Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lost In Translation


Steve said...

Well, the first one is cryptic, but I'd say that the second one is very clear... and I agree! :D

Dojo Rat said...

I'll bet the first one is 'Skate Board"
Those little Bastards are everywhere

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Cung Le the more traditional martial artist fought the legendary (at least in his mind) Frank Shamrock.

The fight end ended with Frank Shamrock leaving with a broken arm. I think that settles that.

Also Google "Frank Shamrock VS. Cung Le (Part 5 of 5)". Those out the that love dogging Tae Kwon Do & its kicks, note it was a kick that broke the arm. Cung Le is an amazing fighter and kicker.

I do not like watching this stuff much, but that fight should illustrate some of what DR and I mean by non Olympic Tae Kwon Do, our case Ji Do Kwan. Has much to offer and though may not work for everybody it definitely does work.

DR: I met with Floyd over the weekend gave him some footage for the Dante flick. Floyd has tons of REALLY good stuff :)

Steve said...

Cung Le is a san shou artist crosstraining in BJJ/submission wrestling. San Shou is a very interesting form of kung fu that is outside the norm in that they emphasize sparring, pressure testing and competition in order to hone their skill. Cung Le has more in common with the average MMA fighter than he does with anyone at the average Wing Chun school.

I feel like a broken record, but most MMA fighters train simultaneously in several discreet traditional styles often including Kempo, Kyokushin Karate, Muay Thai, BJJ, San Shou/San da and Judo. At some point this will certainly change as MMA becomes it's own hybrid style along the lines of JKD.

Hand2Hand said...

I have to agree with Steve on Cung Le.

I've seen video of him training. It's not horse stances and forms. It's pretty much like any other boxer or kickboxer - heavy on the bag work, the roadwork and takes advantage of the latest technological improvements.

But Steve, I wouldn't consider Wing Chun a particularly traditional martial art. Speaking as a WC sifu, I can tell you that it is designed as a streetfighting art. Yip Man made a lot of changes and encouraged advance students to experiment and try different things.

Looking at all the versions of WC out there should prove it. I've been told by several reliable sources that if you get Yip Man's sons, Yip Chun and Yip Ching in a room, you will will hear a very profanity-laden argument over how to teach Wing Chun.

Wong Shun Leung (Bruce Lee's main teacher) was a competitive boxer and stressed physical training to much higher level than Yip Man did.

In fact, there's one big difference between Wing Chun and other forms of kung fu. Wing Chun has no bow or salute of it's own. Hung Gar, Bak Mei, Choy Lee Fut and other all have their own salute or bow to identify other members.

I could go on and on about differences between the various WC styles and how WC breaks with so many Chinese martial traditions, but I don't have the time or space now.

Steve said...

@H2H: Very interesting stuff! The point I was trying to make is that Cung Le's kicks work because he has developed the technique through sparring and competition. He can make that kick work because he's executed the kick against a live, resisting, well trained opponent countless times in the gym and in the ring.

My opinion is that any style that does the same will cultivate effective fighters.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Well, no matter how academic on the fighting arts we choose to be here in cyberspace, I wouldn't want to step in the ring or in the street against him.

I think it's too easy to put a label on somebody to minimize them.

"Kick boxer" "Traditionalist" or even "Liberal" "Conservative"(for you DR) people tend to be more complicated than labels.

Le is a perfect example of using what works for him.That is the truest art. We have yet to see everything he can bring to the table. True we can discuss his tools ad nausium; but the end result was a very tough MMA expert with a broken arm and Le's victory.

Personally, I liked Le for his character. He was the humble one, fighting the "mouth of MMA". It was just karma to me that he won.

Steve said...

Le is a perfect example of using what works for him.That is the truest art.Your logic completely escapes me. If using what works for you is the definition of "art," then why are you so clearly biased against MMA?

Cung Le is a mixed martial artist. One of many. He has a background in wrestling, is an uncommonly good San Shou fighter who is now training intensively in BJJ to develop his ground fighting skills.

