Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

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Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby dspyrido on Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:43 pm

A contemplation thought...

I could be wrong but I get the feeling IMA was more popular a few decades ago. It's sad to think it might disappear. I am sure many styles have due to the lack of students.

So your mission - make it popular again! How would you do it?

If IMA is too hard then pick other styles to promote them.

Or alternatively explain how others have come from obscurity risen & become popular. Why was that the case and what is the missing element from IMA?
Last edited by dspyrido on Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby everything on Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:23 pm

it's the same thing with any "IMA" or "X". Anyone will only be great if they have talent, demanding teachers, and put in insanely hard work. Harder than anyone else.

But as far as making a style great for a group of people, despite my interest being the non MA aspects and the "internal" stuff that makes this all different, what I would do is bare min biomechanics. Strip everything down to bare minimum basics, starting with 5 elements from xingyiquan, empty handed and sparring with some kind of safer foam spear thing, then adding "8 energies" as bare minimum basics, and drill the shit out of that. No talk of qigong, philosophy, TCM for many years until you can kick everyone's asses using only bare minimum biomechanical basics. Then you begin the "internal"...
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby GrahamB on Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:13 pm

Don’t sweat it - Kung Fu is about to be made great again:

https://www.dynastyclothingstore.com/bl ... rgence-mma
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby johnwang on Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:41 pm

dspyrido wrote:what is the missing element from IMA?

The step by step method to develop a certain tool in your toolbox.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby dspyrido on Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:16 pm

These are sensible answers... what's going on?

Do you think people are drawn to famous fighters in the hope of just self defense?

I can't imagine too many people walking into a 1st class saying "I want to be #1 in ufc" or "I just want to get fit and this is the only option".

I know I started martial arts because I had to learn to protect myself but as a kid I did not choose where to train.

What draws late teens and adults to start & why would they want to try out cma/ima or whatever? Do people really wake up one day and say ''I want to be bruce lee?"
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby edededed on Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:35 am

Even as kids we make a choice, though. For me it was something like:

- Boxing? Too normal.
- Taekwondo? Too typical.
- Kung fu? Weird and strange - perfect!

Others will choose others for other choices. :)
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby Bao on Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:23 am

edededed wrote:.
- Kung fu? Weird and strange - perfect!

Others will choose others for other choices. :)


Exactly. Something like that for me as well. Had never heard about Tai Chi Chuan. But it sounded good when it was described for me, like a much more complete system than other martial arts as Karate or Judo, as it had everything as punches, kicks, take-downs and even weapons. It also sounded intellectual and philosophical, and similar to Aikido, it was supposed to make use of the opponent's own strength. It all appealed to me. And I was deeply impressed when I met my teacher.

I don't really understand why you would want to fix something that isn't broken. People choose different things for different reasons. It's not a good idea trying to adjust things for a broader public. Special or different things attract people with a special or different taste. There's just no way to make it appeal to everyone. Or even a wider group of people without compromising quality and originality.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby Giles on Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:47 am

My basic pitch for the taijiquan I teach, based on the reality of what I can offer and the reality of my potential client base, is:

This training can help you use your body much more efficiently, in the process maybe reducing or removing some aches and pains. The bottom line here is achieving more with less (unnecessary) effort. It can maybe improve your health in terms of constitution, also make you more relaxed and centred mentally – even when people are putting you under mental or physical pressure. We do lots of partner work, some quite ‘soft’ but still challenging and, if you’re up for it, also faster and harder. If you’re interested and prepared to put in the extra training, it will give you some self-defence aspects, not only in terms of ‘fighting’ but also as regards awareness, communication etc.; if you already know how to fight, it can give you some further and maybe surprising perspectives. The whole art in itself can be really interesting if you get into it more deeply. And we usually have a lot of fun together training this stuff. Oh yes, and you can do many of the exercises at home, so you won’t be totally dependent on coming to the dojo.

Of course, this could apply to many traditional martial arts, not ony IMA. Any ideas what could be more IMA-specific, without getting too abstruse for a ‘normal’ person with no previous experience in the field?

Otherwise, what Bao just said. I try to keep the threshold for entry into training reasonably low, but I don't try and be all things to all people. Most people who come for a trial lesson don't stay - I'm pretty sure that for those (the minority) looking for a martial art, they miss the aerobic elements in the basic training and are put off by things like going deeper into one's own body and mind (and the periods of frustration this can entail). And those looking for something more 'relaxing' and 'harmonious' in the superficial sense (the majority) find the training (both solo and partner-based) much too challenging for body and mind, too much hard work, aching thighs, being confronted with their own tense-up and fear responses, etc. If you don't base your Taijiquan training on doing lots of form run-throughs (which I don't), then it tends to fall between two stools.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby Bao on Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:22 am

Giles wrote:but I don't try and be all things to all people. Most people who come for a trial lesson don't stay...

