This is an interesting watch. The first thing to note is that there is some bad language and crude sexual references in this video (not from Stephan Kesting, but the gent he’s interviewing). Not one to watch at work, with children around, or if you are easily offended. It adds nothing to the points being made, and it’s a shame it’s there, but if you see past that there’s some really interesting points being made.
I’ve long said that modern systems need to learn from the mistakes of the older ones. Sadly, we see a lot of same mistakes being repeated and as a traditional martial artist you want to say, “Don’t do that! We did that. Nothing good came from it!” If you listen to the video, you will see what I mean. The points they raise are ones that we have discussed here many, many times.
I like the fact they put “traditional” in quotation marks – Stephan even makes air-quotes when he says it in the video – because what they talk about is not really traditional at all. Instead, it is a modern watering down that took hold relatively recently. In the video they say the same stuff has started to happen to BJJ over the last 10 to 20 years. We are 40 or so ahead of that and we know first-hand that these things don’t end well.
The first point made is a concern about the “deification” of instructors. If you listened to my recent podcast (Karate 3.0) then you’ll know I make the exact same point!
They also discuss the over use of “oss”. Jesse Enkamp did a good piece on this:
They also talk about training without live practise. Once again, that’s something we talk about all the time here. There is an inescapable need to drill things live. As part of this discussion they also talk about how “kata” alone is pointless; which it is when it is divorced from the wider training matrix. Here is an old article I wrote on this topic:
The need to pressure test to clean away myths and misinformation is also covered i.e. the debunking of chi-based light tap knockouts, etc.
What struck me when watching the video is that many of the “traditional values” they worry about, are the same things that we traditionalists worry about! They are modern phenomenon (mainly post WW2 in Karate’s case, and it seems mainly the last couple of decades in BJJ’s case) so not “traditional” in the dictionary sense of the word; but they’ve certainly became associated with arts that, incorrectly, are known by that label.
If you watch the video, and listen to my most recent podcast, you will find much commonality (in content, if not style of delivery). The difference is they are talking from the relatively early days of these problems, and I’m talking from a position of “we’ve been through that and we need to get back on to the straight and narrow”. Lots of common ground through. It seems “bullshitsu” (to steal a term from Jamie Clubb) is infectious.
All the best,