Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Poo Don't Pee

I have written extensively about the core of all learning in my Kojutsukan blog and my The School of Jan de Jong blog, both explaining the core of all learning and applying the core of all learning to understand various things. I have had an article on the subject published by Blitz, the premier martial arts magazine in Australia, and chapters are devoted to the subject in two of the three books I've drafted.

The core of all learning is the identification of similarities and differences. Research has identified four forms of identifying similarities and differences that have proven highly effective. They are: comparison, classification, creating metaphors, and creating analogies.

I'm only going to refer to the effectiveness of creating metaphors in this post.

The martial arts classic movie, The Karate Kid, demonstrates the effectiveness of using metaphor to teach martial arts skills. Wax on, wax off; paint the fence; sand the floor; paint the house were all metaphors used by Mr Miyagi to teach Daniel-san karate skills.

I will share with you a personal experience where the use of metaphor had immediate positive effects on my execution of a sporting skill.

On my first skiing trip, I was taking snowboarding lessons in a group environment. While the lessons were getting me down the hill, it wasn't always in an upright position and not without risk of serious injury on the way down through multiple crashes. One particular cartwheeling crash had the other skiers being towed up the hill clapping.

I decided to take a private lesson. It was either that or stop skiing or risk serious injury. My instructor was this mature female 'ski rat' who followed the snow from country to country teaching skiing. After this and that technical instruction, she turned to me and said ... 'poo, don't pee.'

'Poo, don't pee' immediately changed my posture on the snowboard resulting in radically improved performances. I could actually make it down the hill without crashing while executing turns on the way down.

'Poo, don't pee' - teach and learn by the creation of metaphors.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Knowing Pain



A distinction is made between offensive and defensive aggression. Offensive aggression is when a person seeks to inflict injury or pain upon a person who is or has not been attempting to inflict injury or pain upon them. Defensive aggression is when a person seeks to inflict injury or pain upon a person who is or has been attempting to inflict injury or pain upon them. Offensive and defensive aggression are at the heart of all activities associated with preparing a person to survive a violent encounter (‘Survival Activities’). Injury and pain are at the heart of offensive and defensive aggression, therefore, injury and pain are at the heart of all Survival Activities methods. What are the two subjects that are never explicitly studied in Survival Activities texts? Injury and pain.

This book is unique in Survival Activities literature in that it explicitly studies injury and pain. Chapter 14 informs the reader on pain while this chapter introduces the reader to a relatively new science that studies injury and the causes of injury. 

 That is the introduction to chapter nine in the draft of my book on the science behind fighting/self-defence techniques.

You can view some of my work on pain in the posts with the tag 'pain' on this blog.

Strongly recommend referring to: 
 
Downey G (2007) Producing Pain: Techniques and Technologies in No-Holds-Barred Fighting. Social Studies of Science 37(2):201–226.

The linked article provides further information on pain. Fascinating subject.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Leaky Bucket Strategy to Retaining and Aquiring Students

See the post on my blog, The School of Jan de Jong, which presents a case study of the strategy I employed to save the Jan de Jong Self Defence School.

The case study might be used to develop a similar strategy to retain and/or acquire students for your school and whether you are the principal or not.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

FOOSH Revisited

I started off this blog with an article on FOOSH injuries - Fall On OutStretched Hand injuries.

More than 85% of all injuries t the upper limb are the result of a fall onto an outstretched hand.

Ukemi waza (breakfalling techniques) are techniques designed by jujutsu and its derivative arts of judo and aikido to prevent and control injuries arising from a fall, including FOOSH injuries.

The injury to the right was the result of a fall by Sally Pearson, the Australian champion hurdler, during a race recently.

I've seen a FOOSH injury while assisting Shihan Jan de Jong OAM 9th Dan when conducting a seminar in Gottenburg, Sweden. A highly graded student put his hand down while going over his partner's hips who was executing a koshi gaeshi (hip turn) technique. The jujutsuka shattered both his radius and ulna requiring plates in both.

