Weight difference

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Weight difference

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:37 pm

Hi Chris,

Hope all is well. I thought I would chime in with another piece of the puzzle that I don't think has been mentioned above. As usual, it comes from a judo perspective.

There have been some very impressive players here in Japan who fought larger opponents in the old open weight divisions (they no longer exist in the big shiai). This was certainly a testament to their skill and training. Indeed, a smaller opponent could beat a larger and well-trained adversary. However, what I started to hear from old timers, coaches, and even some better commentators, was that those who competed in this way burned out a lot faster. Injuries were more common, as was general wear and tear. I think this is one place where we can see yet another difference and danger to competing up the scales.

Best, Ian C

PS I really wish people would stop posting the Mifune clip as if it supported any sort of argument about fighting or competing. I guess if it was going to be trotted out like that over and over again an IMA forum would be where it happened.
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Re: Weight difference

Postby C.J.W. on Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:56 pm

The way I see it is quite simple and straightforward:

- A bigger guy with no training usually beats a smaller guy with no training.
- A bigger guy with no training may lose to a smaller guy with training.
- A bigger guy with training usually beats a smaller guy with training.
- A bigger guy with training ALWAYS beats a smaller with no training.
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Re: Weight difference

Postby GrahamB on Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:39 pm

I think from the start of martial arts being marketed to the public the idea of beating a bigger stronger opponent is an idea that we have to realise has been 'sold' to us (the potential 'customers' for the idea) for various reasons - not all of them financial. I'm not saying it's not possible for the lighter to beat the heavier, but we have to be aware of the origins of this idea. so that we can understand it clearly.

Maybe it started as a nationalistic identity thing:

Early reformers in martial arts like Taijiquan (Wile 1996) and Jujitsu sought to shore up their own national identities by asserting that they brought a unique form of power to the table. Rather than relying on strength, they would find victory through flexibility, technique, and cunning (all yin traits), just as the Chinese and Japanese nations would ultimately prevail through these same characteristics. It is no accident that so much of the early Asian martial arts material featured images of women, or small Asian men, overcoming much larger Western opponents with the aid of mysterious “oriental” arts. These gendered characterizations of hand combat systems were fundamentally tied to larger narratives of national competition and resistance (see Wendy Rouse’s 2015 article “Jiu-Jitsuing Uncle Sam” Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 84 No. 4, November, pp. 448-477).


but as the author notes, the situation is often muddied

Shidachi appears to have had little actual familiarity with Western wrestling. It is clear that his discussion was driven by nationalist considerations rather than detailed ethnographic observation. And there is something else that is a bit odd about all of this. While technical skill is certainly an aspect of Western wrestling, gaining physical strength and endurance is also a critical component of Judo training. Shidachi attempted to define all of this as notbeing a part of Judo. Yet a visit to the local university Judo team will reveal a group of very strong, well developed, athletes. Nor is that a recent development. I was recently looking at some photos of Judo players in the Japanese Navy at the start of WWII and any one those guys could have passed as a modern weight lifter. One suspects that the Japanese Navy noticed this as well.


In BJJ this idea was definitely used as a marketing tool. Here is "frail and sickly" Helio Gracie:

Image

At 6.28 in this BJJ promotion video from 1957 by Helio and Carlos Gracie, a skinny guy gets his girl stolen by big strong guy - signs up for jiujitsu lessons and gets her back:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAAnrqDygns



Which was based on the marketing of the body building plan of Charles Atlas:

Image

In modern times, the martial arts are still marketed as ways for smaller people to beat bigger people. Krav Maga seems especially marketed towards women, for example.



And Gracie JiuJitsu too



If you look at adverts for 'internal' martial arts, or Wing Chun schools - you see a lot of the same marketing:

Wing Chun for flight attendants:

http://www.wingchunkungfu.eu/news/wing- ... un-kungfu/

Image

but to return to my first point - is that because Wing Chun is specifically good for smaller and lighter people, or is that because Wing Chun embodies something specifically about Hong Kong that the airline wants to associate itself with?

