught to someone
quickly. And while on paper Kali seems like it
has a lot to offer, both its historical data and
self defense methodology say otherwise.


Many Filipino martial artists cite the Battle of
Mactan, which occurred on April 27, 1521 as proof
that their system works in battle. Warriors of
Lapu-Lapu, a chieftain of Mactan Island, defeated
a landing force of Spanish sailors and soldiers
under the command of Portuguese explorer
Ferdinand Magellan.


Magellan's forces were armed with crossbows
and muskets, but were heavily outnumbered
by the natives. The overwhelming tribal force
cut them down and the famous explorer was killed.


The major flaw with this isolated example, is
that it is the only successful battle of hundreds
throughout the sad but true history of a
conquered people. The Spanish Conquistadors went
on to conquer all of the islands with ease and
held them until the United States invaded in
1898.
[/i]
The conquistadors were skilled warriors even
without muskets and cannons, because they forged
their skills on the battlefields of Europe for
centuries fighting the also highly skilled Muslim
invaders???Not a bunch of tribal natives.


Spain's fighting men conquered huge amounts of
territory, and destroyed ancient empires with discipline,
superior tactics, and hard training. The
unfortunate tribal warriors of the Philippines
(and their cultural fighting art of Kali)  were
no different than any other native conquest to
the Conquistadors.


But historical insignificance is not the only
chink in the Kali armor.

While it isn't fair to discount Kali simply
because its practitioners main focus is blades
and sticks (they also do practice some grappling
and empty hand techniques), but this kind of
training is hampered in the real world.


It has not been socially acceptable to carry a
sword in public in over 100 years and there are
many restrictions on smaller bladed weapons.

And although Kali stick fighting looks impressive to
the untrained eye, I have yet to hear of one
person beaten to death by a pair of Escrima
sticks. [/i]

All said and done, someone armed with an
ordinary wooden baseball bat or axe handle, could
undoubtedly finish off one of these so called
???dangerous?? stick fighters in a heartbeat.


Like any cultural fighting art, I don't condemn
anyone for spending their time practicing Kali
because it seems like a decent physical
conditioning method and a heck of a lot of fun.

And while weapons training can be a great
addition to your close combat toolbox, learning
from these conquered people is not the answer as
it is clearly not a legitimate method of self
defense."[/i]

end quote--

I gather this guy has never been to a gathering of the pack.

And, as far as the bogus "real world" argument goes, on his website this guy sells, along with his "super deadly DVD's", the Army sniper manual. Lots of every day self defense applicability there.

Lots of other stuff could be said, but I will leave that to others.
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bjung
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2007, 03:25:57 AM »

Quote
Anyway, this  latest email is a direct challenge of the "real world" applicability of FMA training,

meh. if he's a doubter, then it's just one less person you have to worry about wink
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Maxx
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Posts: 482


« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2007, 03:38:59 PM »

I see some of his points on somethings but not the way he put it together. No style of fighting is the End all be all.
I have been doing Kali/Silat and I think its the greatest thing..But I also practice Western Longsword from hugh Knight ( he is from a School called 'Die Schlachtschule")  who is the leading voice next to Arma for the Old School ways with the Longsword. We study the German Text Manuels for Longsword combat and I have to admit..I went against one of my friends who is out of the Kali Academies...He used Stick fighting and I used german Longsword using a Wooden Waster that is built for training and I beat the tar out of him...I would use foot work of sliding back while holding him at bay with the sword and then shoot his legs (hit them) and or his sides..When he would rush me..I would mention on his way in that not only did I stab him but hit him across the arms...Now come on folks..You get hit across the arms with a Hand a half you are losing your arm and to get stabed though the gut...The game is close to over.

The misconception is that a Hand and a half weighed a ungodly weight..It weighted in at about 2lbs..So the Old Warriors of Europe could move these things around with Ease..Alot of ppl think Hollywood has Western SwordFighting down..but they dont. There is no Clashing of steel blades in WMA..Its a very clean art where one person makes a move and the other kills him..For every mistake there is a end.