...it tends to fall between two stools.


I had a school/group for a few years but closed it. Nowadays I only teach in private and lately not much at all. I found it utterly boring teaching those who only wanted some kind of health exercise. Now I can choose who I want to teach and I am only interested about teaching a student who is sincere and have a deep interest in the art.

Personally, I can't really see how people who don't have a deeper interest in it can benefit from these arts. You really need to study IMA in a way so that the practice occupies your whole being, be present with both body and mind. If you only try to benefit from IMA (and Tai Chi especially) on a shallow plane, on a superficial level, the practice itself will probably feel strange, uncomfortable and you will be probably become bored after a short while. There's just no reason for this kind of person to last in the practice of these arts.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby windwalker on Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:39 am

Went through this as a teenager correcting misinformation about CMA in general with those met who questioned it.

Don’t teach for money or to make a living just share what I know with those that I know who enjoy the practice,
The focus is on Martial encounters or fighting. Training is adjusted to capabilities and needs of the practitioner.

Of course, this could apply to many traditional martial arts, not ony IMA. Any ideas what could be more IMA-specific, without getting too abstruse for a ‘normal’ person with no previous experience in the field?


In working with people I’ve found one thing they always find interesting is the distinction between force “Li” and “Jin” trained force. Even among long term practitioners this distinction is not always understood or developed.

For some who’ve trained taiji for a long time.
In not understanding this it may not be possible to correct, in it self quite interesting can be frustrating for teacher and student at times. :P


"don't use force" ;)
Last edited by windwalker on Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:38 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby johnwang on Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:30 pm

If you just try to develop skill through the Taiji form, your range of skill development will be limited. How to develop the complete range of a certain Taiji skill is not clear.

For example, if you try to develop Taiji "diagonal fly" as a tool in your toolbox, will you cover the following area?

- Control your opponent's back leg.
- Control his leading leg.
- Let him to sit on your upper leg as bench.
- Use your knee to press behind his knee.
- Push on his waist.
- Push on his chest.
- Push on his neck.
- Twist on his chin.
- Press on his forehead.
- Pull on his forehead.
- reverse head lock on his neck.
- lift up his leading leg.
- ...

If you teach someone "diagonal fly" as a principle. do you think he will be able to figure out all these detail? If you think he can't, then what's missing in the Taiji training?

People asked me why I don't train form any more. When you try to develop CMA in this kind of detail, do you still have time to train your form?

If you try to learn the "sorting algorithms", do you want to learn all sorting method?

Selection Sort.
Bubble Sort.
Recursive Bubble Sort.
Insertion Sort.
Recursive Insertion Sort.
Merge Sort.
Iterative Merge Sort.
Quick Sort.
Matrix Sort (I had invented this).
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby everything on Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:48 pm

dspyrido wrote:These are sensible answers... what's going on?

Do you think people are drawn to famous fighters in the hope of just self defense?

I can't imagine too many people walking into a 1st class saying "I want to be #1 in ufc" or "I just want to get fit and this is the only option".

I know I started martial arts because I had to learn to protect myself but as a kid I did not choose where to train.

What draws late teens and adults to start & why would they want to try out cma/ima or whatever? Do people really wake up one day and say ''I want to be bruce lee?"


Yes, for males of any age, not sure about females, probably either "I lost a fight" or got picked on or saw someone mugged or read about school shootings, and so with some kind of "prepper" mentality, I want to know what to do or "wow I want to be like boxer/fighter x" and feel like I have massive superpowers... shifting into comic book fantasy (like "I want to be bruce lee" or "I want to be Batman") to the point where you have an unhealthy amount of prepper mentality. As if any moment, a fist fight will break out with no weapons and you'll save the day. Or you'll also go get your gun. Or move to your underground bunker and defend it with your slingshots, fists, flying feet, guns, knives, and so on. At least that's the bullshit way it comes across, even on here.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby Subitai on Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:41 pm

johnwang wrote:If you just try to develop skill through the Taiji form, your range of skill development will be limited. How to develop the complete range of a certain Taiji skill is not clear.

For example, if you try to develop Taiji "diagonal fly" as a tool in your toolbox, will you cover the following area?

