INCMA Forum Posts Archive 5:
 
Date: 10/28/00 02:56:44 PM
Name: Jim Stanton

Email: stanton@txcyber.com

Subject: Re: How young is too young?

Article:
I have a class at my home that starts at 8 years up to 17 years old. I would permit any older students in but will not let anyone younger than 7 in my class. My class last 1 1/2 hour long and is to long for the younger ages. If I had time I would start a younger class for ages 4 to 6. The younger the class the smaller the class and the shorter the class. 



Date: 10/28/00 02:40:27 PM
Name: Jim

Email: stanton@txcyber.com

Subject: Re: To train w/ shoes, or to train w/out shoes?

I have mostly studied Chinese Kung Fu. We always wore our shoes. I have also studied Kempo and we always went bare footed. I teach at my home outside in the gravel. We have to wear shoes. Some times we spar in the gravel with shoes on with good control. Some times we spar in the grass with gear on and have a little contact. I think that by doing both we have more fun and are a little more ready in most situations. We parctice kicking the bag and life size dummy with shoes on.

Jim 



 Date: 11/4/00 12:52:38 AM
Name: Scott

Email: tarmangani@msn.com

Subject: Re: To train w/ shoes, or to train w/out shoes?
 
Article:
Shoes of course, because I'll be wearing shoes on the
day I get in a fight. I study the martial arts for
the "martial" aspect of it. I don't study it for dance
or calisthetics. Recognize the difference, and you'll
have your own answer. There's a big difference between
walking, kicking, and generally movement barefoot, and
the same done with shoes. If you want to learn to fight,
then you'll wear shoes in your "dojo." If you want to
learn to dance, then you'll go barefoot. That's the
bottom line truth of the matter.
I don't wear a gi, either, for the simple reason that
I won't be wearing a gi on the day I get in a fight.
I practice in normal wear clothes, the very same clothes
that I wear Monday to Friday during the day. 



Date: 11/11/00 10:15:29 PM
Name: Master Mike

Email: mpsfish@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Christians @ AAU Jr. Olympics
 
Article:
>I had four of my students at AAU Jr. Olympics in the frist week of august 2000 in Orlando .I'm not sure but I think we spoke about prayer and how it has helped the team to over come what some martial artest say about GOD ! jUST A small note we took 3 Gold's HOPE TO HERE BACK FROM YOU G.B.Y MIKE 



Date: 09/29/00 12:09:24 PM
Name: David Lieder

Email: dlieder@rmi.net

Subject: Christian Motivational Sayings

Does anyone have any good Christian Motivational sayings that would make for good poster material? Something that is tied to a Bible verse would be good, don't you think?

David 



Date: 09/29/00 07:46:34 PM
Name: John R. Himes

Email: yohane@eolas-net.ne.jp

Subject: Re: Christian Motivational Sayings

Article:
I don't know if this is what you had in mind, but here are some from an e-mail recently sent us:

Church signs

Here are some signs found outside churches:

"No God-No Peace. Know God-Know Peace."
"Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!"
"Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin-Robbins."
"Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!"
An ad for one Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and a headline that reads, "For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets."

When the restaurant next to another Church put out a big sign with red letters that said, "Open Sundays," the church reciprocated with its own message: "We are open on Sundays, too."

A singing group called "The Resurrection" was scheduled to sing at a church.When a big snowstorm postponed the performance, the pastor fixed the outside sign to read, "Resurrection is postponed."

"People are like tea bags - you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are."

"God so loved the world that He did not send a committee."
"Come in and pray today. Beat the Christmas rush!"
"Sign broken. Message inside this Sunday."
"Fight truth decay - study the Bible daily."
"How will you spend eternity - Smoking or Non-smoking?"
"Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives"
"Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world."
"It is unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin."
"Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church."
"If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns."
"If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again."
"Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal fire insurance soon."
"This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?" ---------(U R)
"Forbidden fruit creates many jams."
"In the dark? Follow the Son."
"Running low on faith? Stop in for a fill-up."
"If you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd." 



Date: 10/28/00 03:06:52 PM
Name: Jim Stanton

Email: stanton@txcyber.com

Subject: Re: Re: Belt test costs

Article:
I do not charge for my belt test. My daughter took her adult blackbelt test the other day in a "profesional" karate class it cost her $150 for the one test. Some cost alot more than than. My sifu Winston Tong never charged my for a belt test and after black belt I never paid for another class. That is the way I do it. 



Date: 10/28/00 07:54:06 PM
Name: Vicki (blackrat78)

Email: blackrat78@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Belt test costs

Article:
My old school charged only 50.00 and that included the certificate, belt, video of the test, and most importantly the Bible. When the new instructor took over, our fees went up without notice to 75.00 and later for other students, when I left
covered all the previous stuff, but without the Bible.
I later joined a school, then left because I am working on getting my grades up. I looked at our manual though, and couldn't believe the cost for the black belt. $250.00!!!
OUCH
That's 2 weeks of work, after stock and taxes are taken out. To me that's a lot of dough!
The sad thing about his test fee, was one day he gave a talk about, if we have our own "dojo" and a student wants to train, but finance is a problem, and we say you can not train, we are defeating the karate spirit. However, a $250.00 black belt fee seems like it contradicts it. 



Date: 10/28/00 07:48:33 PM
Name: Mark McGee

Email: mmcgee@gmaf.org

Subject: Should Christians draw blood?

Should Christians draw blood in sparring? Should our contact be hard enough to injure someone? What kind of sparring would be appropriate for a Christian MA class? Should Christians even study how to fight?

Thanks!

Mark McGee
GMAF
http://www.gmaf.org/ 



Date: 11/1/00 04:26:33 PM
Name: Marc Paine

Email: lsf1517@juno.com

Subject: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

In my classes, our philosophy as Christian martial artists is one of civic responsibility. If you are going to study martial arts, it should be so that you can become a good fighter. This fighting ability should then be used to both defend yourself and those around you, not just friends and family, but all people around you. "Who is my neighbor?"

