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Jeremy McLean
Jeremy McLean's picture
Lineage, reality, methods, and what it means to karate

So Ryan Hoover made a series of videos that have shaken some people up pretty good. He gives his opinion on flow drills in FMA, titles vs realistic perceptions, learning efficiency, lineages, and a few other things.



There was an interesting "discussion" between Ryan and a panel of high ranking FMA guys that took issue with Ryan's words on Facebook via skype(worth the watch). With all that said what do you guys think of Ryan's opinions and what are the take always for karateka who are looking for realistic applications in their training?

JWT's picture

I must admit I'm more interested in what a person can teach me to do than who their teachers were or what they can do.

Wastelander's picture

I'm certainly proud of my lineage (whether that's something I have any right to be is a different story), and there is something to be said from a history and culture perspective for having a strong lineage. I think you are also more likely to have solid material if you have a lineage with solid material. That said, your lineage doesn't make you, and you could have a great lineage with no knowledge/skill/ability.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Good "lineage" just means you've had good teachers. What he says in the video is true..but it doesn't change the fact that there is a continuum of good and maybe not so good teachers, and that it is better to have a good training than the other kind.

Of course, getting into what's "good and bad" is a powder keg of and within itself!

The knife fighter video is right one the money in my opinion, no one should be claiming to teach "knife fighting", and if they actually were, i'd stay far away from them!

Ian H
Ian H's picture

"You can send a boy to college, but you can't make him think."

A good karate lineage is like attending a good college: it's not proof that you have learned and mastered the teachings of the venerated professors of Oxford or Okinawa ... but it's evidence that you had the OPPORTUNITY to do so, and hopefully some of that knowledge and wisdom rubbed off on you, you learned some good work habits, and can live up to the standards of your best professors or senseis.

I could spend a decade training daily with (insert here the name of the most impressive Sensei you can think of ... the "greatest sensei ever"), and I might emerge from that completely unscathed, having learned absolutely nothing.  I might have taken full advantage of that opportunity and ... due to my own limitations ... learned a decent amount, but "nothing special".  Or, I could have taken full advantage and, due to my own innate abilities of learning and perservering, mastered all he had to teach and have become his worthy successor.

Your lineage does not say how good you are, it says how good you had the opportunity to become.

Kevin73's picture

On the fence on "lineage".  On the one hand I completely agree with him that Master X isn't going to show up in the alley and fight for you.  It's what YOU do with the training that makes the difference.  BUT, to most people they don't have a gauge to know good/bad martial arts when first starting.  There has to be some type of criteria.

If you are wanting to learn BJJ, for example, you are going to want to know how they got ranked.  If they are an MMA teacher, you are probably going to want to know what arts and their record.  Same with the TMA's, people use lineagej as a kind of litmus test to know if what they are gettting is what they want.  In most cases, people want some history and tradition to what they do and the lineage helps provide that.  If all you want to do is learn how to defend yourself, then this can be less important, but you are going to want to know where the material came from.

But, I don't agree when people throw out lineage to show that they are "better" because of who their teacher's teacher was.