The style of fighting is yes the Way the old knights of Europe fought and is from the writtings of Johannes Liechtenauer called the fechtbücher, a 14th-century German sword master whose teachings became the basis for most German medieval martial arts.

Some of the cuts, Strikes and blocks look like ShinKendo...And when I asked why this looked almost like Japanese sword fighting..My teacher responded 'There are only some many ways a sword can be swung to kill someone..And a good idea with a sword can travel thousands of Miles with out either of the ppl ever meeting each other.

As for The Spainards being more skilled at fighting then someone else? There is always someone out their better then you with what ever you are using..I have been learning Longsword for several years and can beat most of my friends that know Shinkendo or Kenjutsu and Japanese sword fighting is sopposed to be the end all be all or swordfighting and it's far from it.

I can also beat the same ppl using Kali... when they are using a sword

Now mind you..These guys are not hasbeens with this style of swordfighting..They have done it for years on end.

But lets be real..The Spainards had alot of advantages. They yes were in a time of great warring and had fought several types of differnet enemy...They had AWESOME steel weapons..Armour, Crossbows, Guns, Ships, Horses and Tactics.. I would have to say that the Filipino ppl did pretty well for themselves using cheap bladed weapons,  Iron wood Sticks, Hands  and Knives and they kept their culture while the Aztec ppl lost all of theirs, Were bred out and assimilated into Mexicans.
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maija
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Posts: 299


« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2007, 06:23:33 PM »

I believe that any martial art with a decent history has useful information embedded within it, however it may look today. All you have to do is to unearth the good stuff and be able to understand how things were really done, and why.
it's all about context. who were you fighting? what was the terrain? what was the etiquette of the time (i.e. samurai class walking around armed at all times)? what materials were available to make weapons from? what could your family afford (i.e steel sword, horse etc)? group (war) or one on one (duel/ambush) combat? etc etc.
I also believe that you must train with a non-compliant, resisting opponent to prevail in combat, and if a system is purely drill based or has no real time, unchoreographed sparring, you are dead in the water fighting someone who does have this experience, regardless of the system.
I also think the length of your weapon gives you an advantage, as does height and weight, assuming even levels of skill. after all didn't Miyamoto Musashi fashion a weapon from an oar as he was being rowed to a duel? i was told that this was not because he was a super badass wanting to show distain for his katana wielding oppponent, but because he knew his opponent fought with a sword that was longer than the average, and he wanted to give himself the advantage by making a staff longer than that sword!!
I have recently taken up studying Toyama Ryu Battodo, similar to Shinkendo, and Western style sabre for the very purpose of understanding how different blades move in space. Double handed long and single handed long swords respectively. Whats the same and what is different? How about tactics? I am lucky to have found teachers who can explain WHY the system is what it is, and that has opened my eyes to a whole new world of study and hopefully an eventual understanding of strategy in general, regardless of weapon, culture or system. After all, Musashi said "The true value of sword fencing cannot be seen within the confines of sword fencing technique".
He also said the following is "The Way for those who want to learn strategy:
                               1. Do not think dishonestly
                               2. The Way is in the training
                               3. Become aquainted with every art
                               4. Know the Ways of all professions
                               5. Distiguish between gain and loss in worldly matters
                               6. Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything
                               7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen
                               8. Pay attention even to trifles
                               9. Do nothing which is of no use"

I believe Musashi prevailed in about 60 duels, and this is back in the 16th century, so you know he didn't suffer any serious injury. He spent the last years of his long life writing about what he had learned and i think it is well worth considering his words when these petty "who's style is better than who's" come up.

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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
Rusty
Newbie
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Posts: 9


« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 08:27:32 PM »

Good points, all around. I was just annoyed because this individual is running down other systems for the specific purpose of promoting his own. He came across as both ignorant and arrogant, a potent combination no matter how you slice it.