How does this fall out in sparring? My class, an old-fashioned Chinese style, tries to make sparring as real as possible. Full-strength strikes are not only encouraged but required. I have one student who is an adept boxer who has broken my nose and knocked me silly once. These are the risks. We say in class: "If you don't hurt when class is over, you weren't doing it right."

In sparring, we have only three rules: 1. No striking the knees from the front. 2. No striking the groin intentionally. 3. Both participants must agree on mutual rules before they begin.

We have no point areas. We have no illegal moves. We try to simulate true-to-life fighting as closely as possible in class. We compensate for the combative nature of our "sparring" by wearing significant pads. We wear chest protectors, shin protectors *cloth*, head gear, mouthpieces, cups, instep guards, forearm *optional* pads, open-finger gloves *for grappling*.

My beginning students begin with point-sparring (we call it "tag" in a less-than-affectionate manner), so that they can learn the valuable skills of ranging and control. Only approved students can go to full-combat sparring.

I recommend at least trying this style of fighting with your mature or older students. I have found that it is much easier for students to discover and capitalize on their natural talents and body-types when regularly practicing this style of sparring. I only teach high school kids and older, and I naturally wouldn't recommend this style of fighting for kids.

Ultimately, an instructor needs to keep in mind what his goals for class are. If you are a TKD instructor, then sports and athletic goals are paramount, and hard sparring is unnecessary. If you are a self-defense oriented school, however, I recommend full-contact continuous sparring... the more realistic, the better. On the street, there aren't any rules. 



Date: 11/10/00 07:59:03 PM
Name: Scott

Email: tarmangani@msn.com

Subject: Re: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

> If you are going to study martial arts, it should be so
> that you can become a good fighter. This fighting ability
> should then be used to both defend yourself and those
> around you, not just friends and family, but all people
> around you. ...
> Ultimately, an instructor needs to keep in mind what his
> goals for class are. If you are a TKD instructor, then sports
> and athletic goals are paramount, and hard sparring is
> unnecessary. If you are a self-defense oriented school,
> however, I recommend full-contact continuous sparring.
> The more realistic, the better. On the street, there aren't
> any rules.
>
I completely agree. Have you considered knife fighting?
The knife, in theory, defeats everything except maybe a
gun. Plus, knife fighting skills drastically improve
empty-hand skills. 



Date: 11/10/00 10:32:10 PM
Name: Vicki (blackrat78)

Email: blackrat78@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

Article:
Question?
Is martial arts all about self-defense and fighting?
If so, I think you may want to reconsider.
Although the martial arts started out for that reason, doesn't mean other things came out of it.
I started martial arts first in my life at age seven. I didn't think much then of punches, kicking, and such as fighting at such a young age. I did however learn things from martial arts training such as:
self respect
self esteme
self confidence
physical shape (overcoming asthma like symthomns).

I also learned to have fun doing the same thing as other kids.

When I got older, and rejoined after my instructor moved, and then myself I joined, for the Spirtual aspect of a Christian Martial Arts environment, to regain my spirtual faith. I also joined because I wanted to be on a highschool sport, but never made either teams, after both tryouts. I was asked to leave band, because I didn't go to practice, because I had to see a doctor.
In this school I gained:
my physical shape back
Self-estem (after moving 600+ miles from home)
and most importantly, my relationship with Jesus Christ.

I did learn some self defense situations, and such, even with MINIMAL CONTACT. It can be done. Yes the real world, doesn't fight like that, but we did train in ways to help us feel the power of a punch. Fighting with minimal contact allowed for all classmates to be injury free (mostly) so therefore we got the experience of many fighters, vrs that of a few left non injured.

Medicine balls were great! They helped the stomach gain strength, and pressure of a hit as well. It taught us the way to breath as we are getting hit. No need to injur one. Why pay 50 bucks, or even more to get hurt? No need, when I can go just across my state line, to Memphis.

However, drawing blood is a personal decision. I just feel that Jesus took enough of a lose in his blood, for the ultimate sacrifice, I'd rather not! 



Date: 11/13/00 06:57:21 PM
Name: Marc Paine

Email: lsf1517@juno.com

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

>Question?
>Is martial arts all about self-defense and fighting?
>If so, I think you may want to reconsider.
>Although the martial arts started out for that reason, doesn't >mean other things came out of it.

No, martial arts is not ALL about fighting and self-defense. These are, however, the chief ends of martial arts. All of the other goals are secondary.

>I started martial arts first in my life at age seven. I didn't >think much then of punches, kicking, and such as fighting at >such a young age. I did however learn things from martial arts >training such as:
>self respect
>self esteme
>self confidence
>physical shape (overcoming asthma like symthomns).
>I also learned to have fun doing the same thing as other kids.

You could gain all of this from football, soccer, etc.

>I did learn some self defense situations, and such, even with >MINIMAL CONTACT. It can be done. Yes the real world, doesn't >fight like that, but we did train in ways to help us feel the >power of a punch. Fighting with minimal contact allowed for all >classmates to be injury free (mostly) so therefore we got the >experience of many fighters, vrs that of a few left non injured.
>Medicine balls were great! They helped the stomach gain >strength, and pressure of a hit as well. It taught us the way to >breath as we are getting hit. No need to injur one. Why pay 50 >bucks, or even more to get hurt? No need, when I can go just >across my state line, to Memphis.

I had honestly never considered using medicine balls, but I will keep that in mind. I value your opinion, but it doesn't answer the fundamental question: Is it POSSIBLE to train for realistic fighting with only minimal contact?

>However, drawing blood is a personal decision. I just feel that >Jesus took enough of a lose in his blood, for the ultimate >sacrifice, I'd rather not!

This, to me, is a VERY OFFENSIVE statement. I would prefer it if you would not try to prove your point by appealing to the Holy Cross in such an opportunistic manner. You should be ashamed. I'm sorry if I offend anyone by expressing my deep offense at reading this last, but I just couldn't believe my eyes as I read it. To equate the willing sacrificial death of the Lamb of God with getting hurt in class?!? It's an insult to Christ!

