Trash Talk Tuesday: Appeals to Tradition and Modernity

The final post in this series from which we martial arts bloggers learned:
1) How NOT to make a case for or against someone or something
2) Why certain comments set our teeth on edge
3) How to stay focused when discussing our arts


It’s Trash Talk Tuesday!


One thing I absolutely love about Karate  is it’s been around awhile.   Yes, I’m fully aware that the particular style I’m studying is less than a century old and maybe its founder is rolling around in his grave because of some of the changes that have taken place.  I’m talking about Karate in general.  Yes, I know Japanese Karate, which is where my style comes from, is different from Okinawan Karate.  I’m looking over a pretty big swath of time and across cultures here.   Anyway – back to my point.  Karate’s long roots stretching back over time appeals to me.  But is that the only reason I should keep studying?  Absolutely not!

Appeal to tradition and appeal to modernity are propaganda techniques that might come in handy for advertising.  Let’s keep them in that realm.  Really and truly, can MMA claim to be better than Karate based on how “modern” it is?  Can Karate claim to be better than MMA based on its traditions?  NO.  It’s all about what the student wants out of his or her art.  Yes, advertise to attract the people you want.  But don’t stop there.  Give your potential students some real benefits to studying with you.  Provide your credentials and some statistics.

Each art has its share of really impressive people.  Learn.  Keep an open mind.  Most of all, please respect each other.

Thanks to Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn, the authors of  _The Fallacy Detective_

Author: Joelle White

I began training in Karate in June of 2014 after a 27 year hiatus.

4 thoughts on “Trash Talk Tuesday: Appeals to Tradition and Modernity”

  1. Yep. I agree with you. I am going to do a post about “finding your fit” – watch this space.

    I am currently training in 3 styles (within our network there are 3 dojo). This came about as I couldn’t get enough at my home dojo who only train once a week (ok 2-3 hours at a time but still only once….and school holidays we have a break!)

    My home dojo is Goju ryu and strictly speaking the closest to the traditional (Okanawan) Karate and I guess the “oldest”. I love thinking about the fact that what we are doing is old / traditional / unchanged etc…

    The second one is Shito ryu (who I mostly train kumite with) and is a mix of Okanawan with similar roots to my home dojo – another branch off the family tree, and Japanese sports karate aspects.

    The third is a new style – Uechi go ryu (invented by the Sensei) which incorporates several styles (goju ryu, USA Urban Goju, uechi ryu, wado ryu and shorinji kempo). With full respect to the sensei (who is about 8th dan now I think!), I was initially skeptical about a “new” style or how someone could just “invent” something, this was perhaps due to comments made by others when I asked what style was taught there…..they’d say things like “Oh Sensei / Kyoshi X does his own style”…..they hadn’t necessarily said it in a bad way but somehow I had taken it as being a bad thing…..something watered down. Having tried it though for the last 3 months I actually have found it very enriching and I am so very glad I decided to try it out. The fact that I currently have no intention of grading there or learning (as opposed to absorbing) their 35 kata is of no consequence to me or them / Sensei as far as I can tell, however attending their training has given me all sorts of new experiences I would never have had access to at the other dojo (including things like conditioning, kobudo, different blocks / stances and strikes and different kumite experiences…..not to mention practice learning new kata even if mostly by osmosis!).

    1. Wow, Rach! I would have such a hard time doing what you’re doing. I’m ten months into training and still default to Hayashi-ha Shito Ryu blocks whenever I slip up – and I studied that style over a quarter century ago! I’m fortunate in that there are four sister dojos within half an hour’s drive of my house – two of them are 10 minutes away. Same style (Shindo Jinen-Ryu) and same organization. All the best to you in your training!

    1. Ossu, Sensei Ando! [bow]

      LOL, my favorite bit of trash talk to use against my daughter in the dojo is…

      “Your mama wears army boots.”


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