I find it interesting that many of the folks that participate in this board train in more than one style. Here is a question: Is it better to train consecutively in more than one style, (such as concentrating exclusively on Kali for a while, then leaving that off for MMA style mat work, and so forth) or is it better to train in multiple styles at the same time? (maybe you would have a more even development all around)?
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bjung
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Posts: 155


« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 02:36:28 AM »

Quote
Is it better to train consecutively in more than one style, (such as concentrating exclusively on Kali for a while, then leaving that off for MMA style mat work, and so forth) or is it better to train in multiple styles at the same time? (maybe you would have a more even development all around)?

I think it's good to have a base art, something upon which you can fall back on when all else fails, an art in which you put many solid hours of training into. BUT once that has occured, it's important to train in a multitude of ranges and styles (striking/grappling/weapons) and learn how to tranisition between each of them.
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Bandolero
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Posts: 108


« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 07:23:30 AM »

I am nowhere near as talented as all your guys (and gal  smiley ) are.  But I have naturally drifted towards FMA and Indonesian arts because much of what I saw resonated with me.  I like the emphasis on foot mobility that these arts seem to have.  I like the weapons-based aspects.  He who pontificates that nobody has ever been beat to death by sticks has never been cracked with an ASP upside the head.  I like the overall concept of what I only know as "kilap hands."  I like the traps that can be brought to bear on your opponent through shrewd use and placement of your body and limbs.  I see nothing not to like about Kali.
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"This is a war, and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place." ~ Morpheus
Maxx
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Posts: 482


« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 03:54:49 PM »

I think some ppl get into this whole  'My dad will kick your dads ass" mumbo jumbo or really start putting faith into some of the Magic that some Martial Arts have.
There are alot of things I look at from the styles I take and think.." UM, No way..No god damn way"  Like Trapping "IMHO"  I was tired of this Full Instructor telling me on the glory of trapping..Kept saying..Throw a punch at me and then he would show me..I said 'Listen, nobody is going to tell you where and when they are going to punch you..You mind showing me trapping not planned?"  He said sure..So we started I dropped low and threw a punch for his gut , then went high and hit him in the head then jabbed and right crossed..I threw in the end 7 punches he blocked 1...He said Well thats was not was I was talking about..I said "Thank you for showing us how well trapping worked for you.

I like some trapping..Like a quick trap down and punch in the face..But everytime I have had someone say..Ok throw a punch at me..I go low and they never get it...Thats the problem with ALOT of Martial Arts..Routine...Routine over and over and it does not train you for random attack..

Another example of this..Is a Full Instructor sparred my Friend using Kali Knife fighting and kept telling my friend to put the knife in front..My friend said fine..Now mind you my buddy is a qualified fencer..So he went into fencing with a knife and I can't begin to tell you how many times he jacked up the Kali knife fighter. It was almost to the point of saying 'Do you know what you are doing?"

But finally to my LONG POINT ahahah   I think ppl should train in alot of things OR cross train with ppl that know other things..This is a example of the Kali knife fighter who never sparred a fencer..he got shreaded..you got to cross train..ALWAYS..you got to be ready to defend against the unknown..

Thats why, I also jacked up those guys who used kali and Shinkendo with Western Longsword..They never crosstrained..The kali guys just kept using the huplub to drill over and over (Spelling) against each other and both of them only knew Kali..So when faced with a person (Me) that knows Kali and Longsword, I knew what to expect and had the ability to defeat them.

Does any of this make sence?