- Control your opponent's back leg.
- Control his leading leg.
- Let him to sit on your upper leg as bench.
- Use your knee to press behind his knee.
- Push on his waist.
- Push on his chest.
- Push on his neck.
- Twist on his chin.
- Press on his forehead.
- Pull on his forehead.
- reverse head lock on his neck.
- lift up his leading leg.
- ...

If you teach someone "diagonal fly" as a principle. do you think he will be able to figure out all these detail? If you think he can't, then what's missing in the Taiji training?

...snip...


Johnwang...

I don't know if I can answer your questions but I do know what i've done for my own research and satisfaction.

For "Diagonal Fly aka Slant flying":

1) determine what the form is saying or telling us in it's base form (before exploration or modification and discovery)

=For me, of the different choices available for what Slant fly is, in it's basic form...
(a)it's step behind someone with your leg and also
(b)arm sweep (slant fly) the upper body of the victim backwards. Essentially you scissor them in 2 directions HIGH AN LOW and knock them backwards.

* Is that the only application? NO But is that a common one that you see everywhere? YES.


2) Assuming my main goal is to "Slant Fly" ala knock someone backward off their feet.

I personally was (when i was 1st learning) and continue to be obsessed with being able to set up IN THE BEST situations.

* So I if the format is standing grappling, like for me I like to practice allot of standing CLINCH ( i.e. not continue after someone goes down). Drill it and spar it LIVE with as many bodies as possible. Tall, skinny, fat and stocky people. Make it work even though they know it's coming.

* If the format is just push hands, even easier to set up. Same... just do it all versus people who don't want it to happen.

* Self defense... same thing...spar it with many body types.

* I wouldn't waste my time using this move just for MMA because I'd rather use my gas and or Energy available towards better methods to attack.

Anyway...the more i'm able to set it up versus different people who don't want it to happen. That's my litmus test.
==========================================================

True story...I had a female student who could "Slant Fly" anyone backwards...pretty fast if you even blinked she was already attacking. But she was also good at just letting people get close in a clinch and then using my set ups.

* Anyway, she was in a bar with her husband ( I know...NOT A BAR STORY!!!! But it's true though) ...Some guy got too friendly out on the dance floor and there was a scuffle. The bad guy tried to grab my student to control her...she didn't even hesitate to set up "Slant Fly" and sent him BOTH FEET UP IN THE AIR...falling back wards. The dude slammed down hard and got up slow.

I don't care if someone wants to claim that she didn't do it in an MMA cage. For me as her teacher... I couldn't have been more proud of her ability to use it when she needed it.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby Bill on Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:37 pm

The same way the Gracies made Jiu jitsu great again.
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Re: Make IMA great again (or other style if that helps)

Postby Peacedog on Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:34 am

Things come into and out of fashion.

The rise of MMA hasn't helped, mainly because a lot of young men come to martial arts for the ability to fight. And regardless of what anyone has to say about it, the MMA model has a much better track record of training people who can actually do this.

The people who I've met who do well financially by teaching this generally fall into one of two categories: (1) they teach kids and sell belts and (2) they form a cadre of rabid followers who are mostly established family men between their late 20's and mid 40's.

The kids thing is about sport. If you saw the amount of money parents will throw at wushu instruction and competitions you'd be shocked.

The second group is for guys who have a little money (i.e. a $500 weekend seminar is no big deal) and need a break from family/work life. None of them make particularly good practitioners as they came to it too late in life and don't have the time in any event. If you are okay with all of that, it's good. If not, you are going to get frustrated and quit.

Lately, a few MMA competitors are being more forthcoming about their TMA backgrounds. And that's cool. Frankly, most of us knew about this kind of thing for quite some time, but the competitors themselves were keeping quiet about it. Just don't expect to run into someone who only does wing chun to get into the octagon and do well.

Finally, and I'm seeing this more and more, more than a few guys are out there who did really well in the 80's and 90's who are now basically broke. They caught the kung fu wave, but were never able to adjust to what came afterwards. When the fad ended, they were screwed. People neglect the business end of this and pay for it.

In my end of things we are going through a bit of a Hermetics renaissance. It's fun. Some people will make some money. But I'm under no illusion that this will either be a long term thing or have any breakout potential. The bottom line is that the amount of effort required to get it to work is too high for most people and these things go through boom and bust cycles in any event. Now what I'm not worried about is the authorities getting together 300 guys and burning my house while running me out of town. Thankfully those days are over. But it is what it is.

Bottom line, unless a practitioner's business fu is on point their art is unlikely to survive. And I don't think this is a new phenomena.
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