Streamlining Your System

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

Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby Bhassler on Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:58 pm

Streamlining one's system is not the same as streamlining one's practice.

Well constructed systems are not "too big", rather they form a sort of "language" of principles, strategies, and techniques one can pull from for their own practice. Similar to speaking a language, a given individual may only need a couple of hundred words to accomplish their goals in life, but if they are teaching that language to others and they've eliminated the words they don't use, then they won't be able to effectively help those people who they purport to be teaching to have access to all the elements of the language they might need to pursue their own goals, which could be different than their teacher's.

One could also argue that some practices replace others-- so an accomplished person might spend very little time on jibengong, feeling that the basic practice is contained in the more advanced practice of the form (if it's not, there's a disconnect in the design of the system). Or, one could argue that if the system is truly understood, then all the myriad drills, etc. are just tools to practice/illustrate core elements of the system, so it's not that big a deal to organize, remember, and apply them all, because at base they're just expressions of a finite, smaller number of concepts.

It's certainly worthwhile to spend time thinking about the structure of what one practices, and how that relates to one's individual goals, but if the whole purpose is to field strip it for a limited objective or to make a shorter, easier program of practice, then ultimately the quality of the results will reflect those decisions. An ounce of meditation equals an ounce of Buddha.
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby MaartenSFS on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:25 pm

I'm sparring with gloves, but it doesn't look like Sanda/kick boxing. The techniques are totally different. Imagine using the techniques in your forms in sparring (but less exaggerated in most cases). That's what it looks like.
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby MaartenSFS on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:29 pm

Bhassler wrote:Streamlining one's system is not the same as streamlining one's practice.

Well constructed systems are not "too big", rather they form a sort of "language" of principles, strategies, and techniques one can pull from for their own practice. Similar to speaking a language, a given individual may only need a couple of hundred words to accomplish their goals in life, but if they are teaching that language to others and they've eliminated the words they don't use, then they won't be able to effectively help those people who they purport to be teaching to have access to all the elements of the language they might need to pursue their own goals, which could be different than their teacher's.

One could also argue that some practices replace others-- so an accomplished person might spend very little time on jibengong, feeling that the basic practice is contained in the more advanced practice of the form (if it's not, there's a disconnect in the design of the system). Or, one could argue that if the system is truly understood, then all the myriad drills, etc. are just tools to practice/illustrate core elements of the system, so it's not that big a deal to organize, remember, and apply them all, because at base they're just expressions of a finite, smaller number of concepts.

It's certainly worthwhile to spend time thinking about the structure of what one practices, and how that relates to one's individual goals, but if the whole purpose is to field strip it for a limited objective or to make a shorter, easier program of practice, then ultimately the quality of the results will reflect those decisions. An ounce of meditation equals an ounce of Buddha.

My point was for those that have learned four years of French at Uni but can't carry a conversation with a toddler. Their inability to use what they have learned not only reflects their own training, but also faults in the teaching or the system. Not all systems were constructed well. Many famous practitioners that could fight were known for practising and excelling in a limited number of things. They would roll in their graves if they knew that their fighting methods have been turned into martial dances..

I wrote this article to describe how one afflicted by this issue can streamline their training to improve their sparring. My only goal is to set clear goals for my students and me and streamline the way that we train for maximum efficiency.
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby Trick on Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:27 am

MaartenSFS wrote:I'm sparring with gloves, but it doesn't look like Sanda/kick boxing. The techniques are totally different. Imagine using the techniques in your forms in sparring (but less exaggerated in most cases). That's what it looks like.

Is that boxing gloves? If so it would look as Sanda? But you say you use techniques from forms, so that mean you also strike with forearms elbows shoulders maybe also headbutts, it sound there could be quite a lot of injuries while you spar?
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:03 am

Watch my third Shanzhaiquan instructional video. I demonstrate a number of techniques that I use. If you still think that it looks like Sands I can't help you.. :P
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby Bhassler on Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:22 am

MaartenSFS wrote:My point was for those that have learned four years of French at Uni but can't carry a conversation with a toddler. Their inability to use what they have learned not only reflects their own training, but also faults in the teaching or the system. Not all systems were constructed well. Many famous practitioners that could fight were known for practising and excelling in a limited number of things. They would roll in their graves if they knew that their fighting methods have been turned into martial dances..

I wrote this article to describe how one afflicted by this issue can streamline their training to improve their sparring. My only goal is to set clear goals for my students and me and streamline the way that we train for maximum efficiency.


Sure, but it's a bit of a Catch 22. If the system is not well constructed, then in most instances the person tasked with doing the streamlining isn't qualified to make the edits. Most would be better served by finding a good teacher and starting over.
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:26 am

That's a fair point, but not everyone has that option or would be willing to start over. That would be plan A, for sure, though. ;)
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby everything on Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:57 am

There are always 80/20 rules (pareto principle) in anything humans learn. Tim Ferriss has practically made his whole career from using and writing about this principle.

It should be the same with your approach to MA. What is the 20% of material that gives you 80% of your desired outcome at whatever phase? Arguably, entire styles try to leverage this idea in some way or another, e.g., BJJ focused on 20% of judo with the observation that it better covers 80% of the cases (fights going to ground) then extended from there, boxing with punches only, wingchun with center line theory, etc.

If you filter it down to "what do you cover in 4 weekends for very normal people, including middle-aged and senior age as a short self-defense (emergency) course" and not "how do I train someone for 3-4 years into a 'top' fighter", it should give you a lot more clarity in an 80/20 sense.

Everything has an 80/20 that can keep getting broken down, then reconstructed. The best teachers and students usually figure out these rules faster.
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:17 pm

For someone that claims to not do any MA those are some solid thoughts that you have there! I agree with all of them, other than that I'm not really doing it for senior citizens.. :P
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby everything on Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:31 pm

Yeah that's just an extreme example. I admire you for wanting to help people go high level but those people are at the top of a pyramid. From a business point of view your market therefore would be small. That's ok if the price is high. If the price has to be lower, you might have to broaden your offering.

The way I try to reconcile that crass business "compromise" with your technical and art goals is:

- conceptually if you could help an older person the first four weekends, that should be able to help anyone
- that should include the younger people who can go farther
- for those people what is the next 80/20?
- any art with "belts" should do this.

This is theoretical, but Ferriss gives many real examples of stuff he studied, including MA, and learned faster than others by pursuing 80/20 in a more efficient way and asking masters the right questions.
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby Trick on Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:15 am

Yes there’s some interesting thinking
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:03 pm

I feel like my 80% would be training to attain and improve specific skills in solo and partner training and use them in sparring/fencing and the 20% would be additional things to round it out or even for fun or to vary it up. I feel like many systems are 20/80 instead of 80/20, or worse. My goal in creating this thread was to point out that this can be reversed by restructuring one's training. :)
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby everything on Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:39 pm

does 20% (more or less) of your training activity help someone get to 80% of that sparring/fencing skill set?
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Re: Streamlining Your System

Postby MaartenSFS on Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:26 am

30% would be enough for them to walk away with enough to train and work on for a long time and more than enough to defend themselves with and competently spar, provided they continue to drill and spar. The left over 50% of the 80% is learning how to generate more power at any angle, refining what they learned in the 30%, and how to combine the 30% in different ways for different effects. That last 20% is other skills and training methods to round it all out.
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