All good points to add to the discussion of lighter vs heavier.
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Re: Weight difference

Postby GrahamB on Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:58 pm

Modern BJJ is one of the few places where a smaller guy can build up a 'name' for himself by beating bigger guys - under the limited rule set of BJJ this is not as difficult as it sounds in a 5 minute match. Everybody who rolls in their academy knows how possible it is to get a tap on a much bigger guy. In a tournament your risk of injury goes up massively (as Ian says above) so you can do it, but it's much more risky. You need a lot of balls to do it regularly.

Caio Terra made a name for himself as being the lightest person to compete regularly in the absolute division at the very highest levels of the sport - and now is a 'household name' in BJJ because of it (and because he also won multiple world championships at his weight, of course)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojAtsnUCpnI




But you see it a lot - Dan Fragella built up a BJJ online empire using this promotional tool of beating giants in competition (usually with foot locks) :



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laBcj2xfHZw

Foot locks, if they are allowed under the rule set, are a huge equaliser in strength/size.

Gary Tonon vs Palharis springs to mind in all this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g06mHKoEl7g&t=239s



or do I mean David vs Goliath? Again, that's some great marketing from Christians ;D

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Last edited by GrahamB on Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Weight difference

Postby middleway on Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:29 am

Interesting stuff. Nice posts Graham.
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Re: Weight difference

Postby middleway on Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:34 am

There have been some very impressive players here in Japan who fought larger opponents in the old open weight divisions (they no longer exist in the big shiai). This was certainly a testament to their skill and training. Indeed, a smaller opponent could beat a larger and well-trained adversary. However, what I started to hear from old timers, coaches, and even some better commentators, was that those who competed in this way burned out a lot faster. Injuries were more common, as was general wear and tear. I think this is one place where we can see yet another difference and danger to competing up the scales.


Hi Ian,

It doesnt suprise me that in the long term engaging in this work results in a higher level of ware and tare or catastrophic injury. At my gym we have several ultra heavy bouncers who are blue belts and they are extremely powerful and with good skill. Some weeks i am pretty much the smallest guy in the room for an entire week, and i certainly feel it every morning when i wake up. The increased pressure of the standing battles and the guard work takes its toll.

thanks
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Re: Weight difference

Postby Steve James on Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:58 am

Overcoming the advantages of size and strength goes back to primates. The biggest gorilla takes everything of value. That is, unless and until a bigger or stronger gorilla takes it. Human societies have always had the same problem. The bigger, stronger state usually takes what it wants from other states. That's the reason for martial arts. It is a matter of necessity.

The kid comes and tells you to hand over your lunch money. He's bigger. What do you do? How many people do we know who took up a martial art for precisely such a reason? Some, otoh, might lift weights to become bigger and stronger. Of course, there's always someone bigger and stronger. However, I'd argue that techniques for defeating the larger opponent stay pretty much the same.
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Re: Weight difference

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:15 am

I have found that size/strength has a big advantage in armed fighting as well. I can beat everyone that I've met pretty much every time except this guy that has been training MA as long as me and is the same height as me but is much heavier and more aggressive than me. My greater skill in swordsmanship can only bring me up to his level at best.. If he were unskilled I'd destroy him, though. It's just a sad fact of reality. I make him work for it, though, and we usually end up both "dying".
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Re: Weight difference

Postby Trick on Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:32 am

MaartenSFS wrote:I have found that size/strength has a big advantage in armed fighting as well. I can beat everyone that I've met pretty much every time except this guy that has been training MA as long as me and is the same height as me but is much heavier and more aggressive than me. My greater skill in swordsmanship can only bring me up to his level at best.. If he were unskilled I'd destroy him, though. It's just a sad fact of reality. I make him work for it, though, and we usually end up both "dying".

If put arms into the equation the persons physical size count a little lesser - see the above David vs Goliat image 8-)
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Re: Weight difference

Postby windwalker on Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:01 am

GrahamB wrote:
or do I mean David vs Goliath? Again, that's some great marketing from Christians ;D

Image


David vs Goliath, might be a good way to understand the main points of this thread.

