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DantheWolfMan UnderGround >> Modern Traditionalists

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3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Tony Blauer
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
Member Since: 01-Jan-01
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Blauer Tactical Systems, Inc.
 
Modern Traditionalists In reality, the ‘martial’ notion of traditionalism is really an enigma. The mainstream populace has always feared change and modernization and this same ‘clinging’ mind-set prevails in many respects in the martial art world. Example: My hard-core system, CHU FEN DO, is considered to be a ‘modern combat’ system, yet I consider it to be very traditional. How is this possible? In my schools we have no real rituals to speak of. Sensei and Sifu has been replaced with ‘Coach’. We practice pure street defense all the time. How is it I consider it ‘traditional’? Because ‘Truth’ is perception based and perception is always subjective. When a system or style is first developed, irrespective of it’s methodology, virtues or values, it is generally labeled or type-cast as modern, radical, irreverent, rebel-like and a host of other PC and not so politically correct terms that are commonly used to describe ‘breakers of tradition’. But today’s modern eclectic will become tomorrow’s tradition. As the world gets meaner and more violent, serious martial art instructors need to offer educational havens for those seeking solutions to those very real problems of fear and violence. Necessity is the mother of invention and so, the arts must change to adapt to the reality of the street. We need to move past traditional roots to address the problems that face us today. As for the issue of honor and integrity, this is not so easily addressed. It cannot be remedied with belts, or enforced respect and fear. There is only one type of discipline and that is self-discipline. Creating stricter classes, more rules and penalties will not churn out better people. Our world has become morally anorexic and outbursts of emotion and anger is the result. Ironically, life has always been like this. And that was part of my point about tradition being an enigma. The world has always been separated by the debate over Good & Evil. The pejorative ego, comparison, judgment and petty debates over theoretical superiority, has always been around; it’s just out of control right now, because we are now. We are living it, rather than reading it. I bet three thousand years ago people had this very same conversation. We have martial arts instructors being charged with assault, negligence, fraud, sexual misconduct; we have get your black-belt by mail video companies (guess what? they’re in business too, folks!). As far as tradition goes, the re-investment of Traditional values, at first glance, seems to be a valid remedy for our martial ills – but this is a just a Band-Aid treatment, a panacea. People are the problem. Not styles, or tradition. We generally become who we are going to be during our formative first 5 to 7 years of our life. There’s your answer. Real Martial arts instructors can reinforce and introduce new values and virtues, but if the seeds haven’t been planted and the mind hasn’t been nourished, the heart won’t embrace it. A brilliant therapist once said, “I always like to meet the parents, it helps me forgive the children.” You want to help fix the martial arts world? Take care of your home. Then and only then will the martial world be a ‘community’ based on spirit, healthy competition and warrior virtues like truth, trust, courage and honor. Tony
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Glenn Sunshine
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Greetings, After the Kata thread on the Training Enhancement page, I've been giving some thought to what a "traditional" martial art really would be. Some things I've concluded: 1) It should enhance health, physically, mentally and emotionally, not tear it down. A traditional art existed in a society that couldn't afford people who were broken, e.g. warriors that had permanent knee or shoulder problems from the training. 2) It should be combat effective. That means unarmed combat, including both striking and grappling, as well as whatever weapons the culture used. The point was to defend the society, after all. 3) It should be built around a firm moral foundation. If the point is to protect society, it must integrate the morals and values of that society into its approach to combat--the when, why and how of fighting. 4) It should be evolving. As weapons and armor improved, new techniques had to be developed. As masters passed on their knowledge to their students, those students appropriated that knowledge in their own ways, playing to their strengths and contributing their unique gifts and perspectives to the development of the art. The word "art" itself is a key here: an art is a set of skills and techniques that provides the medium for an artist to express her/himself. That's the answer fundamentally: a true martial art cannot be static, since in its ultimate expression it is personal, the response of the artist to her/his environment. It seems to me, from the little I know about Mr. Blauer's work (along with ROSS), that it is "traditional" in the best and ultimate sense of the word. Yours, Glenn Sunshine
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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jsteinmann
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Coach, Great stuff! Jake
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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felipe123
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Someone explained to me that "tradition" was doing the same things your instructor did, in exactly the same way. I disagreed strongly to this and pointed out the same things Dogbert says. I also believe that traditional martial arts are not bound by a certain group of technique. For instance I have practiced several MA but my main system is Shotokan. To most people I communicate with, Shotokan is just a one-punch system. This should be obviously wrong, but somehow it isn't so obvious. There is more to the increase in population mentioned by Moder Samurai, and there is a hint of what I want to say in Mr. Blauer's post "I bet three thousand years ago people had this very same conversation." We are not bothering to learn from the past. Instead we follow it blindly wherever it may lead, or maybe worse, ignore it completely because we have a "new and improved" way. People think that the last thing said by an instructor or "leader" is all there is to see. How about finding out how he arrived at this conclusion. If you bother to look you will see many changes that took place before the "last" change was adopted. Funakoshi, the founder of the Shotokan is a clear example. He changed his mind every couple of years, or even more often, and came up with something new. Guess what, he died and is no longer able to make any changes. Does this mean that Shotokan cannot change?
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Tony Blauer
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Blauer Tactical Systems, Inc.
Thanks guys, if you want classic thoughts on this and want to know what inspired my post read the interview posted int eh ARTICLE WORTH CHECKING OUT thread. Tony
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Shawn Mozen
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Great thread Tony. ” You want to help fix the martial arts world? Take care of your home. Then and only then will the martial world be a ‘community’ based on spirit, healthy competition and warrior virtues like truth, trust, courage and honor." What you have said in these few lines should echo in the minds of everyone who reads this thread. There can be no real growth in the martial arts world until practitioners direct their critiques and attention inward. Many people are quick to raise their voices regarding the quality of a style, technique or teacher, however these same individuals fall silent when confronted with the task of turning their critical eye inward. The community that you have created here, is a testimony to your commitment to "take care of your own home." Your students carry themselves like gentlemen warriors and they are the physical reflection of your words. Shawn Mozen
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Tony Blauer
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Blauer Tactical Systems, Inc.
Thanks Shawn! Sincerely.
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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martial_shadow
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Every generation has a dynamic energy with which they seek a new homeostatis with their environment. However, if this energy level is not maintained and the search not kept for a better way, the answers found so far evenutally crystalize and becomes a law, irreputable until another generation with a high dynamic energy come to question and seek answers, until they too become crystals, and over and over again.

MS

3/7/02 8:32 AM
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ironmongoose
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Do not walk in the steps of men of old; seek what they sought. - Basho, the Zen guy.
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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DI MadMan
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Fantastic Tony as always Charlie
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Tap This
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Once again, great stuff! Jason
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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felipe123
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Ironmongoose, You managed to say in 14 words what I probably couldn't make clear in way more than that.
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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ironmongoose
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Thanks for the kind words, felipe. That's from Basho, the old-time zen monk. I thought it fit with the conversation.

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