Sorry for my horrible spelling.   tongue

« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 03:57:47 PM by Maxx » Logged

maija
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Posts: 299


« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 07:20:03 PM »

I am in wholehearted agreement that there is alot of bovine manure out there in the martial arts world, and very few teachers that can really walk the walk. However, i would  not be as quick to throw out ideas that have been passed down through the traditions we train just because you, or your teacher cannot make them work. You know that in the old days, this stuff really mattered and you gotta ask yourself why would a family or group pass down information that might get the next generation killed?  What was it there to train?
One of my teachers has a great story about when he was working in the mental health services and had to perform a takedown on a violent patient. As he is throwing and restraining the guy, he realises that he is doing a technique that HIS teacher had passed down to him as "part of our tradition but i don't know why, as it can't see it ever working".! As i remember it, he noticed that the foot placement, or the angle of entry was a little different from how he had learned it ,but that was all the adjustment that was needed to use the technique in real life. After this, his teacher changed the teaching manual to take his adjustments into consideration.
Sure, information can get watered down or distorted over the generations, but i think many concepts, like your example of trapping, are totally valid. The bigger questions for me would be, "why won't this work for me/my teacher"? , "what's missing"?, "how/when/why would this concept work"?
If a knife technique only works if the knife is held out front and frozen in space for a second, can i create that moment in my opponent and insert the technique by being in the right place at the right time? Perhaps, perhaps not, but it's worth investigating. 
My personal favourite is checking the knife hand. This will get your hand cut off 90% of the time, but you know, 10% of the time it is an absolute necessity, and can work very well IF you do it at the appropriate moment.
As for playing with people from other systems,my teacher Sonny Umpad (who by the way could walk the walk), said that the one that hits you is the one you don't see coming, so yes, cross train as much as possible, but at the same time, IMHO it's also good to spend some time looking at the ideas within the systems that you train seriously to see what might be useful.

Side note to CWS, and others. Thanks for aknowledging that i am indeed a "gal". For simplicity on the forum, without having to go into the whole him/her, he/she thing, i reckon i could be an honorary "guy" if thats ok with you...honestly i've been including myself in the "guys" group for years now...martial arts kinda does that, so i'm not taking offense here grin

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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
Maxx
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2007, 11:44:54 AM »

I am in wholehearted agreement that there is alot of bovine manure out there in the martial arts world, and very few teachers that can really walk the walk. However, i would  not be as quick to throw out ideas that have been passed down through the traditions we train just because you, or your teacher cannot make them work. You know that in the old days, this stuff really mattered and you gotta ask yourself why would a family or group pass down information that might get the next generation killed?  What was it there to train?
One of my teachers has a great story about when he was working in the mental health services and had to perform a takedown on a violent patient. As he is throwing and restraining the guy, he realises that he is doing a technique that HIS teacher had passed down to him as "part of our tradition but i don't know why, as it can't see it ever working".! As i remember it, he noticed that the foot placement, or the angle of entry was a little different from how he had learned it ,but that was all the adjustment that was needed to use the technique in real life. After this, his teacher changed the teaching manual to take his adjustments into consideration.
Sure, information can get watered down or distorted over the generations, but i think many concepts, like your example of trapping, are totally valid. The bigger questions for me would be, "why won't this work for me/my teacher"? , "what's missing"?, "how/when/why would this concept work"?
If a knife technique only works if the knife is held out front and frozen in space for a second, can i create that moment in my opponent and insert the technique by being in the right place at the right time? Perhaps, perhaps not, but it's worth investigating. 
My personal favourite is checking the knife hand. This will get your hand cut off 90% of the time, but you know, 10% of the time it is an absolute necessity, and can work very well IF you do it at the appropriate moment.
As for playing with people from other systems,my teacher Sonny Umpad (who by the way could walk the walk), said that the one that hits you is the one you don't see coming, so yes, cross train as much as possible, but at the same time, IMHO it's also good to spend some time looking at the ideas within the systems that you train seriously to see what might be useful.