Pax Christi 



Date: 11/13/00 08:33:35 PM
Name: Vicki (blackrat78)

Email: blackrat78@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

Article:
Hi,
I know we disagree, like most do with me, and don't want to tell me why, but I see we do.

What is it that was so wrong about Jesus dying on the cross for the ultimate sacrifce? Was it the truth?

I don't see why people would want to hurt other people, with the golden rule in affect of treat others as you want to be treated, but with today's world, all violent, I guess we all should be able to self-defend ourselves, and that is perfectally fine.

Yes, other sports can teach you the other parts of martial arts, that most don't think of, but if you were never on a team, due to money, being not the greatest, or not liking the sport, you could easily miss out of those benifits. Martial arts, yes, started for fighting many many years ago, but today they developed into many other things as well. I gained most of that from my old school, and for that I am greatful for the martial arts.

Medicine balls in my old school were used for those who wanted to condition their bodies for various reasons.
We used them by dropping them on someone's stomach, to toughen the muscles in the stomach, and to work on proper breathing control. Our goal, was never to hurt anyone. We felt, the more people we had to train, the more experience we could get of many fighting styles.

This is my main point:

If you are going to be doing full contact, in anything, especially drawing blood, be very careful. Blood today can be deadly if you get infected with contaminated blood with diseases such as HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, and many others. Also, if you are an instructor and expect students to fight with full contact, let them know before they are "suckered" into a contract, with no way to back out of that.

I know that from experience, I joined, and things were fine, till I signed, and then contact got harder, and harder, and then I finally got out of it.

I don't see the point of paying someone to hurt you, and such, when I could have done that before joining the martial arts.

I am sorry if you think my statement about Jesus was an insult, but I dont' see how saying that God's son, Jesus shed enough blood for me, after all, because of Him, I can live, knowing I am going to a better place. I just wish we could as a world stop the shedding of more blood, but we can't.

What do you mean by opportunistic by the way? If you mean opportunity, I never said that either, and that's what I am used to, people putting words into my mouth, that were never said.

I dont' see the point of drawing blood, but in a life and death situation. I do understand sometimes, it may happen on accident, but things do happen. I just do not want to hurt anyone, that's just me. 



Date: 11/2/00 12:22:39 PM
Name: Kevin D. Schaller

Email: kevin@vistaprimo.com

Subject: Re: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

Article:
Hey Mark,
You're my kinda guy! As a Kenpo guy, we focus on street self-defense, therefor we avoid "tag". Naturally, some of my kids (I have 45 of them in the program, under age 12) want to do the tournament thing, so we occasionally run a sparring class to sharpen those skills. What is interesting, is that even with the limited sparring classes, the kids have really claened up at the few tourneys they've entered. Perhaps doing all the self-defense techs on each other has taught them effective ranging. Plus Kenpo does a lot of hand speed drills which helps too.

I'm 42 now but feel like a kid at times (usually before a good fighting session, not after!) Your fighting drills sound very effective. If you practice full bore, that is precisely what you will do in a real fight. If a student doesn't know what it's like to get smacked, they're likely to freak out when they get popped in a fight. In a controlled environment, I think this is an absolutely critical training method!

Respectfully,
Kevin Schaller 



Date: 10/31/00 08:41:21 PM
Name: Mike "Major Dad" Reisman Maj(ret)

Email: kenpomed@yahoo.com

Subject: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

Article:
As we know the Martial Arts of almost any style can include some risks. I have been involved for over 28 yrs(no wonder they call me "Major Dad"). I do not purposely intend to draw blood, but it has happened, mine as well as theirs. In full-contact it can be brutal. I try my best to hit "target areas" for points to win the match, but do not try to cause someone to purposely bleed.
As a RN Nurse Practitioner always use univeral precautions when around blood etc to protect against HIV, Hepatitis etc.

Hope to have shed some light.

Mike "Major Dad" Reisman Maj(ret) RN CS FNP
CCKK Christian Combat Kenpo Karate Instructor 



Date: 10/28/00 08:09:30 PM
Name: Vicki (blackrat78)

Email: blackrat78@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Should Christians draw blood?
 
Article:
This is the way I feel about Christians in the Martial Arts:

As a Christian, Christ lives inside your heart, your soul, and in everything you do. Because of this, you have the right to protect Christ. The reason why you have to protect yourself, is Christ is inside of you. Because He is inside of us, our main goal in life is to spread the word of salvation. In this world today, the world is not 100% safe. If we are faced with a threatening situation, we must defend ourselves, or we can no longer spread the word of salvation if we are dead. Therefore our main goal in life is destoyed.

I feel as if Full-Contact is too much just to train with. I don't like to hurt anyone, and I really do not enjoy getting hurt either. If I feel as if I want to hit full-contact, like that after a stressful day at work, I will get my punching bag, tie it to a tree, and use that to get out my fustration. This way, if I wanted to fight someone, it results in no person getting injured.

I do not like to draw blood, because I fear other people's blood with all the diseases out there. To many blood diseases out there can kill you if it mixes with pure blood. I know because my best friend has a blood disease, not AIDS, but is spread like AIDS and will kill you in many years ahead. A slow an painful death, sometimes, and other times a quick death. Some won't even know they are sick.

I used to spar in my old school with a head gear, arm/forum pads, shin pads, feet pads, and a mouth piece. My equipment was great for the light contact we used in our school. We used minimal contact and make contact in proper places. No one got injured, inless they were goofing off, and walked into a punch, and their nose got the punch, or something like that.

I believe if you want to practice kicking, punching, or other techniques in full-contact, like that of the sreet, you can use heavy bags, punching bags, kicking bags, and even human dummies to practice your technique with, so that no one gets injured.

I feel as Christians we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and I can not hurt family.

That's just the way I feel!