Another interesting, for me, issue associated with the prevalence of FOOSH injuries is that the medical literature is virtually useless in terms of understanding the injuries associated with kansetsu waza (joint techniques) as the forces are applied in different directions with FOOSH injuries and kansetsu waza.

However, I have been able to generate an anatomical explanation of many kansetsu waza and the possible injuries that may arise from their application. The ones I am lacking are the techniques applied to the wrist. If anyone can assist in this regard it would be most appreciated. It would also be a genuine and unique contribution to the general body of knowledge.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Difference Between Throws and Takedowns Part 2

I started to share my journey in developing a definitive distinction between throws and takedowns in the martial arts in my last post.

Does judo teach throwing techniques and takedown techniques?

You'd think judo does teach throwing techniques and takedown techniques given Geoff Thompson's The Throws & Takedowns of Judo. Why then does Thompson not provide an explanation of the difference between the two types of techniques and refers to all the techniques in his book as throws? Are any of the techniques included in Thompson's book on throws and takedowns, takedowns but mistakenly referred to as throws?

Jigoro Kano's classification of judo techniques includes a class for nage waza (throwing techniques) but none for taoshi waza (takedown techniques). Does this mean judo does not teach takedown techniques? Or does it mean that judo does teach takedown techniques but doesn't consider their differences to be so telling as to warrant a separate class of their own? Or, as is more likely, does it mean that they don't understand the differences between throwing techniques and takedown techniques.

Eddie Ferrie, in Ju-Jitsu: Classical and Modern, has an interesting take on this issue. He refers to judo's Gokyo no Kata which includes 40 nage waza and suggests that 'there are many more throws commonly practiced and witnessed in competitions that are not included in go-kyo, many are classified as "takedowns" and do not have a proper name.'

Are those 'throws' not included in go-kyo throws or takedowns? These 'throws' are supposedly classified as takedowns, however, the judo classification does not include a class for takedowns. Why are these techniques not included in go-kyo and not have a proper name? Are takedowns the red-headed stepchild of judo; unacknowledged, unnamed, and not considered alongside the other, legitimate techniques of judo?

It would appear that some in the martial arts have adopted a new term - 'throws and takedowns' - to refer to all techniques designed to cause a person to fall to the ground. The reference to both terms suggests there are two different types of techniques, however, by lumping them all together, it suggests that the similarities are understood but the differences are not.

The journey continues with part 3.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What's The Difference Between Throws and Takedowns? Part 1

What is the difference between a throw and a takedown in the martial arts? This is the question that was asked on the Martial Arts Planet internet forum in 2007. The following is a summary of the responses received:

  • There is no official distinction.
  • A hard and fast definition is difficult because there is so much overlap between the two.
  • A throw ends a fight and a takedown takes the fight to the ground.
  • Both of the opponent's feet have to leave the ground with a throw and not a takedown.
  • A throw gets one or both feet off the ground and a takedown gets one or no feet off the ground.
  • It is martial art dependent. The same technique may be a throw in one martial art and a takedown in another.
  • In addition to throws and takedowns, there are slams, sweeps, reaps, and trips.
  • You go with the opponent to the ground with a takedown and not with a throw.
  • A distinction between the two techniques cannot be based solely on mechanics.
Despite the quality of the source of the information, the responses are a pretty good depiction of the different conceptions that are held within the martial arts community of the distinction between throws and takedowns. They also reflect the confusion that surrounds the issue.

'There is no offical distinction'
The book I initially proposed to write was a how-to book on the jujutsu taught by Shihan Jan de Jong OAM 9th Dan. It was intended to contain difference chapters for each class of technique taught by Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu jujutsu/Jan de Jong jujutsu (and most other jujutsu systems) which included separate chapters for throws and takedowns. I wanted an authoritative definition(s) that distinguished between throwing techniques and takedown techniques for those chapters so I undertook a comprehensive review of the English-language martial arts and related fields literature. The results of that review was that, as respondent #1 above suggested, there is no official distinction between these two types of techniques within the martial arts literature.