Some involved in MMA are arrogant jerks, like Frank Shamrock (a notorious a-hole). Others, like Le, are not.

You say we shouldn't use labels, but are quick to use the label "MMA" to paint a diverse group of martial artists with one unflattering brush. The only one using labels to minimize anyone is you.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Wow Steve is feeling frisky!
Are you always this rude and lacking respect or only when you're behind the keyboard? You come off as somebody who is better suited for the likes of Bullshido.

MMA is not martial arts nor a group of artists. Period. To quote Royce Gracie, "A lot of people think, and made the comment, saying ”Well, the first UFCs was a big infomercial for Gracie Jiu Jitsu”. Yes, it was." I am only biased by the mis-definition of what MMA is which is a sport.

I admire the athletes that are competing in the sport of MMA but only as athletes. The sport of MMA is devoid of the mental and spiritual aspects common in traditional styles.

What you call my flawed logic, is only your own lack of experience. I've been actively involved in martial arts for 25 years. I started in Ji Do Kwan & Hap Ki Do the took Diato-Ryu while I was in Okinawa. Over the years I've studied a bit of most of everything. Goju-Ryu, Shotokan, Yudo (Judo) et al.

Now you ask me "What do you teach?" I will answer bluntly "Traditional Tae Kwon Do, based on the Kwan of Ji Do Kwan." However it will have my own unique imprint on it's interpretation (the "spirit" of the instructor).

I challenge you to find 2 masters that teach the same thing the same way. But people want a name, a label.

Martial Arts are by definition "military skills" which developed into arts. Using that as your measure, MMA is lacking, because it has rules. The Spartans boycotted the Olympics because of the rules in Greek wrestling of "eye gouging" "fish hooking" & "strikes to the groin".

I do not teach much sport, though it is a good training tool. I teach a tried and true military skill forged in the annexation of Korea, the Korean War and thousands of years of Korean traditions.

What I teach can and does save lives. I've taught Women's Rape Prevention classes, Prisoners & Prison Guards, Cops and in my military days my fellow GIs. The feedback from students makes it worth it.

I know who I am. Who are you?

Hand2Hand said...

Hey Sa Bum Nim P,

I know from your previous postings that you don't consider MMA a martial art.

That's your opinion and I respect it though I disagree with is vehemently.

From your description of Ji Do Kwan, it sounds like it has done a better job than most martial arts for preserving it's martial flavor. It's harder and harder to find that when so many martial arts schools are more concerned with promoting a sport or maintaining ancient traditions than with offering practical self defense.

But that said, I think MMA does a better job than 99.9 percent of what passes for martial arts in terms of preparing someone for self defense.

I would sure hate to throw down with any successful UFC competitor on the street.

But you can't escape rules whether in a commercial dojo, the ring, or yes, even in Ji Do Kwan training. Even though it may include some more aggressive, martial techniques in its repertoire, like fish-hooking and eye gouging, I doubt seriously you actually use such techniques in training.

As you said, you use sport as a training method. I can also guess that you find some way to simulate those more lethal techniques, like practicing them on a bag or dummy, rather than a live partner.

Finally, for more on the subject of sport and martial arts, I recommend you google "The Sporting Life," by Ned Beaumont. I think it's the best critique of the current state of martial arts since Bruce Lee's classic, "Liberate Yourself from Classical Karate."

Steve said...

@sa bum, with respect, you seem more interested in insulting me or trying to intimidate me than addressing the points I made. I am impressed by your resume. I'm usually pretty careful not to misrepresent my own experience. If you and I were face to face, I'd say the same things. I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. Do you think I'm threatening you? If so, I'm really doing a bad job of communicating! Or are you threatening me?

I'd like to know more about how you define MMA and mixed martial artists. In my opinion, Cung Le is a mixed martial artist. He is a San Shou fighter, former wrestler and is now shoring up his ground fighting skills with BJJ. He is working to combine these discrete arts into one coherent set of skills that addresses all ranges of combat. Most telling, he is a professional MMA fighter. I think he's a terrific example of the diversity found among professional MMA fighters.