Vicki 



Date: 10/30/00 08:28:58 AM
Name: David Lieder

Email: dlieder@rmi.net

Subject: Re: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

Article:
I am in agreement with Vicki. We use light contact with hand/feet protection; point sparring. Some of my more advanced & aggressive students are allowed to practice Olympic style sparring with full gear that is full cantact but only to legal areas.

David 



 Date: 10/30/00 12:35:51 PM
Name: Anonymous

Email:

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Should Christians draw blood?

Article:
We don't do a lot of sparring, but we drill the self-defense techniques on one another daily. We also utilize pressure-points both as control holds and strikes. Not much blood but some seriously dialated pupils and dizzyness!

When we do spar, intermediate students and above, it's with padding and somewhat sporting in nature. I'm not a fan of sparring in that I am of the opinion that it can condition you to hold back on your power even in a "real world" situation. This position is supported by a wide variety of professionals (pricipally law enforcement & personal security specialists). If you do choose to spar, for competition, then train in that manner.
in His grip,
Kevin Schaller 



Date: 10/28/00 08:13:52 PM
Name: Vicki (blackrat78)

Email: blackrat78@hotmail.com

Subject: Money Funds Suggestions...anyone?

Hello again,
It's me!

I have had a dream of my own martial arts school, like most of you know already. However, it is becoming more clear lately. Belt order goes in order, of how one is before they become saved, designs on the walls are clear, belt embroydery is clear, the design of the building is clear, just the uniforms and money situation is not clear.
I am asking if any of you know ways to get money for a place to establish? I am only working 26 hours a week, while in college. I plan to go to a university starting next year so work will be less. I am going to save up money, but what I am asking mainly for is ways for businesses that are non-profit to get money assistance maybe even from donations and govenment aids?
I had the dream of a non-profit organization, for those that can not afford can train, and still be a part of a Christian enviromenment. After, all, isn't the job of a Christian to help those who need, and other stuff?
If you know of any good sites, or information, if you could send them my way, to let me know, of what I can do, I'd appreciate it.

God bless,
Vicki 



Date: 11/14/00 02:02:17 AM
Name: Ron Vetovich

Email: sejongwarior4christ@pray247.com

Subject: Re: Money Funds Suggestions...anyone?
 
Article:
Vicki,

I teach Se-Jong Tae Kwon Do, which is a non-profit martial arts system founded by Father Robert Connolly (a catholic priest). We only charge $10 a year/student to cover insurance. Lessons are free. I found that many churches and some schools (secular and Christian) will donate space in their buildings for your use. It will take some research to find the appropriate place, but God will provide for you. If you have any other Questions, feel free to e-mail me direct.

For the Glory of CHRIST,
Ron 



Date: 10/30/00 08:26:29 AM
Name: David Lieder

Email: dlieder@rmi.net

Subject: Re: Money Funds Suggestions...anyone?

Article:
We just participated in a kick-a-thon sponsored by Project Action Foundation. 80% of funds raised at our school will come back to our school in scholarships for "at risk kids". Project Action Foundation uses this to help fight juvenile crime. We raised a little over $2,000. Maybe more if Wal-Mart matches.

David 



Date: 10/30/00 01:57:20 PM
Name: Vicki (blackrat78)

Email: blackrat78@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Re: Money Funds Suggestions...anyone?

Article:
You know, I work at Walmart, and didn't even think about it, but I do believe they have a matching funds thing they do, for certain people, matching in what you put in. I wonder if they would do a martial arts school??? I could do a kick a thon, and what I put in from that, they could match? That would add up. 



Date: 10/30/00 12:57:41 PM
Name: Anonymous

Email:

Subject: Re: Re: Money Funds Suggestions...anyone?

Article:
Hi Vickie,
We've e-chatted about this before, but I would suggest that you first begin with an outreach program for a church in your area. It may take a few discussions (and some resistance) but when you find a congregation that is outreach focused, it may just be a fit.

This will also better prepare you for a more active dojo-dojang. It gives you a chance to develop assistant instructors, work out your curicullum, develop class management skills and refine your teaching style.

If you would like some material (anyone who is interested) please feel free to email me and I'll share what we used at CVC. I currently have 80+ active students, teach twice weekly and have had about 200 "try-out" the program in 20 months. Our church is very pleased with the outcome of the program and would be willing to communicate this with other churches or boards.

You can email me at kevin@vistaprimo.com also visit vistaprimo.com for more info on our program.
Regards,
Kevin 



Date: 10/30/00 08:41:01 AM
Name: David Lieder

Email: dlieder@rmi.net

Subject: Stress Relieving

Last week was very stressful.
1. 16 yr old son had knee surgery (ACL); football.
2. 12 yr old son has broken ankle; football.
3. Disputed with football trainer over sideline treatment of son's knee.
4. Swamped at work. Family fabrication business.
5. Belt test given to 16 students.
6. Sleep deprivation.
7. Unable to work-out during week because of all other thing.

Friday my stomach was hurting all day like an ulcer. I felt terrible. Went home after work and considered not even going to TaeKwonDo school. But I did. Istarted working out and after about 15 minutes my stomach pain was gone and I felt 1000% better. Felt fine all weekend also.
Martial Arts are a great stress reliever.

David 



Date: 10/30/00 01:54:15 PM
Name: Vicki (blackrat78)

Email: blackrat78@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Stress Relieving

Article:
Martial arts is definatly a great way to relieve some stress.
From all the time we spend, we discipline ourselves to strive to be the best we can be. We learn to do things we never thought was imaginable as well.
I feel as if you have been stressed a lot too, just as I feel. Last night, I had a big time argument with my parents, and wish I still had my old martial arts school in my life. I would go there after a long hard day of school or home stuff, work out, talk with the instructor, and go home feeling the best. I miss that, and you should be greatful to have a place to train.

The martial arts, is wonderful, very wonderful. That with the Christian standards in my old school were wonderful. It was a great combination. I want to be able to get my own place established too one day, so when someone else is going though a tough time will decide to work out and feel better.