"King Saul compared David to Goliath from a sword vs sword perspective; a like for like. Goliath too expected David to fight him sword to sword, and was insulted when David came with just his bag and his shepherd’s staff. Ironically, Goliath should have been petrified at this stage, and Gladwell explains why:

"Infantry > Cavalry; Cavalry > Projectile Warriors/Artillery; Projectile Warriors > Infantry

Do you see? Much like the rock, paper, scissors scenario certain types of fighter beat the other. Goliath would be an example of heavy infantry, and David being a ‘slinger’ (similar to an archer) would be classed as a projectile warrior.

So really when you examine the facts a little closer, the real favourite actually was David. The idea of not matching up to the strengths of the opponent – in this case close to close combat – is the vital part however.

It also tells us that an advantage of being the supposed ‘underdog’ is that the favourite (Goliath), is naïve to think that power comes in only one form. For David didn’t require strength and power (the sling already possessed that for him); instead he used speed and versatility, opposing the temptation that many before him had done by trying to match Goliath in his perception of power."
https://thecoachescorner.org/2014/09/14 ... dvantages/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdyFGUh_Kpo
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Re: Weight difference

Postby GrahamB on Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:29 am

Thor has the same story - these are universal myths:

https://norse-mythology.org/tales/thors ... -hrungnir/

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Re: Weight difference

Postby Trick on Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:05 am

Back to weight difference but staying in the Aesir realm. Here a weaponless Tor is bested by an old woman -"The main objective of a glíma fight is to throw the opponent to the ground and the text states that Elli is known for her skills in glíma because she has “felled” (fellt) men that seemed to be strong enough to put up a good fight. The action needed to fell someone is the use of bragđ (or brögđ in plural) which is a quick or sudden motion in Old Norse. The myth says that the old woman is leita til bragđa and that makes Thor lauss á fótum. This means that Elli is using some kind of tripping techniques that makes Thor lose his balance and start to stumble" - http://www.viking-glima.com/history.html
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Re: Weight difference

Postby Steve James on Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:27 am

Iinm, in that Thor legend, isn't he beaten by at least three beings that he should have been easy meat for the god of thunder. But, the point of the legends wasn't that a smaller person could be a god. It was that the god should be humble because he could and would be beaten. The old woman represented old age and death. I can't recall his other two opponents, but they all reminded Thor to get off his high horse. (Hmm, reminds me of Ragnarok (the movie) :).

Afa David and Goliath, one could argue that David had a better weapon. But, "better" is meaningless without the consideration of range. It's not about size. The sword isn't (normally) a projectile weapon. David won because Goliath was overconfident, and David was small, naive, brave and skillful. The warriors were all experienced, and scared shitless. Ever ask why, if it was so easy, why didn't one of the experienced warriors didn't go out with a sling and shot?

There is also that old saying that it's not the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog.
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Re: Weight difference

Postby marvin8 on Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:25 am

middleway wrote:I think Type of Skill is paramount when thinking about skill. If we say that 'skill' is one aspect that will allow a weaker smaller person to overcome a larger person, we must then ask the follow up question, what kind of skill? Not, all skills are equal when it comes to fighting

Here is a list of skills that can be added to or changed: listening, neutralize, deception, control, setup, strategy, technique, timing, distance, positioning, rhythm, dynamic balance, accuracy, weight shifting and pressure.

Here is a list of attributes that can be added to or changed: strength, speed, endurance, agility, flexibility, height, weight, and age.

"What kind of skill" depends on who the participants are—what their skills and physical attributes are. Which skills do you believe are important? Since, "Not all skills are equal when it comes to fighting."

middleway wrote:Yes it is. Note that to overcome doesnt mean to oppose, or even to use the same type of thing. Does the melon peel overcome the force of the person stepping on it? Yes.

But i think there is something else to this discussion asside from 'skill'. It is how the trained body can help us against greater, more classical strength, or body mass. There are things you can do with the body that completely negate incoming forces during exchange, even with huge guys. I wouldnt necissarily call the trained body a 'skill' per say, it is more of a 'state'.

What are peoples thoughts on this?

Most of the skills I listed can "completely negate incoming forces during exchange, even with huge guys." What do you mean by "trained body" and "more of a 'state'?"

middleway wrote:Yes they do of course, The discussion was more related to how they matter, and if there are ways people think consistantly negate them

Every opponent is different (e.g., weakness, strengths, patterns, etc.). Listening/reading can be used to determine which skills to use.
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