Side note to CWS, and others. Thanks for aknowledging that i am indeed a "gal". For simplicity on the forum, without having to go into the whole him/her, he/she thing, i reckon i could be an honorary "guy" if thats ok with you...honestly i've been including myself in the "guys" group for years now...martial arts kinda does that, so i'm not taking offense here grin



I agree with what you are saying about "Being Passed Down" But I also belive that somethings like you mentioned take a key factor in a situation.
I can honestly say with out a single doubt that I am faster then my teacher..But I also think that if you get to use to the drills you wont be ready for the unseen.. I also belive that just somethings don't work for some ppl.

I would also like to touch on this for a second. Alot of schools teach ppl these killer moves but then they don't teach them the one thing a person needs to know in order to fight. They have had to have been a fighter already...I belive Martial Arts hone a person who already had fighting will and spirt..I see these ppl who train and train learn all these killer kali moves and then get beat down...If I had a school, I would teach two types of Classes.. Folks that already had the fighting spirt and the folks that are natural victims...I would teach the Fighters how to fight better and the Victims how to survive a attack...Cause I am sick of these guys taking these ppl and teaching them stuff and then sending them out into the world and they are getting their ass beat...Just some ppl can't fight no matter what you teach them..But you can teach them how to survive and get help.

Some ppl just have a advantage against others...One teacher I know talks about the Tunnel vision of a fight and how hard it is to hit someone..I told him..I don't have that problem..Never had it..He said are you serious..I said "Serious as a damn heart attack" I don't get tunnel vision and its not hard for me to hit that "Trigger" to punch someone in the face..When I was a kid..The fights always started with trash talk..And my adenalen would get the best of me and I would shake and try to talk trash back and it came out stupid..Like they would say " F@!k you B1tCh" and I would say something like..YA..YOUR MY HAM ASS" And then ppl would laugh at me ( this is a honest story) So I got tired of saying stupid things..So instead of talk, I would just punch the person in the face..As time went on..I think I trained that "Fear of the Trigger" out of me..and the tunnel vision..So I stay cool, Calm and can see and think right in a fight..This teacher said..That is a SUPER advantage over ppl and I told him There are ALOT of ppl out there who can do it and have the fighting spirt..TO MY LONG POINT ...Just knowing that..If I knew nothing else..And a person taught someone all these killer moves but the person had no Heart, No couurage and No experiance and Panic durring a fight..I don't care what they are taught...They are going down...No Trapping is going to save them from the harse reality of being punch in the face several times by someone who is not afraid to fight.

I know my sentence structure is terrible so please guys...forgive me...
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krait44
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2007, 02:35:28 PM »

I think alot of people get confused by traditional martial arts, which is what this thread is about.

Misconceptions about TMA's:

1. TMA's are direct concepts and techniques which can be applied immediately to combat. This is not the case. TMA's are a complete language like an alphabet with grammatical rules. That is it! Now, how you apply that language is up to you.

2. The teachers personal ability of a TMA represents the effectiveness of that TMA. This is partly true but it is more important that the instructor be able to impart his knowledge effectively. Afterall, I could probably kick Angelo Dundee's ass but I bet he could train a teenager with one arm to beat me.

3. Another misconception is the quote, "doing that (fillin the blank)______ TMA technique wll get you killed." I have heard this so often and Frankly, I have yet to hear of all the TMA's being killed.   

This is where Bruce Lee and I split. He said something like, "take what is useful and throw out the rest." 
TMA's are a system of possible techniques which were collected over time through MANY situations in time of wars and peace. It is important to pass on these techniques without too much editing. As martial artists we must realize that these arts will survive way longer than you and you can't know what future generations will need.  If something is not applicable how do you know down the road it won't be the perfect tool for the job.

Take physical labor for instance. In our time, we are doing less and less of it. I am on this computer typing and spend most of my days doing so as do many Americans. This is no big deal for OUR time period but we live on this planet of limited resources. I am sure I will survive fine and my son most probably will survive just fine without working doing much physical labor. Generations later however, when things change and resources dwindle, not having those OLD, OBSOLETE skills might be the difference between life and death or surviving and thriving. 