I'll keep you also in my prayers for all what is going on.
Vicki 



Date: 10/30/00 12:50:50 PM
Name: Anonymous

Email:

Subject: Re: Stress Relieving

Article:
God gave us adrenaline to protect our lives, now our bodies release that super-fuel into our system when our brain signals stress (except it isn't a sabertoothed tiger chasing us, just some bozo driving 50 in the fast-lane). So what happens is that our bodies get this Adrenal Dump and we don't "vent" it. Ergo, stomach pain, tight necks, back aches, high blood pressure, testy nerves. Once you get a chance to get a vigorous workout, the toxins are released and you feel spiffy!

As I teach a Kenpo Jujitsu blend, we do a great deal of self defense and pressure point material. I have found that my big, tough teenaged lads, who love to bang on each other, are one of God's gifts to me. Excellent stress relief as you thump them whilst explaining how a given pressure point will cause them to bounce "like this". (now now, don't start on the abusing students routine, I don't knock them out every class) :^)

Where we all need to get to is to feel the stress coming on, say a little prayer for self-control and forgiveness, then work on some "sanchin" breathing and wind down before we blow a gasket.

"Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up" Proverbs 12:25 (Christmas number verse)
Go about life cheerfully, let God's joy in your heart spread as a witness.
Regards,
Kevin 



Date: 11/2/00 04:37:30 PM
Name: Marc Paine

Email: lsf1517@juno.com

Subject: Getting Popped!!!

In our discussion of whether or not to draw blood, someone made a comment concerning getting hit. It was a very perceptive comment, and demonstrated the real-life nature of the author's philosophy of martial arts. The comment went something like: If a student has never practiced full-contact, then they will probably lose a fight as soon as they get hit that first time.

This is a common point of discussion among those of us who are concerned with the street value of our techniques. How can we prepare ourselves for that first hit? Of course, full-contact sparring is just one way to get over the shock of initial contact in a fight. I'm curious whether or not anyone has any ideas about OTHER ways to prepare for this inevitable event. This might include "dragon breathing" "iron shirt" , etc... but I'd like to know how everyone deals with this in their own schools.

I'm afraid that too many schools teach the technique of "False sense of security." This technique, of course, doesn't usually work out very well on the street. It is also unnecessary since I'm sure there are many disciplines (aside from full-contact sparring) which can be utilized even among children to at least mentally condition and prepare them for being on the receiving end of a good sucker punch.

While I've come to realize that my school, for a variety of reasons (not the least of which being the age and maturity of my students), is often more physical than many others, I want to share a little truth I've found. In my school, and I know this will sound absolutely awful but bear with me, we actually make a jocular "celebration" of someone's "first blood." When someone gets hit really hard or knocked down hard, or gets a nose broken or something for the first time ever, we usually end class by getting a couple of cokes or ice cream or something and laughing it off. I've found that your students' devotion to the arts multiplies tenfold when they get over the double handicap of no contact. The two big problems I've found with students who have never actually been hit are:

1. They aren't scared ENOUGH of getting hit. They are unrealistic in their confidence. The believe that they will simply shrug off a solid punch to the face or something like it.

2. They are TOO SCARED of getting hit. They are not aggressive at all, and are handicapped by their own lack of ranging ability and lack of ability to close on an opponent.

I hope everyone will share their own ideas or observations concerning this age-old issue of "first contact."

Pax Christi,

Marc Paine 



Date: 11/14/00 11:47:04 PM
Name: Scott

Email: tarmangani@msn.com

Subject: Re: Getting Popped!!!

I’ve wondered about this one too. On the one hand I want to
learn the “how” of actually fighting, but on the other hand, I
don’t want a broken kneecap or broken neck. I don’t even want a
fat lip. I do not enjoy pain. I respect boxing and BJJ/wrestling
because those guys go full-speed, full-strength. They know what
works and what doesn’t work and how to deal with it all, at least
within the boundaries of their art. The puzzle for me is that
their arts are bounded, so upon learning boxing and wrestling,
have I really learned the “how” of fighting? I don’t think so.
But does that mean I shouldn’t put on the gloves and box
someone?
My solution is that every now and then I will go full-speed,
full-strength with someone I trust. I always get hurt doing it,
so I only do it every now and then. I’m not a danger junkie.
I’ve gotten a variety of injuries from stand-up grappling,
on-the-floor grappling, boxing, kicking, stick fighting, and
even aikido. I've given a few "owies" too. From all of this I
learned 3 things: (1) I have a high tolerance for pain, but (2)
I’m not Superman. But nobody else is Superman either. Well-placed
shots will knock me on my ass, but they might also knock my
opponent out too. And (3) it’s very, very, very hard to score
those well-placed shots. 99% of a fight is chaotic, and 99% of
the time you’ll both get hurt to some degree. You don't need
the KO blow, that "one punch kill" so coveted by Shotokan and
Mike Tyson. All you really need is a TKO.
Had I never gone full-out with someone I trusted, I really don’t
think I would have learned these lessons. Without learning these
lessons, I don’t think I could ever call myself a martial artist.
Some of life’s lessons you can get from a book, and some you
can’t, and some are very important. I think taking a punch is a
very important lesson because it teaches so much about the human
body. It is also one that you have to do on your own.
If you think of something to replace it, let me know.

> I'm afraid that too many schools teach the technique of
> "False sense of security." This technique, of course, doesn't
> usually work out very well on the street.
Sad but true. I have known some black belts who couldn’t fight
their way out of a wet paper bag. But they weren’t interested
in fighting skills, and they’ll probably never get in a fight
anyway. On the other extreme, my best friend has never set foot
in a dojo but he has school yard experience, and I think he
could beat up half my classmates. 



Date: 11/19/00 05:30:46 PM
Name: Mark McGee

Email: mmcgee@gmaf.org

Subject: Re: Getting Popped!!!