Georges St. Pierre is another interesting example. He's trained in Kyokushin Karate, wrestling, BJJ and boxing. There's a fighter in the IFL who is a BJJ black belt and a Capoeria Mestre. Chuck Lidell is trained in Hawaiian Kenpo. Karo Parysian is one of many world class Judoka who compete in MMA.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Actually H2H,
I agree with most of what you say.

As far as what I teach in class. Yes I do teach eye gouging, smashing ear drums, elbows .. But it is taught in a safe manner. I also teach weapons and improvised weapons.

Sparring is a teaching tool, so yes there are rules. We do some simulated weapons sparing and at higher levels self defense sparring. However this is withheld to what I call "inner students" or ones I really trust. All due to safety.

It's like shooting a gun, you can practice at the range all you want. How do you know it will work when you need it?

Faith in what you are taught. To me, the people who taught me most being Korean war vets (Koreans) there is no question. They might have really had to use this stuff to survive. So it's best just to listen.

But I think we are coming to a point in this, "How realistic can one make training before it becomes fighting?"

This is something the military has tried to answer. Fight a war without being in one.

MMA as good training, I agree. But as a survival martial art, I don't agree.

The Marines took pieces of MMA and added some of the "Combatives" to incorporate into their training. This was to get that lethality back and quick lethality. As good as that is it still lacks the mental and spiritual aspects to be called an art. To clarify, it would be a "Jutsu" versus a "Do".

So possibly MMA would be better defined as a "Jutsu" as it lacks the aspects to be a "Do".

Hand2Hand said...

MMA as a jutsu as opposed to a do.

That makes sense to me.

I like what you said about training with Korean War vets. My Tang Soo Do grandmaster, Jae Joon Kim, used his training to disarm and kill some North Koreans who were about to kill him and his father-in-law.

I wish he'd gotten the black belts into a lot more of the hardcore type of training needed to pull that off.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

I knew I liked you for a reason H2H!
The topic of "Lost In Translation" is apt don't you think?

Also due to the "Lost In Translation" piece this is the only place I ever post my thoughts. Other places it seems to be just a battle of the cyber-ego and not in sync of the spirit of the topic.

Finally, Steve .. seriously, why would you think I think I would threaten you?
Especially in this forum.

I meaņ, either you were just "sticking up for yourself" or you shouldńt take my comments so seriously. Either way, no harm no foul. Clearly, our opinions differ and due to the internet as a medium, the point was "Lost In Translation". Sorry if I ruffled your featherş it was not my intent.

We all have our own interestş, pursuits and passions within the martial studies. I can respect yours too.


Steve said...

@sa bum, I try very hard to be clear. I don't do innuendo or hints. So, maybe I got the impression of hostility when you called me rude, disrespectful and implied that I'm hiding behind a keyboard. Maybe it was when you went off on how deadly you are. As I said, I didn't think we were communicating because from your reaction it was clear to me that either you were threatening me or you felt threatened by me. So I asked the question.

Honestly, I wish you'd just stick to the subject that you brought up in the first place. You made some bold assertions and it really appears to me that you came to these conclusions 10 years ago and haven't thought much about it since. Maybe explain to me why Cung Le isn't a mixed martial artist, and maybe what makes him different than a Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn or Andre Gusmao. If you don't know who they are, it wouldn't take long to look them up.

Finally, don't worry too much about taking this too seriously. I don't. I've been playing on the internet for a long time.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

You did bust me there Steve,
I made up my mind about MMA a long time ago. But I've been in a lot of fights too :). If anything over the years I've seen the UFC type MMA get more and more safety orientated. So just like m own belove Taekwondo it's getting watered down because of the business of it all.

I'm just a closets Cung Le fan, I like the guy as a guy. I realize he's a professional fighter not a martial artist.

I will knock off the cobwebs though and check the folks you mentioned.

Steve said...

No problem, Sa Bum. I like Cung Le, too. He's a stud. You can still see his San Shou fights from time to time on ESPN Classics.