Another example good example is sword fighting. I can't tell you how many times I heard that studying sword in a "useless activity" on internet forums. Again, we have a situation where people are too ready to toss out something that can be applied in many ways to our time period. First, sword techniques are very often the basis for emptyhand. Second, I don't think it takes too much imagination to see how a sword technique can be used with a stick or any other found object. Third, Sword techniques are also the basis for correct body mechanics in activities of daily living. The loss of sword techniques would be a loss of knowledge that has effects on humanity as a whole because of the universal body of knowledge that they contain.        

As for me, I will always be a traditional martial artist, who tries to carry the tradition onwards. However I believe that it is important to test these traditional techniques and place a higher importance on some than others for our time. That is why Kali-tudo is a very important DVD. 


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Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.
Miguel de Cervantes
Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2007, 04:59:50 PM »

Pizzo should read his own instructor's thoughts about individuals who get stuck on labels. So when he labels practitioners of FMA as the art of a "conquered people" (complete with huge historical inaccuracies) he will reread these words:

"When labels become a tool or device for divisiveness and enmity we really fall into a trap that should be avoided at all costs. The root problem here is the very same fundamental problem that is the wellspring for most, if not all of mankind’s ills. The EGO. The absolute need for self-validation at all cost. ANYONE who engenders all or most of their feelings of self-worth and validation from their TRAINING ALONE(or even in major part) needs to immediately CANCEL their registration at all forthcoming seminars on the latest evolution of NHB holds from the mount or the latest innovations in submission “whatever” imported directly from the planet Venus(or perhaps more accurately Uranus) AND SEEK PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING! And do it QUICKLY!" Carl Cestari

--Rafael--
« Last Edit: July 04, 2007, 05:03:17 PM by Sun_Helmet » Logged

--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
maija
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2007, 05:56:49 PM »

Ha! that's a great quote Sun_Helmet,. Too right!!

Also, Maxx,
Teachers that sell the whole "secrets of the ancients" and "effortless death touches" etc etc are still just snake oil merchants, and humans in general love the idea of getting something for no real effort, especially if the ego feels good about itself. It's a no-brainer that a street fighter will kick the ass of a martial arts student with no experience in the real world, however "cool and deadly" the techniques that they have been sold. You are right that it's a shame that people think they have something when they don't, and that this illusion could get them really hurt.
However, If both opponents are not afraid to fight, i suspect the one with better skill (including deception) and technique will prevail, don't you?
Seems like you need some high quality training partners to push your skills even higher.......
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
Maxx
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2007, 10:00:57 PM »

Ha! that's a great quote Sun_Helmet,. Too right!!

Also, Maxx,
Teachers that sell the whole "secrets of the ancients" and "effortless death touches" etc etc are still just snake oil merchants, and humans in general love the idea of getting something for no real effort, especially if the ego feels good about itself. It's a no-brainer that a street fighter will kick the ass of a martial arts student with no experience in the real world, however "cool and deadly" the techniques that they have been sold. You are right that it's a shame that people think they have something when they don't, and that this illusion could get them really hurt.
However, If both opponents are not afraid to fight, i suspect the one with better skill (including deception) and technique will prevail, don't you?
Seems like you need some high quality training partners to push your skills even higher.......

I totally agree with you...If they are both willing to fight the one with the more experiance and skill will win. Unless the other gets in the punchers chance and that's always out there lurking for you no matter how bad ass you think you are.

The guys I train with are good but I spend 6 to 7 days a week training or lifting weights or building explosive muscle..Or working on foot work...By no means am I the greatest NINJA  wink  to walk the earth and alot of my stuff needs work..Like my BJJ needs some work...But I do think I am in the right state of mind.

I never belive for a min my crap don't stink and when I walk I know the earth does not split under foot. I am a very humble fighter and really want to attend the next Gathering to get my ass kicked proper lol!

Then I will then have walked with Warriors!!!!
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