Article:
Most of us who have been in martial arts for years have been punched, kicked, choked, stomped, bruised, knocked out, thrown into walls, suffered broken fingers, toes, teeth, lips and noses, and generally been beaten up. We've also done some of that to partners and opponents. I don't particularly look back on any of that with fond memories. Parts of my body don't function as well as they might because of years of painful abuse. I'm not sure it was necessary to learn an art. I know I can deal with pain in a fight and keep moving, but did I need to experience the pain to learn that? Maybe. Maybe not.

My experience with pain in martial arts, in addition to my respect for people as a Christian, led me to become a gentle teacher. Maybe the pain was good for something, but I don't recommend it.

Mark McGee
GMAF 



Date: 11/4/00 01:01:57 AM
Name: Scott

Email: tarmangani@msn.com

Subject: Re: Patterns

Article:
Very few forms/katas/hyungs/jurus have any modern
martial aspect to them. Almost without exception
the forms teach ridiculous body positioning, such
as punching from the hip bone, and having an
extraordinarily deep and wide stance. They are
foolishness when view through the lens of a MARTIAL
art. To think that you can't have martial arts without
forms is to not know what "martial" means.
If you love forms, fine. No problem. You're obviously
learning the martial arts for the same reason other
people learn ballet -- it's beautiful to watch, and
it's fun to do. I totally agree with that. But I hope
you recognize that the forms you are learning are little
more than dance moves. They have almost no MARTIAL benefit. 



Date: 11/17/00 08:38:25 PM
Name: Marc Paine

Email: lsf1517@juno.com

Subject: Patterns

I noticed an article which slipped by me earlier this month from Scott on forms. He is clearly against. Let me share a few of my thoughts on this issue so prevalent in MA today.

1. Almost every great pragmatist (Bruce Lee of Jeet Kune Do being the most often cited) mastered AT LEAST one system of martial art (including forms) before they ventured off on "what works."

2. If you fight like you do "kata," then you aren't a fighter. That is true. However, the goal of kata or forms is not to teach you how to fight. The goal is to condition your body through repetition so that it learns a new way of moving instinctually.

3. Good martial arts instructors recognize that where the rubber meets the road is not kata. We compensate for this by introducing simplified drills on specific techniques WITHIN a kata, so that martial skill is developed, not just "good form."

4. In my school, I push my students to kick above my head in forms and even in basics. However, when it is time in class to do application... I'll pop the head of any student who tries to kick me in the head. Kicks are for lower body, hands are for upper.

Katas, therefore, don't detract from a well-rounded martial arts curriculum, but rather add to it and help to systematize it for constant practice outside the dojo. They teach stances, stepping, and striking.

On the other hand, I think that "forms collectors" (as we call them at my school) and "plum flower fist fighters" (again a Chinese style derogatory term) have given forms a bad name. Many people out there just want to learn umpteen million katas, whether they can effectively perform the kata or not. These people irritate us all, but let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. My specific style is particularly unsavory to "forms collectors." We have only two basic katas. After that, there is only one form which makes up our system. It has 108 postures and takes about 15 minutes to complete. It deters most of the library martial artists right away.

Pax Christi
 

If you have comments pro or con "kata" or "forms" then please share your experience or insights. 



Date: 11/18/00 06:32:03 PM
Name: Vicki (blackrat78)

Email: blackrat78@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Patterns

Article:
Martial Arts patterns do have their benefits, I agree.

Martial Arts patterns help increase stanama, increase muscles, increase focus, and many otheres. Patters help you incorporate combinations of strikes in motion.

Yes, I do agree that you do not fight like you would in a form, but it does help you condition your body, to last in a fight.

Katas also help you with your memory.

I have heard of some instructors like yourself who encourage students to kick as high as they can in basics, and in forms, and I can agree that it is good for gaining flexablility and strenth, and because of which when you go to kick drills, and sparring, you kick with more power at lower level kicks.

Myself personally, forms were my strongest part. 



Date: 11/19/00 04:39:46 PM
Name: Mark

Email: mmcgee@gmaf.org

Subject: Re: Patterns

Article:
I agree that forms are good for students in their first 4 or 5 years of training. However, the goal of form training should be to become Formless. Forms teach a student how to defend and respond in multiple directions while addressing the attacks of multiple attackers. Formless is not being concerned about an attack. Formless means we do not anticipate our opponent’s movement. We must always be ready for change. Ability is concealed within the bones and joints until the moment of attack. Defense springs from deep within the mind and body and appears suddenly to meet attack, then disappears as quickly as it appeared. Formless is the method. That is our path.

In the same way, the new believer spends years learning Bible verses, doctrine and theology. That is our beginning. Maturity is when Christ lives His Life through the believers body and mind. Love and Grace flow as a circle of light and life from the Christian as Christ shows Himself to others. That is our Path.

In Christ's Love and Grace,

Mark McGee
GMAF 



Date: 11/19/00 10:02:52 PM
Name: Marc Paine

Email: lsf1517@juno.com

Subject: Re: Patterns
 
A great verse to bring up to those students you have which practice katas as though "going through the motions" is:

1 Cor 9:26b
I do not fight as a man beating at the air.

I make my students quote that every time I see their forms getting weak. I expect students to perform forms as though they were striking hard enough to hurt someone, not to be pretty. This verse has proven wonderful for driving the point home, as well as providing an in-road for talking about our spiritual walks.

-Marc 



Date: 11/19/00 11:04:37 PM
Name: Scott

Email: tarmangani@msn.com

Subject: Re: Patterns

Article:
(Nice verse you gave there - 1 Cor 9:26)

I'm clearly against those that are falsely advertised as teaching fighting techniques, and I'm against those that conflict with fighting techniques. All other kata I like.

Under stress, people resort back to their repetition training. Rarely will people rise to your expectations. We give medals to people who rise up! Why would you make your students do thousands of reps of something you don't want them to do in a fight? It makes no sense to me.

This is where we part ways. If your goal is to learn to fight, and I think you said it is, and if you advertise that you will teach others how to fight, then your kata should teach fighting techniques. There seems to be a contradiction between your school's curriculum, and your goal at that school. That's not good. Don't pull yourself and your students in two directions. 