Authoritative Distinction
The how-to book was shelved in favour of a book on the science behind martial arts/fighting techniques and the teaching thereof and a chapter was devoted to my failed search for an authoritative distinction between these two types of techniques. Within that chapter I also present, for the first time in the English-language martail arts and related literature, an authoritative distinction between these two types of techniques. This distinction then forms the basis for classifying all techniques that are designed to cause a person to fall to the ground.

I'm drafting an article about this issue for the Blitz martial arts magazine. Due to the limitations on the size of magazine articles, which I frequently exceed, I cannot detail this most interesting of journey's within the martial arts literature to find an authoritative distinction between these two types of techniques, so I thought I might share some of the journey with the readers of this blog.

Classification
The authoritative distinction between these two types of techniques I developed formed the basis of classifying all techniques that cause an opponent to the ground. When I discussed this classification with some senior martial artists I was generally met with bemusement. 'Why classify these or any other techniques?', they would ask. Rather than just assume I'm rightand my work is of importance, I went in search of an explanation of why classification is important. In researching this answer I came across 'the core of all learning.'

The Core of All Learning
The core of all learning is said to be the identification of similarities and differences. There seems to be consent as to the similarities between throws and takedowns - they are both types of techniques that cause a person to fall to the ground - but there is no consensus as to what separates them apart ... not until now.

Research has identified four forms of identifying similarities and differences that are highly effective: comparing, classifying, creating metaphors, and creating analogies. Each of those forms of identifying similarities and differences are seen by cognitive theorists as being more than simply linguistic or literary devices, rather, they are seen as being fundamental ways of thinking.

Rather than asking 'Why classify?', we should instead be asking why we don't classify. In the case of throws and takedowns it is probably because while the similarities between these two types of technique are understood, the differences are not.

Previewing
We will see that classification can be used, as it is intended to be used, to preview the technique to be taught or learnt. For instance, what do you know if you were told you were going to be taught a throw? You'd know that you are about to be taught a technique were forces are applied to an opponent to cause them to fall to the ground. What would you know if you were told you were about to be
taught a te waza (hand technique) as per Jigoro Kano's classification of judo techniques? You'd know that you are about to learn a technique that is:
  1. a nage waza where forces are applied to an opponent to cause them to fall to the ground;
  2. a tachi waza where the thrower will be standing during and at the completion of the execution of the technique;
  3. a te waza where the thrower’s hand is the main body part that plays a central role in the execution of the technique; and
  4. similar to other te waza and different from all non-te waza techniques.
You'd know all this before you even knew the name of the technique let alone before you'd seen it demonstrated, just because the technique was classified as a te waza. This classification is already suggesting to you what the key elements in the technique are, the important elements to look for. You can call upon your background knowledge of similar techniques to understand and learn the new technique.

Judo and Takedowns
What would you know if you were told you were about to learn a takedown (taoshi waza) with reference to Kano's classification of judo techniques? You'd know you were not learning judo.

The judo classification does not include a class that refers to takedowns (taoshi waza). That means that either judo does not teach takedown techniques or that judo does teach takedown techniques but they are included in another class of technique. The latter explanation means that the similarities between takedown techniques and the other techniques in the class, e.g. nage waza, have been identified but either the differences are considered not material enough to warrant their own class or, as is the case, they are not understood.

Does judo teach takedown techniques? Geoff Thompson's The Throws and Take-Downs of Judo would suggest they do - but then why does Thompson not provide definitions that distinguish between these two similar types of techniques and refers to all the techniques in his book as throws?

 The journey continues in part 2.



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Blitz June Edition - What is Jujutsu? - My article published


The front cover of the June Blitz magazine with my article - What is Jujutsu? - included within.