One Size Coffin / Cookie-Cutter fits all
I got an email asking me what I mean by cuttie-cutter martial arts
This relates to the "complication" issue because-in theory the less things you know, the less complicated you are.
Any martial art that is a system that makes you, no matter your size, shape, strengths,weaknesses, age or skill to perform and move like the system's titular head. It is a system that imposes its techniques upon, whether you like them, or can do them or not.
He kicks high? You must kick high.
He cartwheels? You must cartwheel.
He power punches? This is your main solution too.
He wears this? You must wear this.
He head butts? You must head butt.
He flinches? You must flinch.
He only vertical fist punches? You must too.
He shreds? You must shred.
He tackles and wrestles? You must tackle and wrestle.
He restricts your training in other systems? You stay nice and dumb.
He dictates. You must mindlessly follow.
He makes the cookie cutter? You must force yourself into his pattern.
Aren't most of these systems flexible, too?
No. It does seem that if they have a handicapped person? They will fudge on the requirements (and it often makes the evening news-why not!) but, that is as far as any improvisation and individual expression is allowed to grow and go.
Will they offer lip service/hot air on your freedom?
Yes. Maybe. Will they walk the talk. No. And then, some say right away, no- "you cannot train outside this system." It will "confuse" you. "Distract" you. This is where you hear the KISS method and Hick's Law tossed about incorrectly to keep you down and in their cookie-cutter.
"Isn't any training program a cookie cutter? Aren't you making cookies?"
It is very difficult challenge to set up any training standards and steer clear of this cookie-cutter problem. It must be woven carefully into a systems' doctrine. A doctrine must have freedom built right into it.
A baseball player learns how to swing a bat. Simple, huh? Ahhh-KISS and Hick's law at its best. "Just swing, dude!" "That is all a stupid SOB like you can do under stress!" But each hitter must develop a unique swing based on his abilities and potential to be successful. What size bat? Who is pitching and what? A good hitting coach knows a lot about this. Your unique swing must become your simple swing from muscle memory repetition. How sophisticated and educated is your system head, to even understand these issues and then implement them into doctrine? Is he just a Thai Boxer? Just a soldier? Just a karate devotee? A college wrestler?
I have created a college-like system that tries to expose people to all the mainstays of striking, kicking and grappling with hands, sticks, knives and guns. But, your favorites and your final product is your selected end. It is the freestyle combat scenarios that YOU have to construct. Not me. That journey is your personal growth and knowledge. That is emphasized in how YOU construct your level 10 tests. I don't tell you how to execute each scenario! You do. Fighting first - Systems second, is a big SFC motto.
And of course, as this exposure and journey-steering is my job, so to it is our instructors' jobs to expose a variety of people with these common mainstays. The idea is EXPOSE people to fighting tactics, not IMPOSE ones on them. For many years now, I have said in seminars-
"I am here to inspire you, not confine you."
a) Pick some for themselves (with appropriate KISS-like and Hicks-style limitations.)
b) Learn all moves to be good instructors for all shapes, ages, sizes and strengths.
...and so it goes, and so it goes. A legacy of maximized training, not mental and physical restrictions.
It is getting better out there on the marketplace! These traditional, restrictive programs really are slowly shrinking and dying off the charts. Traditional is good for kids. Not good for adults. BUT, I fear I do see the similar problem now arise in newer programs!
- Everybody Shred! - Everybody Flinch! - Everybody tackle and wrestle!
Just because the instructor is younger and in a t-shirt, doesn't mean they aren't making the same silly, damn mistakes.
One size does not fit all. Not even one coffin fits everyone.