Date: 11/20/00 10:15:35 PM
Name: John R. Himes

Email: yohane@eolas-net.ne.jp

Subject: Re: Re: Patterns

Article:
Forms ("patterns") may be the most understood and underrated part of the Asian martial arts. There are at least two main reasons for this. First of all, when Funakoshi Gichin and others brought Karate from Okinawa to Honshu (main island of Japan), their purpose was educational. In order to make a deadly art suitable for kids in the classroom, they made it into a sport by introducing competition and excluding the "bunkai" (analysis of moves; lit. "sectioned explanation"). This means that practitioners of Funakoshi-based Karate Do styles (including most Tae Kwon Do, by the way) do the forms without knowing the applications, especially the hidden grappling moves of Okinawan toride or Chinese chin na.

The other main reason for the underrating of form by Westerners is the influence of boxing. The obvious example is Bruce Lee. For example, in addition to his Wing Chun Gung Fu experience Bruce Lee was a boxer. He came to believe, as Scott has, that the hand techniques of traditional forms were weak and so added his boxing techniques to his martial art. Since Lee, most Western martial artists and many Asians hold their hands like boxers when they spar. This is especially true of full-contact sports styles (kickboxing, for example) which do not allow grappling in the competition. It is instructive here to notice that grappling was the one area Bruce Lee was weak in, and it was up to his followers to add systematic grappling training to the Jeet Kune Do curriculum. If Bruce had gone further to the advanced stage in Wing Chun or any other style he would have learned the grappling behind the forms and possibly learned to like them. His low level of training in Wing Chun (he didn't even learn the advanced form, Bil Jee) kept Bruce from learning the deeper aspects of forms.

Basically it is only Westerners following Bruce Lee's influence who have thrown out the forms. Believe it or not, Asian based "reality" styles have forms, because they are an excellent teaching method! For example, Kyokushinkai teaches the full range of kata other Karate styles have. Again, Seidokaikan has a series of modern kata they call "Jissen Kata" ("reality fighting forms"). This is the style headed by Ishii Kazuyoshi Kancho, who founded the K-1 kickboxing events and whose fighters do extremely well in such events.

Personally, I think that those who throw forms out ala Bruce Lee are throwing out the baby with the bath water. They teach not only techniques and stances, but should be used to teach fighting principles, concentration, balance and turning as well as strengthening every muscle of the body. Just today in my own class I was able to correct posture and stance in one student in particular as he did his form. (He was leaning, didn't have his balance under him.)

Another reason for forms is that it is impossible to research the history of the Asian martial arts without knowing the forms. For example, Miyagi studied Five Ancestors Fist in Fukien, China, but how would we know this unless we knew that Goju Ryu has Tensho, which is a cognate form with Five Ancestors Fist.

Another excellent reason for the forms is that many of us just plain enjoy them! There is great esthetic beauty in a form done well. I personally would be very bored in a style with nothing but Karate kicking and boxing punching every class.

My final reason for liking forms is that Bruce Lee did not! He was a great martial artist, but his arrogance, immorality, situation ethics and Hindu philosophy make me want to have a little distance between my Christian martial art and him, while admitting his brilliance. 



Date: 11/21/00 05:04:18 PM
Name: Scott

Email: tarmangani@msn.com

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Patterns

In response to my good man John Himes -

>>
Forms ("patterns") may be the most
understood and underrated part of the Asian
martial arts. There are at least two main
reasons for this. First of all, when Funakoshi
Gichin and others brought Karate from
Okinawa to Honshu (main island of Japan),
their purpose was educational. In order to
make a deadly art suitable for kids in the
classroom, they made it into a sport by
introducing competition and excluding the
"bunkai" (analysis of moves; lit. "sectioned
explanation"). This means that practitioners
of Funakoshi-based Karate Do styles
(including most Tae Kwon Do, by the way)
do the forms without knowing the
applications, especially the hidden grappling
moves of Okinawan toride or Chinese chin
na.
>>

You have completely nailed it on the head! This is an accurate comment. Good man. For example, the “rising forearm block” of karate and its derivatives was never intended to be a block. Neither God nor Funakoshi meant for it to be a block. It was meant to be a strike to the vegas nerve on the neck, and a potentially lethal strike at that. Yet who in America today teaches it as a strike? I daresay, you could probably count such instructors on your fingers and toes. This is craziness!
 

>>
Basically it is only Westerners following Bruce Lee's influence who have thrown out the forms. Believe it or not, Asian based
"reality" styles have forms, because they are an excellent teaching method!
... They teach not only techniques and stances, but should be used to teach fighting principles, concentration, balance and turning
as well as strengthening every muscle of the body
>>

“Should” is the operative word, and with that word we agree. Katas are an excellent method 1) only when the student is taught the "bunkai" and the real meaning behind the blocks that aren’t blocks, etc., and 2) only if the kata coincides with the sparring ring. To confuse blocks with strikes, and strikes with grabs, and to insist upon stances so deep or wide that you look like a mime sitting on an invisible chair, is to dilute and even pollute
the martial arts. To disallow kata techniques into the sparring ring is to divorce kata from the “martial” side of martial arts, and that is both wrong and bad.

If you are teaching your students that a “rising forearm block” is not a block but a dangerous strike, and if you are teaching your students the hidden grappling techniques in karate, and if you encourage them to use kata when they spar, then I salute you. You are a rare gem, a truly lucky find. Your students are extremely blessed.

But anyway, katas are not needed to develop fighting ability. I think 80% of karate is contained within two drills in arnis: the “box pattern,” also known as “sumbrada,” and “hubad-lubad.” The box pattern has all of the footwork of karate. Hubad has all the
punches and blocks. Really. You can verify this for yourself. Both of these drills include grappling and low kicks. I think the only
“karate” missing from these two drills are the high kicks. But who can do a high kick in a business suit or a mini-skirt anyway?

