Jan 31 2009

My vision beyond 5th Kyu

Published by at 2:29 pm under Training at Home

Confronting cruelty,
Strengthens the mind and spirit,
Vanquishing discord.

I will start out by saying this is a philosophy that I have come to myself.  It is not representative of the opinions of the TenChiJin dojo as a whole.

After one has passed 5th kyu, I assume that they are serious enough about their training that they can endure.  The training we do is not the best for physical fitness or even discipline.  These are not things that you can be given through a martial art, especially not this one.  The only thing we are good for is survival in a dangerous situation.  This said we have to train in such a way that gets us ready for a real situation.

What will it be like when you are in a fight?  No go ahead take some time, I’ll wait.  It is my responsibility to give that answer, or as close as I can to it.  Your practise must escalate to a point where you know what it will feel like when someone is trying to hurt or kill you.  That’s what you are training for right?  The world can be a dangerous place and that’s why we take the martial arts.  Regardless if it is falling off a bike, or protecting yourself or loved ones (or complete strangers Shidoshi O.) from danger there is not time to hesitate.  Your mind must be clear, your spirit determined and your body free to act as it should.

At 5th kyu, you should have the skills to defend yourself against an untrained opponent at the very least (see more about this at the end of the post).  But if you have all the skills in the world but hesitate it is meaningless.  If you don’t have the courage to act when you need to then your martial arts will in the end mean nothing.

The only way to gain this skill is through training in a way that pushes you outside of your comfort zone so that you are accustomed to how it feels when you are in a confrontation.  You must train in a way that will develop fudo shin (the immovable heart).  But more on the Immovable heart later, your life is on the line so practise well.

Yes untrained fighters, I promised I would talk about them..  I have heard countless times, “well if you meet a bar fighter then he will be way better than a martial artist anyhow” or “fighting experience is all that matters anyway so when you get on the street your martial arts means nothing”.  If people could just naturally win then there would be no reason for the martial arts.  If practise did not improve your skills then why would every other physical endeavour do it.  I admit the reason why I have posted information on training is because we as martial arts teachers are not taking advantage of the advances in sports learning.

For you to assert that an untrained fighter who gets into a scrap a week at the bar is going to be better than a properly trained martial artist is like putting a basketball player who practices on a team against someone who just was handed a ball told the rules and playing pickup basketball (one on one) one day a week.  That assumption is madness at best.  It does not apply in any other activity, why in regards to fighting?

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “My vision beyond 5th Kyu”

  1. Brianon 02 Feb 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I think there is something to be said about untrained people having a free mind to do what works. If one is training on a regular basis (correctly), after awhile you should be beyond this stage and be able to overcome someone untrained regardless. I think a lot of martial artists have preconcieved notions of “i can only punch this way” or “I can only use this kick in this situation”. I think having a free, open mind and to be able to conform to change while it happens is one of the greatest things offered in this art. Just my opinion.

  2. Antonon 02 Feb 2009 at 6:13 pm

    I would like to reply with the untrained have less options. So they may not be constrained by their training, but they are limited to what they know or have seen or can think up on the fly.

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