And you don’t need to pick the katas with esoteric and hidden information. You can pick katas that are straightforward and (relatively) clear. The first form of cobra/python silat is one such example. It look just like karate, even.
 

>>
Another reason for forms is that it is impossible to research the history of the Asian martial arts without knowing the forms. For example, Miyagi studied Five Ancestors Fist in Fukien, China, ...
>>

True.
A bit of trivia: The martial arts definitely did not originate in China, nor even in India. They started either in Java, Indonesia or in Egypt. Probably Indonesia.

Sometimes we get so focused on the Chinese and Japanese martial arts that we forget that the martial arts are global. Europe, Greece, Africa, the frozen north of Alaska, the Hawaiian islands, everywhere you look people have and are teaching the next
generation how to fight. The Apache Indians and the Zulus were both doing o-soto-gari (rear leg sweep) when the White Man found
them. The Hawaiian hula dances are actually grappling katas. These people did not learn from Bodhidharma, or from Jigoro Kano. 



Date: 11/22/00 04:38:28 PM
Name: Kevin D. Schaller

Email: kevin@vistaprimo.com

Subject: Re: Patterns (late comment)
 
Interesting topic.
Something that hasn't been brought up in this discussion is the benefit within forms training of learning to "flow". I judge so many forms at tournaments where the participant maintains a steady rythum, no tempo variation, no "timber". A kata should be like music, with variations, staccatto on the strikes and water through the transitions. The Chinese arts tend to be a bit better in this regard. This principal also applies directly to fighting. A self defense technique MUST flow with proper timing. Autonomic reactions of your opponent require certain pauses, so the body can react and set-up follow-up strikes.

Further, the "traditional" Japanese, as was mentioned previously mentioned, contain a tremendous amount of information concerning joint locks, pressure points and even grappling techniques.

I'm certainly not a collector of forms, I think I can do about 10 of them, after 17 years of training. Some are really simple, some are very complex. They are part of the art and an intregal member of the training.
Respectfully,
Kevin Schaller 



Date: 11/23/00 04:14:55 PM
Name: John R. Himes

Email: yohane@eolas-net.ne.jp

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patterns
 
Article:
Good comments, Scott. On the history of the martial arts going back to the Mideast, the best thing in print on this that I've seen is Dr. Kent Haralson's "The Martial Arts: A Christian Perspective, Philosophy, Program." This well-researched, 102 page gem is published through the Gospel Martial Arts Union. See the website at gmau.org. 



Date: 12/20/00 01:53:34 AM
Name: Jim Smoak

Email: jimsmoak@bellatlantic.net

Subject: Re: Re: Patterns
 
"But I hope you recognize that the forms you are learning are little more than dance moves. They have almost no MARTIAL benefit."

I must respectfully disagree with this statement. However, I do agree that MA can exist without forms.

Forms, or kata, when properly executed and thoroughly examined (usually through bunkai) can be one of several effective tools in developing muscle memory or instintive movement. Additionally, forms provide a nice vehicle for understanding effective defensive to offensive transitions as well as the reverse. They can also provide the martial artist an effective imagary vehicle when the sparring ring is not available. Now, don't get me wrong. Forms aren't the end all or do all (did I say that right? :-} ). MA practice should be diversified with drills and sparring to be fully effective. In summary, I do believe that forms have martial value; very much so. Just my humble opinion.

Thanks and God bless you all,

Jim



Date: 01/3/01 04:55:40 PM
Name: USJMKA

Email: USJMKA@juno.com

Subject: Re: Patterns
 
It is generally believed that there were 24 original kata in the various "Te" systems of Okinawa, all of them descending from Chinese boxing systems, primarily the White Crane and Black Tiger styles. Each of these kata represented a philosophy of fighting, and some have been around for a long time. To study a kata is a very long and serious undertaking. Most kata have woven within them strikes that were proven to be deadly ... many of the movements within kata have more than one meaning. I think it is probably best to think of genuine kata as the encyclopedia of Karate - secrets written in movements rather than on paper. It is well to remember that kata were developed in an era that knew nothing of sport martial arts, scoring points, or "tapping out." All of the legendary "fathers" of martial arts as we know them today were immersed in a study of kata. When Masutatsu Oyama made his mythical world tour and did amazing feats - even defeating world-class wrestlers - his main regimen of training (according to an old article I once read) was hand conditioning and kata. Regarding "what works" - it can never be known until revealed in mortal combat. What "works" in a ring of "ultimate fighters" is never intended to end in death, and there is a method of escape - the referee stops the fight. To compare that with the older methodology of training which prioritized kata is like trying to compare apples with oranges. Kata were not designed from this kind of mindset. I think most of us these days have no idea of true kata training. The techniques of Kata assume that the practitioner has developed and conditioned his fingers and hands and understands the meridians of the human body, including the "blood gates" and "nerve plexuses." Westerners don't get into that kind of training very much.
Let me end with a very familiar story - I hope it is true. Kushanku was a Chinese military attache officer serving in the Ryukyu island chain near the village of Shuri. He was a Chinese boxing master. Late one night he was accosted by six thugs in the middle of an open field, and they attacked from all directions. He fiercely fought them off in a matter of seconds. He devised a series of exercises based on his experience that night. The exercises were eventually developed into the kata that is known today as Kushanku/Kwanku/Kwon Gong. When practicing this form, one needs to remember that its techniques were designed for fighting in an open field against opponents coming from all directions, unlike Naihanchi/Tekki/Chul Gi, designed for a simpler fight in narrow confines. To study each kata meticulously is to open the door to every conceivable scenario of attack and counter, and to study what effect various attacks will have on certain parts of the body. Where should that palm heel be delivered? Why is this kick thrusting downward? What is the purpose of this stamping motion? Where is this spear hand to be delivered? Why am I turning 270 degrees? Why is this hand snapping back to my side? There are reasons, and they are very effective ones ...
And we do well to remember - Bruce Lee is dead, and unlike the old, venerable masters of kata, he died very young .... it must not have "worked" that well.